HONOLULU, HI (HAWAII NEWS NOW) - The state is investigating a construction company for potential licensing violations after a dispute left the Ellis family in Halawa Heights without an indoor shower for four months.
Instead, they built a makeshift shower in their back yard. It has warm water, but with a tent and tarps, it’s hardly private.
"It's been a challenge because you have to shower outside and you never know who's going to come into our yard," said Ellis.
In July, the Ellis' started a $27,000 bathroom remodel project with BKP Construction which they found on the HomeAdvisor website. The project was to turn one and a half bathrooms into two full bathrooms, but after a month of work, things turned sour.
"One excuse after another, phone calls weren't getting returned, emails weren't getting returned and then we found out he didn't get a permit for the project," said Ellis.
"I was furious. I felt kind of violated," she added.
BKP’s owner, Byron Pojas, told Hawaii News Now Ellis knew from day one the project was unpermitted and in a later statement, the company called it “disgraceful and deceitful” that “Mrs. Ellis unilaterally changed her requirement that a permit be obtained.”
At one point, state investigators told the homeowner that the contractor was blaming her for delays saying she “insisted that qualified subs not be brought in to perform the work in order to save on costs.”
Ellis says that’s not true and wants others to be aware of contractor pitfalls.
“Do as much homework as you can so that may be not only looking at some 3rd party site that is recommending somebody for the job and also availing any other resources that may be out there,” said Daria A. Loy Goto, Complaints and Enforcement Officer for the State of Hawaii’s Regulated Industries and Complaints Office (RICO).
A search on the RICO website shows BKP Construction’s license expired at the end of September and has three pending complaints.