Contracting Nightmare: Couple furious after paying company to bu - KCTV5

Contracting Nightmare: Couple furious after paying company to build deck they never got

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Kenneth Wood and his wife had a 30-year-old deck in need of repair or replacement.   In November, Wood hired Home Renovation Service to build the deck. (KCTV5) Kenneth Wood and his wife had a 30-year-old deck in need of repair or replacement. In November, Wood hired Home Renovation Service to build the deck. (KCTV5)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Kenneth Wood and his wife had a 30-year-old deck in need of repair or replacement.

In November, Wood hired Home Renovation Service to build the deck. He signed a contract with the company which included a $6,000 deposit. 

Workers for Home Renovation Service began construction on the deck but stopped when the City of Independence learned the company had not received a permit for building the deck.

In February, the company still hadn’t acquired the permit and after months of frustration. Wood decided called KCTV5 investigators for help.

Investigative reporter Emily Sinovic went to check out Wood’s backyard where there was a partial construction of a deck.

“Give us our money back ... Just give us our money back. If we have to, we will sue. We don’t have any choice,” Wood said. “The problem is, the money we would use to pay a lawyer is tied up in the $6,000 that disappeared.”

KCTV5 checked with the city's permitting department and found no one had applied for a permit at the Wood’s address until Feb. 7, nearly three months after Wood signed a contract with Home Renovation Service. 

A company with a different name had applied for a permit Feb. 7 and no permit was granted. The city cited the following details missing from the application:

That notice is dated Feb. 8. 

KCTV5 tracked down Greg Strand, the owner of Home Renovation Service, to get answers and found him in one of this business locations off of Neiman Road.

“I’d like to ask you about a project you’re working on in Independence. Ken Wood said he gave you to build a deck $6,000. That was four months ago. He said he sent you $6,000 and that was four months ago. He doesn’t have a deck. You have his money, Why is that?” Sinovic asked Strand.

Sinovic asked again why it has taken four months.

“Look, we had the permit. We got it applied for. We were waiting on it to be issued, and then they came back and said we need a big CAD drawing. They had requirements we don’t normally have to have for a permit," Strand responded.

The permitting department for the city told KCTV5 the permitting process for this type of project usually takes no more than a couple weeks at most.

Lloyd Skiffington, a former employee of Strand, told KCTV5 he was not surprised to hear about Wood’s experience.

“That deck should have taken three to five days,” Skiffington said. 

Skiffington said he quit working for Strand after he hadn’t been paid for more than a month.

“To knowledge there’s about eight to 10 people - customers - right now that have put down deposits that have either got nothing done or partial done,” Skiffington said.

Investigators checked court records on both sides of the state line and found Strand and companies he’s been associated with have been sued for thousands of dollars in civil court.

Strand asked KCTV5 to leave his office and refused to answer additional questions but said he would be in contact with Wood. That has not happened.

“Excuse my language, but it’s BS. It’s absolute BS,” Wood said.  

Home Renovation Service was one of three companies Home Depot recommended to Wood to build his deck.

When KCTV5 contacted Home Depot, a representative said they had not heard from Wood before our phone call but immediately looked into the situation.  The next day, Home Depot told Wood the Home Depot is giving Wood $6,000.

Home Depot tells KCTV5 the company is now investigating Home Renovation.

A representative for Home Depot told KCTV5 they run background checks, check for licenses and bonding as well as customer reviews before adding a company to their pro-referral program.

If you’re considering hiring a builder or contractor for a project, click here for advice from the Federal Trade Commission on how to make sure you get your money’s worth.

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