Kitchen remodeling turns into nightmare for ailing sisters

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

Kitchen remodeling turns into nightmare for ailing sisters

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. -

Remodeling a kitchen can be an expensive undertaking. Finding the right contractor at the right price is also a daunting task. Two ailing sisters, who needed their kitchen remodeled for safety reasons, thought they picked the right man. After six months, they've changed their tune.

The women say they saved money for seven years working toward updating their kitchen.  They took estimates and finally landed on one man who they say made promises that he never kept.

Marian MacDonald hired contractor Sam Gasaway months ago to update her kitchen for better storage, and to open it up for her wheel-chair bound sister Carolyn. She signed on the dotted line, twice, because the contractor's price was right. The main project was $5,840, with a smaller $2,000 job.

Gasaway told the I-Team he's been in the remodeling business for about 25 years. On his blog he calls himself the "Elite of the Elite Atlanta Contractors."

MacDonald says what impressed her most was how quickly Gasaway said he could get the work done.

"He told me it would take two weeks, and unless there was a problem, it would take a maximum three," said MacDonald.

She felt so good she paid for more than 80 percent of the job up front. That was in December. The I-Team was in her Dawsonville home in late June when she told us nothing had been done.

MacDonald says Gasaway told her they got busy and would come by next Friday. When the day arrived, nothing happened.

She complained to the state's licensing board that her contractor "took my money and has done nothing."

Gasaway showed up when the I-Team called him for a kitchen remodeling estimate.  During our hidden camera investigation, he was fast about everything. In less than a minute he measured the space and came to a final figure of $10,830 for our job. He promised to get the job done quickly.

"Normally, this will take three to four weeks," said Gasaway,

But his answers came less quickly when we later asked about Marian MacDonald's project that had been untouched for six months. Gasaway said a deal was worked out on their job and that he would be finishing the job during the week.

MacDonald says she informed Gasaway she had contacted the Better Business Bureau and FOX 5.

The next day, MacDonald says her contractor finally agreed to get to work on her kitchen.  She says he gave her a handwritten contract promising the job would be done by July 7th.

Gasaway did start the work, but the work was unfinished as of July 9. Court records show Gasaway has a number of similar complaints against him from former clients.

MacDonald says she sent Gasaway a certified letter firing him. She says she plans to sue to get her money back if she doesn't get a full refund.

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