KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A Kansas City family is brokenhearted & furious after losing their patriarch to ALS and Parkinson’s and then losing more than $43,000 to a contractor they say took that money without doing any of the work promised.
Cecilia Edds wanted to do whatever possible for her 61-year-old husband, David Edds, who was wheelchair-bound after battling Parkinson’s and ALS during the past five years.
Cecilia wanted to renovate their home to make it more accessible for her husband, including installing an elevator. She found a contracting company called Home For Good to oversee those renovations.
The Edds signed two contracts with Home For Good -- one for the elevator and a second for the remainder of the renovations throughout the home.
The VA would pay for part of the renovations, but the Edds signed a separate contract for the elevator project because that cost would be out-of-pocket.
The down payment for the elevator project was more than $43,000. That money went straight from the Edds' bank account to Home For Good. That happened back in August 2017.
Cecilia Edds' daughter, Suzie Kelley, told KCTV5 News that “nothing got done.”
The family said they heard multiple reasons for delays in construction, including slow work by the VA, weather problems and permitting delays.
By March 2019, the Edds were still out more than $43,000 with no work to show for it, not so much as a nail had been driven in the home.
The Edds asked to cancel the project, and the family claims Home For Good indicated there would be some type of refund.
At one point, the Edds say the owner of Home For Good, Ashley McCarter, sent a text letting the family know the business would “start processing the credit”.
But that never happened.
On April 8, 2019, McCarter sent an email to the Edds family, saying in part:
“… we are unable to issue a credit at this time. We do not offer refunds. But we do evaluate the work provided and the charge. HomeForGood’s team has worked over 300 hours on your project over the past two years. We do not feel you have been overcharged for the service provided…
Ashley McCarter, Compassionate Experience Orchestrator, HomeForGood”
A few weeks later, the frustration of losing that kind of money was only made worse with the unexpected, painful loss of David Edds. He died in his sleep East morning.
Still, Cecilia Edds says there was no sign of a refund.
Then in May, sent another email asking for “… her thoughts on what you feel would be a fair and reasonable settlement…”
In response, the Edds attorney sent a letter, reading, in part:
“The installation of an elevator and for a contract price of $43,890.97. Your company understood this would not be paid for by the VA and received a payment in full that day.
Not a single nail has been driven to perform either contract in the nearly 21 months since the contracts were signed….
Whatever your situation with the VA that has no effect on your obligation to perform under the elevator addition. I am certain that virtually all of your had costs in the sum of tens of thousands and 300 hours on the project principally relate to the VA contract/and/or ordinary cost of doing business.
My client advices me the VA will reimburse you for the blue print costs if you invoice them. Otherwise my clients expect a full refund for the monies they paid for a job never started…”
After learning of the story, KCTV5 News got involved, calling Home For Good and going out to check out the business address currently listed on their website and email signature.
That Blue Springs address was nothing but a vacant building with a “Home For Good” sign out front.
Later on the phone, the owner told KCTV5 News they’re still in business, just working from home.
KCTV5 News spoke with the owner of Country Home Elevator and Stair Lift, Craig Jones. Home For Good had his company work up plans for the installation of an elevator in the Edds home.
But Jones says Home For Good never followed through, never offered a contract or went through the proper permitting process that would have allowed construction of the elevator.
“When the customer called me and said, ‘Hey, have you heard anything from these folks about not doing the job or starting the job?’ … because they never turned a shovel or started anything," Jones said. "There were a lot of promises to do the job, but there was never getting anything I can see said in all the things they show they billed for."
When KCTV5 News asked Home For Good about the reasoning behind holding the Edds responsible for more than $40,000 of work without any signs of work done at the home, owner Ashley McCarter sent a 14-page itemized accounting of charges for billable hours, services, labor and items purchased.
Line items included the following:
- $6.75 for an “email exchange with VA”
- $697.58 for “Partial material procurement”
- 2.5 units charged for “Conversation with second engineering firm”, totaling $250.00.
- $1,975.65 for “Procurement of double outswing french doors with internal blinds per client spec”
Edds attorney, Cecelia Edds and her daughter all told KCTV5 News they had never seen this document before.
Jones added that in his more than 30 years of experience in the industry, he had never seen this type of billing.
“My attorney bills me that way. My CPA bills me that way. It’s not something you bill for," he said. "Your time as a contractor…you’ve quoted a job at a certain dollar amount and that’s what’s your including is all your services to get the job done. It’s not relevant that you’ve had a twenty minute or twenty second phone call or email to the VA."
Jones told KCTV5 News he made a formal complaint about Home For Good to the Kansas City Home Builders Association.
Home For Good’s website shows the logo of the National Association of Home Builders and a special Aging in Place Specialist certification.
KCTV5 News contacted the NAHB, and a representative for that organization said Home For Good was falsely implying membership with its organization, clarifying that McCarter individually has a certification as an Aging in Place Specialist but that Home For Good is not a NAHB member, adding that the business would be asked to change their website.
McCarter said she was not available for an interview for this report.