Elk Grove Village woman unhappy with new driveway, other projects she paid $20K for

Better Business Bureau says to make sure contracts are detailed, list total costs

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
North suburban woman unhappy with home projects she paid $20K for
A woman is in a dispute with Color Stone Architectural Concrete Finishes and Restoration after paying $20,000 for a job she's unhappy with.

ELK GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- Last week, the ABC7 Chicago I-Team warned you about driveway scams.

But, what if the work was done, and you're not happy with it?

One fight between a consumer and a contractor over the quality of work rang in at a price tag of more than $20,000.

Experts say it's an example of why consumers should get a detailed contract.

Kathy McGuinnes of Elk Grove Village showed ABC7 her contract and her checks totaling about $21,000.

She paid that amount for a new driveway, two sidewalks and partial cement in her garage last year. She said she's not happy with the work.

"He scribbled all over it," McGuinnes said. "And, this side is even worse than that one is."

Her sidewalk is a different shade than the driveway.

"The sidewalks are like the yellowish tint. I did not ask for that. He did not tell me he was going to do it," McGuinnes explained.

McGuinnes is also is upset about an incline on the sidewalk, which, she says, makes it hard for her to walk with a permanent ankle injury.

"The sidewalk, from the driveway up to the stoop, is on an incline, which I very specifically told him I did not want," she said.

Her contractor, the owner of Color Stone Architectural Concrete Finishes and Restoration, pointed out that the job was up to code and approved by the village.

The contractor also called it a "beautiful job" and said, "we have no control on concrete coloring." He also added that "there is no drastic incline" and that the owner asked for an "incline ramp instead of a step" there.

The contractor said McGuinnes never brought her complaints to him, and that he is trying to meet with her to discuss the issues.

"Everything you see here, he did it his way, period," McGuinnes said.

The Better Business Bureau says to avoid disputes with a contractor, you should always make sure the contract is detailed and lists the total costs.

ABC7 I-Team Consumer Investigator Jason Knowles asked BBB President and CEO Steve Bernas, "The contract needs to be specific, with a specific price, scope of work, estimated price, at least, and an end date, start date. "

"All of those things, and taking care of the garbage and excess debris that has to be included as well. But, nobody thinks about putting a start date and end date," Bernas replied.

Experts say when hiring any contractor, check several references and always use a credit card to pay, so you can dispute a charge.

Also, make sure to thoroughly research before hiring anyone.