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Homeowner blames Restore contractor for shoddy work

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DENHAM SPRINGS - A homeowner says he's been left with quite a mess and blames contractors hired through the Restore Louisiana Program for the shoddy work on his home.

Donnie Morgan lives on S. Point Drive in Denham Springs. He was awarded money by the program and opted to work with a contractor appointed by Restore Louisiana to fix up his flood-damaged house. Now he says he needs to repair the repairs.

"I just want to get back to normal, I just want to be normal again," said Morgan.

That seems like it's easier said than done for Morgan, who says for months he was living in an unfinished house while he waited for the work to start. Soon after things got moving, he became concerned.

"My biggest headache is the quality of the work," he said.

The work wrapped up a couple days ago. While Morgan was walking around his house Thursday, he said his biggest concern is with the carpet and the doors.

"There's still nails in the carpet," he said.

His wife, Tracey, says she's stepped on carpet tacks that are hidden under the carpet in the middle of one of the guest bedrooms. Sections of carpet weren't cut correctly and in some areas don't reach the wall. Those incorrect cuts expose the concrete floor underneath. Other areas don't have padding, or a swatch of carpet is cut to cover a hole, hiding a mistake.

"This is just absolutely shoddy work," said Morgan.

He says the people installing the carpet had never done it before.

"The man was straight up honest with me, he said, 'We are not carpet people,'" said Morgan.

That lack of experience shows through. Carpet down the hallway is rippled and fraying. The baseboards that were once pristine white, are now dented and smudged with dark nicks. The flood was less than two years ago, but Morgan says he's feeling the pain all over again and fears the worst until someone tells him otherwise.

"We're stuck with this," he said.

Restore Louisiana tells 2 On Your Side that's not the case.

"We pay upon final inspection satisfactory," said Director of the Office of Community Development Pat Forbes. "If the carpet is not done correctly, the contractor has to go back and fix that on their nickel."

Morgan's final inspection is Tuesday morning. He wants the work done correctly.

Restore says if a final inspection fails, the construction contractor working on the home will be required to address any issues in the inspection report. In the event a homeowner doesn't sign off on the final inspection for any reason, an inspection by a separate and independent contractor not affiliated with the program contractor would be conducted.

Out of 500 final inspections, Forbes says there have been zero appeals relative to finishing the work correctly.

Throughout the process, Restore says it monitors work done by all contractors, including subcontractors and if any of that work is found to be unsatisfactory, then the program will take necessary next steps to correct that work and address the issue with the offending contractor. If problems persist, then changes are made and contractors and/or subcontractors are removed. Contractors are not paid until work is done and a final inspection has been completed and passed.

All work performed by the Restore Louisiana Program is subject to a one-year warranty if any issues arise.

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