Contractors hang up the hammer

  • Updated: November 29, 2010 - 2:31 PM

Some contractors didn't pay their bills. Two failed to fix code violations. Another didn't finish a job but kept an early payment anyway. As a result, they lost their residential building contractor licenses in the third quarter of 2010.

About 14,000 residential building contractors and remodelers are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. In the third quarter of 2010, the department completed 208 complaint investigations.

Contractors who come to an agreement with the department are issued consent orders. Other cases are resolved through a process that can include an administrative hearing.

Here are the 11 businesses that lost their licenses in the third quarter, according to disciplinary actions made public by the department. I ranked them by the amount of fine to be paid.

1 4LIFE HOME DEVELOPMENT INC., BURNSVILLE: In early 2010, two homeowners were contacted by a subcontractor who hadn't been paid by 4life for materials used on their homes. To avoid liens, both homeowners paid the bills. ($7,000 fine.)

2RK & T CONSTRUCTION INC., OWATONNA: Early this year, the city of Owatonna reported that the company did work without a permit or inspections. RK & T had a similar violation in 2009, in which the company didn't request an inspection or correct a violation. ($5,000 fine.)

3 AXCELLENT CONSTRUCTION INC., BROOKLYN PARK: The company's president, Lauren Patnode, made "material misrepresentations" to obtain a contract and used an expired license to get a building permit. Patnode was disciplined in recent years for a number of violations, including forging a letter in the name of a city inspector and using a different company's license number to start Axcellent. (Consent order, $20,000 fine with $17,000 stayed.)

4 BILL'S HOME REPAIR AND REMODELING LLC, SAVAGE: During a dispute with an Edina homeowner over his work, the company's William J. Mal filed a lien in 2009. The dispute was resolved and Mal received final payment, but he refused to sign a satisfaction of lien. ($1,000 fine.)

5 MARK E. LEDIN, DULUTH: Ledin, the president of M&D Construction, failed to disclose warranty information on a house he built, lived in and sold, and failed to resolve issues with mechanical work he performed. ($5,000 fine, later vacated). Ledin's new company, M&D Contractors LLC, became licensed Nov. 3 after he addressed the mechanical issues. (Consent order, $5,000 fine with $4,500 stayed.)

6 DRS CONSTRUCTION INC., LINDSTROM: In July, owner Dennis Schilling told the state that he had failed to pay some suppliers and subcontractors. (Consent order, $10,000 stayed fine.)

7 (tied) CASEY CONSTRUCTION, LLC, PRINCETON: After receiving a complaint in June, the department discovered that the company hadn't paid an unrelated $8,900 civil judgment. (Consent order, $5,000 stayed fine.)

7 (tied) DANIEL J. DORSCHNER, ST. JAMES: Dorschner failed to pay an agreed-upon $38,460 to settle code violations discovered in 2008 in a house he built in Lake Crystal. (Consent order, $5,000 stayed fine.)

7 (tied) TRI STAR EXTERIORS LLC, BIG LAKE: The city of Minneapolis found code violations in a roof done by Tri Star, but the company did not correct them. (Consent order, $5,000 stayed fine.)

10 STEVEN L. NELSON, SAVAGE: A Burnsville homeowner said that Nelson failed to finish a job and kept a $9,700 early payment after a dispute. (Consent order, $2,500 stayed fine.)

11 ALPINE HOMES INC., ALBERTVILLE: The company, its president, James M. Krystosek, and up to three others with the same last name were named as co-debtors in four civil judgments in 2008 and 2009 that totaled $2.4 million. The contractor filed for bankruptcy, so no fine could be imposed. (Consent order.)

jfriedmann@startribune.com

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