Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Sheds Onsite builds reputation for broken promises

Special to the Journal

BBB has received numerous complaints about a Central Texas builder named Jay Curtis Slayton. His small building construction business is known as Sheds On Site, but the promised structures are often nowhere in sight after he receives customers’ money.

    Slayton has previously done business under the names Solid Rock Storage Sheds and Top Hand Structures. Websites for Solid Rock Storage Sheds and Top Hand Structures are no longer active. Slayton’s businesses were previously located in Holland, Texas, but Sheds On Site is currently located at 1228 C.R 268 in Bertram, Texas.

The Bell County Sheriff’s Office arrested Slayton for felony theft on Nov. 27, 2012 and again on Jan. 29, 2013. Slayton went to jail on those charges, but was released on bond. He spent three days in the Williamson County Jail in May 2013 on charges of theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000.

Despite his arrests, Slayton continues operating under the name Sheds On Site, taking orders through his website and via online classified sites.

As of July 12, 2013, BBB has received 13 complaints about Sheds On Site. The company did not respond to five complaints and failed to resolve six. Two complaints were resolved through BBB. Complainants state that they prepay for free standing sheds, but the business never delivers or constructs the sheds. Those complainants are seeking refunds, but many are still waiting.

Diane Elaine Gunn of Belton ordered a shed from J.C. Slayton which was never delivered. She paid $1,858.54 on Oct. 29, 2012 for a shed that was to be delivered Nov. 15, 2012. Slayton did not deliver or build a shed.

“He told me to pay half down and he would deliver in two weeks,” Gunn said. “He never even got the lumber. I had to build my own shed. I told him I wanted my money back. He said he had to finish a job first, then he would pay me. I gave him till the next morning. He didn’t show. He called back and I told him I already turned him in. He spent a month of playing me off.”

Melinda Jackson of Lago Vista made a down payment of $2,559 on Oct. 1, 2012 for a cabin that was to be delivered Oct. 12. Jackson said she asked Slayton a question about the materials a few days from the time construction was to begin and was told they weren’t purchased yet.

“He never even bought the materials,” she said. “I went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to look at materials and called him and asked him about the color. He said he still hadn’t got supplies. I started getting suspicious and got online and found out I was in the same boat with a lot of other people.”

Lance Todd Barrow of Junction said he paid Slayton full price for a shed, but the structure was only partially built and left without a roof. “It’s like a big bowl. If it rains, it will catch it all,” Barrow said. He said Slayton would not honor a promise to complete the building and has stopped responding to his messages. Barrow said he spent over $3,000 on materials and gave Slayton two payments of $1,200 each.

“He kept giving me excuses,” Barrow said. “He gave me three or four excuses. He seemed sincere. Then I Googled his name and saw that he had an F with BBB.”

    Barrow said a former Sheds On Site worker told him Slayton had been “burning people” and that he had worked two jobs without getting paid. He said he decided to give Slayton a chance after he said he had “gotten behind” and changed his business model. However, Slayton did not complete the project after receiving payment.

BBB offers the following tips for hiring a contractor:

   •Ask for a list of references. The contractor should be able to provide names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask about their experience with the contractor. Also, tell the contractor that you’d like to visit jobs in progress.

   •Don’t pay cash. Pay by credit card if possible. You may have additional protection if there is a problem. Otherwise pay by check so your cancelled check can provide proof of payment.

•Spread payments out. Do not pay anything until after the first day of work, and then pay up to one-third. Make additional payments during the project contingent upon completion of a defined amount of work. Do not make the final payment or sign an affidavit of final release until you are satisfied with the work and have proof that the subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.

•Shop around. Try to get at least three bids in writing based on the same specifications, materials, labor and time needed to complete the project. BBB’sRequest-a-Quote service is free to use and will allow BBB Accredited Businesses to send you quotes via email.

•Do your research. Check the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org before making a purchase to see its BBB rating, complaint history and more.