KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) - Barbara Travis says she hired a Shreveport contractor to pave her a new driveway, but instead, she claims all he paved was a mountain of problems.
Travis says her yard was torn up, her phone line ripped down, and her water lines busted after spending thousands of dollars on an unlicensed contractor. "My contract started on the 15th of May. Some days he didn't show up at all."
She adds that on a couple of occasions, the contractor would leave his workers out in the heat all day, with no food and water. She says she fed the workers at least twice.
But it's the quality of work that was the most upsetting to Travis. "Every day he came, he never said how am I doing here? Doing a good job? It was, I need more money. I need more money."
She says frustration turned to heartbreak when, she claims, Dennis Davis and Affordable Concrete ripped down a phone line, busted two water lines and tore up her front yard with a trackhoe.
Travis says the more she spoke up, the more aggressive Mr Davis would get. "He turned off the trackhoe, jumped down and got in my face and he said, 'I'm sick and tired of you.'"
Not long after that, Travis says she told Davis to stop work and get off her property. She had already paid him $4,000 up front with a promise to pay an additional $4,200 when the work was complete. She worries she'll never get her money back. Travis says Davis continues to call her, asking for more money.
"This is really what you call a mess. Not trying to badmouth a contractor, but really a mess, " says Larry Graham, a licensed contractor hired by Travis to complete the work.
Graham pointed out many construction issues that he says forced him to completely tear out the concrete Davis has previously poured. "You're suppose to have 4 inches of concrete," says Graham.
He added the forms were crooked, and that he found no rebar or wire support within the cement. He felt Travis' driveway lacked any of the infrastructure support necessary for pouring concrete for a driveway.
The Better Business Bureau says they've had many dealings with Affordable and Davis.
"In the last 3 years, we've had 24 complaints filed against them," reports Andy Fisher, CEO of the local BBB chapter. He adds they currently have an F rating. He also says Davis has many different names for his company, Affordable Concrete, Affordable Construction and Affordable Fence.
The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors says they cannot find any record of Davis or Affordable ever having a license to do work. A state statute requires any contractor performing home improvement work in excess of $1,500 to either have a license or register with the state. The LSLBC says they're now investigating Davis and Affordable.
With the help of her new contractor, Barbara Travis now has a new driveway. But she says it came with a tough $4,000 lesson. "I'll be proactive instead of reactive from now on."
BEFORE YOU HIRE A CONTRACTOR:
The Better Business Bureau suggests calling them before hiring a contractor. They can provide a track record of sorts on the company, complete with a history of any complaints. The local chapter of the BBB can be reached at 318-797-1330.
Also call the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors to check to see if the company you want to hire is licensed with the state. The LSLBC phone number is 225-765-2301.