Knightdale woman says 'dream porch' has become a nightmare

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When you put $18,000 into a dream porch, you expect it to come out exactly as you imagined. But that wasn't the case for one local woman.

Mary Bobbitt is 76 years old and after paying $18,000 for a nice screened-in porch, the last thing she thought she'd have to worry about is getting the contractor to finish the job. But, it's been a long year of waiting.

"Just look at this mess right here," Bobbitt said.

She wasn't expecting a mess; instead, she was just hoping to fulfill her simple dream.

"I've always wanted to have a little porch to come out and sit out in the fresh air and just enjoy myself in my old age, I always wanted that, but I didn't get it, and it hurt me," she said.

She said she hired Harold Williams in May 2014. He gave her plans of what his job would look like and even got a permit when the work started. She paid him $6,000 to get started.

"I had a lot of confidence in him, I really did," she said.

Work progressed and Williams kept asking for more money.

But Bobbitt started to notice problems like nails coming from the wood, a back door that wouldn't close, no ceiling or electricity, a broken window, and a lot of other mistakes.

"When it rains, water comes back on the porch," Bobbitt said.

In all, Bobbitt paid Williams $18,000.

"Old lady and a dollar sign, that's what was in his eyes and that's why he got me," she said. "I hate to even come on the porch, I do, it really hurts, it hurts so bad."

Bobbitt said all of the stress from the bad job had taken a toll on her.

"I had to go to the hospital twice and the doctor told me I was under a lot of stress, and every time I come out on the porch and I see all the money I paid him then I sit out here and look and you see all of that stuff wrong," she said.

Bobbitt got in contact with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and she reached out to Harold Williams. He admits the carpenter he hired did not do the best job, and said he did meet her obligations all of his work is still not done.

While he said he needs to go back out and finish the job, he said all of the money is gone.

Bobbitt said after the mess Williams left her with, she doesn't want him back on her property; she just wants her money back.

"Just trying to do something to help yourself and somebody comes and tries to dead beat you out of it, it's wrong, it's really wrong," Bobbitt said. "If he did me wrong, he would do someone else wrong."
Williams told us he will pay some of her money back, but so far she hasn't seen any of it.

The best advice is that before you hand over any money, do your research. If a contractor keeps asking for more money, do not keep giving it unless you are happy with the work.

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