LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas couple's appearance on a popular reality show has convinced them of a harsh reality: Things aren't always as rosy as they seem on TV. In this case, it's a home remodel on HGTV.
13 Investigates shows when they couldn't get a resolution on their living room, they turned to the courtroom.
"Property Brothers" on HGTV starring Jonathan and Drew Scott has entertained and enticed homeowners for years.
Paul and Mindy King were searching for their dream home in 2018 when they heard about a "Property Brothers" casting call.
"They had told us that they wanted us to be their first episode," Mindy King said. "So we instantly started doing whatever steps we needed to do."
You can't put a price on King's love, but you can attach dollar signs to their home remodel -- more than $193,000.
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They wired the money to Cineflix, the production company behind "Property Brothers." They passed on a honeymoon to save money and signed on the dotted line, assured all the work would be done to code.
"Everything will be, you know, perfect HGTV quality," Mindy King said. "It also states that all the work, even deficiency lists, will be completed by May 2019."
The couple was confident in the reputation of the "Property Brothers" show.
"We've both done remodels before, so we thought, 'oh, this is great,'" Mindy King said.
But while "Property Brothers" was recording the reveal section of the King's episode, they discovered everything wasn't amazing.
13 Investigates toured the King's house to see what they're claiming in a lawsuit against Cineflix and the contractor, Villa Construction. The Scott Brothers themselves are not named in the case.
"So this wasn't even the backsplash we were supposed to have," Mindy King explains.
While some people might consider some of the issues to be cosmetic...."You can see that the baseboards aren't even," Mindy King points out, "this one's taller than this one."
They also consider other issues as potential hazards.
"When we first arrived, the insta-hot was not working because it wasn't plugged in," Paul King said. "So I looked under the kitchen sink. There were two plugs for three things to the plugin. It made no sense."
According to a licensed electrician 13 Investigates spoke to, that's not up to code as appliances need to be on dedicated circuits.
"All they did is they split the plug now, put four plugs in there, but it's still only on one line," Paul King said.
13 Investigates called Jonathan Scott. His lawyer responded, declining an on-camera interview and sent the following statement:
"The Property Brothers ("Brothers") are not named defendants in Paul and Mindy King's (the "Kings") lawsuit initiated against Cineflix (Property Brothers 7) Inc. and Villa Construction, nor are they responsible for the Kings' alleged claims. The Kings have rejected Cineflix (Property Brothers 7) Inc.'s and Villa's reasonable attempts to remedy the remaining punch list items in the Kings' home. Instead, in what appears to be an attempt to secure a substantial monetary settlement, the Kings have engaged in a negative publicity campaign against the Brothers. It is unfortunate that the Kings have resorted to such conduct."
The Kings say the issues go far beyond some items on a punch list.
"They actually grouted the range to the wall and it's not even a straight grout line," Mindy King said. "But on top of that, there's actually grout in the burners and our brand new range was totally scratched."
Mindy struggled to open a hallway door as another example. "Well, I think maybe because this just fell off of the door, I was able to get it open a little easier," Mindy King said.
"So this wall was rebuilt during the filming of the show," Paul King said. "It bulges in and it can only be replaced if you tear out the whole wall and rebuild it."
Homeowners who appear on "Property Brothers" are footing the bill in full.
"No, there is nothing free," Paul King said.
And that nearly $200,000 was all upfront.
"So we totally feel that we were bamboozled and tricked," Mindy King said.
Now they're suing.
"We didn't spend this kind of money to have our cabinets repainted six times and still have paint coming off," Mindy King said.
Before taking legal action, the Kings say they gave Cineflix and the contractor plenty of time to get things right.
"I literally have hundreds of emails back and forth with the production company and their contractor and their designer for well over a year," Mindy King said.
Including two months after the reveal was recorded before the Kings moved in. A lockbox remained outside for nearly two more months so the contractor could continue to get in.
But the Kings claim some of the fixes led to even more problems. For example, they point to splotchy, discolored tile grout. Paul King says Villa Construction's solution was to stain it.
"Well, in doing so, the stain made its way onto the tile floor itself," Paul King said.
Court records allege deficiencies like the backyard french doors.
"They're very difficult to get closed because it has to line up perfectly," Mindy King explains as she tries to close them. "And so usually it's like a 15, 20-minute process to try to get it to close."
Even when the doors do close, they leak, as seen in a video from Mindy King dated April 2019, two weeks after they moved in.
And Paul King points out what he calls electrical hazards.
"So this is where they have flipped the electrical outlet to be on this side," Paul King explains. "So this opening just left like that, again, not to code. We don't know why they did that."
Mindy King filed a complaint with the Nevada Board of Contractors which sent a Notice to Correct to Villa Construction. But it only addresses 10 of over 90 claimed deficiencies.
"They just come in and they bring a Sharpie or spray paint and try to make things look pretty, but they don't," Mindy King said.
The Contractors Board closed out the complaint citing the Kings for refusing to let the contractor in. Villa Construction and Cineflix say the same. Both declined on-camera interviews.
Todd Christensen, President of Villa Construction provided the following statement:
"We always strive for customer satisfaction in all projects we undertake. Regarding the project at 7400 .... Ave, we were contacted by and contracted with a production company to participate in several home remodel projects. After completion of this project, the initial, detailed Construction Punch List created by the homeowner was completed. We have been made aware of additional items, several of which were only brought to our attention over a year after the work was completed, by way of the homeowner seeking a third-party inspection by the Nevada State Contractor's Board (NSCB). We cooperated with the inspection and tried to work with the homeowner to resolve the short list of items that were identified by the NSCB. Access to the home was denied by the homeowner. The NSCB made the decision to close the matter on October 21, 2020 via letter which stated, "Since you have not provided the contractor access to make the necessary corrections, we will take no further action". We understand that the homeowner is now pursuing a legal claim, and therefore we have no further comment at this time."
But the Kings say claims that they denied access or rejected attempted fixes are absolutely false, noting again that contractors had free access while the house was empty for two months. And that they allowed contractors in more than ten times over four months after they moved in.
"All we want is a project plan so that we can get it completed in... all at one time," Paul King said. "We don't want it being one piece at a time for the next year."
They say they simply want the house done per the contract.
"We never, ever thought that we would be getting ready to spend our third anniversary in this house with all of these issues," Mindy King said.
13 Investigates discovered a second ongoing lawsuit filed by another homeowner against Cineflix/"Property Brothers" and a different contractor alleging a sizable list of repairs and damages.
In the Kings' case, attorneys for Cineflix filed to have the case dismissed. That's set for a hearing at the end of the month.
An attorney for Cinelfix provided the following statement:
"We recognize the responsibility we are granted by the homeowners who choose to take part in our television shows. Cineflix (Property Brothers 7) Inc. works with dedicated professionals who take pride in their work. We are aware of Paul and Mindy King's claims and have worked to resolve the short punch list of items that were identified by the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB). When the Kings rejected our attempts to complete the work, the NSCB closed the case and the punch list of items remain unresolved. As this matter is now before the courts, we are unable to comment any further at this time."