Homeowner claims contractor left job unfinished, pocketed thousands

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Michael Ashenfelter thought he would be spending his summer playing with his daughters.

"If I wasn't working during the day at my job, I was working on the house," Ashenfelter said.

He hired contractor Jason Smith and his firm J.M. Smith Construction to replace his roof, siding and windows. Ashenfelter says the project began on May 23 and things went well until early June.

Ashenfelter claims Smith just stopped showing up to work, leaving the back part of his home exposed to the elements.

"It was disappointing to drive down my road and see black [insulation] on the side of my house," Ashenfelter said.

Receipts provided by Ashenfelter indicate he paid $10,094 to Smith for materials for the project. Those same receipts indicated Smith paid for $4974.39 for various building materials. Ashenfelter says the remaining $5119.61 is unaccounted for.

WAND News reached out to Smith several times for comment, but was unable to secure an interview.

Ashenfelter says he had to take over the project himself, since paying for another contractor to finish the job would have sunk his budget even further in the red.

"We've probably put in about $20,000," he said. "That's a good chunk of change for something you're not expecting."

The money can be earned back. But the time Ashenfelter had hoped to spend with his kids is gone for good.

"I should've been sitting back watching my house get done [and] sitting in a pool enjoying my summer with [my] kids," he said. "Unfortunately, I was busy working [on the project]."