Dennis Michael Brown used deceptive advertising to rip us off and it just went on from there. His ads made us think we were hiring him as a skilled architect and engineer who was well experienced in ICF home design. As it turned out, he's a sole proprietor who imagines he's done more on the projects featured on his website than he has really done. He didn't do most of the projects as Sagas Architecture at all. He did them when he was part of a team working for other companies. The companies did the projects, not him personally. That is the key to what he is: An exaggerating liar.
He also couches a lot of what he does in Christianity. Don't buy it. He's a hypocrite.
He convinced us to go with a big heavy timber truss in his design (we'd never asked for it but he told us how great it would be.) Of course, that big truss was soooo dependent upon him being able to do the precise cutting and bolt placement that he kept telling us he'd come on site to build it (at his hourly rate, of course.)We found out we could get manufactured trusses and a fake beam to do the job much more inexpensively.
That truss also became a source of another problem. He engineered the structural support himself. But lo and behold he's not a licensed engineer. (As such, he's now under investigation with our local prosecutor for engineering without a license.) His truss wouldn't pass building department without an engineer stamp. And so now he wanted to charge us $350 more to get that stamp after we'd hired him thinking he was the original source for architecture and engineering. It took us complaining to the state licensing boards to get him to change his ads/logos so they don't claim he does engineering. And as time went on he also was no longer licensed as an architect (his licensed expired and he didn't pay to renew it) but I sit here today and his license has been expired for over a month and yet he's still advertising himself as a professional architect' all over the internet.
And the ICF walls are also not designed for proper structural support, either, but despite our pointing that out to him he refused to do anything about it except fail to communicate using his lawyer to stonewall us.
Dennis becomes belligerent when he's questioned. I asked him to move the placement of a dryer so it would meet fire code and he tried to tell me it was ok as is. (I used to be a firefighter, so I wasn't going to stand for it.) We'd also asked him to design all bathrooms with windows in them and he gave us the first design with interior walls for all the bathrooms. He has poor listening skills and seems to believe his way is best despite what a customer thinks. He even tried to tell the licensing board he was allowed to label his work engineering, even though he wasn't licensed as an engineer. (They set him straighthe isn't allowed to do that anymore.)
He gave us figures for our home that were miscalculated in a number of ways (he couldn't even do basic math) and he belittled us saying he had to explain this minutia' to us. Well, when someone miscounts the number of windows in my home and tells me he can give me high quality carpet and padding plus labor for 3 bedrooms plus closets for $750 I tend to question, how? Turned out he didn't know how to calculate square yardage. He gave us a full paragraph of explanation telling us essentially how stupid we were and how right he was. But when I finally proved his math was in error he says he used the wrong calculator button (as if it was the calculator who'd typed out a full paragraph of sheer mathematical nonsense or he needed a calculator to properly count to 10 for our windows.) That's typical. He never accepts responsibility for any of his many mistakes.
By the way he had us pay (we were nave) $5860 for a builders set of plans for a pretty basic 1500 sq ft 1 sty house! For those of you as stupid as we were, those plans should have only costs about $1500 (according to several professional designer, builder, and architectural sources). And he never gave an explanation for his bills. (Our original budget discussion put the cost for his plans at $4000 so he went nearly 50% over budget) And he always pressured us to pay him on the spot although he never once gave us an itemized bill. (Yes, we were fools.) Then he tried to have us take pity on him to persuade us to pay him sooner. One story: he needed the money to pay his wife's medicines. Another story: he needed the money to pay for horse hay or he'd lose a good deal he'd gotten on it. Later I realized the contract we had specified we had 7 days to pay his bills. When I told him that, and when I refused to pay him sooner than 7 days, he got very testy with us and then he pulled a trick of forgetting' his architect's stamp to stamp our house plans although we'd paid him in full and we'd driven 45 minutes to a meeting at which we were supposed to get his stamp. Oh, and he loves to talk incessantly about himself (which I'm sure is what drives up his by-the-hour billing.)
We won a small claims case against him and the judge based the decision on this guy's fraud and lies. Said he had willful intent to defraud. It came down to a court case because this belligerent guy wouldn't so much as hold a discussion with us about the problems we complained about.
Even when we'd won our court case he was busy filing a bunch of ball-less counterclaims against us, he'd improperly filed a lien on our property, and he tried to appeal the small claims and wasn't going to pay us the judgment. In fact, he tried to use the judgment he owed us as a carrot. He tried to get us to agree to silence our testimony in criminal cases pending against him and withdraw valid licensing board complaints against him in order to get the money he owed us.
Kettle Falls, Washington