YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – A homebuyer shared the experience he said was a “nightmare” with his contractor after having to leave his dream home.
Garrick Musso, the homebuyer, said he was working with a contractor. He wished to not name the contractor or the company for legal purposes.
“It’s a win-win for him. He gets to keep our deposit, and he also gets to turn around and sell our house that we’ve been working on,” Musso said.
He added that he had worked with the contractor in the past. He worked with the man for several months to get a home built for himself, his wife, two young kids, and their pets. He said that he had five months left to complete the house when he started getting bills from the builder, who was allegedly overcharging him.
“Started doing a little research on our own, and they were incorrect and false,” he said. “I brought it to the builder, and he declined it.”
The first time Musso noticed it was when the builder sent an invoice for lumber.
“Our contract stated that lumber prices were subject to change and that we will be credited or invoiced,” he said.
However, he said when they signed in early March and the builder started making his first orders for lumber, the prices started going down. Musso said that the builder didn’t necessarily tell them what to do but rather blew it off. Then Musso said they ended up getting another bill for windows that were supposed to be put on the home, but they were not.
“The guy seems to be using inflation as a scheme to say kinda, hey, this is why we have to charge you extra for this, but in reality, he’s just making up numbers and falsifying documents,” he said. “I know how we should be treated, and this time we weren’t treating it right.”
As things moved forward, the homebuyer said he got an attorney involved. However, he did not want to stress about financial payments to prove to the court system what the contractor was doing.
“We could have taken the attorney route and been two years down the road, and we would have won. Where would I be, though? How much money would I have to spend to prove to the court system this man is wrong and needs to be held accountable?” he asked. “I think he’s getting away with it right now, so he’s just like money is coming out of every which way, so why stop? I feel like that’s his mentality that he has right now.”
Chris Babin, Vice President of the Better Business Bureau, said that in the contracting industry, disputes come in with consumers and businesses not seeing eye to eye in a situation.
Getting everything in writing upfront is the biggest thing that helps eliminate that and resolve the situation. Babin added, that to ensure that a good conversation is being had on both the consumer and the business side, so everybody knows exactly what the expectations are for the project.
Other tips are:
- Make sure you research and gather information. You can do that for free on BBB.org.
- Use several different outlets.
- Find a business that has a good track record in the marketplace. See if they have a history of complaints and what type of work they did in the past.
- Ask for references.
- Ask the contractor for a list of recent local references that you may contact.
- Ask for multiple quotes and ensure that you’re hiring a contractor and company licensed appropriately in the state.
Musso admits the whole process left him leaving helpless and frustrated. He said that he heard from his attorney and other realtors the contractor has been doing this to other people.
He hopes in sharing his experiences; others will come forth.
“Maybe they’ll have a story of their own that they can say or leave reviews wherever to get this guy to change how he’s treating people,” said Musso.
Today, he and his family are staying in a one-bedroom condo and looking for another home, which will take nine months to a year. KLFY News Ten reached out to the business for comments; they were unavailable Friday but are open to sharing their side on Monday.