‘It’s inexcusable’: Homeowner says contractor did shoddy work and didn’t finish

MONROE, N.C. — Amy Craig had a vision: a new look for her kitchen and bathrooms in her Monroe house.

She says she paid Howie Byrns around $50,000 to do the project.

She says he did some work, like hanging cabinets and installing tile floors, but not all. Craig says he didn’t finish electrical outlets, molding, trim around doors, and more.

Plus, she says Byrns gave her the runaround, so she paid another company thousands to finish the work and redo a lot of the parts Byrns had done. For example, she says some wiring, grout, window frames, and the kitchen backsplash tiling. “It was just awful quality,” she said.

“I’m angry. I’m hurt. He took advantage of me. I’m a nurse. I’m a nice person. He took advantage of me,” she said. “It’s inexcusable, absolutely inexcusable.”

Craig says she contacted law enforcement, but that not much came of it, other than he gave her back about $3,000 for glass that she says was never installed.

“So, the whole goal of this is to prevent him from doing it to other people,” she told Action 9.

Byrns calls his business F&S Home Improvements or Father & Son Home Improvements. Action 9 emailed and texted him over multiple days, but did not hear back in time for this report.

Advice from Action 9 for any time you hire a contractor:

- Make sure you have a contract and that it spells out all the details. Amy Craig didn’t and regrets it.

- Research the company name, but also the owner’s name as well. After all, he or she may change business names to escape bad reviews.

- Pay as little upfront as possible — no more than 1/3 if you can (more for very custom jobs).

- Make sure he or she is a licensed contractor (if the project is over $40,000 in North Carolina, $5,000 in South Carolina).

Click here to check in N.C.

To check in S.C., click here.

VIDEO: Couple says builder was supposed to finish house in two years, still wasn’t done in three