CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte viewer has a warning about doing your due diligence when hiring a contractor or repair person to work in your house. This viewer, Ebony Gill, told WCNC Charlotte's Bill McGinty she is left with thousands of dollars in costly repairs after the initial installation wasn't done correctly.
“As soon as you turn the shower on, all the water comes out, and so it damaged the microwave,” Gill explained. She is angry, frustrated, and regretting her choice of handyman to re-make her bathroom.
“He basically took the money and ran. He didn’t finish the job. He did not, and the things he completed he didn’t do it well," Gill said.
Gill points to the focal point in her bathroom: her shower.
“The drain, he used the existing tub drain, which the drain should be in the middle," she said. "The concept looks great, but it’s not functional, we can’t use it. He hasn’t returned any calls. He won’t answer messages. Nothing."
The best way not to be in this position is to do more homework upfront, WCNC Charlotte's consumer reporter Bill McGinty advises. Sometimes cheaper is not always better.
“That’s one thing I wish I had done differently; gotten actual referrals and not just pictures he showed me,” Gill said.
Three quick tips to avoid handyman nightmares:
- Check to see if they are a licensed contractor in the state. Make sure they in good standing.
- Is the handyman bonded and insured? This is critical in case they damage something or get hurt in your home.
- Check for reviews and referrals: Google them, ask for the identification of their real name, and check BBB.org for complaints.
Bonus tip: How much money should you pay upfront? Not too much upfront, if any at all.
“If you are paying any more than 25% down, beware. You are not their bank, you are their customer” Tom Bartholomy of the Better Business Bureau said.
The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors offers hiring advice, recovery of funds if you have been scammed, and license checks for qualified contractors.
Gill told McGinty she is living proof not checking the contractor can cause a huge expensive headache. She is now paying someone else to demolish the work and start over.
“Not only am I out of the money I gave him, I have to pay someone to come in and re-do it," Gill said.
WCNC Charlotte is always asking "Where's the Money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing email@example.com.