CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side woman said she gave a man $30,000 to build her nail salon – and yet a year later, the job is not even close to complete.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas discovered the contractor is not even properly registered with the state.
“What you should be seeing by now is the floors done, the plumbing done,” said Cherry Washington.
Washington is a woman with a dream.
“All the manicure tables would have been on this side,” she said as she showed McNicholas the space.
There were contractors working on building Washington a small nail salon at 54th Street and Harlem Avenue when she talked to McNicholas. But those contractors were not the team she originally hired – they were replacements.
They came in after the original contractor fell short of his promises.
“When I tell you it’s been many a days that I cried, I did,” Washington said. “Many a days that I prayed for him, I did.”
In October 2019, Washington hired Derek Covington and Renewable Energy Concepts, who said the whole job would cost $34,000. They asked for $12,000 up front.
Covington’s team cleared out the old storefront and then convicted Washington to make more payments. But since then, she has seen little work and plenty of excuses.
“I was taking pictures. I was coming over at nighttime to figure out what’s going on. And I’m like, ‘Everything looks the same,’” Washington said, “and he was like: ‘Well, it’s the plumber. It’s the heating. It’s this. It’s that. It’s COVID.”
We’ve reported similar stories in the past about people losing thousands to other contractors who didn’t finish the job. So we wondered, what can a person do to avoid trouble with a contractor?
Experts say you should always check that they’re properly licensed.