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Small claims no help for Saskatoon homeowner who sued contractor

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A Saskatoon homeowner is left frustrated and out thousands of dollars after a renovation dream turned into a nightmare.

After browsing online for contractors to do some renovations to his home, Ron Laurans decided to go ahead with a home improvement project in 2022.

It didn't take long for him to realize he was in for a headache.

“Day one,” he said. “Day one was supposed to be demos. On day three I came over to talk about how I wanted the stairs done, and no demo in the house had been done. His guys didn’t show up.”

Over the course of the job, Laurans paid $12,000 for materials and labour, but after three weeks he says the job was either incomplete, done wrong, or the materials hadn't been bought.

“They're here for three weeks, all they got accomplished was some minor demo,” said Laurans. “They had three door frames hung, one of the doorframes was backwards. They only got the upstairs flooring done.”

Since Laurans had to move into the home, he scrambled to get some new materials and someone new to finish the job.

“They didn't even have the upstairs done yet,” he said. “I had to hire another contractor just to come in and put the flooring in the living room so I could move all my stuff in.”

He took the contractor to small claims court, where it was decided he would be repaid $5,850.

But, after failing to pay on multiple agreed upon dates, Laurans says he’s left waiting with little help from the courts.

“He's got no assets to take, no house, no vehicles, nothing,” Laurans told CTV News. “And he is not making any payments because that's on a voluntary basis. So that's all they can do is just ask for payments, so they’ve got nothing to take from him.”

He took the matter to the sheriff, but progress has halted there. Laurans says he's frustrated, but he wants homeowners to be mindful of who they hire to do a costly renovation.

“I just want people to be aware of what's out there and to be wary of who you are actually contracting,” he said. “And then to be aware of what your rights are for small claims and you're going through this stuff. You might win but it doesn't mean anything.”

CTV was unable to reach the contractor at numerous phone numbers and email addresses listed online and in court documents.

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