"It is our stuff, this is how we need to take it back."
A video of a building contractor "taking back his work" is going viral.
Video shot by homeowner Amber Trucke shows Dream Home Remodels smashing up the shower they'd just installed — allegedly over an unpaid bill.
Trucke can only stand by and film as Terry James Gregory uses a sledgehammer to destroy the tiles on the walls and floor, while fellow business co-owner Jordan Cazares calmly justifies them "taking back their stuff":
"That's not taking back your stuff, that's..." Trucke can be head trailing off.
"It is our stuff, this is how we need to take it back," Cazares informs her.
"I'm more than happy to deal with the police, more than happy," a breathless Gregory adds, between swings. "More than happy."
"Let me tell you something: no contractor in the state of Colorado will fix that when they find out I took it back because you refused to pay me," Gregory tells Trucke, brandishing his saw as he extrapolates. "No one."
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The duo then walk out of the house with their tools, incidentally leaving "their" smashed tiles behind.
According to Trucke, she had paid the company $3,330 of the $7,555 owed to rebuild her shower, but didn't want to hand over the remaining $4,225 balance until she was happy with the final product.
The contractors had done other work in the house, including fixing two ceiling fans and repairing a back door; but Trucke said she wasn't fully satisfied with the work on the shower, and wanted to make sure it all worked before paying up.
"The shower heads had just been put on, and I guess the adhesive had to cure for 24 hours," she told KRDO. "So I wanted to make sure the plumbing worked, they moved my plumbing around, they moved the drain, I wanted to make sure that worked."
The workers were let back into the house by Trucke's roommate, who thought they were coming to retrieve materials — not quite realizing the extent the "retrieval" would go to.
"Watching it just brings tears to my eyes," Trucke said. "It makes me sick, it makes me scared. This is more than just trashing my bathroom, my sense of safety is gone."
Along with a statement to KRDO, Cazares said she has been receiving death threats since the incident.
"After several weeks of work for a customer, communication broke down at the end of a project. There was no displeasure expressed, and we proceeded to ask for payment on the project by the end of the day. Communication broke further after that and resulted in our company repossessing a tile shower," the statement said.
"We regret that this contract went sour. It has never happened before and is not something that is made regular practice. There was several other projects included in the contract that she is also unwilling to pay for, including a vanity, mirror, light fixture, 2 ceiling fans, plumbing work, fixing rotten framing in her walls, and an exterior door replacement."
While Gregory insists his fellow contractors will have his back, potential customers don't seem to agree; already the company's Yelp page has plummeted to 1.5 stars.
Police are now investigating the incident; Pikes Peak Regional Building Department is also investigating whether Dream Home Remodels has the special license and permit required to move the plumbing, which the company insists it has.
On her Facebook page, Trucke posted the text message exchanges between herself and the contractors, showing she was just asking to inspect the final work before handing over the balance. It also shows her asking for receipts for a shower door that was supposedly ordered but hadn't yet arrived, becauyse she had no guarantee it would be installed after she had paid in full.
She claims just 23 hours expired between them declaring they were finished the job and demanding payment, and the sledgehammering:
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Trucke said she also plans to take the company to small claims court.
On Monday, she told TooFab that more than 50 contractors have since reached out to fix her bathroom.
"People were appalled and really wanted to help. The generosity has been overwhelming," she said. "So I guess Terry was mistaken when he said no contractor would fix it."