Granite City Construction Company Leaves Pontoon Beach Resident High and
Dry

Submitted by Still Waiting After One Year and One Month & $46,000

When I decided to build an addition to my home I followed everyone's advice.  I asked
around for referrals, I got multiple bids, I even checked with the BBB for any complaints
pending against the name I came up with.  I had relatives and friends who knew and
went to church with the owner of a construction company, and they recommended him.
They described him as a "good, church going man". It looked like I had the "all clear"
when I finally chose a construction company here in Granite City.

I initially contacted this man and scheduled an appointment for him to come to my home
to inspect the property and to lay plans for my addition in January of 2006.
After hours of discussion regarding budgets, dimensions, amenities and a completion
date of six to eight weeks, we scheduled the date to sign the contract and to get down to
business.

In a matter of days, the owner of this construction company returned to my home and we
reviewed the contents of the contract together.  He assured me that he could build my
addition to the specifications I required, within an agreed upon budget within six to eight
weeks.  I signed the contract the last day of February of 2006 and was told by this man
that he would be breaking ground within the week.  He asked for a check in the amount
of five thousand dollars to commence ground breaking and to purchase supplies, which I
wrote out on the spot.   He also requested a check for approximately four hundred
dollars to secure a permit from the Village of Pontoon Beach in order to start the project,
again I wrote the check.   He left my home

AND I DID NOT HEAR FROM HIM OR SEE HIM AGAIN FOR FOUR WEEKS.

After numerous phone calls, and a few e-mails, I finally reached him only to learn that he
was still working on the blue prints and had not gotten a permit to break ground.  
Eventually, after weeks with no progress, no ground breaking, I contacted a family
member who owns an excavating company who came to my home to see if there was a
problem with breaking ground.  He in turn told me everything looked fine, weather
conditions and ground conditions were more than favorable and short of not having the
permit, there would be no cause for any delay.  Needless to say, the rest is history...

to make a long story short, it is now late March of 2007 and I still have no electricity, nor
plumbing, no insulation nor drywall, no interior doors and no flooring in my addition. He
managed to install windows in a framed and roofed shell, which is basically all I have.  
He has DESTROYED my yard, it looks like a bomb has hit.   All of my money has been
spent by the owner of this construction company, over forty thousand dollars.

To get back to the story, after tracking him down after numerous unanswered phone
calls, I found him at his newly purchased home, where he and his soon to be bride were
residing.  Let me rephrase that, at the home of his soon to be bride, as I later found out
through my attorney, he has no assets in his own name, including the house he was
renovating when I found him in May.  By renovating his, theirs, or her, church turned
residence, let me explain.  I don't mean painting, or upgrading...but a complete second
story, a glass enclosed aviary, two fireplaces, all brand new stainless steel kitchen
appliances including a Jen-Air stove and brand new wood kitchen cabinetry.  Brand new
carpeting throughout, a futuristic computer system controlling all lighting, the heating &
cooling, and soon to be, surveillance system.  Also, on the front porch sat a brand new
barbecue, just off his newly excavated front lawn, and all surrounded by his new privacy
fence.  And oh, did I mention, his lovely special area where he held weekly bible studies
with other couples from his church?  

He proudly and willingly lead me on a tour of his newly remodeled home, all the while,
assuring me that all materials needed to complete my addition were safely tucked away
in storage.  I had no reason to be concerned, in spite of the many unexplained delays.  
He told me the only thing left to be purchased was my guttering.   I took him at his word,
considering he had already received thirty thousand eight hundred dollars from me.  
Yep, $30,800.00 by
May 8, 2006!

All I had to show for this money was a dug out foundation (eventually done for free by my
family member) a cinder block foundation instead of the poured concrete foundation as
stated in my contract, floor joists and a tongue and groove constructed sub-floor,
installed upside down and exposed to the weather, because the roof had yet to be
framed.

I know by now you are asking yourself...is this woman nuts?  Believe it or not, I am not.  I
am educated and savvy, and yet allowed this man to lie to me over and over and over.  
He almost always had some plausible excuse regarding illness, family problems, family
illnesses, etc.  At one point when confrontation could not be avoided and I was very
angry, he had the audacity to accuse me of making unscheduled changes and that was
what was delaying the project.  I couldn't believe my ears, I had not even received a copy
of the blue prints, and they were always absent whenever his one or possibly two
workers managed to show up once or twice a week.  That's right, he never had more
than two workers working on this project, with the exception of a few days here and
there when three would be working and I use that word loosely.

I never made any changes, I did insist that he correct a framing mistake he had made,
and that only took approximately fifteen minutes.  And even then, it took me two weeks to
speak with him face to face about correcting this minor problem.  He rarely was on the
project site, basically almost never.  He would send one worker on most days, which was
two or three days a week.  No one ever worked a full day, let alone a full week.
After complaining about the lack of workers, considering he assured me he employed a
full crew, he would send an additional worker, normally touting a house arrest ankle
bracelet to help out.  One of the reasons I kept giving him additional money was his
explanation of not being able to make payroll, and that was delaying everything.  He said
that the addition would come to a complete halt if he could not pay his man.
Yes, one man, sometimes two, never a crew.  And he figured payroll on Fridays in my
front yard on the back of a piece of plywood or Burger King wrapper.  Many times in
spite of giving him a check for payroll, his man or men would return only to refuse to
work because he had not paid them with the money he requested only two days before.

Now, remember, this is one "good, church going man".  And I could continue on for
pages and pages and pages, but I won't.

All I can do is hope that somewhere, someone knows of an attorney who can help me.  I
went to the Pontoon Beach Police Department to file a complaint, they told me this was a
civil matter and that they could not have him arrested and they could not become
involved, despite the fact that I am now minus  $40,000.

I went to the Illinois State's Attorney's Office, who told me they cannot help me, they
cannot bring charges without me being represented by an attorney, they are not there to
give legal advice, and are basically useless to me at this point.

I had an attorney who wanted six thousand dollars for a retainer.  This was not possible
as the owner of the construction company has bled me dry.

I ask myself, how could I be so deceived by a man whose church and fellow
worshippers, and pastor hold in him such high regard?  How could he do this in good
conscience?  How does he sleep at night.   

At this point, he may not ever have to answer to me, but he'll be held accountable
somewhere, sometime.

I have this man dead to rights...he never provided me with the mandatory literature
regarding Home Remodeling Fraud, he never gave it to me so he was unable to receive
the obligatory acknowledgement form that I was supposed to sign that showed that I had
received it.  This is state law.

He had me make all checks to him, not to the construction company.

I wrote him a check for an additional $1800 which was to pay someone to put my yard
back together, even though that expense was figured into the contract.  The man worked
only five hours, never finished, but did return several weeks later to explain why he
hadn't.  On the day he was working on my yard, it began to rain.  The construction
company owner had him leave my yard to go work on his newly renovated house, the
one mentioned above. This man worked on the construction company owners yard until
he exceeded the eighteen hundred dollars promised to him.  The eighteen hundred
dollars never made it his way.  The construction company owner never paid him.
And my yard still sits in shambles, and his yard is blooming new grass.

He used, used lumber, pieces and scraps to frame my addition.  Leftovers from his own
home renovations.

In the beginning, the construction company owner and workers would be absent for days
at a time.  Then for weeks at a time.  Now for months and months at a time.  And he has
yet to come close to finishing this project and cannot explain where my money has went.
Though he did manage a wedding, a honeymoon, a vacation to California for his wife,
and many other extravagances for his new home, much more than I have mentioned
above.  
And he insists I still owe him twelve thousand dollars!!!!  

The contract price was for $42,000 approximately.

To date, I have spent over $46,000 and cannot use the addition for lack of
walls, electricity, plumbing and flooring, all other things I mentioned
before.

Like I said, I can site example after example after example of his mis-use of my money.  

MY LIFE SAVINGS!!!!

I want everyone to understand the reasoning behind this addition.
It's not because I wanted more living space, or a new family room, it's because
after my father passed away, my mother can no longer live alone.  I uprooted my
husband and daughter to live temporarily in my mother's house, so I could care
for her.

Space was tight, so we agreed to spend our savings on an addition to her home
so we could stay here permanently, as she is getting up in years.

Now, our money is gone, this construction company owner is living the high life
in his newly remodeled home, not being held accountable and banking on, if not
guaranteeing, he's gotten away with it.

Oh, one last note.  Rumor has it he just installed a music studio in his basement
where he can practice with the church band.

If anyone has any suggestions, please send them to
granitecitygossip@yahoo.com, and they will forward them to me, as I want to
remain anonymous.

Thank you.
Still Waiting After One Year & One Month & $46,000