Woman shares cautionary tale after contractor leaves job unfinished

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A Rogers, Minnesota woman could be out nearly tens of thousands of dollars after she claims the contractor she hired to build a new deck took her money and never finished the job.

The woman is taking the man to court this week to try and get her money back. In the meantime, she wants to speak out and warn others now that we're in the middle of home repair season.

Ellen Blue acknowledges she definitely missed some red flags in this situation, but she trusted the person who referred him and his website seemed legitimate. She hopes others can learn from her mistakes when forking out tens of thousands of dollars.

The deck job caused holes in her backyard where a post was shoved in and stairs that had mismatched material put down. Half-finished, the deck job could cost her close to $50,000 total.

Blue was referred to the contractor by her longtime landscaper, and when she met him, he told her he was part of the Minnesota Carpenter's Union. Fox 9 reached out to the union and they say he is not listed with their group.

“I looked him up, and there he was online not only for the Carpenter’s Union, but he had his own business going,” Blue said.

The contractor’s website appears on the Better Business Bureau, but he's not accredited. With a few positive reviews, he showed Blue some before and after pictures of previous projects.

He also told Blue to take the permit out in her name and to pay him upfront for the material.

“He kept wanting more money and more money,” Blue said.

He eventually stopped returning her calls.

“Now I have to start over…pay a new contractor, but a legitimate one this time,” Blue said.

Chad Moore with C Moore Custom Builders, LLC is the new contractor, and because the deck was a safety hazard, he had to take it all apart.

“These support beams actually only have one leg bolt that weren’t all the way installed,” he said. 

Moore said that when choosing a contractor, “make sure they’re bonded, they’re insured—everything absolutely on the up and up.”