• Action 9: Man learns to check on contractors before hiring

    Bud Ussery feels like he threw away $13,000 after hiring a contractor to power wash and refinish his three-story log home.

    He said the contractor botched the job by stripping off layers of wood.

    "He did it with the pressure washer and cut the logs," Ussery said.

    Ussery said Ken Reddick of DeckPros told him he could fix the problem by applying new stain, but Ussery stopped him, saying the new stain made the logs look uneven.

    "It's going to cost a bunch of money to straighten it out," he said.

    He has a bid from another contractor to correct the work for $25,000. When he asked Reddick to refund his $13,000, all Ussery got back was $100.

    But Ussery admits he did not do his homework before hiring a contractor.

    When Action 9 called Reddick to ask about Ussery's complaint, he hung up the phone during the call.

    Netter Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy said the biggest mistake homeowners make is not getting a copy of the contractor's insurance policy to make sure they can file a claim for damages if something goes wrong.

    "Get copies of it. Contact the insurance company and they'll be able to tell you within 10 seconds whether it's in force or lapsed," Bartholomy said.

    Ussery said he learned one other thing from dealing with Reddick's company -- to never hire anyone who gives him scribbled notes as a legitimate contract.

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