Handymen leave work unfinished on Tellico Village widow’s house

TELLICO VILLAGE (WATE) – A woman new to Tellico Village says she made a big mistake in hiring a local contracting company. The business is run by two brothers, who over the last two years, have changed their company’s name several times.

Amey Elias, a recent widow, paid a handyman service more than $6,000 to put a closet in her home – work that family friend Don Hudson is now doing. Elias moved into her Tellico Village home three months ago. She hired EPM Handyman Services in mid-March. The company is operated by Jonathan and Warren Presley. The brothers charged $7,100 to paint, redo the closet, and remove and replace flooring.

“It says remove laminate flooring. That was not done. Replace the laminate flooring with approximately 1,000 square feet. I even picked out the stuff. He was with me at the store,” said Elias.

The laminate flooring was never removed. Paint was slopped onto the floor when workmen painted the ceiling.

“Finally, I begged them to please, please put dropcloths down. They finally did that, grudgingly, after they started painting,” said Elias.

In the garage, kitchen cabinet doors and shelves were stacked up by workmen to dry after being painted. However, once dried, the cabinet doors were never returned. The work is unprofessional on many of the ones that were painted.

“There are all kinds of dings where they have been stacked up against each other.  Here is paint from another one here, it’s like everything is a mess,” said Elias.

Outside on her driveway is where the workmen from EPM Handyman Services painted Elias’ kitchen cabinets. On the driveway pavement, you can see where painters carelessly stepped with their wet boots.

“It’s just disgraceful. It just shows lack of quality, lack of concern. Total lack of intent to finish the job,” said Hudson.

Elias said she paid the Presley brothers nearly 90 percent of their bill in advance.

Carolyn Whited explained a similar experience last November at her home in West Knoxville. For years, she and her late husband had planned some renovations. Work started a year ago, but then abruptly stopped not long after she had paid Jonathan and Warren Presley more than 90 percent of the bill upfront.

The Presleys then operated a company called RFG Construction of Knoxville.

Previous story: Kingston couple pays 75 percent up front for garage remodel in April; work still isn’t done

In October 2015, a very frustrated Barbara Croft explained about the six month delay in finishing the garage at their home in Kingston. Material like windows and doors were delivered but the job stalled and excuses piled up. The work was contracted then with RFG Flooring – different name, but Jonathan and Warren Presley were the operators of the business.

The Crofts had paid the brothers more than 75 percent of the total bill up front.

Despite several phone calls and emails, WATE 6 On Your Side was not able to reach the Presley brothers, and neither was Amey Elias.

“I feel like It’s theft. They stole money to make money and gave me as little as possible,” she said.

Elias doesn’t want the brothers back at her home. She plans to charge them with theft and under a new state law, she can if they don’t respond or return her money for work not completed. Elias realizes now she made a bad mistake in advancing the Presleys so much money.

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