A Huntsville homeowner is out of thousands of dollars when the contractor she hired to renovate her home does not complete the job.
Now she’s left with an even bigger mess to fix.
“This was just going to remain a little loft, TV area, as you can see his stuff is still here,” explains Queeny Benjamin.
What Queeny Benjamin is experiencing is a home improvement headache.
“I heard he built a bathroom in one of my friends home and they were pleased with his work so we went ahead and hired him,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin and her husband wanted to add an extra bathroom, renovate the loft and add a closet to her Huntsville home. They hired Lester Burgess of L&A Plumbing in April, even though he is not licensed and insured as a contractor.
“The first payment was $1,800 and so once I gave him that money, I had to pay for all the fixtures as well, so once we paid him, he went ahead and got started,” she said.
Six months later and the job still isn’t finished. The Better Business Bureau said situations like this can be avoided.
“It’s a good idea to ask if they are licensed and insured, don’t just accept an answer from the person, ask for proof. Look for the documentation that shows their license number, look for the insurance information for their business,” explained Elizabeth Garcia President of Better Business Bureau of North Alabama.
The BBB says always do your research on the company.
“You ask them for references. If the business owner is unwilling to give you references or claim ‘I don’t do that,’ that’s a big red flag,” said Garcia.
You should get everything in writing. “You should take time to look through the list of items that will be repaired or replaced and make sure its everything you’re looking for and a price is attached to each item, so you won’t be blind sighted later,” Garcia added.
Benjamin says she has yet to hear from Burgess. “This is our home, this is where we live and this is what I come to everyday since April and I’m just desperate at this point to get this job done,” Benjamin expressed.
WZDX spoke with Burgess who said the delay has been finding a subcontractor willing to complete the job. He claims it’s half way done and hopes to get a contractor within the coming days.