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It didn’t take long for Leonard Powell to see how a home makeover can spiral out of control.
What started as a five-month construction job at the 79-year-old’s Berkeley home dragged on for more than a year. Budgets were blown on stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a new front door painted a trendy shade of teal. Then came the permitting hassles to convert the home, where he and his wife, now deceased, raised six kids, back into a duplex.