Viewers, HGTV host, respond after failed renovation keeps family - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Viewers, HGTV host, respond after failed renovation keeps family out of home

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Shortly after the I-Team aired the story of a family's failed renovation that left them out of their home for nearly a decade, viewers reached out and wanted to help.

The I-Team even heard from a popular HGTV host.

Now, Carol Degan's lawyer is hoping to get all of the offers in one central place in hopes that the family will finally get back home.

Carol Degan and her two adult children moved out of their Brookfield home in 2007.

They said they thought they were moving to a motel for three weeks.

Nine years later, however, they still haven't returned home.

Carol Degan said a $38,000 kitchen and bath remodel by Robert Janesky of Town and Country Carpentry became a nightmare.

First, the budget exploded. It grew by more than three times to $116,000.

Then the timeline froze.

The family's house was taken apart down to the studs and beyond. After that, nothing happened.

Even worse, they said their contractor put their belongings in storage and didn't pay the bill.

The Degans lost everything at auction.

Since 2008, they've been helped by the Holland Family Foundation, which put them up in a two-family home in New Milford.

When the I-Team met with the family, Carol Degan had just about given up.

"It's a modest house, nothing fancy, it's a small home," she said. "To get it back into a living situation, it's going to probably exceed what it's worth."

The I-Team asked her if she was giving up on getting it back.

"Well I still had hopes, but that's where I'm at," Carol Degan said. "I'm at a crossroad."

For now, for the first time in 7 years, she said she had a glimmer of hope that they may someday go back home.

After the I-Team's report aired earlier this week, offers poured in to help.

A high school friend started a GoFundMe page.

Home improvement contractors offered to work for free.

Drew Scott, host of HGTV's Property Brothers, saw the story and said he hopes the family someday collects on the huge judgment they received against their contractor.

However, their lawyer said it's unlikely.

"[It's] $475,000 against an individual that does not have any assets that we know of," said attorney John Tower, Cramer & Anderson LLP.

Tower said he does have hope that the kindness of others will bring the family back home, eventually.

He asked for everyone who's offering to help by donating time, money, materials or expertise to reach out by email.

Pat Holland from the Holland Family Foundation will lead the effort.

He can be reached at 860-490-9276 or by email at

The Holland Family Foundation Corp.
ATTN:  Degen Family Fund
137 New Milford Road East
Bridgewater, CT  06752

A link to the GoFundMe page can be found here.

A Facebook community page has been created and can be found here.

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