CARY — An Apex man hired a contractor for a simple project that was supposed to take three days. When it still was not done after four months, he called Five On Your Side.
Last May, David Lucas paid Randy Lanier and his Goldsboro company, Patios and Sunrooms USA, more than $52,000 to build a sunroom. Lucas describes the whole project as a "debacle."
Lucas said there are leaks in the room, plus there are electrical problems.
"None of the outlets work at all," said Lucas.
Plus, to get the room to "fit" around a window, Lanier's crew cut away part of the trim and siding, then "fixed" it with a mass of caulk.
"I'm constantly reminded that there's a mess up there that leaks," Lucas said. "It's not a mess that fixes the leak. It's a mess that leaks."
Long before the leak and electrical issues, Lucas had other problems with the project. First, he was told construction would start within two to three weeks. It took 23 weeks. Then he was told the room would be done within three days. Four months later, the room was still not done.
"This was just going to be the ultimate room, where we would come and just enjoy ourselves," Lucas said. "We can't use it at all."
Lucas said he called Lanier dozens of times, but he was always "put off" with "excuses."
"Mr. Lanier says, 'Oh, call me if it's still a problem.' It's still a problem. Please come fix it," he said.
Five On Your Side has done prior stories about Lanier. Last August, Kathy Johnson complained about another one of his companies, Tropical Pools of Goldsboro, after it took him four months to install
her pool deck
"I mean, I called them every week to come and finish the pool, and they'd give me different excuses," Johnson said.
Lanier blamed those delays on a subcontractor. When Five On Your Side called about Lucas' sunroom, he blamed suppliers, permitters and Lucas.
Lucas said, "none of it had anything to do with me." He then promised Lucas' sunroom would be fixed within a week and it was.
As for Lanier and his companies, the Better Business Bureau actually revoked his memberships last year for not responding to consumer complaints. The group lists eight complaints in the last three years involving Patio and Sunrooms USA, 47 against Tropical Pools. Five On Your Side has had nine complaints in the last three years.
But perhaps the biggest issue, Lanier is not licensed. By law, contractors must be licensed to take on jobs that cost $30,000 or more.