Valley Woman Says Contractor Won’t Return to Fix Countertop
EDINBURG – A Rio Grande Valley woman’s dream kitchen is stuck in limbo after paying over $3,000 for a countertop she says was not installed properly.
Edinburg resident Norma Anzaldua is revamping the place she's called home for more than 30 years.
“I just thought it was time for an update so I started with the kitchen," she says.
Anzaldua says she called L&B Stone for an estimate on a quartz countertop in November.
She says she gave a $1,500 down payment and paid the remaining $1,565 in early December when the company completed the installation.
She says she was surprised by what she heard from her tile contractor, who was supposed to install a backsplash the following day.
"When he saw the work he said he couldn't do it because there was too much of a gap between the quartz countertop and the sheetrock," says Anzaldua. "And he needed it to be right up against the sheetrock for it be done properly."
Anzaldua tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS she called her contractor with L&B Stone, Lupe Castillo Jr., to replace the countertop.
"He was trying to convince me to have it repaired rather than replaced," she says. "And I said, ‘No, I want it replaced.’ And he finally agreed."
Anzaldua says that's the last she saw Castillo Jr.
She tells us the two made plans on several occasions for him to return. Anzaldua says those dates came and went.
In January, she sent a certified letter expressing her desire for a refund.
"He did not pick up the letter, so I have the letter," said Anzaldua. "It was returned to me by the post office."
CHANNEL 5 NEWS called Castillo Jr. for answers. Our calls went to a voicemail box that wasn't set up.
So we went to the location listed for L&B Stone in Edinburg. We spoke to Castillo Jr.'s father on site. He told us his son was not there at the time.
Moments later Castillo Jr. returned our call.
He says he explained to Anzaldua he wasn't going to replace the countertop.
"Even if we replace, we might even come into more problems because if you don't like this other piece we're going to come out to square one," he tells us.
He tells us a refund isn't possible because they've already used the materials and done the heavy lifting.
"We'll fix any little detail but we're not going to refund no money," said Castillo Jr. "I told her we'll fix it like any minor detail. I said that's the solution to fix that section."
Anzaldua says her mind is made up – she wants what she feels is hers.
"If he needs to take the old quartz out that's fine. I don't have a problem with it but I want my money back for the whole project," said Anzaldua.
She says it’s money that could finally make her dream a reality.