Fox Problem Solver helps local couple get reimbursement after $18k home remodeling project

Fox Problem Solver helps local couple get reimbursement after $18k home remodeling project (Photo: SBG San Antonio)

Remodeling a home can be an exciting and often expensive endeavor.

Frustrated with how the project turned out, one Cibolo woman contacted Fox Problem Solver Elisa Amigo after a hiring a general contractor to remodel her home.

“I felt like dirty, like I was moving back into a dirty house. Not something new and fresh and clean,” said Michelle Painter-Bass. “You just get this feeling in the pit of your stomach, like someone knocked the wind out of you.”

Michelle and her husband recently got married and were excited about remodeling. “We wanted to pull up the carpet and put in laminate flooring. We wanted to pull up laminate tiles in the kitchen and bathroom and put in ceramic tile. We wanted new countertops.”

Michelle called Avix Development, a general contractor based out of Bay City, Texas. Michelle said the company did some work for her parent’s neighbors. After calling references, she hired Avix Development and agreed to pay $20,000 for painting, re-texturing of the walls, new flooring, tiles and other home improvements. She says for several months, she moved out of her home to give the workers more space. Michelle says she and her husband ended up paying the owner more than $18,000, but as the project went along, the quality of the work did not meet her expectations.

“They were supposed to do retexturing of this wall and it just looks like they took some kind of tool and just mushed it down, it wasn't retextured at all,” said Bass. “They were using our utensils, spoons and stuff to mix grout.”

Michelle said the workers also splattered paint on the new granite countertop and floors. Three months after the work began, she grew frustrated about the uneven grout lines and chips in the laminate flooring. “We talked to them about it, they didn't do anything to fix it, they just left it like this,” said Michelle.

Fox San Antonio reached out to the owner of Avix Devlopment, Evan Southall who promised to give Michelle a reimbursement and he did. Several weeks later, he declined our request to interview, but told us he delivered Michelle a check for $1,500.

On behalf of his Avix Development, Southall released this statement: "We are truly sorry about the product that was put out. The person responsible has since then been fired, and we have discounted the Painter’s significantly. And also given them the amount of money back they requested. This is not a reflection on us or what we are about, just a bad, careless individual."

According to Michelle, “He just threw a number out there and we said that wasn't enough and so we came to an agreement on $1,500. That was all he was willing to give us, so we thought that was better than nothing.”

Michelle says she will still have to pay more money for someone else to re-do the tile and the floors. “All the sudden you're contacting him, and he's bringing me a check at 7 o’clock in the morning, so I was pretty blown away.”

“You don't think your house is a big deal, until you don't have it or someone is tearing it up. Then you're like, wow that's where I live, that's where my happiness is, that’s where my family is.”

Fox San Antonio checked with the Better Business Bureau for the company history, but Avix Development has no rating because they are not accredited by the BBB.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office shows the only complaint against Evan Southall was filed by Michelle. For now, she and her husband are considering legal action.

If you have an issue that needs investigating, send your story idea to Problem Solver Elisa Amigo via Facebook or Twitter @elisaamigo.

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