Headaches over home renovations

July 30, 2012 1:02:22 PM PDT
A woman paid more than $20,000 for a new look for her home. When the job that was supposed to take four weeks turned into four months, she contacted me to get the job done.

Michelle Williams started her home remodel in March when she hired Carolina Construction out of Fayetteville. The contract was for $22,000, and Michelle put $11,000 down and was assured work would start right away.

Michelle said at first work was progressing on her new deck. Crews told her they'd have it done in two weeks to 30 days.

"He kept showing up, checking on things," Michelle said.

Then she asked business owner, Jimmie Cartrette about additional work like cutting down trees in her front yard.

"He said if you give me the rest of the money up front, I'll take all the trees down for free, I'll just throw them in," Michelle said.

So Michelle paid him the remaining $11,000, and shortly after that things started going downhill.

"I would send him a text message, I wouldn't get a response," Michelle said.

It wasn't just the owner who started slacking. Michelle said construction workers would show up to her home unprepared.

"The guy who was supposed to do the tile, he showed up with no tile," Michelle said. "A lot of showing up and no supplies."

Michelle encountered problem after problem during the renovation and she was worried the job would not get done. Cartrette stopped returning her phone calls, so she called me.

I got in touch with Cartrette and Michelle said things started improving.

"All of a sudden he cares about getting the job done," Michelle said.

It took time, but crews got to work, and Michelle's remodel was finally completed.

Cartrette said many of the problems happened on this job because of bad sub-contractors. He told me he had to hire people to go in and re-do work. He also said he under-bid the job and spent $30,000 and only charged $22,000.

As for the trees that Michelle claimed Cartrette said he would remove for free if she paid the remaining $11,000, he said he never said that. Cartrette told me he would have it done for $4,500.

My advice for this is to always get everything in writing, and then there will be no confusion.

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