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Couple pays unlicensed contractor $25K but is left with unfinished work

Thousands of dollars spent but the job was left unfinished. (Photo: KATV)
Thousands of dollars spent but the job was left unfinished. (Photo: KATV)
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Thousands of dollars were spent, but the job was left unfinished.

Marcus and Taylor Risner thought they were building their dream home, but that dream turned into a nightmare.

This couple first met Devin West in June of last year and later gave him thousands of dollars, but what they were left with was framing that needed to be redone and nowhere to live.

"[Reporter: How much did you pay for this?] He collected about $25,000 from us and it's going to cost us another $16,000 for us to rip down our framing and have it reframed," said Taylor Risner.

Risner hired West - the owner of 501 Remodeling and Construction - to build her family's dream home.

“What you're standing in was supposed to be our mudroom laundry room, and then the master was going to be on this side,” she showed Seven On Your Side. “Bathroom, closet, and then our two kids' rooms and the bathroom - this was going to be an open kitchen living - but if you look at all of our walls, they're way too wide and he didn't do them correctly."

She said the last time she saw West was in December.

“Ever since then, it's been every two weeks, it will be two more weeks, he's never has been back,” she added.

Risner had to hire other contractors who, she said, pointed out flaws and work that would need to be redone.

“All of them have said that it was incorrect, the framing, so we're going to have to rip out all of our interior framing and start from scratch. The only thing that he didn't do was the bracing because our new contractor had to come brace everything up so that it's safe for us to tear down," Risner explained.

She added that a plumber also gave her bad news.

“Our master bathroom, which is the nightmare with the plumbing, where he didn't even do the plumbing in the walls,” she said. “It was going to cost us a couple of grand because our plumber was going to have to come out and jackhammer the concrete up and move it."

Since June 2022 - when she started discussing this project with West - he's been tied to three different companies according to paperwork Risner showed 7OYS.

“D&D - that was the first one - that's when he reached out and everything started. Then the second one was Hughes Remodeling, and the third one now is 501 Remodeling and that's because Hughes fired him from working with him,” she said.

7OYS confirmed with the owner of Hughes Remodeling that West was indeed fired.

Risner isn't the only former client complaining.

At least one other homeowner filed a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General's Office and that job cost the homeowner $13,250.

Another former client took to Facebook and said she paid West, and he didn't complete the job.

Dozens of others commented on that former client’s post, and some said they, too, had dealings with West.

Another contractor commented and said he was fixing one of West's jobs for two weeks and that he stole some of his tools.

Another read that West “Did us the same way in August 2021". And another person wrote “He scammed me and my family out of 30k last year, changed his number."

7OYS spoke with West over the phone and he said he closed his business, 501 Remodeling, and Construction.

He said he would interview with us, but he canceled on the day of the interview. We rescheduled, but he did not pick up our call or text us back on the rescheduled day.

The Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board confirmed they're investigating Risner's complaint.

They said West does not have a contractor's license, however, a license associated with 501 Remodeling and Construction is under the name Anna West.

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