A Milford woman was out thousands of dollars after hiring a contractor who, she thought, wouldn’t finish the job.
The homeowner, Karen McGarry, expected to enjoy her summer outside on her new patio. Instead, she said, she spent it tracking down her contractor.
“It (had) a big hole where the patio is,” said McGarry. “It was all dug out and there was dirt and debris everywhere. The workers left the wheelbarrow (and] they left their shovels.”
In early June, she and her husband searched online for a contractor and, after finding someone local with decent reviews, they were sold.
“I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to wait,” said McGarry. “I want it now.”
Trumbull based Mainstream Builders drew an outline of the patio. The McGarrys signed a contract indicating the project would cost about $7,000. They also verbally agreed on a two-week timeline.
The McGarrys paid their first deposit, but the company ran into several delays leading up to their second payment.
“He kept saying we had too much dirt, he had to get rid of the dirt, he couldn’t find a truck to get rid of the dirt, (and) he couldn’t continue until it was done,” said McGarry. “It was just one excuse after the other.”
Their contractor said he needed an extra 700 dollars to get rid of the excess dirt.
That didn’t sit well with the McGarrys. They argued with Mainstream Builders for weeks. At one point, it got so heated they told the company never to come back, before realizing that wouldn’t help their situation.
The McGarrys and their contractor regrouped and agreed on writing a new contract and setting a new timeline. Then, they said, more delays.
“I couldn’t sit on my patio, so I spent it sitting down at the beach and hoping that it would be resolved at some point,” said McGarry.
They knew exactly who to turn to.
“Multiple times, you’ve had people on there that you’ve helped resolve problems,” said McGarry. “And I thought, 'Well if they can’t resolve it, nobody can'.”
Mainstream Builders’ owner told NBC Connecticut the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. He said he underestimated how long the patio would take but that he always intended to finish the job.
That he did, and the McGarrys are happy with the result. The day after NBC Connecticut contacted Mainstream Builders, the McGarrys got a call that put their two-week, turned two-month long process to rest.
“At 8 o' clock, he shows up at my door ready to go,” said McGarry. “He had the carpenter there, the carpenter did all of the carpentry work in one day and the patio was done by two weeks from then.”
NBC Connecticut’s consumer team has helped recover more than $200,000 for viewers since 2016.