Hauppauge (WALK) - Lawmakers in Suffolk have okayed a resolution that will protect homeowners who suffered serious property damage in superstorm Sandy, according to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
The measure, presented by Bellone just last week and approved by the legislature yesterday, increases liability insurance requirements for contractors who perform elevation projects that include temporarily raising all or part of a house off of its foundation. Without the higher insurance, which will protect against damage to the property, contractors will not be able to obtain licenses to elevate homes.
“As residents are trying to rebuild after the effects of superstorm Sandy, many have to engage in elevating their homes to protect themselves from future significant weather events," said Bellone. “This legislation will help to ensure that homeowners can recoup the cost of damage to their homes in the event an elevation project fails and causes additional damage to the home.”
Bellone unveiled the resolution last week in front of the Babylon home of Jeanie Gargiulo (pictured at left with Bellone), who is in a dispute with her contractor over a home elevation. The house was damaged during the elevation, and Gargiulo says the contractor charged her thousands of dollars extra for additional repairs. Sims Steel of Lindenhurst filed a lien on Gargiulo's home when she refused to pay.
The company has told the media that there was unexpected damage during the job but that there were no additional charges added on to the cost of the project.
“This legislation is important because it will protect people like me in the future so this type of incident doesn’t happen again,” said Garguilo.
Photo: Suffolk County Executive's Office