A Gulfport homeowner gives advice on hiring a contractor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A Gulfport homeowner gives advice on hiring a contractor

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Retired Veteran Edward Frederickson says he made a verbal agreement with a contractor in February of 2012. For $12,000, that contractor would remodel a rental home.

Frederickson said, "I had hired him to do some work for me, did some extensive renovation on the inside and stuff... and he just left and didn't finish it up."

Frederickson brought in a second contractor, and was told most of the completed work must be redone. That second contractor estimated that it would cost a total of $14,677 to replace, repair and finish the job.

Frederickson admits his first big mistake was to make a verbal agreement with the original contractor rather than getting a signed contract.

"I suggest anything that you do be in proper perspective of the paperwork. As far as everything else is concerned, up in front and they can't take advantage of you," Frederickson stated.

Frederickson said his second major mistake was giving money to the contractor before the job was completed.

"It was in excess of $8,000 or more, maybe $10,000 when put altogether."

Frederickson said his third mistake was getting the construction permits from the city of Gulfport. The Mississippi State Board of Contractors recommends a contractor should always get his own permits, not the homeowner.

Frederickson said his original contractor didn't pay the electrician and the air conditioner repairman.

Wayne Miller, who did the electrical work in the home, told me he's still owed $3,600 for that work.

Another mistake Frederickson says he made? "I went down and got a loan for him so he could have money to continue, because I really didn't have the money at the time. And he co-signed it so that he could make the payment back, so he said, but he didn't. And so I wound up getting him $2,500 more."

Frederickson must now payback $2,918 for the loan.

I tried contacting the contractor in question. A recording said his number can not be reached.

Whenever you hire a contractor, always check with the Mississippi Board of Contractors to see if the contractor has a license with the state. If he or she doesn't, that should raise a red flag,  forcing you to find a licensed contractor.

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