Some Challenges are not Planned

I know it has been awhile since I have posted anything. For that, I deeply apologize. You see, 2019 has not been very kind. Some challenges you do not expect, some challenges are not planned, some challenges are not wanted! Challenges are supposed to make you stronger. They are supposed to build your character. Some are supposed to be fun! 2019 has definitely been a match in a boxing ring.

It started out in January. We hired a veteran owned company to remodel our bathrooms. We have three total. We wanted to merge two bathrooms: master bath and guest bath. The plan was to add a door between the two, enlarge the master bath with a bigger shower. We were trying to get a remodel that would modernize the home and accommodate my husband’s failing eye sight, among other medical issues. This house was built in 1979 and looks like it was built then. Very few remodeling was conducted by any of the previous owners. I love this house and wanted to give it the attention it deserved.

The remodeling project was to be completed by Veteran’s Home Remodeling. The owner is Victor Habgood. Imbed that name into your brain! If you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, I caution you NOT to use this company! They quoted us $26,000 to do this project that would start on January 28, 2019. They promised it would be completed by February 15, 2019. Per the contract, we gave them the first deposit of $8, 823.77. Both bathrooms were gutted to studs. They completed the first phase without fail. In fact, it was completed within the first week.

The phase began immediately after the first phase ended. We provided another payment of $8,823.76 per the contract guidelines. This is when all the issues began. Employees were not informed on how the project was to be worked (i.e. placement of new wall, routing of plumbing, toilet placements, drawings were not available) prior to construction. The team members was asking us questions that should have been provided to them by the company. They requested drawings and could not get them. I had to stop the process on a Friday and demand the owner report to my home on Monday to discuss the issues were witnessing. Of course, he did not show. He sent another representative that came out and drew a layout of how materials was supposed to be placed.

The employees were not provided the materials ahead of the project to ensure it would suit the layout. For example, they were not provided the vanities, medicine cabinets, shower stall, tile, tile spacers…the list goes on. They requested materials and could not get them. They were informed there was no money to get the supplies and any other excuse they can come up with. Some of the team members used their own funds to purchase materials in order to move ahead on the project. We would listen to discussions among the team members and discovered they weren’t even getting paid! Some had not been paid for several weeks. This went on, well, past the due date. We would inquire about materials. The status they would give was inaccurate because the materials weren’t even ordered at the time. We would ask for proof and would get none. For instance, the tub was not ordered until April 4. Again, well past the due date and after a total of $17,647.52 had been submitted to them. There should have been plenty of money available for this project.

Finally, I had enough! I sent a Letter of Termination to them on April 22. Yes, that’s right 2 months after the project was to be completed. It came to a point where we had to break ties with this company. The lies were too much! The workmanship was subpar by industries standards. It literally looks like unskilled workers came into my home and remodeled these bathrooms. They painted the walls and when it started to peel, they tried to disguise it by painting over it. Areas around the light fixtures was not plastered correctly. The lights were hung upside down because the medicine cabinets were installed too high. Outlets were installed directly underneath the medicine cabinets above the sink faucets. There are holes around the toilet fixtures, sheetrock seams have a “bubbled” appearance, plumbing adapters were placed on the wrong wall for the tub to be connected. This list goes on and on. The worst, in my opinion, is the grout to the shower. The tiles were installed using broken pieces of tile instead of tile spacers. The grout lines range from 3/8th inch to over 1/2 inch in places. There is no consistency.

Each time I have a contractor come give me an estimate, I learn of another issue that needs to be resolved. For instance, had they finished the shower, it would have leaked because it was not sealed properly. Water would have leaked under my house and done a lot of damage. This past week, I had the city inspector come out to determine what was in code and what wasn’t. I am still waiting on that list to be sent to me. I have also submitted a full detailed report to the Department of Professional and Occupation Regulation (DPOR). While they do have a fund to provide assistance in these cases, there is no guarantee that we will ever see reconciliation from this matter.

The worst part, I a member of a Messenger Group of at least thirteen other customers that have been affected by this business. Some have paid money and no work has been done. There are three pending court cases against him in the City of Chesapeake but this ranges throughout Norfolk and Virginia Beach as well.

I say that is the worst part but truly it isn’t! While my husband and I are established and can over come this financial crisis with time, there are young junior sailors that would have been bankrupted by his actions. What I didn’t tell you before is that this was a person I trusted. I worked with him at a command he work at as a Lieutenant. He is a Veteran of our Armed Forces with a start-up business. Those same junior sailors would have taken his rank as word that he would do the job and do it right. Officers in the military are supposed to look after the junior sailors and the junior sailors would have counted on that!

I am a Veteran. My husband is a Veteran. I have two sons that currently serve this great nation. Being a Veteran, or even an active duty member, means a great deal to our family. It is not a name or a title to be taken for granted. It is not to be used to take advantage of other Veterans or anyone for that matter. In the military, we learn to have each others back. We count on each other during the hardest times. We look out for each other, take care of each other. Victor Habgood broke that code of ethics in every possible way. He does not deserve to have the title “Veteran”. He should be stripped of all rights to that title!

Again, I caution you to watch for the name Victor Habgood. Remember this name! I have since learned he has closed the business office and put his website in maintenance mode. He has reached out to other people to sell his business so he can buy an RV and travel the country for a year or two. I say remember the name, Victor Habgood, because there is nothing to stop him from closing down one business and opening up under another business name!

Well, Victor Habgood, I hope you enjoy your vacation and the RV you purchase on the hard earned money of those that trusted you to do a job you neglected to do! Enjoy the time with your family having fun and sightseeing, while the rest of us are struggling to put our lives and financial profiles in order after you stole from us! May your life be ever so happy!

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