What to keep in mind when hiring a contractor
CULLMAN, AL (WAFF) - Imagine hiring a contractor to replace your roof and paint your home, but you're left with shoddy work or work never finished.
One Cullman woman is out thousands of dollars after not doing her homework on a contractor and doesn't want it to happen to you!
Exposed wires, a bad paint job, piles of junk, even a toilet sitting in the wrong spot. That's what Deanna Bonds said she's left with after hiring Big A Roofing. Now, she's giving the company a Big "F" and so is the Better Business Bureau.
"There is still a hole in the ceiling, that's insulation up there," said Bonds.
The search for a roofer started on one of those popular websites to find professionals to do home improvements.
Bonds called a company that had great reviews only to get a call from a man named "Allen Stanley" who said they were operating under a new name "Big A Roofing", that should have been her first red flag. Shesaid she hired Stanley to replace her roof and paint her home - a packaged deal of $14,000 dollars. She said he asked for $7,000 upfront and to sign the check in his wife's name, a second red flag.
Before the paint even dried, she was already filling out a second work order for an entire home remodel, an up-sell that should have been a third red flag.
"Almost anything I said, he said, 'Yeah I can do that'," added Bonds.
In a span of just three days, Bonds signed checks totaling up to $32,000 dollars for renovation work that never got done.
"This wall cracked when they were putting the vanity in. Nothing is done to any standards. Turns out he's not licensed to do any of this work," said Bonds.
Bonds asked Stanley if he was licensed and insured but admits she never saw proof of either, she simply took his word that he was.
To make matters worse, the man she hired is not even named Allen Stanley.
"I've got a lot of mistakes I made here, paying the money up front and when the name Allen Stanley turned out to be a ghost, that wasn't enough of a red flag for me so yeah, I've got some things I should have done better here," explained. That was the fourth red flag.
The man Bonds hired is really named, Allen Stanko. Stanko was just arrested and charged with home repair fraud in Hoover.
WAFF obtained copies of the building permits he used to get the green light to work on Bonds home from the City of Cullman's Inspection Department.
Officials say Stanley told them the roof and paint job would only come to $9,100.
Belinda McCormick with the BBB said the fact that the number was under $10,000 is important to understand.
"If you are doing some kind of home improvement job, over $10,000 they are required to have a license through the Alabama Home Builder's Licensure Board. Don't let that name fool you, it doesn't have to be an exact home builder. It's anybody doing residential, remodeling and construction," said McCormick.
Any contractor doing work over $10,000 is required to hold an Alabama Home Builder's License. Legitimate contractors should have no problem handing it over.
"Licensed and insured can be so misleading. They could have a driver's license and insurance on their truck, but do they have the proper license and insurance for your job?" asked McCormick.
Bonds said after seeing enough red flags and no work getting done, she asked for her money back and got this response instead: "I'll give you a thousand back and you don't write any bad reviews on me."
WAFF pursued Big A Roofing with multiple calls over several weeks and left voice mails, and we even made the trip to their business address off their website. We found a mobile home with no one answering the door. I left a business card and still haven't heard a response.
For more do's and don'ts on hiring a contractor, click here.
The BBB report on Big A Roofing can be found here.
The F rating will stay on their business report until Stanko responds to the complaint.
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