VALPARAISO — After coming across the local Home Pro contractors during a home show last fall, Kent Noorlag arranged to have the group install new windows at his Valparaiso house.
Workers came out to the home at the start of October to measure for the windows and Noorlag paid $4,000 toward the $7,500 price for the job.
"Basically, from that point forward, I have not been contacted by Home Pro," he said, despite multiple attempts to reach the company.
Noorlag soon learned through the Yelp online business review site that he was not alone with his problems with the company.
LaPorte resident Greg Konieczny said he paid Home Pro $9,500 for new windows and doors.
None of the windows had the grids as ordered and the French door was a lesser quality than requested, he said. The installers promised to return with the right windows, but did not do so, he said.
"We've been calling them since," Konieczny said. "It's been a constant ... trying to get a hold of them to no avail."
When contacted Friday with the assistance from one of his lawyers, Home Pro owner Brady Bryan said in a prepared statement he may have to close his business after 16 years in operation.
"After losing two long-time employees of over 10 years who started their own competing business, it was very difficult maintaining my overhead with the loss of support," he said.
Bryan said he has faced caring for his wife during her breast cancer treatments and his two 11-year-old twin daughters.
"Also I was dealing with my own sickness from adverse reactions to diabetes medicines this winter," he said. "I was not able to work as I always had in the past."
"It’s been the hardest year personally and professionally I have ever had, including the loss of my dear mother," Bryan said. "I am presently consulting attorneys to discuss the future of Home Pro."
A handwritten note taped to the locked door of the business last week at 2504 Roosevelt Road in Valparaiso read, "Showroom by Appt only" and listed a telephone number.
When searched for online, the business is listed as permanently closed.
The company also has been named in a lawsuit linked to a crash Dec. 10 along 109th Avenue in Winfield that killed 20-year-old Julian Tinoco and injured Joseph McCormick, of Winfield, and Lindsay Gang, of Cedar Lake.
The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Gang, alleges Richard Westerhoff was working as an employee of Home Pro of Valparaiso when he caused the crash. According to criminal charges filed in Lake County, Westerhoff had alcohol, cocaine and marijuana at the time.
Gang is seeking an unspecified amount of money for her injuries and damages as a result of the crash.
Home Pro registered in October to do business in Valparaiso during 2019 and there are no complaints on file, according to the city's building department.
But the company has not been issued any permits for work this year, according to the department.
"That shocks me," Porter County Building Commissioner Mike Haller said of the accusations against Home Pro.
While the company has registered for at least the last three years to do work within the unincorporated areas of the county, it did not do so this year, he said. And no permits have been issued this year.
Konieczny said he was able to get $5,500 of his money back from his credit card company, not from Home Pro. The money represents the amount paid by card, as compared to the balance paid with cash.
Valparaiso resident Kathy Raduski said she has also been unable to get Home Pro to return to her home to repair a leaking glass sliding door.
She had two doors installed in September and one replaced a month and a half later due to damage that she said was the company's fault. A few weeks later in November, she discovered the replaced door was not sealed.
"I got up and there was water all over my kitchen," she said.
Raduski has since made numerous calls, but said the company has never returned to repair the door.