Troubleshooter: Log cabin troubles

January 14, 2011 5:30:58 PM PST
A Triangle builder accused of ripping off his customers has left one local couple out $29,000 and a home.Sherry Gilliland and her partner were excited to get their log home built. Gilliland says she knows the layout of her dream home by heart and couldn't wait for it to become a reality.

"This is where our log cabin is supposed to be but it's not," she said. "This is the kitchen, the kitchen goes right here."

Gilliland says the process started when she and her partner decided to go with Deep Creek Log Homes of Knightdale to build their log cabin and gave its owner, William Curtis Hare Jr., $7,500 as a non-refundable deposit in September 2009.

"Curtis came to us and wanted another $22,000 for the deposit towards the logs," Gilliland said.

So, this past spring, the couple gave Hare the additional $22,000. And once they sold their old house in August, Gilliland says they were anxious to start building.

"Went to Curtis and said ready for our plans and ready to get rolling, ready to get ground broken, and he said let me contract engineering firm and see where they are on the plans," she said. "He calls us back and said the plans are not quite ready so a week, two weeks, three weeks past and no plans."

Starting to feel uneasy, Gilliland says she decided to check Hare's story.

"I called the engineering firm and they informed me Curtis didn't pay for the plans, keep in mind we gave him $7,500 for the plans for nearly a year ago, he never paid," she said.

Gilliland says she ended up paying the $1,300 Hare owed the engineer, but also started checking Hare's background.

She soon found other complaints, just like hers, about Deep Creek Log Homes, an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau for not responding to complaints and she discovered that hare's model home in Knightdale was shutdown. She also found out that he'd started a new company under a different name, Olde South Builders Inc.

"We called him and told him we did not want him to build our log home," Gilliland said. "Broken hearted, disgusted, stressed that's a lot of money."

Gilliland says Hare promised to give them back $22,000, but not the non-refundable $7,500 deposit.

"He also told us we would have our money by January 3 and he didn't," she said.

She says hare continues to give them false hope.

"Till this day, till today he still says he's going to give us our money back, but we haven't gotten anything back," Gilliland said.

So, she called ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, who went looking for Hare.

There was no sign of him at any of his offices, so Wilson went to his home. No one answered, but soon after Hare called ABC11.

He wouldn't talk on camera, but said he has a signed contract to build Gilliland's home and was prepared to do that, but they decided to cancel the contract.

Gilliland says it's just more lies and hopes other's don't fall for it.

"I want something done about him, he needs to be stop," she said. "The biggest thing is he claiming to be an honest Christian man and he's not honest at all, he's very consistent in lying."

Meanwhile, Gilliland is not the only one with complaints.

ABC11 talked with several others who hired Hare, and they say he delayed in completing their homes as well; one even had a lien put on his home, because Hare didn't pay a sub-contractor.

That homeowner had to take care of the lien himself along with other unpaid bills.

There is still no resolution to Gilliland's case, but ABC11 is still on the case and investigating other complaints.

Hare told ABC11 he would have a statement by Friday afternoon; however he later said he would not have that statement ready until early next week.

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