3OYS: Contractor abandons $25K job

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa couple trusted their instincts, and now they're regretting it. They say they knew a contractor for years so there was a bit of a trust factor there. But, that trust turned into a $25K mistake.

Daryl and Betty Eckhardt were simply looking to add more living space to their Mesa home. "We need a little more elbow room because there's adults and children and we have seven grand-kids and they're here all the time," Betty says.

But their hope of adding on has turned into a nightmare. Daryl Eckhardt points to a number of issues; "You got cold weather going in here," he says. "This is a mess. To have this open for a whole year is ridiculous."

At every turn, the Eckhardts are surrounded by unfinished work. "Air pressure was set too high and they literally almost drove the nails clean through the wood," Daryl says.

And the mistakes go on and on. Betty Eckhardt says she is "mad, fed up, disgusted."

Meanwhile, Daryl points to more workmanship issues. "One of the areas that was really a concern to me is the trusses."

In March of 2013, almost a year ago the Eckhardts say they hired a contractor named Miguel Ray Garcia to add on to their home. "I’ve known Miguel about 10 years," says Daryl.

And according to Betty Eckhardt; "We pre-paid him for doing the roof and some other parts of the add-on, and he just dropped the ball and hasn't done anything since then."

The Eckhardts say they gave Garcia $25K for the job. A job they claim was not only shoddy, but eventually abandoned. Betty Eckhardt went on to say, "He's done that before. We didn't know this until it happened to us."

3 On Your Side discovered Garcia's Arizona contractor’s license was revoked in 2010. And the recovery fund paid out over $57K to upset clients.  Trouble has also followed Garcia across the state line to New Mexico, where one of his contractor’s licenses was canceled.

Unless the work is completed soon, the Eckhardts fear the unfinished structure might not hold up during the next monsoon season. "He’s had over six months of time to make good on what he said he was going to do and he chose not to," says Daryl. "As far as I’m concerned, he's not a man of his word and he's not going to make it good."