Dana Mancuso's living room has been one big toy chest since giving birth to her 2-year-old.
"It takes up most of the living room, so it would be easier to have her downstairs," said Mancuso.
But the downstairs is unfinished and damp with deep cracks in the wall. Evidence of mold and water marks tells a soggy tale.
"It's musty, smelly and not very livable at this point," adds Mancuso.
She was referred to American Waterproofing Corp licensed to do work in the Long Island.
They wrote up a contract to waterproof the basement for $4,600.
Dana put down nearly $3,000 and work was to start a week later, but they never showed up.
When the owner didn't return calls, Dana went here to the company's home office but found it abandoned.
Dana confronted the owner at his home and got a check for a full refund. There was a catch though and if the workers showed up that Saturday, Dana wouldn't cash in.
They didn't show, so Dana cashed the check, but "It was no good and the bank was unable to say why, but I didn't get my money," she said.
Eyewitness News researched the company's owner and found he owed thousands in judgments, the largest a June debt to Yellow Book of $117,000.
So we tracked down the owner of American Waterproofing who apologized for the initial no-show. But says it was Dana who wasn't home for their second start date. That's why he agreed to a refund of all but 200 of the deposit.
Dana finally had a bank check for $2,600, the owner still owed her 50 bucks.
Before hiring a contractor, consumers should check with your local consumer affairs department before hiring to find out it has a valid license.
American Waterproofing is licensed in Nassau and Suffolk but has a handful of unresolved consumer complaints.
CONNECT WITH NINA PINEDA AND 7 ON YOUR SIDE