• Action 9: Grandmother complains about problems with newly-installed floor

    By: Jason Stoogenke


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When a grandmother had problems with her new floor, she said she spent months trying to get the installer to fix it, but that she wasn't successful. Carrie Howie found a leak, needed a new kitchen floor, and hired Fite's Installation and Repair.

    The owner did the job in one day and she paid him $320.

    But five months later the floor started making popping sounds.

    "You walk on it, you could hear a noise. It was just something like air pockets under it," she said.

    She called it her "floating floor" and called Fite's to fix it. She says they went back and forth for 10 months.

    "He always give me promises, but never did nothing," she said. So she got Action 9 involved.

    The company sent Action 9 an email, saying, "Situations such as this are not easy for either party."

    The owner wrote, "We in no way are admitting any wrongdoing," but also said, “(I) would like to offer Ms. Howie a refund as a goodwill gesture.”

    Howie plans to use that refund to hire someone else to fix the floor and just hopes it doesn't cost more than the $320 she got back. If you need a contractor of any kind, make sure you shop around, ask for references and see if he or she is the member of any professional associations.

    The Better Business Bureau stated: "It is extremely important to compare costs before making a financial commitment toward any home improvement project. You should solicit at least two or three bids from prospective contractors. Discuss bids in detail with each contractor, making certain you understand the reasons for any variations in the prices.

    Do not automatically choose the lowest price. One contractor's bid might be higher because the materials to be used are of a better quality or because the work will be especially thorough and therefore, require more time and labor.

    Ask the remodeling contractor for local references and find out if these customers were satisfied with the contractor's work.

    If possible, visit and inspect their completed projects. Find out if the contractor is a member of a professional association which has standards or a code of ethics for remodelers.

    Contact your local BBB to learn how long a contractor has been in business and if the firm has been responsive to any complaints filed with BBB.

    Another important matter to consider before hiring a contractor is the matter of insurance.

    Ask the contractor if the company is insured against claims covering worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents.

    Then call to verify the contractor's insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency."

    The BBB also suggests: "Check with your state, county, or city housing authority to see if the contractor must meet certain licensing and/or bonding requirements in your area. If so, make sure your contractor is properly licensed and bonded. Never pay a contractor for the entire job in advance and avoid paying in cash whenever possible."

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    Action 9: Grandmother complains about problems with newly-installed floor