BISMARK (KATV) -
A Bismark man has learned an expensive lesson that he wants to share tonight.
He says the contractor he picked owes him about $6,500.00 for work left unfinished.
When James Lewis moved to Arkansas from Louisiana he says he had wonderful success with the contractors he hired to build his home.
But things changed when it came time to build his workshop.
Lewis admits that his guard was down when he hired Preston Wadkins.
"He was on the Craig's List," says Lewis. "He had an ad for DJ&M Construction. Of course I looked up DJ&M Construction and there was nothing on it."
If Lewis had searched the name Preston Wadkins he would have found that he and his old company, Barn Builders of Arkansas, had left behind a lot of very unhappy customers.
Now you can count James Lewis among them.
Lewis says he has paid in full for a workshop and driveway that he is having to now finish himself.
Lewis hired Wadkins in August of last year to build the 1,200 square foot structure.
The estimate of just over $20,000.00 swelled to just over $25,000.00, and Lewis made the final payment before the job was finished.
"I was kind of hesitant thinking about that," recalls Lewis. "And he held up a Bible and said 'I've never cheated anybody and I never will.' And I said well...you know if a man will swear on a Bible then I'll trust him with the money."
Once he had all the money Wadkins had no more incentive to return to the job and finish things...and he didn't.
Lewis says he stopped answering his phone too...and now finds that his old number no longer works. We found that as well when we tried to contact Mr. Wadkins.
Air date: March 31st, 2014