Homeowners and local contractor square off over a Forest Glade renovation project

The inside of Karen and Darryl Dagenais’s house looks as if it’s under construction. No drywall, electrical switches or lights. And only a couple of plugs to power the kitchen appliances.

The two said they had to rip out all the plaster and insulation last year because it had been badly damaged from rain water poured into the house through the tarps serving as a temporary roof.

“It was basically like Niagara Falls in our home,” Karen said, adding the roof had been removed during a renovation project to add two more levels to their back-split home in Windsor’s Forest Glade area.

The Dagenais' home has no electrical fixtures or switches.  Just a couple of outlets for kitchen appliances.
The Dagenais family’s home has no electrical fixtures or switches, just a couple of outlets for kitchen appliances. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Karen has been living in the house, the way it is, off and on for about a year. The conditions are uncomfortable, she said.

“We have been going back and forth between our sons and here when the weather wasn’t working here. We had no heat until November, so up until then, we used electric blankets,” said Dagenais.

The couple is suing the contractor, Daher Developments, for $800,000 in damages.

The statement of claim states the tarps “were in poor condition and had holes in them” and “were not properly affixed to the roof.” No statements of defense have been submitted to the Essex County courthouse, and the allegations have not been proven in court.

A tarp covers the roof of the Dagenais house in the renovation project in March of last year.
A tarp covers the roof of the Dagenais house in the renovation project in March last year. (Karen Dagenais)

Ted Daher, owner of Daher Developments. said the couple was informed.

“The tarp was put up properly,” Daher told CBC News, “and they were warned to remove anything of value from the house.”

He said his insurance company is handling the claim.

Frank Dayus, president of Dayus Roofing, said that in projects like this, contractors typically add two levels to a home before the old roof is removed.

He said covering large spaces with tarp always comes with some risks.

Karen said they would lose money if they tried to sell the house as is.

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