“You know, the stress is crazy,” Annemarie Perry said.
Annemarie is talking about the stress of remodeling her home in El Cajon.
“After my first summer here, I realized how hot it was and I needed to add dual-pane more energy efficient windows and doors,” she said.
Last August this local school teacher hired The Window and Door Factory to replace three sets of French doors, her kitchen door, and her front door. But, she says, not everything went as planned.
For instance, Annemarie said she ordered a front door from the Window and Door Factory that was supposed to match with a security screen door she ordered at the same time. Annemarie said the Window and Door Factory’s door arrived but was not the correct fit.
Rather than reorder the door, Annemarie said workers enlarged the frame so the door they provided would work. When they did this, the security doors Annemarie ordered from another vendor did not fit in the newly adjusted frame.
“My security door I paid $2,000 for is sitting in my garage,” Annemarie said.
Annemarie said she had been more than patient up to this point. Her contract, signed last August specifically stated the work would take four-to-six weeks to complete. Six months later, the work was still not done.
“I feel like I’m the bad guy calling them, asking for help but I’m the consumer, they should be calling me,” Annemarie said.
NBC 7 Responds contacted the Window and Door Factory on Annemarie’s behalf and spoke with company owner Dan Jaoudi. Jaoudi apologized for the delays and mistakes and offered Annemarie a $1,800 discount for the mishap with the security doors.
“It was like I had somebody on my side, that’s what a consumer advocate is,” Annemarie said.
In an email, Jaoudi said, "I’m determined to improve the customer experience and eventually turn the company into a leading supplier of windows and doors. It’s been a process but we are making progress. Running a small remodeling, building materials business can be challenging. Every job has its own wrinkles. We are doing our best to be fair with customers.”
Unfortunately, problems with contractors can be common. If you’re planning to hire contractors to have work done around the house, here are some things you should know to protect yourself:
- Never put down more than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less, to get the project started. According to the Contractors State License Board, it’s illegal for a contractor to ask you to put down more than that.
- Make sure everything is in writing. You want to have a formal contract drawn up, even if the contractor you’re doing business with is a friend or family member.
- Always verify that you’re working with a licensed contractor. The state’s website has an easy-to-use tool to search by name or business. To see the state’s website, click here
To read more advice from the Contractors State Licensing Board, click here.