We entered into a contract to purchase a horse barn from Debbie Brown, President of Lonestar Barns on May 31, 2011. We paid for the barn as agreed and installation was scheduled for the 3rd week of November, 2011. Due to a misunderstanding with regard to the completion of the foundation, installation was rescheduled for March, 2012. March came and went, no one from Lonestar contacted us and would not respond to our email messages so we filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in Texas after which time Debbie Brown contacted us with an April, 2012 installation date.
Micheal Russell, installer and affiliate of Lonestar Barns, installed the barn with the help of one assistant. He and the assistant stayed at our farmhouse on site where the barn was built with the agreement they would pay us $70 a night for their stay. They stayed 5 nights. After the barn was built and Mr. Russell left, we found several issues with the construction of the barn that needed to be resolved. We notified Mr. Russell of the issues, he told us he was aware of them and that he would return on 6/27/12 to fix them. On 6/26/12, he sent us an email message that he was having mechanical problems with his truck and would not be able to come fix the barn on 6/27. He emailed us that he would contact us after a couple weeks when the truck was fixed to reschedule. We heard from him again on 7/5 that he would contact us by the following Monday (7/9) to reschedule. We have not heard from him since.
Unresolved issues with the barn are: the metal roofing installed on the southeast side of the barn was the wrong size and was poorly spliced together; the metal roofing installed in the middle of the south side of the roof was damaged before it was installed; the roof leaks; the ridge cap leaks; the tongue and groove boards are inconsistent and in some places are not inserted high enough into the outer walls to keep out inclement weather; some of the stall latches were welded on crooked and one completely fell off; two of the support posts for the lean to were installed crooked and out of alignment with the other posts making it impossible for us to install paddocks; some of the support posts for the lean to are not properly secured at the roof line; one hundred percent of the insulation fell off the interior roof; the metal siding above the sliding doors on each end of the barn is not fastened to the barn and rattles violently when it storms and/or is windy.
When Mr. Russell failed to contact us to return to fix the issues with the barn, we contacted Debbie Brown. We sent her photos of all the issues and she responded she was shocked at the shoddy workmanship. She emailed us she would stand behind the barn, would personally come to our facility to look at the barn this past September and promised in her email message that she would make sure the issues were resolved. The last time we heard from her was 9/7/2012. She will not respond to any of our email messages.
Debbie Brown told the Better Business Bureau she no longer has any responsibility for the barn; that since Michael Russell built it, and even though she hired him, he was responsible for it. It has become apparent that neither one of them wants to take responsibility for the unprofessional and shoddy workmanship of this barn. To prevent further potential damage to the barn due to inclement weather, we have asked a local contractor to come out to give us a bid to repair the inferior workmanship.
Heavy rains have already caused some damage to the foundation of the barn. We checked with our insurance company about the issues with the barn and were told any damage to the interior, exterior and/or foundation due to poor workmanship would not be covered by our insurance policy, which is another reason we are having a local contractor come out to look at it. We were also informed that if not resolved, a restriction would be placed on the roof of the barn eliminating insurance coverage for any weather damage to the barn as a result of the inferior workmanship.
We can provide copies of the contract, our paid receipt for the barn as well as the correspondence from both Debbie Brown and Michael Russell indicating they would stand behind the construction of the barn and fix it.
In addition, per Debbie Brown's instructions, we sent Michael Russell an invoice for agreed-upon $350 for the use of our farmhouse while constructing the barn. He did not pay it. So she instructed us to send it to her and she would pay it. That was 2 months ago. It remains unpaid.