Cleveland woman in tears after $90,000 home improvement job goes wrong

Project still not completed 11 months later

CLEVELAND - Norma Thornsbury was excited about fully renovating her Cleveland home, but the major home improvement project has so far brought her nothing but anguish and tears.

Thornsbury has, thus far, paid her contractor $73,000 for the $90,000 project, but more than 11 months later the job is far from completed.

Thornsbury now realizes she paid too much up front money for the job.

"He kept coming back all this time and he told me to give him money," said Thornsbury. "I said they told me downtown not to give you the money. And he said 'they know me real well, that I'm honest.'"

Thornsbury told NewsChannel5 her contractor later developed serious health issues, which later further delays to the project, but explained the contractor kept making promises.

"First he said in July it would be done, then he said Thanksgiving, and then this came up, and then he gave me all kinds of crazy excuses," said Thornsbury.

Thornsbury said the situation went from band to worse when news window installed for the job started to leak.

"I got leaks here, and I had to call up up Polaris Windows and the Polaris guy came out and he showed me, he didn't just tell me this is wrong, he showed me," explained Thornsbury.

Thornsbury then contacted the 5 On Your Side Solutions Center, and NewsChannel5 then contacted the contractor.

The contractor explained he's been dealing with health issues, and that Mrs. Thornsbury made many changes to the on-going project causing some of the delays.

NewsChannel5 will not name the contractor in this story because he has an "A" rating with the BBB, he apologized for the delays, and agreed to get the job completed in the coming weeks.

NewsChannel5 will follow-up on this developing story.

Consumers should obtain a highly detailed contract for any home improvement job. The contract must include a detailed supply list, specific job descriptions and specific completion dates for each facet of the project.

The contract can also include a specific clause that will cover a homeowner in the event a contractor gets sick, or hurt while on the job. The agreement can outline who would takeover the project if a contractor is delayed or can't continue due to health issues.

Thornsbury now realizes the importance of a detailed agreement.

"Yes, I wish I would have gotten many more details in writing," said Thornsbury. "I guess I'm just too trusting, I know the contract is there for my protection, I won't make that mistake again."

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