NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – It was supposed to be a dream home for the Hernandezes, but the Norman estate was a bit of a fixer upper, so the couple needed a contractor to bring it up to code.
“It's a 1972 house, wanted to make sure it's safe for my family,” Robert Hernandez said. “Got a lot of bids on what it's gonna cost. We found a contractor – another veteran-owned company. We thought they had our best interests in mind.”
Their name is Yellow Footprints Construction (YFP), billed as "veteran owned and operated," led in part by Dustin Smith.
The family hired the group for basically a whole home renovation.
“[YFP] told us he could have it completed in 75 days,” Robert said.
The Hernandezes said those deadlines came and went, and that their dream home soon became a nightmare.
“When you see the red flags, you kinda look past it,” Robert said. “You don't wanna see it, you want to see the good.”
With more money being requested by Yellow Footprints, Robert and Kristen did some digging into the company. So too, did In Your Corner.
Turns out for the massive renovation, no permits were pulled, except for one miscellaneous wiring permit.
No inspections were scheduled.
Outside contractors say the work that was done was done poorly.
“We found issues with the plumbing, found issues with the electrical,” said Jonathan Shaw with Royal Construction. “Went to plug something in, charger for one of our drills, [and] it sparked, actually killed the battery. [It] no longer works.”
The pool house out back, which was in need of a new roof, is now a leaky mess. They’re also dealing with issues with concrete floors poured throughout the home.
“Water's going all over the place in [the pool house],” Shaw said. “[Concrete] wasn't mixed properly, just creating this dust over and over and over. It's never gonna stop. Basically you'll have to have the floors buffed down to the original state.”
Yellow Footprints is relatively new, opening their doors in March of last year.
Prior to that, Dustin Smith worked for another company, Ultimate Roofing and Construction.
Ultimate Roofing was owned by Dustin’s brother, Bobby Smith and his wife Crystal. The couple was arrested and charged by the state with 10 felony counts of embezzlement and home repair fraud earlier this month.
The Attorney General’s Office accuses Bobby and Crystal of stealing more than $300,000 from customers.
State officials also believe more victims could be out there.
According to court documents, Dustin was “Production Manager” of Ultimate Roofing, but was not charged.
Dustin has sought legal council in his dealings with the Hernandezes, responding to News 4 through statements through his attorney.
Dustin claims unpermitted work was done by subcontractors at the request of the Hernandezes. He also claims his company has not been paid enough for the work.
To read his full statement, click the following:
The Hernandezes say they now have a lien on their property.
“It's stressful, it's sickening. [This has] put a lot of stress on our family,” said Robert.
The clock is now ticking for the Hernandezes. Robert is a veteran, and their home must be up to code and inspected by April in order to receive their VA home loan.
Robert and Kristen are now taking bids again, basically having to start over.
“Maybe take out of retirement,” Robert said. “We still got a little left in the loan to work with; we're not done yet.”
Both sides have sought legal council in this case. The Hernandezes have filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office.