Colorado Springs, Colorado Post Frame Buildings
“It’s all about the building”, one of my favorite quotes from my favorite writer – me.
In all seriousness, the quote is one of my favorite sayings, and I have lots of favorite writers with far better literary skills than I.
Part of what, “It’s all about the building”, is builders truly getting a grasp of this concept. So many builders are great technicians (they can literally build anything), but they are poor business people.
I’ve harped on this subject previously: I’ve preached for years about thoroughly vetting anyone or business thoroughly before committing to a large investment. I didn’t say “betting”. Vetting. Checking to see if they are… who they say they are.
Here is how to check out pole building suppliers: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/01/pole-building-suppliers/
Apparently not everyone who is looking for a building contacts us, or at the least follows my advice.
Here is a story from KKTV Channel 9 in Colorado Springs:
“BLACK FOREST, Colo. (KKTV) A Black Forest contractor is accused of taking money from customers and then never delivering.
For months, 11 Call For Action has heard from several angry homeowners who all hired Western Barn. All wanted the same thing — a pole barn for their county properties.
Viewers told 11 News’ Betty Sexton they found the company online. After contacting the company, a salesman came out and took measurements, even going as far as driving a few of them out to look at previous barns they’d constructed in El Paso County.
Each person who contacted us had signed contracts and gave thousands of dollars in down payments to get started. They say they were told they’d have to wait at least four to six weeks, or maybe a little longer depending on weather.
However, after several months passed, they became angry and demanded their money back.
Kevin Allison is one of those angry customers. He filed and won a lawsuit.
“I gave him $28,000 back in March 2015,” Allison said.
But not an ounce of work was done.
“He just got $8,200 of my money in his bank account.”
And he’s not alone.
“We paid him on the 23rd. They cashed the check the very same day, probably an hour within us meeting them,” said Gina.
“As a former high school teacher, I’ve heard all the excuses and I kind of know excuses when I hear them. And I just kept getting one excuse after the other,” Roger said.
Victoria Ellis has the same story.
“Here we are eight months later and we have nothing. No materials, nothing from him.”
The company owes Ellis $13,100.
Andy Vanruler also filed a lawsuit against Western Barn asking for his $17,000 back.
“When I signed the contract all the material was supposed to be there, and he was supposed to start building it. And it was just one excuse after another that we kept getting from him,” he said.
When an 11 Call For Action volunteer called Western Barn in December, he was told the owner, Bruce Jurgens, was in the hospital and the company was backed up at least four weeks.
Just a few weeks ago, federal court records showed Jurgens and his wife, Brigit, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Jurgens was also arrested and is now charged with felony theft based on three customer complaints.
In court, the attorney asked for more time so Jurgens could come up with money to pay for his services. The judge agreed and told him to return next month.
While customers wait in limbo, it’s something we can all learn from. Be careful giving large down payments. Many reputable contractors don’t ask for any money upfront.
Though some customers have successfully sued Western Barn and won, they haven’t gotten payments on time, if any at all.
If you’re having problems with Western Barn, you’re asked to contact your local police or sheriff’s office.”
Please do not let yourself by the next television or newspaper feature story – do Due Diligence prior to ordering your new post frame (pole) building whether it’s a pole barn kit or a pole building built for you. Check their record out with The Better Business Bureau. If the company offers to show you other barns in your area, or gives references, do you really think they are going to give you “bad” ones?
Ask the company you are dealing with if you can check out their bill paying record with their bank. Although the bank won’t tell you how much money they have in their bank account, they will tell you if the company pays their bills, and what kind of a customer they are. A company in good standing won’t hesitate to give you the go-ahead.
There are ways to safely and confidently vet out your pole building supplier. This may be the largest purchase in your lifetime. Do it right!