Homeowners out big bucks after kitchen remodeler closes

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some Triangle residents are out thousands of dollars, and have nothing to show for it. It's all because a Burlington kitchen company closed up shop.

"That was going to be our kitchen dream, and it turned into a dag gone nightmare," said Frances Tausch. "I don't know what to do now."

Frances and Paul Tausch wanted a new look for their kitchen. It was going to be a fresh start because Frances recently beat spine cancer and kidney failure.

They finally had enough money for a complete kitchen makeover -- new floors, cabinets, counter tops, and even appliances.

They signed the contract with American Kitchen in March and paid $12,000 for the work to get started. Paul took down some of the old cabinets so the job could go quickly.

"When we signed the contract, we figured we'd have a new kitchen in six to eight weeks," said Paul.

The problem is work never got started.

"They've could come up with all kinds of excuses," said Frances. "They didn't know anything. They didn't know how many people worked for the company. They've been out sick."

And now the worst news -- American Kitchen just closed its doors with no notice. Not only are the Tausches out their $12,000, but we've talked to close to a dozen Triangle residents who paid American Kitchen thousands to get started on their job and have nothing to show for it.

In February, a Raleigh homeowner paid American Kitchen $18,000 upfront to get started, but no work ever happened. Another Cary customer paid a $6,000 deposit in March, and just got word about delay after delay.

While these customers have nothing to show for their thousands of dollars, the Clark family is left with an incomplete kitchen after hiring American Kitchen.

"I have no electricity in the kitchen at all," said Sheila Clark. "We have no water. The appliances are brand new. We bought a year ago. The warranty runs out next week, and they're still sitting in my living room."

The work started in September. They say they've paid American Kitchen more than $30,000, and they've been living in a kitchen nightmare ever since.

"We pay big money every month to not have a kitchen," said Clark.

So, it's no finished kitchen for the Clarks, and, for the Tausches, they're worried their $12,000 is gone for good. What about Frances' dream kitchen that may never happen?

"I guess now the only thing we've got to go forward, got to move cabinets back in, and just forget about it," said Frances.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office is investigating. A rep with their office tells me they are looking into a connection between American Kitchen and Kitchen Carolina.

Kitchen Carolina was the same type of business and shut down unexpectedly a few years ago. The AG's office was eventually able to resolve most of the customer complaints.

So, they do want to hear from you if you're an American Kitchen customer, and your job never got started or finished. Click here to visit the AG's website.

At this point, the owner of American Kitchen is not talking.

Contact Troubleshooter Diane Wilson

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