abc13 helps woman after plumbing project goes south

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When a woman hired plumber to fix some leaks in her home, she was left with gaping holes in her ceiling and thousands of dollars in repairs. So she turned to us for help. (KTRK)

When a local Houston woman hired plumber to fix some leaks in her home, she was left with gaping holes in her ceiling, falling insulation, and thousands of dollars in repairs she could not afford. So she turned to us for help.

It was an average summer day in Betty Lou Washington's home. But then everything changed.

"The ceiling, it just broke in. I was so horrified, I didn't know what to do," Washington said.

Big leaks had sprung in two different rooms. Washington paid a local plumber up front to do the repairs. However, he reportedly never finished the job and left her with missing sheet rock, dirt and debris falling from the attic.

"But he just took the money and left. He left a mess, you see all the mess he left in the bathroom there," she said. "All this insulation stuff coming down. I could feel that stuff, go in your lungs."

Not able to afford another plumber, she turned to us for help, and we started making calls.

"I understand Ms. Washington, she doesn't have any money. So we came in here pro bono to just help her out," said Chris Powell with CM Powell Plumbing.

After learning about Washington's situation, Powell grabbed his team and went to work.

"I knew I had it in my power. It's the right thing to do and that's what we did," he said.

Once the plumbing was replaced, Matthew Court and his crew with Lonestar Contracting Services came in to finish the job.

"We're going to re insulate some of the walls. We're going to tear out some of the sheetrock from the existing water damage from where the pipes had busted," Court said.

Court tells us he wanted to help out immediately after learning what happened.

"That's the part that was real hard for us to hear about. Someone living in a condition like this for over a month means they've been breathing in," he said. "It's a good feeling to help people. At the end of the day, One of our biggest mottos in our company is we just really want to help you."

To avoid situations like this one, he urges homeowners to do their homework first, before hiring any contractor.

"The problem is when you're dealing with companies who are not credible, not BBB rated, Angie's List rated, and they're not local," Court said.

It was a big lesson learned by Washington, who's grateful to everyone who helped.

"I just thank God for you all, and you're all some nice people. I just hope that the good lord bless you for doing that," she said.

More information about the businesses in this story:

Chris Powell, CM Powell Plumbing

Lonestar Contracting Services
Matt Court

Angels on the Roof
Related Topics:
ABC13 & Youaction 13Houston
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