5 On Your Side

Year-long construction delays frustrate Louisburg woman

Posted September 16, 2010
Updated September 22, 2010

— More than a year ago, Kathy Parsons decided to add a sun room to her Louisburg home.

"I've got tons of plants, and I have a couple of cats that love the sun," she said. "I thought that would be perfect for them."

A year later, the area – from the inside and the outside – is nothing like what she dreamed.

"My yard is like a demolition area," she said.

Based upon co-workers' recommendations, Parson hired Eric Heid, owner of ECH Contracting in Rocky Mount.

"If I knew what I know now, I would never have hired him," she said.

At the start, she said, everything seemed fine.

Then, Parsons noticed the ceiling did not look like it was going to be a cathedral ceiling as she says they agreed on.

"(Heid) told me he could come in and cut out the beams and stuff and make it cathedral," Parsons said. "Well, according to another contractor, code does not allow you to do that."

The room's floor was also not level. It was a few inches higher than the rest of the house's floors, which could cause problems when it rains.

An unfinished roof also caused problems when it rained.

"Water was coming in," Parsons said. "This whole carpet (was wet)."

When the sun room still wasn't finished eight months after Heid started, she said, she threatened to call Five on Your Side.

"He actually came out and did some work, but then after that, he didn't do anything else," Parsons said.

She's paid him more than $19,000 of approximately $22,700 for the entire job.

Heid told Five on Your Side that until Parsons pays him the remaining $3,500 "she owes," he won't return.

"I need the capital to start the work," he said. "When she pays, I'll finish."

The Better Business Bureau has rated ECH Contracting with a D-.

Parsons said she figures she will have to hire someone else to finish the room.

"It's heartbreaking to look out here," she said, standing in the unfinished sun room. "I sit in the house and look out here. This is all I see."

Heid said last week he would clean the construction debris out of Parson's back yard if she would call him. When she did, she says, it took him five days to call her back. He said he plans to clean up her yard on Saturday.

Update (Sept. 22, 2010) Eric Heid did clean some of the construction debris from Kathy Parsons' yard. Parsons said Heid told her he will return this weekend to clean-up the rest. 


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • wrobertson95 Sep 20, 2010

    Chances are this "contractor" used the money this lady paid to finish a previous job that he had already spent all the money from..

  • bunnie Sep 17, 2010

    HOW AWEFUL!!! This scumbag needs jail time. I wish her much luck on getting her sunroom completed so that she can enjoy it. She needs Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes on HGTV).

  • bigredtruckman Sep 17, 2010

    NEVER EVER EVER pay more than about 20-25% down to start a project.

    A good contractor will provide, in the contract you sign, a series of steps with defined items that are to be completed at the end of each step. If and only if each step is completed do you pay them the amount due at the end of that step. This protects both the homeowner and the contractor so that progress is very closely tied to the amount of money changing hands.

    I feel for this woman, but quite honesly, she should have known better than to pay this much up front. This is not uncommon knowledge.

  • Hey yuall Sep 17, 2010

    jmaas2, I can all but guarantee that he is not a licensed contractor. Unfortunately this happens all of the time...10 years ago 14 families in North Raleigh were ripped off by Jeffrey E Barnett, who posed as a contractor and scammed us out of various amounts of $$ before filing for bankruptcy where no one could touch him. He had done it before and has done it at least 2 more times since. All it takes is the same weasel of a lawyer to help him file each time. I thought for sure this article was about him...it's about time for his next filing.

  • HillBilly Sep 17, 2010

    Put this worthless jackarse of in jail. Let him redo a jail cell for a couple of years. No telling how many he has bilked. Why give him the ability to keep screwing people? Put him away.

  • psycho Sep 17, 2010

    Respectable contractors will accept 50% at start and the remainder upon completion. This guy's just making excuses as well as, most likely, hoping to walk off with the money without doing the job, especially since it would now take a lot MORE work to fix the stuff he screwed up.

  • nonemeant Sep 16, 2010

    She needs to take him to court (civil) and get her money. Even if he doesn't pay, she can put a lien on his property. He gives scumbags a bad name.

  • Jammer512 Sep 16, 2010

    Contractors like this should have their licence revoked, she paid over 85% up fron and he wants the rest to finish. Use what you have already been paid don finish what you started, otherwise you are nothing but a conartist with a contractors licence.