Five-day construction job turns into 5-month nightmare - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Five-day construction job turns into 5-month nightmare

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A local woman has endured a 5-month long nightmare in East Hampton (WFSB) A local woman has endured a 5-month long nightmare in East Hampton (WFSB)

What was supposed to be a five-day construction job has turned into a five-month nightmare for a local elderly woman.

She says all she wanted was a new front entrance, but all of these months later, that promise has still not been delivered.

“I want to cry sometimes. I just want to cry,” said Phyllis Pekari, of East Hampton.

It’s been a tough winter for 78-year-old Pekari.

With no way to get into her house through the front door, she’s been forced to climb more than 10 steep steps to get in through the back.

“Winter time when it snows I don’t like to go that way because it’s kind of slippery,” Pekari said.

After half a century living at her house in East Hampton, Pekari says her front entranceway needed to be redone. 

So last October, she hired the company, Concepts in Concrete based out of Columbia.

She says the owner, Kara Cicchiello and a worker named Tom convinced her they were the right team for the job.

“They just sounded so enthusiastic and they both came over and they came up here and she said you’re going to love what he does. He does great work,” Pekari said.

So, she signed on the dotted line, $2,200 for a four-foot stoop, and three steps.  

She paid half right away, and says the job was supposed to be finished in time for her family to visit for the holidays.

“I said ‘Kara is this going to be done by Thanksgiving’ and she said ‘Phyllis of course. It’s definitely going to be done by Thanksgiving’,” Pekari said.

Five months later, still no front stoop. Still no steps.

To add to the frustration, Pekari says what work they have done has destroyed her yard.

“The truck came and as soon as they started pouring they had to stop right away because the form just went and the cement was going every place,” Pekari said.

It filled the yard, creating mud splattered all over the front door, and even broke part of a shutter.

“I like to keep it clean and neat and it’s just ridiculous,” Pekari said.

She said multiple times the forms to hold the concrete in place broke, and despite repeated calls to Cicchiello, she says she hasn’t been informed of when they plan to fix it. 

While she was offered her money back, Pekari said to repair what’s been done would cost even more cash.

Fed up, Pekari decided to reach out to the Channel 3 I-Team.

The I-Team decided to show up at the home of Concepts in Concrete and confront Kara about Pekari’s accusations.

During the 11-minute interview, Cicchiello said there were a lot of reasons for the delay, from the illness of a foreman, to the cold weather, and claims of an unruly neighbor.

Still, Kara said she understands how Phyllis feels.

“I know it’s awful and I feel horrible for her and if that was my grandma, I’d probably have Channel 3 at my house too,” Cicchiello said.

When the I-Team tried to pin Cicchiello down about when the job would be completed, no such luck.

“Well, I don’t have a crystal ball with the weather but as soon as I have three days with sun shining, I’ll get her concrete done but it can’t be 50 during the day and freezing at night. What did the groundhog say? What kind of weather are we talking about? Are we having spring? Is it going to be winter? I can’t give you a “concrete” answer,” Cicchiello said.

Once the I-Team wrapped up an on-camera interview with Cicchiello, she immediately changed her tune and was upset she spoke to the I-Team.

She threatened to call the police, saying Pekari was out of luck and she would not be finishing the job.

Meanwhile, Pekari has filed a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection.

They are currently investigating.

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