By K. NANCOO-RUSSELL
Freeport News Reporter
In the wake of recent comments by attorney K. Brian Hanna about local contractors who are perfomring shoddy work on houses, some homewoners affected by this malpractice are now sharing their "horror" stories.
In an interview with The Freeport News, Delerise Davis said she had visions of her dream home since she was in her twenties, and was ecstatic when the construction process started and she began to see her dream realised.
That dream, she said, quickly turned into a nightmare when she saw the quality of work that was done by the contractor on her house in an upscale subdivision.
Six months after moving into her new home, Davis said she is left dissappointed and feels cheated.
"They left a lot of crooked walls, all the windows are crooked, every plumbing fixture in the house is leaking," she said, adding that those complaints are among many others, including unhealthy mould growing on her walls as a result of the flawed work, countertops that were never installed and a garage door that she had already paid for but has yet to receive.
Davis said that after discovering the many defects in her house, she was left with no other option but to seek out the services of another contractor to redo the faulty work.
In addition to paying her mortgage, she cried, she now has to come up with additional money to have someone else repair work that she feels should have been done properly to begin with.
"I don't feel as if I should be paying for those things to be redone," she said.
This experience, she said, has left her with trust issues, wondering whether she could safely put her hard-earned money in the hands of another contractor.
"It's a beautiful looking, structured house if you see it, but when you really come and see it close, you will see that it is poorly finished work," she said, noting that she felt that the contractor showed no remorse and refused to acknolwedge any of her complaints when she aired them to him.
"It is so sad that these people are driving around in their nice cars and going to sleep night and day comfortable and havng no kind of empathy for people."
Noting that it has been all of six months since she moved into her home, the mother of four said she still can't relax because there are so many problems.
"I have yet to enjoy my house," she said.
"Why? Because every day, three, four times a day, I'm throwing out buckets in the toilet fom leaking water. My roof is leaking and I haven't even been in my house a year, six months, and I'm paying full mortgage. My mortgage is extremey high and to be paying that and still not be happy with the house yet ?"
Davis said that throughout the construction process, she was not pleased with the quality of customer service she received from the contractor.
"Every time we came around he had an attitude, he would leave, he was never pleasant, never willing to say, well, what you think or, how you like it ? Never professional," she said, adding that she was never given the opportunity to choose any of the features in her house.
"They never even gave me the privilege to even order anything for my house. I wasn't able to pick the door, I didn't pick the arches, I didn't pick the windows, I didn't pick anything. I didn't have any choice, all I know is when I went into my house these things were there," she said.
Davis said she was put on to this particualr contractor by a co-worker, and that she was shown some of the houses that he had built.
"The houses that they showed me were nicely built but when you get into building your own house, and you start crtiquing stuff, you learn as you go. If you walk into someone's house, you will just see a beautiful house, but unless you know how to really look for all the little cracks and crevices and the little crookedness and stuff like that, all those are serious things for a new house, so when I started looking I really noticed stuff."
She added that she believed that the contractor may have taken advantage of her since she was not knowledgeable about contstruction.
"If you're not literate to the building and inspections and stuff like that, then they take you for a fool."
Davis said she is hoping for some closure to this "bad episode" and for the contractor to be held accountable for his work.
"I could holler and cry as much as I want but justice has to be done. These people have to be held accountable for the crookedness they do."
Another homeowner sharing a similar story is Dwight Bain, who said that his house is yet to be completed, and his contractor was unable to give him a completion date.
Bain complained about having to wait months after one phase of construction had ended, for another to begin.
He said his contractor was always hard to find, almost unreachable by phone.
Many times, he said, his calls went unanswered while other times he would have to use a fake name to be put through. He also told of being hung up on by his contractor.
Bain said after the bank intervened and sent the contractor a letter stating that he had to have work completed by a certain date, the contractor advised Bain that he was no longer going to be working for him.
Bain was left stuck in a rut with an unfinished home and additional expenses since much of the work that had been done must now be redone by his another contractor.
"The work is so poor," he said. "They just ripped us off man."
In addition, Bain said his contractor still has outstanding items owed to him that he had already paid him for.
Christopher Thompson, another disgruntled homeowner, said the problems with his house included towel racks that were not installed and windows and plumbing fixtures that were improperly installed.
Thompson said he was without central air for a long time after moving into his new home, and when it was finally installed, there was a leak.
The leak has resulted in mildew growing on his walls, which he was told by another contractor would now have to be entirely replaced.
He said he also experienced electrical difficulties, with no power coming from the outlet in one of the bedrooms.
Thompson said he had to hire an electrician to repair it, who reconnected some wires which he said were hooked up incorrectly.
FAULTY WORK Declaring that she is left dissappointed and feels cheated, homeowner Delerise Davis said she has lived in her house for only six months and was startled to discover that there are numerous defects in the work done by her contractor. Davis is among many homeowners who are complaining about the quality of work they received from their contractors. Their comments come in the wake of an article published in The Freeport News, in which attorney K. Brian Hanna called for a regulatory board to be implemented for contractors so that they can be held accountable for their work.(Photo by JENNEVA RUSSELL)