An "All Around" Mess! Appleton-based contractor vanishes before the work is complete

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee couple is unhappy after the contractor they hired to make repairs on their home vanished before the work was complete! They're not the only customers unhappy with All Around Contracting -- a company based in Appleton.

In June, Nick Davis showed up to LaDonna and Alford Brown's home.  LaDonna recently inherited the place from her mother and says it was damaged when storms rolled through last May.

"I noticed the damage, but I didn't think anything of it because I didn't have any money to repair it. The guy came up and said 'yeah, we do siding and I was looking at your house. We are in the neighborhood - canvassing the neighborhood,'" LaDonna Brown said.

Davis told the Browns they wouldn't have to pay out-of-pocket. The agreement was based on insurance approval.

As a first time homeowner, LaDonna didn't think to contact her insurance company, but she has now. LaDonna says insurance offered to pay for a little over $22,000 in repairs, which ended up being similar to the bid Davis gave her from All Around Contracting.

The Browns cut the first check for $10,000 on June 11th. Since then, workers have shown up off and on. However, they weren't just fixing the home. Alford says he's seen them drinking on the job -- and that's not all. Alford came home one day and his neighbors told him, "we smell reefer. They were smoking reefer."

Fed up with the situation, LaDonna and Alford sent pictures of the shoddy work to FOX6's Contact 6. In September, Katrina Cravy and contracting expert Nick Kerzner checked it out in person. As a contractor, Kerzner is on the board of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the Better Business Bureau. Kerzner discovered several issues with the work.

After checking out the problems with the home, both Katrina Cravy and Nick Kerzner wanted answers from Mr. Davis. They went to All Around Contracting's office, but Davis wasn't there. A receptionist called him, but at the time, he wouldn't speak with Katrina Cravy. However, moments after they left, Davis called.

Katrina Cravy: "About the rating with the Better Business Bureau -- you have an 'F' rating and obviously we've got a lot of people with complaints. What's going on?"

Davis responded by saying he recently bought the phone number from a company with a similar name, All Around Roofing & Siding, and didn't know about the BBB rating.

"My company is All Around Contracting," Davis emphasized over the phone.

Contact 6 has obtained copies of the contract and check LaDonna signed. The contract is from All Around Roofing & Siding and that's the company she wrote the check to.

Katrina Cravy asked Davis why he bought a business without checking it out on the BBB's website.

"You know, I've never used the Better Business Bureau. I never even heard of it," Davis said.

During the phone conversation, Davis told Katrina Cravy he fired the subcontractors that were drinking and smoking on the job. He said he pulled the rest of his crew off the job because Alfred threatened them and he didn't think it was safe.

Katrina Cravy promised the crew could return to a safe environment -- offering to be there herself with a camera crew.  Davis agreed to return, but said he has "to look at the schedule."

That phone conversation was the last time Katrina Cravy heard from Davis.  The work on the Brown's home still isn't done. The last time Contact 6 reached out to All Around Contracting's business line, a recorded message said the mailbox is full.

Now LaDonna Brown has some advice for anyone who is looking to get work done on their home.

"Please do your homework. Do not give someone a large sum of money, then expect for them to do what you expect for them to do," LaDonna Brown said.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry says you should never put more than 10% down on a job. If the contractor says they have to buy materials, make sure those materials are delivered and stored at your house before you pay.