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Couple gets plans but no home from builder

Posted January 19, 2011

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— A local couple who wanted to build their dream home said they paid a Wendell developer $29,000 and have nothing to show for it.

Sherry Gilliland can picture the log cabin she wants to build on her property: an A-frame house, with a 1,000-square-foot, wrap-around porch.

"There's no better place for a log cabin ... facing the pond and looking at the cows," she said. "We couldn't resist."

The cabin was supposed to be finished by now, but the man supposed to build it – Curtis Hare, owner of Deep Creek Log Homes – hasn't started on construction.

"For $30,000, we have a set of plans," Gilliland said. "We don't even have a hole in the ground."

Couple gets plans but no home from builder $29K gets couple plans, but no dream home

Gilliland and her partner met Hare at a log-home show and visited his model near Wendell.

"(He) sounded like a great guy. (He) said all the right things," Gilliland said. "(We) checked out a few people that he had worked with. They were OK with him. And everything seemed to be OK."

In September 2009, the couple paid Hare a $7,500 deposit, which included payment for plans. Last spring, they gave him $22,000 for logs.

"We're all excited. We're getting ready to start our home, and he says, 'Oh, let me check on your plans,'" she said.

Gilliland said that Hare claimed the engineering firm hadn't finished the plans. After six weeks of hearing the same story, Gilliland called the firm directly. She found out that Hare never paid for the plans.

"I said, 'That's it,'" she recalled. "We're just getting ready to sign the loan with the bank. Thank goodness we didn't do that."

Gilliland paid the firm $1,300 for the plans and then told Hare she wanted her $22,000 back.

She said that Hare told her he was "going to try his best to get our money back," but she isn't hopeful. "That's not going to happen," she said.

Deep Creek Log Homes has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. Other customers told WRAL News that they've had problems with Hare, from delays to quality issues to subcontractors who weren't paid.

In a phone interview, Hare blamed the down economy, but he said he believes that Gilliland "breached the contract." He claimed he was working with the engineering firm to pay for the plans and said he would refund Gilliland her $1,300.

He said that has already bought the couple's logs, which are "ready to be delivered," and that he's "prepared to build the house."

Gilliand said she no longer wants Hare to build it, but one way or another, she will get her home.

"My life is going to move on," she said. "I'm going to have that dream log home, hopefully in 2011."

Hare said that he expects to offer a settlement to Gilliland and her partner this week. He did not address other complaints against him that were made to WRAL News.

Hare recently started a new company, called Olde South Builders, but said he plans to finish all his contracts with Deep Creek.

With the new company, Hare plans to add remodeling to the business, saying he sees a "better future" in that.

34 Comments

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  • MRBG Jan 28, 2011

    I am glad this story is finally breaking, others need to be aware of Curtis Hare. I am a customer of Deep Creek Log Homes and a victim of Mr. Curtis Hare as many others are. I had a lien filed on my property from his unpaid subcontractor and several of his other subcontractors were not paid. He seems to have absolutely no conscience at all, none whatsoever. Just incredible. Just listen to the interview with Sherry, any honest person would give that money back. How could he (or his wife Nancy) even live with themselves.

  • forevermom2them Jan 27, 2011

    I worked as a subcontractor for DCLH in the summer of 2010 close to Fayetteville, NC on the finishing of a log home. DCLH agreed to provide my crew with a place to stay while working on the home, and did this for a portion of the time. However, the last week I worked on the home, I have yet to be paid for as well as reimbursed for the hotel rooms. I have contacted Mr. Hare several times, and have tried to work out a payment plan, but he has filed to follow through with a payment. At this point, DCLH - Mr. Curtis Hare - owes me in excess of $5,500 for labor and expences while working on the home in Fayetteville, NC.

  • msudawg Jan 24, 2011

    Deep Creek Homes of Wendell? This placed closed down a few months ago. They have a model home sitting empty on Business 64 on the Knightdale/Wendell line and used to store all sorts of material there but there is nothing there now. I wonder where these supposed logs are because he doesn't seem to have a business location any longer.

  • comonpeople Jan 24, 2011

    Curtis is working with the engineering firm to pay for the plans??? Why is he WORKING with the engineering firm?? He had $7,500 dollars to PAY for THEIR plans!! So that says he spent their money on something OTHER than what the money was suppose to be spent on, THE PLANS. SINCE No one is going to get any truth/answers from Curtis, go to the other Officer of the company, Nancy Hare. She is the "Secretary" of Deep Creek Log Homes. The definition of Officer is someone who SHARES legal liability for his/her Company's actions. And as the Secretary, that typically includes keeping "Financial" records, ensuring that the company complies with relevant legislation and regulation, and making sure that all employees operate within the LAW. So maybe Nancy Hare can tell this couple where their $29,500 dollars went and maybe help all the other people/subcontractors find out why they were not Paid by the President/Curtis of Deep Creek Log Homes... Just a thought...............

  • St Ives Jan 21, 2011

    When you deal with a builder you don't give him anything but a few bucks in earnest money.If he is any kind of builder he gets a construction load and pays it back at closing. If he can't do that he is not to be trusted

  • tufflildixiegal Jan 20, 2011

    This lady hit it right on the head when she said he says all the right things. He seemed to be a very nice guy and knowledgable of log homes which was what we were looking for. He wanted the $7500 from my us as well, to start the plans, and said that the extra money would be added in to the payment for the cost of the logs, locking in the price the timber was at at the time. We only agreed to pay $2500. We were warned at a log home show in 2008 by a former business partner that we needed to be careful with him and boy we should have listened. I checked his BBB rating and at the time (late 2008)it was an A. We paid for our plans and were told they would be ready in a couple of weeks. 3 months later after repeated calls and promises of "next week you"ll have them" we got them. Needless to say, we have not called him back to finish the job. Good luck to everyone trying to get your money back...

  • LuvtheWoods Jan 20, 2011

    @curtishare85 - you are obviously not curtis hare and neither am I. Hate to bust your bubble. I'm just a viewer trying to logically look at both sides. That's why I said both parties are protected in a contract and "who knows" what the deal is with that lady's logs.

  • lizzardlickgamer Jan 20, 2011

    @ LuvtheWoods (aka WCHare) “Sounds like this girl wants out of her contract”. Let’s see, she paid Mr. Hare $7500 for plans that cost $1300, $22,000 log deposit that cost approx $12K w/shipping, all of this several months ago. Months later when she had not received her plans, she calls the engineering firm only to find out the plans have not been paid for so she pays the eng firm herself. She has now paid $8800 for a $1300 set of plans. Yeah LuvtheWoods, you are right, something doesn't add up here. He was working with the eng firm to pay for the plans, where is the $7500? What is she going to find out when she calls the milling company? Where is that $22K? Remember, all this money was paid months ago. Sounds like NCAG should call for an audit, huh?

  • rollanslbr Jan 20, 2011

    Former employee speaking. He pays a SMALL deposit to order the logs, then the balance on delivery. IF he had those logs, they would be on her property because he gets ANOTHER draw when they're delivered. Bottom line, his contracts are front end loaded (as most log home companies are). The market slowed, and after a while of not selling new jobs, money flow runs out....her money went to finish someone else's job. The BBB ratings were just recently posted, so checking up on him would have done no good.

  • LuvtheWoods Jan 20, 2011

    @cass122 "Where did it go? What did he do with it? " My guess is that he bought their logs like he said and that he's waiting to deliver them. The customer said she doesn't want them from him anymore. Who knows?

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