Dream kitchen becomes a nightmare for family waiting on contractor

An Orange County family claims a contractor agreed to remodel their kitchen nearly a year and a half ago, but the work was never finished.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Cepeda family is about to experience their second Christmas season without a kitchen. In the empty room with new tile floor sits a stove – no power or gas running through it, no countertops or cabinets surrounding it, and no completion date in sight.

“We’re having to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every single day,” said Jolyvette Cepeda. “We’re spending a tremendous amount of money eating out.”

The Winter Garden family says they’ve been waiting over a year for their brand-new kitchen, which the contractor promised would only take a few months to remodel.

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"They've left us like this," said Cepeda. "They took half of the loan and they just left us in limbo."
Cepeda showed Channel 9 paperwork from Applied Contracting Services from August 2017 for what the family thought would be a three- to four-month job.

Nearly a year and half later, Cepeda said the work continues to be delayed, while workers make excuses for the delays.

When Channel 9 went to the ACS office Friday, the owner said off-camera that he’s sorry for the delays. He said it’s been a tough year and that the company may have taken on too many projects at one time.

The owner of ACS also said that because of the region’s building boom, he’s lost employees to bigger builders. He also said the company is coming up with a plan to better communicate with their customers.

According to the owner, Cepeda’s cabinets should be in soon and they hope to have her kitchen done by the end of the month or early January.

“I just want a kitchen. That’s all I want,” Cepeda said. “I want to be able to make some coffee and make dinner for my family.”