POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) - When you hire a contractor, the work is expected to be done within a reasonable amount of time. A retired college teacher put half down last September, but the job never got underway and all she heard were excuses. The contractor listed his business on the Home Advisor website.
Home Advisor is a secure way to find contractors. The site makes it easy for you to find a trusted local professional who specializes in exactly the type of work you need done.
A retired college education teacher in Powell tried for months to get her money back from a professional recommended on the site. She did eventually get her hefty down payment returned.
The front door to Shirley's home is new, but she paid a guy to do some extra things.
"He was going to replace the stucco panels," she said.
Shirley, who requested her last name be withheld, hired a local contractor to remove the stucco five months ago.
"And fill in the gap here where the new door was put in. I wanted it done last September before winter began," Shirley said.
Not only was the job not finished, it didn't even get started. She said the contractor, Daniel Bradfield, asked for half of the $1,600 payment in advance.
Unfamiliar with hiring contractors, Shirley found Bradfield and Goudy Construction through Home Advisor.
"So I trusted that he would do what he said he was going to do," Shirley said.
The job at her front door and replacing a little bit of stucco with vinyl cedar shake behind her house was supposed to begin October 12.
"I have called repeatedly. He has had all kinds of excuses," Shirley said.
She said Home Advisor sent an email asking questions about her experience with Bradfield and Goudy Construction .
"I told them he hadn't done any job," she said.
Then a few weeks ago, she called Daniel Bradfield.
"'Daniel,' I said, 'it's been long enough. You haven't done the job. So, I need my money back. So I can hire someone else,'" Shirley told him. "He said, 'I will get your check in the mail.'"
That didn't happen.Bradfield answered the phone and WATE 6 On Your Side asked about the job at Shirley's house.
"The guy that was supposed to come out there never showed up. We haven't been able to get a hold of him since. And we sent her a refund last week," said Bradfield.
Bradfield said he didn't understand why Shirley didn't get the check but said he didn't live far from her home. Within 15 minutes of the conversation, Bradfield showed up at Shirley's home.
"The only reason you didn't get the check is because we had the wrong address. I wasn't trying to get over on you," he said.
As Shirley counted the money, Bradfield apologized and blamed the delay on his subcontractors.
"I offered to come out here and finish it without charging you another dime," said Bradfield.
"But five months had already passed," replied Shirley.
"I couldn't get back out here the last two months because the weather has been off and on. I know it's been three weeks. I know the check was mailed, we don't have the right address," Bradfield said.
As he left, Bradfield apologized again. He said Shirley's the first customer ever to get a refund.
"I'm glad to have my money back," said Shirley.
She'll now use the $800 to hire a reliable contractor.
The 50 percent down payment required by Bradfield was way too much. Bradfield said he needed the money to buy supplies, but most home improvement contractors ask for no more than one third down before the job starts. Be wary if they ask for more.