There are people who have been left without thousands of dollars they saved to fix up their homes before hurricane season.
A contractor couple was arrested after being accused of taking advantage of homeowners, taking their money and completing little to no repairs in return.
Investigators say the couple wrote contracts for people totaling nearly $20,000.
We spoke to a victim who lost out on a good chunk of his savings and told us what others should know, so it doesn’t happen to them.
Daniel Radebaugh’s had a new enclosed lanai installed at his south Collier County home recently.
“We’re very happy with the sliders,” Radebaugh said. “That’s what my wife wanted.”
It’s a huge relief after he says the first attempt to get it built ended with him and his wife losing $5,000 to unlicensed contractors.
“That took a chunk out of our savings,” Radebaugh said. “It stung, and it still hurts.”
Radebaugh says, after taking his deposit in 2019, the company he hired did not perform any work.
This all happened at the same as the death of the Radebaughs’ oldest son.
“That just added to the stress of the whole ordeal,” Radebuagh said. “So I kept mailing emails and expecting responses and getting promises about, ‘This is gonna happen. That’s gonna happen. The windows are gonna be installed on this date,’ and none of it ever happened.”
Collier County Sheriff’s Office says the Radebaughs are not alone.
Deputies arrested Daniel Morin, 56, and Eileen Woods, 47. They say the two suspects signed several contracts totaling nearly $20,000, and they did so without the proper licensing.
Builder Ryan Benson says always head to MyFloridaLicense.com to check a potential contractor’s credentials, complaints, and be aware of red flags.
“If you’re feeling pressure to sign a contract and give a deposit on the spot, I don’t think it would be prudent without checking the database first,” said Benson, the co-owner of A. Vernon Allen Builder.
Radebaugh, for one, will never make that mistake again.
“I have a whole different method of hiring today,” Radebaugh said. “I would never put that kind of money down. Not going to happen.”
Both Morin and Woods face charges for multiple counts of engage contract business without certificate registration license. Both suspects have previous booking in Collier County.
We reached out to Morin and Woods, and they did not return our calls. They’re scheduled back in court July 8.