BBB Issues Warning About Local Contractor

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The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert for a central Ohio contractor accused of taking people's money but failing to do the work.

The contractor in question is Adolfo Castaneda with A & J Home Restoration, and his latest alleged victim is in northeast Columbus.

Darryl Sheppard told 10TV that after his house suffered storm damage this winter, Castaneda knocked on his door offering to make some repairs.

Sheppard says he paid Castaneda more than $2,000 to complete work on his siding, gutters and roof.

That was in February. Two months later, the work still hasn't been done.

"He took all the siding off (one) side, took the gutters down and I ain't seen him," Sheppard said.

Sheppard showed 10TV a log of the dates when he made payments to Castaneda's A & J Home Restoration to purchase supplies totaling nearly $2,100. He says the only supplies Castaneda bought with the money were some tarps and two boxes of vinyl siding.

Instead of enjoying a completed project, large portions of Sheppard's house lack any siding and he says some of his ceilings are leaking.

"If my mom wouldn't have said her head was getting wet, I would have never known (about the leaks)," he said.

To make matters worse, Sheppard just received a notice form the city that he has 30 days to fix the problem or he could face fines and jail time.

"This is beyond frustrating," he said.

This isn't the first time the contractor has left behind an unfinished job. 10TV reported a warning from the BBB in 2013, saying that Castaneda was scamming homeowners under the name AC's Home Restoration.

Complaints against Castaneda then and now have earned him an "F" rating from the BBB.

10TV spoke with Castaneda on the phone Thursday. He says he understands why Sheppard is upset but says he plans to resume work this weekend. He also admitted to mistakes in the past but says the complaints against him are not entirely true.

"This individual has been on our file for a number of years," said Joan Coughlin with the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio.

Coughlin urges homeowners never to pay in full up front and to be leery of contractors knocking on your door.

"It's a red flag when you've got door-to-door contractors," she said.

That's a lesson Sheppard says he is learning the hard way.

For tips from the BBB on how to avoid storm damage scams, click here.