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Home renovation nightmare forces woman into shed

Duncan_For many people, a Christmas wish is to be home for the holidays, but Melody Cuni just wants to be home, in general.  Contractors have worked on her house since it caught fire in November 2007. The contractors promised to be finished this past May, but it's still not complete.  There's no power or plumbing, so, Melody has stayed with family and friends.  But, their generosity can only go so far.  So, recently she's spent several winter nights in a sleeping bag in her heatless shed.

Cuni signed a contract with "Painters Plus" for $106,000. The deal said the work would be finished in 180 days. Now, months later, all that fills her home is empty walls and sawdust.  "(I)missed two Thanksgivings here with my family,  two Christmases," Cuni said, through the tears.

She says "Painters Plus" made her promises they just haven't kept. Now, she says the contractor rarely works on her home at all.  "He just says he's going to. He says he's going to come up and he hasn't been here since July," Cuni said.

But, Robert McClure from "Painters Plus" says many of the things Cuni wants aren't covered under their original contract, which is why some of the work hasn't been done. She begs to differ.  "He agreed to do these upgrades for me, and to give up certain things and now I think there's an issue and he doesn't want to do the upgrades."

She says she gave up an option to have a metal roof installed, along with other things, which gave her extra money for the upgrades she wanted, like tiles and hardwood floors.  She says McClure told her she would get them. "I don't have my metal roof," Cuni said.  "I dont have my upgrades.  I don't have my house finished."

Cuni says her insurance company has paid about $75,000 to "Painters Plus", but McClure says they still have other expenses that have not been paid for.  Cuni told 7NEWS there will be another $30,000 check as soon as the job is done--just as the contract states.

Cuni says she has hired an attorney to get things moving with her house and to solve a number of other issues, including a siding job of $6,000 on her brick house that she says didn't want.

7NEWS talked to Robert McClure's partner at "Painters Plus", who tells us he has promised Cuni a new deadline--the end of January. And by then, he says, the job will be done.

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