Columbus, OH - Although cooler weather is around the corner, the season for home improvement is still here. Whether you are looking to have the inside or outside of your home updated, it is important to know who you can trust. BBB warns Central Ohio of a construction company who has failed to deliver.
BBB received complaints against Leadway General Contracting & Construction Management, Inc., a Columbus-based company. Consumers dealt with a Mr. Weylin Stewart who promised extensive work, collected thousands of dollars and then refused to complete the job. In total, consumers have lost upwards of $30,000.
BBB reached out to Leadway General Contracting but was unable to resolve the complaints. The business currently has a BBB F rating.
On August 23, 2017, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office filed a civil lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus, Ohio against defendants Weylin Stewart and Leadway General Contracting & Construction Management. Charges filed claim they failed to deliver services, dealt in unfair and deceptive acts and in violation of the Home Solicitations Sales Practices Act, specifically with failing to provide consumers with proper notice of their cancellation rights.
The state is seeking reimbursement for affected consumers and an end to any violations of the law.
If you are setting out to hire a contractor to work in your home, consider the following BBB tips:
Research their track record. You can search for a contractor’s Business Profile at bbb.org to see if they are an Accredited Business, get free information on their history of complaints and read customer reviews
Get at least three estimates. Have more than one contractor give you a bid and discuss the price in detail based on the type of building, materials required, time needed to complete the project and other factors.
Phone a friend. Ask family members or friends which contractors they have used and who they would recommend to you.
Check their credentials. Is this contractor licensed, bonded, registered and insured with Ohio? Ask if the company is insured against claims covering property damage, worker’s compensation and personal liability in case of an accident. Call to verify the contractor’s insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency.
Read fully before signing. Go through the contract to make sure everything that was promised to you is in writing and all of your questions are answered in detail. Also, do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you are ready. The contract should include start and complete dates, a detailed description of the exact work to be done, any material costs, payment arrangements and warranty information. Specify who is to obtain necessary building permits and who is responsible for clean-up. Make sure all verbal promises are included in the contract. Ask how much work will be subcontracted and ask for information on the subcontractors. Never sign an incomplete or partially blank contract or pay any money upfront.
Use a check or credit card. Do not pay contractors in cash, and keep a signed copy of the contract for your records. If you need to dispute charges later, you will have proof of payment if you use a card or check.
Ask about a guarantee or warranty. How long is the warranty offered? What does it cover? Is it transferable from homeowner to homeowner if the home were to be sold?
Be comfortable. Do not be afraid to ask the prospective contractor questions. If you are feeling uneasy or pressured into a situation, then the contractor may not be right for you.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.