OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A judge has ordered a Leawood company to pay hundreds of dollars to a metro woman after she filed a complaint about faulty kitchen remodeling work.
A close look at Sharon Clark's new backsplash in her kitchen reveals uneven tiles, smooth grout in some places, grainy grout in other places and lumps of caulk.
"They just took caulk and pretty much slopped it on," Clark said.
She claims her problems started when Supreme Construction & Renovation's owner, Felix Milman, asked Clark to measure the backsplash area for the tile for the project and also buy the tile.
After the installation began, workers ran out of tile.
Clark said Milman then accused her of trying to get something for nothing.
Clark paid over $400 for the tile.
After Supreme workers installed the tile, but before it was grouted, Clark said in a phone call Milman demanded full payment for the labor, $826.59, before the job was completed.
She wrote a check for $526.59, holding $300 until the work was done.
"I had to tell him I would because he was just pressuring me so much," Clark said.
"We get a lot of complaints from folks who pay a lot of money upfront and the work doesn't get done or isn't done in the way they anticipated," said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Schmidt strongly recommends not paying more than half the money for any contracted home repair work until the work is finished.
"Don't let your common sense and self-protection go into quarantine," he said.
Across the state line, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said his office has seen an uptick in construction and repair complaints because people have been spending more time and attention on their homes due to the pandemic.
"We encourage people to do a little bit of research on the front end, it will save you a lot of headaches on the back end," Schmitt said.
In Clark's case, she did do some research.
The only review she found online for Supreme Construction & Renovation was a positive one.
Kansas records the I-Team obtained show the company has been in business a little over a year, since May 2020.
And her complaint against the company is the only one on the Better Business Bureau's website.
The I-Team first reached out to Supreme Construction & Renovation owner Felix Milman for comment before a judge decided the case in Johnson County Small Claims Court.
In a statement, Milman said in part his company did the work as promised and wrote, "we will defend ourselves against these baseless claims."
When the work was completed, Clark sent the remaining $300 check for the labor cost.
But once the grout dried out, Clark was very dissatisfied with the work and claims Milman wouldn't fix it.
So she tried to stop payment on both the $529.59 and $300 checks but was only successful on the $300 one.
Milman sent the I-Team a copy of the $300 check Clark stopped payment on after the work was completed.
Last month, a judge ruled in Clark's favor, ordering Supreme Construction to repay her $959.50.
That money covers the cost of the tile and the $529.59 check Clark was not able to stop payment on for labor costs.
But Clark said it doesn't cover the cost of tearing out the current backsplash and installing a new one.
She had four professionals come out to give her bids to take it all down and replace it.
“They thought my son had perhaps offered to do it for me. I said no, no, no, this was a professional company that did this. And they just couldn’t believe it,” Clark said.
Following the judge's ruling, the I-Team asked Milman for an interview.
In his initial email response following the ruling against his company, Milman wrote, "We are looking to be able to move past this unfortunate circumstance. If you'd like a time to sit down for further comment, I am available."
However, after the I-Team followed up with Milman, he didn't give an interview.