After the new Magnolia Network home renovation TV show Home Work was originally pulled from the network’s lineup in early January 2022 following numerous allegations of nonpayment and working over-budget allegations against hosts Andy and Candis Meredith, the pair issued a series of responses on social media and to media outlets.
Its network has responded as well, choosing to return the show to its lineup as of January 17, 2022.
“After speaking with homeowners as well as Candis and Andy Meredith regarding renovation projects for Home Work, and hearing a mix of both positive and negative experiences, we do not believe there was ill or malicious intent,” said Magnolia Network President Allison Page in a statement.
“We are responding in the only way we know how to protect our family and we haven’t had a lot of time to prepare…but we hope that this can add context to the public opinion that is being made,” Candis Meredith told Today.
The Merediths claim that they serve as “go-betweens” for licensed contractors and the clients on their TV shows, denying that they are guilty of any scamming or theft.
This position makes it difficult for the Merediths, especially when it comes to further litigation. The couple has acknowledged that some of their projects have been done without contracts.
“There’s a fair amount of things that would have to be hashed out in court,” says construction lawyer Alex Benarroche of this position. “Was the production team even in charge of payments?…If there was no written contract between the owner and the GC, that makes things even more challenging.”
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Having proper written contracts is pivotal to preserving legal rights on projects for contractors. Not every state allows for lien rights on projects where there is no written contract — and laws in Utah, where the Merediths operate, aren’t always clear on the validity of oral contracts in this situation.
Despite the couples’ claim of transparency, their clients have dealt with quite a lot of financial issues — and one legal process has already played out unfavorably for the Merediths.
According to the Merediths, at the onset of the Goates’ project, a $50,000 deposit was given to the Merediths, who then gave it to an unnamed contractor who was rendered unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays led the Goates family to eventually ask for their money back, but the Merediths were informed that the contractor could not return the deposit.
“We were absolutely panicked and after trying and trying to get that deposit back, it was very apparent that there was no way whatsoever to recover that,” the Merediths wrote in a social media post.
An April 15, 2021, judgment found that the Merediths owed the Goates family $39,161.22 in damages.
“We personally took on the debt and also agreed to pay all interest accrued and lawyer fees with a confession of judgment so the Goates would not be out any of their own money,” said the Merediths. “We wholly agree it has taken too long to get their principal and fees back to them, but we have paid about $14,000 to date and will continue to pay until it is paid in full. We care deeply about the Goates and we are taking this responsibility seriously.”
However, the Merediths aren’t accepting responsibility for all of the claims made against them, showing how difficult their role as “go-between” can be to define when it comes to these types of disputes.
They claim to have spent $32,000 out of their own pockets to finance former client Aubry Bennion’s renovation project, while Bennion claims they simply went $15,000 over the budget she had set for them.
“(Aubry Bennion) has made false claims and is purposely trying to take anything she can from us. This is apparent in the way she has launched this attack two years later instead of mediation/suit,” the Merediths wrote in a social media post.
“We know there were misunderstandings and hard discussions along the way but we were absolutely given the impression that, final payment of any kind from Aubry withstanding, we had resolved those issues,” they continued. “We did ask to sit down and go through all final spend, fully planning on not recovering the full $32,000 we had spent, but at least making a compromise together to cover any of those miscommunications. We never heard from [them] whatsoever.”
“We do not believe in bullying online,” Candis Meredith said, adding “we feel like this attack was particularly calculated for the day before the [launch of the rebranded Magnolia Network] and we are hopeful that this can allow the narrative to continue on a more equal playing field without malicious intent.”