For 10 years, Michelle Beutler had been saving her money for the patio of her dreams. So when she was referred to a landscaper, she thought she would get just that.
“I wanted a flagstone patio and I understand I have that,” said Beutler.
But after the landscaper cashed the more than $5,500 check he was given, Beutler’s dream turned into a nightmare.
“The joint material in between it is not right for the application and it keeps washing away. I can hose it all away. It is making a mess,” said Beutler.
After calling the contractor dozens of times and getting no response, Beutler later learned the contractor she hired, Jim Myers, had not had a contract since 1998.
Beutler was not the only one duped.
In fact, the Contractors State License Board catches several unlicensed contractors a week.
“Not all contractors are created equal, especially unlicensed contractors,” said Rick Lopes, CSLB’s Chief of Public Affairs.
The CLBS’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team most recently arrested eight people in Roseville posing as licensed contractors who claimed they could do everything from flooring to paint jobs.
“Just because they can give you the cheapest job does not mean they are going to do the best job,” said Lopes
The reason they are so cheap? They have no overhead like paying for insurance or licenses.
The CLBS says all licensed contractors are required to have their five or six digit license number on any advertisement. You can then check the license number at www.cslb.ca.gov.
While Beutler’s contractor was eventually fined, she still has not gotten her money’s worth.
Her only hope is to help others from being victimized.