Car crash victim says Home Depot botched $27K accessible bathroom renovation
CBC talks to Nadine Blum about consumer rights
The CBC reports today about a woman who paid Home Depot thousands of dollars to renovate her bathroom. The renovation included a clinician-recommended walk-in therapeutic tub to help her with rehabilitation from a car crash that left her with spinal cord damage.
The tub was installed incorrectly. The woman is now left with major leaking and water damage to her home, as well as a smell of stagnant water. She asked Home Depot to correct the problem, but six months later nothing has been done and her bathroom cannot be used.
CBC spoke to Nadine Blum about home renovations and consumer rights:
“Lawyers do hear about these issues on a fairly regular basis,” said Nadine Blum, a Toronto-based lawyer at Goldblatt Partners who specializes in labour and employment law.
She cites a 2018 Ipsos survey, which found more than 50 per cent of Canadian homeowners experienced problems while renovating, be it sloppy work, delays or stolen deposits.
And dealing with a large company that’s acting as the middleman can add an extra layer of issues, Blum said.
“If you have multiple parties that are involved in the work … you end up in a situation where you may have the parties pointing at each other in terms of who’s at fault if something goes wrong,” she said.
“As a consumer, you may not be able to prove who’s at fault. You may not have a direct relationship with the party who has actually been at fault, which can complicate things when you’re trying to get a legal remedy.”
Blum recommends that anyone planning a home renovation make sure there’s a contract in place, with all estimates and promises in writing, and that any issues are documented with notes and photos, in the event a complaint needs to be filed to a local consumer protection office or a lawsuit launched.