Whittle Construction contracting license suspended, leaving families with unfinished homes
MEDFORD -- A Medford construction company got its contracting license suspended on Wednesday.
The state Construction Contractor Board said Whittle Construction Inc. will not be operating, after ten claims were filed against the company since December. These enforcement actions come from both homeowners and suppliers.
"It's pretty unusual when you have 36,000 contractors and one contractor ends up in a position like this. I don't know what their issue is or what's happening," said enforcement director Stan Jessup.
Whittle will have to come up with $100,000 in insurance to operate again. The CCB said the owner is not financially able to do so at this time.
For Richard Murdock, building a dream house has become a one-man production. The 75-year-old is finishing the work himself after Whittle Construction Inc. pulled out of the project in January.
"Here we were with a house that was maybe 50 percent done and he had all the money and wouldn't give any back," Murdock said.
The final bill to Whittle was $342,000. Since then Murdock has put $150,000 into uncovered lien costs left by the contractor, and the remaining construction costs. But Patricia Hoefer said her concern is having a retired husband finish the job.
"He was having cramps in his legs and everything because he worked so hard and was lifting so hard and trying to do all the work himself," Hoefer said.
Whittle Construction Inc. told News10 in a statement that they are experiencing financial difficulties and making every effort to assist in the completion of homes under construction. They remain optimistic that customers will be satisfied with the end result.
The couple continues to keep a positive mindset on the house, and a watchful eye on their finances.
"We hope we have enough money left. Even probably for our funeral or something because of all of this that's going out. We talked it over and we decided we would go with finishing the house," Hoefer said.
But the two agree, this has changed their plans for retirement.
"We had money put away, things we were going to do when the house was done. We were going to take a nice vacation and maybe get Patricia out of her 2007 car into something newer...and those things aren't there anymore," Murdock said.
Whittle planned to finish construction last November. Murdock said he'll finish his own house this summer.