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Needing help fast, Belton family sees landscaper rescue them from contracting nightmare

BELTON, Mo. -- It’s a local landscaper to the rescue! As soon as Dylan Malone, owner of Next Level Lawncare and Landscape, heard the news that an 84-year-old Belton man had been the victim of a bad contractor, he offered to solve the problem.

A huge offer for a huge job. Russell Nicholson’s retaining wall – running nearly the entire length of his driveway – had been removed by the old contractor, who then disappeared. What also disappeared was Nicholson’s $9,500.

“This is not $9,000 worth of work, I can tell you that,” said Malone as has looked over the wreck that has now become Nicholson’s front yard.

This wasn’t the first time Malone has met a family victimized by a bad contractor. Malone said the first rule in hiring any contractor should be determining whether the business has an actual address (not just a PO Box).

“Know where they are located,” Malone said. “Know they are not going to close down and take off. That’s a big thing.”’

Malone also warned that customers should be careful with how much they pay a contractor up front. If a contract requires payment in stages, be sure to stick to that schedule. Don’t pay early. Finally, make sure a contractor actually knows how to do the work you hired him for by checking his references.

Now back to Nicholson. This Korean War veteran and retired automotive worker needed help fast. With the retaining wall missing, his entire yard could collapse. Malone, who has been building retaining walls and designing gardens and patios for more than six years, said his company could get the problem solved quickly and for free (the family would only need to pay for materials). That promise brought tears to the eyes of Nicholson’s daughter Lisa Plough.

“You are angel,” Plough said. “There aren’t a lot of people that would help like that.”

FOX 4 Problem Solver will be there when Next Level Lawncare and Landscape fixes Nicholson’s yard and we’ll show you the beautiful results.