DENVER (CBS4)– In August 2018, shortly after announcing they would expecting their first child in March, Jessica and Dan Guzman embarked on an ambitious home-improvement project.

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They would take tens of thousands of dollars of their home equity and use it to turn their old garage into an office and bathroom. They also wanted to build a new, freestanding two-car garage in the backyard.

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“It was so amazing to come in here and envision where a couch would be, where I would be able to have a second bathroom,” said Jessica.

Jessica Guzman (credit: CBS)

The project seemed to be going well, until the concrete company complained that they had not been paid by the contractor.

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“He just completely took us for all of our hard-earned equity and time and I didn’t expect to deal with this during my pregnancy.”

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The Guzmans later found that only one permit had been pulled with the City of Denver by their contractor for the entire project. Not only that, the contract had been pulled using the license of another, unsuspecting contractor.

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“That’s when things started to unravel and that’s when things went south, especially for him, knowing that we had basically caught him red-handed not doing what he promised,” said Dan.

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The contractor, Gabriel Martinez, went silent. He was actually in the Adams County Jail, arrested on unrelated charges.

Gabriel Martinez (credit: Adams County)

“All this now has to be removed, everything needs to be demolished, and all of the materials need to be taken down,” said Dan.

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Anything that was not built to code, the city says, all needs to come down.

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“It’s frustrating,” said Dan, “Just feels like just a big waste of time really. Time, money, energy, just physically, mentally draining.”

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The Guzmans are pressing charges and their lawyers say they have a good case, the problem is going to be whether they are able to collect any award money.

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