BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – Out in the McClain County country, Roger Hickman had big plans for his home.
“Wanted to get a ramp built out here, a walk ramp, cause my knees are going bad – extend the deck, wanted a bigger deck out there,” he explained. “Wanted a canopy put over it.”
Roger realized his neighbor down the road was having similar work done, so he approached her builder.
“Got to talking to him, introduced myself,” he noted. “Said would you come down and give me an estimate on something like this?”
The contractor, Jake Lininger, whipped up an agreement for $3,500 for the work in late September. Roger says Jake asked for $1,750 upfront for materials.
Those payments were made in three installments in cash. Soon after though, Roger says the excuses started, and work was never done.
Finally, the Sunday before Veterans Day in November, there was progress. Jake was scheduled to bring materials to Roger’s home.
However, only some of the material was delivered. In a text message, Jake blamed a flat tire on his trailer.
“[Told me] he needed bigger, stronger boards to make the ramp more sturdy. So he made the excuse he had to go get bigger boards,” said Roger. “Then I texted him, he said I’ll be out there Tuesday morning.”
Tuesday came and went, and Roger says Jake stopped answering. The Navy veteran is now out $1,800 and trying to keep the dumped wood dry.
“He can have the wood back, I’m not a contractor, I can’t build,” said Roger. “It’s no use for me, so he can take that back and just give me my money back.”
We contacted Jake Lininger through Facebook, who explained due to ‘some situations’ on his end, the job was initially delayed.
He also claims due to complicated work orders, having to stop – then restart the project, and the parameters of the ramp being changed, this originally seven-day project has now lasted three months.
Roger has since attempted to take Jake to court, twice.
“Me and the wife went up there, filed small claims on him,” he said. “He didn’t get the papers, so he didn’t show for court.”
Jake Lininger tells the In Your Corner team he’s now out of state, and out of the construction industry. However, he says he’s willing to come to an agreement with Roger.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Jake informed our team he will be returning all materials and refunding Roger his money.
Roger is now working with another contractor on his ramp and deck.
In Your Corner tips here: make sure you do extensive research before selecting a contractor and don’t pay upfront before work is done.