Kansas City's best and worst contractors of 2008
by YaShekia King
In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Kansas City contractors who have earned the distinction of being the Best or Worst in the Kansas City area.
Dream Stone Creations
Kansas City, Mo.
Mary Sheridan of Prairie Village, Kan., was worried about hiring someone to fix her ceiling because she’d previously been ripped off by a contractor. But after hiring Dream Stone Creations owner Christopher Finley, she realized good contractors exist. “The job looks great,” Sheridan says. “I found him to be very personable.” Sheridan is one of many Angie’s List members who’ve reported a positive experience with Finley, who gives back to the community by donating to the Crittenton Children’s Center. “He was tolerant of two curious and chatty children,” member Teresa Daveline says. “I plan on using Chris again.”
Finley — who has nearly 30 “A” reports on Angie’s List — started the company in 2004 after 17 years of remodeling experience. “Our unique designs and taking time to listen to our clients are what make us competitive,” he says.
Cut Rate Hauling Co.
Shawnee Mission, Kan.
The one-ton flatbed truck Eric Fuller used for his auto repair garage for four years became his ticket to starting his own hauling company in 2002. Since then, he’s demolished decks and garages, even moved a 600-pound piano, but his customers’ appreciation makes the hard work pay off. “I really get a kick out of the older ladies because they’re so much fun to be around,” says Fuller, who often keeps items he hauls and gives them away to others in need.
Fuller’s dedication impressed customer Frances Baker, who paid him extra after he hauled away roofing and siding debris. “Eric made me inspect the job and actually did more than what he contracted for,” she says.
Complete Custom Home Concepts
Blue Springs, Mo.
In September, the Missouri Attorney General ordered Complete Custom Home Concepts owner Steven Schonfeldt to pay $10,000 in civil penalties for accepting down payments from at least 10 customers but never starting the projects. This month, the state is seeking an injunction to prohibit him from operating his business.
Angie’s List member Roger Feeley says he paid Schonfeldt a $375 deposit to repair and repaint his textured ceiling. “He just kept not showing up,” Feeley says. “He kept coming up with these bizarre excuses.” He says the company issued a refund, but only after another contractor intervened.
Feeley gave the company an “F” on Angie’s List. Seven months later, another member filed a failing report on the company with a similar grievance. The company, which couldn’t be reached for comment, has six unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
Allied Roofing and Guttering
Kansas City, Kan.
Richard “Gus” Tallen II, owner of Allied Roofing and Gutters, pleaded guilty to home repair fraud in 1999 and was prohibited from operating as a roofer for 10 years, according to the attorney general’s office. In July, police arrested Tallen on new constructionrelated charges.
The roofer, also known by his alias Joe Carbone, faces 12 felony charges for allegedly taking money from roofing customers during 2006 and 2007 but not doing the work or providing refunds, says John Fougere, press secretary for the Kansas attorney general’s office. Tallen faces up to four years in prison or up to $5,000 fine per violation if found guilty. As of press time, a court date hadn’t been set.
Angie’s List member Diane Dickson says the company failed to perform any work after she paid them $5,600 to replace her roof in November 2007. “I was beside myself with frustration and anger,” she says.
Attorney Sean Pickett represented Tallen on his probation violation stemming from the new charges. “I know that Mr. Tallen professes he was not running the roofing company, but that his family was,” Pickett says. The company’s phone number is no longer in service.