Susan Kuta’s home had a laundry list of issues that needed to be fixed. As she and her husband got older, the necessary repairs fell to the wayside and just they kept putting them off, like so many of us do.
Then Susan’s beloved husband suddenly passed away. The grieving widow found herself working two jobs just to stay in her Chicago home.
That long list of issues kept getting longer and longer… until Susan decided it was finally time to spruce up her home. She also felt that by completing the home repairs and putting time and money into making the house look and feel nicer, it would help her heal from the loss of her husband and find a better sense of balance in her time of grief.
Susan typed out a to-do list that included simple tasks like paint touch-ups, closet door adjustments and the tightening of loose railings. Her list also included more involved tasks like replacing electrical outlets and installing a new security system. She needed help and couldn’t do these things herself.
So, Susan hired a local contractor. At first, she said they had a great working relationship. He was professional and started ticking things off the to-do list. She always welcomed him into her home and even cooked for him so he wouldn’t go hungry while he worked.
Susan paid the contractor $8,000 upfront, which she took from her husband’s life insurance policy. Looking back, she realizes that was a mistake but attributes it to putting her trust in someone at a time when she was especially vulnerable.
Then one day, Susan’s contractor didn’t show up. As the weeks passed, he came less and less… until the interior was nothing but old furniture and half-finished projects covered in dusty drop cloths…