Troubleshooter: Unfinished addition

Unfinished constuction on Rudy Hunt's home

March 25, 2011 3:39:22 PM PDT
Ruby Hunt saved for years to build an addition on her home. The 81-year-old dreamed of having enough space for her entire family to celebrate the holidays.

In September, Hunt says she hired Norman Saunders of N.G. Saunders General Contracting Inc. to do the work. The contract was worth more than $43,000.

Hunt says she paid Saunders $14,000 to get started by tearing down her sunroom.

"After the first day of tearing down that place, all the people disappeared," she recalled.

Hunt says work slowly progressed and she gave Saunders an additional $14,000 to keep working. Despite the contract saying Saunders would be done with the entire job by November 15, Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went and the addition was nowhere near completion. Instead, Hunt says all of a sudden Saunders stopped working.

"Since then, I started calling and calling and I haven't been able to reach him," she said.

Hunt says the hardest part was telling her kids she doesn't know when her house would be done.

"Now I got to tell them I'm having problem with my contractor. They keep calling me and asking me how it's coming and I can't give them any information," she said.

ABC11 tried to track down Saunders to get answers. When he didn't return our calls, we went to his home, but there was no sign of him.

"It would help some if he said Ms. Hunt I'm sorry, but not even a word, not even a word," said Hunt. "I just want my place back."

Hunt is trying to find another contractor to finish the job and also wants to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"It's better to lose what I have lost - my 28 thousand dollars. I feel better losing that, than to see someone else come along and go through what I went through," said Hunt. "I don't want this to happen to no other old person, young person, even a dog."

Saunders contract for Hunt's job is for more than $43,000. Under North Carolina law, a contractor must be licensed to accept work done over $30,000. Hunt says Saunders told her he was licensed and even gave a license number on the contract. But when we ran that number with the North Carolina Contractors Licensing Board, it did not come back to Saunders or any active licensed contractor.

Before you hire anyone to work on your home, make sure you check them out for yourself, especially if they claim their licensed. It's an easy check, you can do it at

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