Complaint: My husband and I began working with Nancy Strickland (a.k.a. Nanci Strickland, or N C Strickland of All Design and Build Interiors) on a kitchen remodel project around May 2014. We decided to go with Nancy after she outbid an earlier estimate we had obtained for $27,000, indicating she could do the work for only $22,000. Unlike the earlier estimate, however, where project costs were carefully itemized on an Excel spreadsheet, Nancy did not give us a copy of her initial bid itemizing the work included. Because Nancy had completed a different project for an acquaintance, however, we trusted her word and paid her the $1500 initial deposit she requested without documentation. Our first indication that something was wrong occurred when Nancy dropped off a painted wood cabinet sample door. Upon inspection, we noticed the paint on the door had hairline cracks even though Nancy had assured us painted cabinets would not crack as long as they were obtained from a reputable manufacturer. When we brought the cracks to her attention, Nancy responded that she wanted us to see them, and joked that only rich people who live up in Vail can afford to replace painted cabinets every 10 years. Dismayed by this development, we changed our plan to go with stained cabinets instead of painted. We located a company online with an attractive door style and had Nancy order a sample. Because we were interested in a custom finish and slightly nicer style, we anticipated the overall cost of the project would be somewhat higher (even though stained cabinets are generally cheaper than painted); Nancy repeatedly assured us that she did not think the cost would be significantly more. After a 2 month delay stemming from events in Nancyu2019s personal life, she met us at our home one evening so that we could officially place an order for the cabinets. Nancy presented us with a sheet of paper containing a few figures, the total of which came to approximately $25,000. Believing this was the new total for the project, we came very close to signing the document in our haste to get things going (given that so much time had already passed). At the last minute, however, my husband questioned Nancy about the amount. When asked, she acknowledged that the figure covered only the cabinet order. My husband then asked about the other items we had discussed during our initial consultation. Nancy opened a book she had compiled for our project (but hadn’t shared with us) and read off figures in response to each of the items my husband asked about. Mentally tallying the figures (as we never saw anything in writing), it now seemed the project, or at least the costs we asked about, came to a total of $33,000!! Shortly after this incident, we let Nancy know that we were not interested in moving forward with the job and requested $1000 of our $1500 deposit back. Nancy did not initially respond to our request for a refund, but instead sent us an email indicating that the overall price for the job had gone up because the changes we made were u201csubstantial.u201d She itemized the u201cchangesu201d she said we made to our order, all of which were included in the original bid at $22,000 (with the exception of the door finish and style). Here is her email: Additional glass doors, lazy susan in the lower corner cabinet, additional drawer space in 3 cabinets, matching raised panels on the island, double spice pull out cabinets, tray dividers above in the refrigerator cabinet, 4 foot of pantry cabinets added in the place of a desk area. The door style was changed to a molding applied door with a vintage finish. Also added was a fireplace with a mantle and fluted columns and cabinets with trim to match in the bookcase area. Even though we added the fireplace area I spoke with my installer and he agreed to do this at the same cost as originally quoted. In adding these additional costs it raised the cost to $33,000. Nancy nearly succeeded in getting us to sign a contract without disclosing the real cost of the project, which came to 150% of her original bid — the amount she knowingly intended to charge. Nancy eventually returned half of our deposit ($750), but only after we threatened to document the entire incident on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. We are truly grateful we were able to walk away from any further dealings with her with only a $750 loss, given that the outcome could have been far worse had we gone forward. We could have ended up owing $11,000 more than we planned on paying, if not more! I recently learned of a friend who had had a similar experience with Nancy in 2015, but unfortunately did not pull out of the deal in time. After completing a bathroom remodel of inferior quality, Nancy attempted to charge my friend more than her original bid of $10,000. Because my friend refused to pay the undisclosed additional charges, Nancy is now initiating proceedings to put a lien on her house!! Because of this, I am posting my experience online to help others avoid being taken advantage of by this unscrupulous business woman.
Tags: Builders & Contractors
Address: Denver, Colorado USA