Tellico Plains couple loses thousands in landscaping contract

6018866_BG1TELLICO PLAINS (WATE) — A Monroe County couple paid thousands of dollars to have their yard landscaped last summer but the contractor never finished the job.

Now the couple has learned their landscaper has a police record and he’s no stranger to 6 On Your Side either.

George and Brenda Evans are disgusted with their landscaper. A few shrubs were planted but other work around the shrub bed has never been finished.

“Did he install any irrigation?” 6 On Your Side asked. “He did not,” Brenda said.

“This was supposed to be cut off and rock blended all around it as well as bolder wall put up into here. And river rock down this way so that the water would drain down this way. But they did absolutely nothing, never even started the project,” George said.

The contractor widened the Evans’ driveway six weeks after signing the contract last summer.

“Our dream home, we’ve been waiting for over 11 years to move down here and it just took all the excitement out of getting set up in our house,” Brenda said.

The Evans’ contact is for $12,360. The couple paid half their bill in advance, nearly $6,200.

They hired Outdoor Designs, a company based in Madisonville. 6 On Your Side met the owner, Mike Brackett, six-and-a-half years ago. At the time, he was building pools and was two months behind finishing one. The family wanted their money back.

“I’m not talking,” Brackett said then. “You’re not going to refund their money?” 6 On Your Side asked. “I’m not talking,” Brackett said. “$16,000?” 6 On Your Side asked but Brackett drove away.

Since that report in 2000, records show Brackett has been in and out of court.

“It was almost like a phone directory it was so thick,” George Evans said of a list of lawsuits and misdemeanor charges brought against Brackett and his wife. There were nearly a dozen recorded in seven years.

“Both of you wished you had known about their past before you hired them,” 6 On Your Side said. “Absolutely, if I had known this I never would have hired them,” George said.

Brackett’s landscaping business address is a post office box in Madisonville so 6 On Your Side called him. He said the weather held him up and he got behind due to so many other jobs. He also asked why the Evans are so upset.

Realizing Brackett was unlikely to return, George and Brenda hired a new landscaper and the work is finished.

In early January, Brackett told the couple he’d possibly return some money but…”Money was never delivered. He never showed up. He never called the attorney back. We never heard from him again. It’s been probably three weeks, four weeks,” George said.

The family figures they’ll have to go to court to get their money. Legal papers are drawn up.

And the word is out in Tellico Village to stay away from Outdoor Designs.

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