Family giving thanks for free, finished new room after contractor leaves her high and dry

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012

BEECH ISLAND, S.C. -- Last year Lenora Howard called 12 On Your Side after she paid a contractor $12,000 for an add-on room he never built.

Instead, some of you did.

Family, fellowship and a fresh coat of paint were the ingredients for the perfect "first Thanksgiving" in her brand new room.

After all the trouble she's been through to build it, Howard says she has one more thing to be thankful for this year.

"It is finally done. Praise the Lord," Howard said as she looked around her newly built add-on room. "This room has been in the making since October the first of 2011."

Fourteen months, $12,000 and one company's generosity was what it took to build this room.

This year, the family is thankful that it's finished.

"We’re thankful for this room. I'm glad somebody wanted to help, so that's what we giving thanks for, and we're gonna enjoy ourselves this whole day," said family member Zedrick Stewart.

"It turned out better than I thought it was gonna look," Howard said.

All Howard wanted was a room where she could relax and invite family after she retired.

It made her sick to her stomach when she realized she'd been duped.

"I feel ill, very ill," she said.

This year, the room nearly brought her to tears, but for a very different reason.

"Oh boy, I feel so good I just wanna cry, you know, I just wanna cry really," Howard said.

Now, thanks to Unlimited Residential, the work is complete, and Howard says they added a few special touches, too, from the ceiling fan to the design on the floor and the lights on the wall.

"They did a fantastic job. I can't thank them enough," Howard said.

Howard says she hasn't heard from the original contractor since September, even though she's tried to reach him.

The family says they're thankful for the builders who pitched in to help -- completely for free -- but they still want to warn homeowners about hiring contractors without doing their homework.

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