ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — A hard lesson to learn for an Arvada couple: They paid a contractor $10,000 upfront for a job that remains unfinished and are in disagreement over how much money should be refunded.

Stacy Chick showed the Problem Solvers an estimate with her contractor dated Nov. 11 to do a demo, drywall, interior trim, paint and flooring for $20,000. After Chick paid $10,000 upfront, a portion of the work was completed, but a month later equipment and trash remain on the floor in addition to half-finished projects.

“They were to put drywall here to make it one smooth wall, and they’ve just left it this way,” Chick said as she showed FOX31 areas of the unfinished walls and ceiling from which lights dangled.

Chick said the contractor did not promptly return calls.

“I’m so angry and I’m so stressed about it all, he needs to give the money back,” Chick said.

After contractor dispute, painting company steps in

The Problem Solvers reached out to the contractor. Chick later received “invoices saying that he would give me a $2,500 back.” A statement was not provided to FOX31.

While the contractor is disputing what is owed, another company has stepped in to help.

FOX31 returned to the property to find the crew at Ruby’s Painting, LLC, carefully completing the work and offering words of support to Chick. Owner Illiana Ballesteros told FOX31 her business is run on a simple concept that is fair to the consumer.

“We never have asked for money upfront but we’re always happy to make their dream come true reality once again, even though it’s a bad situation,” Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros advises any consumer looking to have contractor work done to stick with a company that can work out a payment schedule that allows the homeowner to see the work first.

“If they ask you for a large sum of money, I think that you should not pay that upfront,” Ballesteros said.

Consumer experts say it’s important to check several references, licenses and reviews before hiring a contractor.