A family in Delaware County says their dream addition to their home turned into a mess and has cost them everything.
Fox 29's Chris O'Connell has their emotional story.
"This is our dream home. This is what we had to look forward to," said homeowner Paul Brooks.
Paul and Janet’s Brooks dream suddenly became a nightmare.
"It's leaking, it's rotting, it's sideways, it's not square," said homeowner Janet Brooks.
The couple hired a local contractor to build a 2 bedroom addition on their Nether Providence Township home for their 2 children with autism, and Paul who is disabled after a car accident.
But instead of an addition, they say they got an unfinished shell of a home, rotting and riddled with problems.
"This is our paver stones holding up my house," said Paul.
The work on the addition started last fall.
"October 24th we gave him a Cashier’s Check for $15,000," said Janet."Probably not even a week later, he told us we needed another check for something, and another check for something and another check."
The couple shelled out nearly $24,000, which was their entire life savings. Checks all paid to contractor Jimmy Dyer.
However, mid-way through construction the Brooks got a visit from a township inspector who dropped a bombshell.
The township inspector said no plans were submitted by Dyer and no building permits were ever issued.
Also, the work that was done was so dangerous the township deemed it unsafe and must be to be torn down. The Brooks say Dyer hasn't been back since.
"This is all we had. And he took advantage of us," said Janet.
"Who would think just down the street from you. You would do that to someone," said Paul.
Yes, Dyer lives just 3-blocks away from the Brooks.
Dyer says all $24,000 went to materials, and he didn't make a dime off the job.
The township building official says Dyer was quote "no way qualified to do the job". In fact-according to the State Attorney General, Dyer isn't even a licensed contractor.
The couple even filed a private criminal complaint with the Delaware County District Attorney, but they were told since the work had already started, it's now a civil matter.
The Brooks admit they didn't do their homework on the contractor before shelling out all that money, which was a costly mistake.
"This was our retirement savings. This was our dream and this is what we had," said Paul.