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Fargo contractor abruptly closes, leaving customers with unfinished work, money concerns

Customers wait in their pickups Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, outside of Studs to Rugs, 5289 51st Ave. S., Fargo. Ryan Johnson / The Forum1 / 3
Tim Rosene, the owner of Studs to Rugs, sits at the bar of Nan and Chris Kennelly's Fargo home basement that was finished after the owner moved in and figured out what was wanted in the unfinished area. Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 3
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FARGO—A general contractor here has abruptly closed, leaving customers confused about what happened and, in at least two cases, potentially facing the loss of thousands of dollars on home renovation projects that were never finished.

The office of Studs to Rugs, 5289 51st Ave. S., was locked shortly after noon on Monday, Oct. 23, with a short note taped inside the glass door: "We regret to inform you that, effective immediately, Studs to Rugs is closed for business. All questions will be answered by legal counsel in the coming days."

Brian Bruschwein said he hired the general contractor to renovate his basement in Horace, N.D. Workers were about 20 percent through the project, and he said he last talked with the company early last week when an employee said crews could sheetrock his basement over the weekend if he would let them in.

Bruschwein said he agreed, and his family went out of town Wednesday. When they returned at the end of the weekend, he said the basement looked exactly the same—and a subcontractor told him they'll put a lien on his house to get payment for their previous work.

He said he's already paid Studs to Rugs for the majority of the renovation, but he was told the company hadn't made a payment to the subcontractor. He's now getting a lawyer to figure out his next steps and how to get his money back for a project that wasn't done, and said he hasn't heard from Studs to Rugs.

"I've left numerous emails and voicemails with every email and number I have," he said. "Nothing."

The Studs to Rugs Facebook page was deleted by Monday morning, as was the personal Facebook profile for Tim Rosene, president of the company. Several voicemails left by a Forum reporter at the Studs to Rugs office and a private number for Rosene went unreturned Monday.

Bruschwein was one of three customers at the Studs to Rugs parking lot on Monday afternoon trying to get answers. While there, he met Chris Hoffman, another local going through a similar situation.

Hoffman said he hired the business to renovate his basement in Osgood, a four- to six-week project that was started in early August. Months later, the work is only half done, and he said he's already paid for about two-thirds of the total cost.

"Now I've got contractors calling me that want to get paid for stuff I already paid for," he said.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.

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