More customers come forward with Mike Shea complaints

The story of a shady contractor allegedly ripping people off has struck a chord with another former client, Tracey Neary.
Tracey Neary said she hired Mike Shea to do renovations on her parents' house in 2011, but ended up overshooting the budget by $20,000. (CBC)

The story of a shady contractor allegedly ripping people off has struck a chord with another former client.

CBC Investigates looked into the complaints from several of Mike Shea's customers on Tuesday.

Tracey Neary said that the story of one customer in particular — Vickie Ivany ​— really hit her hard.

"I was actually in tears watching the lady ... Because I felt her pain," she said.

Ivany paid a total of $225,000 to Shea to turn the basement of her elderly mother's house into an apartment, and to renovate the upstairs.

But months later and hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget, she was left with some shoddy handiwork, and some work that wasn't finished at all.

Like Ivany, Neary also hired Shea. It was back in 2011, to make her parents' house wheelchair accessible, do some renovation work, and to add an extension.

Tracey Neary said she hired contractor Mike Shea in 2011 to make her parents' house wheelchair accessible, to do some renovation work, and to add an extension. (CBC)
But Neary said the work didn't go as planned.

"We had kept contact with the guy who was in charge of this job, and he advised us that we were right on target, that our budget was still fine — no matter what things came up, our budget was always fine," she said.

"And then all of a sudden, in March, we were overbudget."

Neary said it was an overage of $20,000 for labour, which means that there was no money left to build the wheelchair ramp for her parents.

In the end, Neary's husband had to install it himself.

"I don't want [Shea] back on my property. I don't trust him," she said.

"The work that has been done ... we have a leak in our basement right now. What makes me think he's going to come back and do any better? I don't trust him anymore."

Do your homework

Victoria Belbin, the CEO of the provincial chapter of the Canadian Home Builders' Association, said the best advice is to do your homework, and check a contractor's references.

"You need to know the basics. Were you satisfied? What about the payments? Did they fullfill it in time? These are very important things that you need to do," she said.

"You may trust them because they may have a great personality, you may get along quite well with them, but to protect yourself, you need to go back through their history."

Shea statement

Meanwhile, Mike Shea sent an email statement to CBC Investigates, which said he would like to express his "heartfelt sympathy" to his former clients for any stress his company has caused.

"As a new company, [Francis Shea Contracting (FSC)] suffered many growing pains, along with a significant turnover of sub-contractors, employees, owners, and directors in an attempt to establish a viable business and a reliable workcrew [sic]," Shea wrote.

"Out of the hundreds of jobs FSC completed, there were some that I now realize had gone astray."

Shea said that although the company is responsible for the work that was or wasn't completed, feels a sense of personal responsibility.

"I intend to do everything within my power to make things right," he said.

Shea said because phone and email services for his former company were disconnected, he had no knowledge of the issues that some of his clients were having.

"I will work diligently to assist the clients of FSC that have issues with the work that was done by FSC and I welcome contact directly from any of FSC's customers," he said.

Here is the full email statement that was sent to CBC Investigates: