Things are heating up in an ongoing dispute between popular HGTV couple Dave and Jenny Marrs and two very unhappy clients in their hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. According to court documents obtained by Heavy, a five-day jury trial will begin on September 23, 2024, at the Benton County Courthouse if the parties involved don’t reach an agreement soon.
On February 7, 2023, Matthew and Sarah McGrath filed a lawsuit against two of the companies owned by the “Fixer to Fabulous” stars, Jupiter Rentals and Marrs Construction. The McGraths claim that they worked directly with Dave Marrs to purchase a newly constructed home and that he has “refused” to conduct any updates on the house as promised and that needed repairs they discovered have also not been addressed. But in court documents filed in March, Marrs denied most of what the McGraths claimed.
Though the trial won’t happen for another year, Circuit Judge Christine Horwart stated in her July 20 order that the involved parties must “attend mediation no later than September 29 and report back to the court with the results following the mediation.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Arkansas Couple Says New House They Bought From Dave & Jenny Marrs’ Company Has ‘Serious Defects’
According to the website for Marrs Developing, the HGTV stars have built approximately 30 homes a year since 2004 in Northwest Arkansas. In the lawsuit filed by the McGraths and reviewed by Heavy, the couple says they purchased one of those newly constructed homes in May 2022 for $559,000, with an an initial down-payment of $15,000.
The 2650-square-foot home, according to Realtor.com, has three bedrooms, three baths and a three-car garage. According to the lawsuit, the McGraths were scheduled to close on the home on July 28, 2022, and that “Jupiter, by and through its member, Dave Marrs, would provide a one year seller’s warranty from the date of completion” in case anything needed repairing.
The lawsuit also says that Marrs “agreed to perform upgrades to the Property” on June 16, which — according to a digitally-signed addendum attached to the lawsuit — included continuing the hardwood floors in the upstairs bedrooms, installing a different kitchen sink, adding stairs and a handrail from the back deck to the yard, and putting windows in a top garage panel. The McGraths say they paid over $10,000 extra for the updates, but that they were never made.
The McGraths also say that when a home inspector at the newly-constructed home discovered “has serious defects in its construction that both Defendants have refused to repair.” They want a jury to determine damages for breach of contract, reimbursement and relief.
In a written answer to the lawsuit filed by the Marrs’ legal team and reviewed by Heavy, Jupiter Rentals and Marrs Construction said that, in response to most of the McGraths’ claims, “the terms of the contract speak for itself.” The lawyers also claim the companies’ agents or subcontractors weren’t allowed on the McGraths’ property to perform any repair work needed.
This is Not the First Lawsuit Against Dave and Jenny Marrs’ Companies
The McGraths’ lawsuit is not the first one the Marrs have faced recently. According to CBS42, another Arkansas couple, Dana and Tyler Craddock, sued the Marrs Developing and Marrs Construction in 2021, claiming they companies “did not maintain an Arkansas Contractor’s License” and that neither company “obtained the required construction-related permits from Benton County, Arkansas for the remodel to occur at the home.”
According to Legal Newsline, the Marrs approached the Craddocks with an offer to renovate their home for their HGTV show. The Craddocks agreed but were not allowed to see their home during the renovation, since surprise reveals are part of each episode.
The lawsuit said the Craddocks and a Benton County inspector were told that no structural work would be done to the property, and that no construction permits would be needed. But when the couple filmed the big reveal with the Marrs, they were surprised to see new balconies were installed, “noncompliant vents” were installed in the kitchen, and electrical, water and plumbing circuits had been changed.
The Craddocks sued for $75,000, but according to KNWA, the case was dismissed in March 2022 after the Marrs reached a settlement agreement. Judge Xollie Duncan stated that “the court finds that the plaintiffs have settled their claims and fully released the defendants from any and all claims the plaintiffs may have against them.”
The Marrs have spent much of the summer in Italy, filming a spinoff series with their family called “Fixer to Fabulous: Italiano,” set to premiere in 2024. HGTV also recently announced that a fifth season of “Fixer to Fabulous” will air in 2024, too.