Woman's 'Dream Patio' Becomes Her Worst Nightmare After Contractor Makes Off With Her Savings (VIDEO)

That's Criminal 7

Michelle Beutler

Every time I hear a story about someone getting screwed out of their hard earned cash by a contractor, it makes me more and more leery of doing any sort of renovation to my house.

Take Michelle Beutler, for example -- a woman who saved up her money for 10 years in order to have a flagstone patio put into her backyard. As you will hear in this video, she hired a landscaper and he completed the job -- but after he cashed her almost $5,500 check, things went into the crapper pretty quickly.

Just wait until you hear how this dude conned her!


Doesn't stuff like this make your blood boil? And can you believe this guy wasn't even licensed?

Ugh. We've been talking about finishing our bonus room and basement and putting in a nice stone patio down the road. But I'm so worried that something like this will happen to us and we'll wind up getting duped.

It just seems almost impossible to know who you can trust when hiring someone. The only way we'll ever bite the bullet is if we get great referrals from friends or, at the very least, solid references from the contractors in question. But what if they turn out to be shady too? (You never know.)

And I'll go absolutely nuts if we wind up getting mixed up with someone who leaves us broke and with a huge mess on our hands -- especially considering how much dough we'll have to fork over to achieve the look we want with our house.

Sigh. Sometimes I really think it would be easier to just pack up and move to a home that has every single feature we're hoping to eventually have in this one. At least that way we won't have to get any potentially dishonest third parties involved. (Except for the realtor. Oh boy.)

Have you ever had an issue with a contractor?

home repair, renovating


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MsLin... MsLinneyMinnie

welcome to america- where after 5 yrs, where all of ur savings is only $5500- thats the real sad part to this story

keelh... keelhaulrose

I've heard good things about Angies' List.

Liane... Lianetherider

The homeowner isn't entirely without blame, here. It is the job of the person who needs work done to make sure that they are hiring a licensed contractor, with positive references, who will agree to a contract and appropriate payment terms (usually 50% or cost of materials up front, the rest after both parties are satisfied that the contract has been completed). I'm not saying that the contractor here is not at fault, but a little bit of sense could have saved this woman some heartache.

Nelli... NellieAthome

Sorry- this is almost entirely her fault. To begin with, that price for materials and labor is a red flag.She got exactly what she paid for even if she is unhappy after the fact.


We've done numerous renovations on our home over the past 30 years, including $40,000 in repairs for storm damage 3 years ago. It takes less than  5 minutes to check on line to see if a contractor has a valid license and/or any complaints against them. And anyone who spent multiple years saving the money for the job had plenty of time to research and choose the materials used and, in this case, where she wanted the patio and what would need to be moved and/or modified to accommodate her plans.

Sarah Cazier

Ditto the rest of the comments. .. if you set yourself up to be duped then you are likely to get exactly that! Its not hard to do research and smart consumers are the ones that report those busted unlicensed guys. People want everything 'cheap' and then have the gall to cry foul when they get what they paid for.

Kediset Kediset

parents had issues with a contractor once... it was sooo bad, dunno why they stuck with the guy... had a hard time getting a hold of him, took him ages to reply back, did a bad job on renovating bathroom, my dad had to fix the toilet (find out later that our choice in toilet wasn't as good as they thought it was).... and yea... I can't remember if someone referred him to us or not.

Irela... Ireland69

Doesn't matter if they are licensed or unlicensed.  My parents had their house foundation repaired by a well know contractor and he screwed them over, the foundation got worst and they had to go to court and locate the contractor took a long time until they got some of their money and they paid a lot,  just like the company that had houses build in San Antonio TX and the houses started falling in sinkholes cause the contractor wanted to be greedy and cheap so he just build houses over tunnels.  So no fault to the lady.  Blame the B@astered that took advantage.

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