Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

J.A.B.A. Construction, Saskatoon, in ‘white knight’ renovation rescue

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Armed with an insurance payout, Janice Braden of Saskatoon hired a local contractor to repair the damage to her home caused by ice dams on her roof. But a so-called contractor took off with her money. It has taken J.A.B.A Construction and, among others, to bail Braden out of her renovation nightmare.

By John Bleasby

Janice Braden of Saskatoon had been living a homeowner’s nightmare for over 14 months: an insurance repair and restoration that went horribly wrong. But when CBC news took her story national in December 2014, a series of white knights have ridden to her rescue., a business referral directory, initiated the rescue mission, with veteran local contractor Dave Anderchek of J.A.B.A. Construction championing the cause at ground level.

According to the CBC report, it all started in December 2013 when ice dams on Braden’s roof resulted in water damage to the interior. Armed with a $20,000 insurance payout, she hired a local contractor to repair and restore her kitchen, dining room, bathroom and attic.

Things quickly went south. Part way through the project, the CBC reported, the contractor convinced Braden to sign documents stating satisfaction with the work done. He then left with the $20,000. Much of his unfinished work was seriously substandard.


For Dave Anderchek, getting involved was the only option. “I’m a fan of the industry. It’s an insult to see this poor workmanship, then realise somebody actually took Janice’s money and left her high and dry.”

Anderchek has been coordinating the industry-wide effort to put Janice’s house back together. At first, 26 companies reportedly expressed interest in helping. “Those who remain dedicated to the project have been great,” says Anderchek. “But getting solid commitments from suppliers and coordinating the timing has been a challenge.”

The project was re-permitted, walls opened up, the kitchen re-wired, and the original contractor’s work cleared out. Roof repairs, including heating pads, have been a priority. In the meantime, Ms. Braden has been living in the house throughout the fall and winter. “Considering this is a job gone very bad, she’s held up OK,” Anderchek says. “She simply didn’t understand the complexity, especially with contractors who are working for free. We’ve been doing a lot of hand-holding.” Anderchek expects the project, which represents between $70,000 and $100,000 of donated goods and services, to be complete by the end of March.

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1 Comment » for J.A.B.A. Construction, Saskatoon, in ‘white knight’ renovation rescue
  1. James Cooley says:

    To all contractor’s. Customer service and quality work first. If you can’t perform and finish it. Don’t do it. Be honest with the customers. Don’t underbid the job either. Customer, hold on to your money till your happy. If your not sure about the work have another contractor inspect it. Permits, permits, permits. If they don’t pull permits kick them out of your home. RESEARCH the construction method.

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