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Report: #106707

Complaint Review: Titan Building Contractors - Otto North Carolina

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Franklin North Carolina
  • Titan Building Contractors 75 Wallalieu Road Otto, North Carolina U.S.A.

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EXPLANATION OF SITUATION

Titan Building Contractors INC (Shane Stikeleather) Contractor

Brandon & Jennifer - Owners

We met Shane Stikeleather, President of Titan Building Contractors approximately around the month of October 2003. He is currently in charge of building our new home in Sunset Mountain Estates, Lot #6 located at 66 Sunset Mountain Dr. in Franklin, NC. He is the developer of the properties in Sunset Mountain Estates, and currently building 3 homes, 1 of which is ours.

Originally we had already signed a contract and committed to build with another builder. However, Shane acting as the Architectural Review Committee rejected our plans with this builder. He rejected our plans because there were not enough decorative features such as rockwork, decorative exterior trim, shakes, and the use of something other than vinyl siding. He claimed that he wanted a little higher end building in his development. We told him we couldn't afford to add all of those things. He then proposed that we let him build our house. He said he didn't need to make a lot of money on us that he just wanted our house to go in to help get the development going. He said he could build the home for a fixed cost of $157,000. And we bought land from him including installing a septic tank for a fixed cost of $43,000, a total contract amount of $200,000.

He promised us he would not play the allowance game and that if some things were high it would work its way out because some things would come in a lot lower than expected. He said he would build everything better or equal to what we had originally planned to put in our other home. He also promised to put rockwork on the exterior and other decorative features such as shakes.


He originally presented about 3 house plans to us that he got off the Internet site coolhouseplans.com. The homes he presented did not appeal to us. We pictured what he was envisioning in his development so began looking at floor plans at the website that he had directed us to. We found a house that we loved and presented it to him. He said no problem. There were some interior changes that we wanted to make and he said he would send it to his drafter to make those changes after he ordered the plans. Only later down the road do we realize that he doesn't have a drafter and he is operating as a one-man band, penciling in the changes, as he desires. The changes we discussed were, deleting bedroom 4 and using some of the space to increase bedroom 3.

The additional space was also used to create a walk-in closet for the master bedroom and extend our bathroom space. On the first floor the changes included relocating the kitchen to the family room space and making the old kitchen into the breakfast areaopening the space up a lot. There were also some additional changes made to the living area and dining room to open things up more. We drew all of the changes on the plans and gave copies to Shane. After those changes were discussed we asked if there was anything else on these plans he saw that he would change or need to change. I again asked if he would be doing anything different than that what was discussed or different than that shown on the plans.

Again Shane said, nope. He told us just deleting the fireplace in the master bedroom and that was it. We also discussed some interior finishes and details that were not shown in the plans. We included a small list into an addendum to the contract that we discussed and both signed. It was hard to get him to put anything in writing he always said let me just build you a nice house and enjoy the process of building a custom home. Just Trust me, he said. He also said that something on paper is no better than a man's worda man's word is worth a lot more. Only later into the project we discovered that whether on paper on from his mouth it is worthless.

We closed on our construction loan on March 10, 2004. They began grading our lot almost immediately. The house proceeded forward in a timely manner and we were very excited. One particular day we went to see our house and were surprised to see that the foundation was laid, not as shown on the plans, the garage had been changed from a side entry to a front entry. We had not been asked, called, or notified in any way of this major change. When we confronted Shane about it he said it would look a lot better and we'd have more driveway. He thought it would be a lot better for the house. Because of the change in entry we were concerned on how the gable & Dormer was going to go on. We assumed that they would just be switched to match the new garage entry.

We were still both traumatized that this happened without us being involved in the process. Where was the communication? We were very upset because our money was being spent in a way that we had no control. We spoke with Shane and were very clear that this was not to happen again. We were not in disagreement that this was the wrong thing to do but that not involving us in the decision was extremely uncalled for. We explained that in this building process it was necessary to involve us in the decision making process, regardless of the situation.

The house soon moved forward into framing. We had been told we would be able to do a walk through on each floor after the bottom plates were down and prior to the walls going up to make sure everything was how we wanted it. The first floor we were able to do that. On the second floor however we were not given that opportunity. We showed up as the 2nd floor walls were already began progress. Desperate to get the correction we wanted made we indicated to the framer that there was one change in the master bedroom and bath that needed to be made which was deleting the linen closet in the master bedroom splitting that space between the bathroom and master bathroom. He said it wouldn't be a problemand told us ok.

The walls on the 2nd floor were up the next day, however, the linen closet had not been corrected. The closet was still framed in. Shane had voided our change request and we had not been notified. Then our bathroom window in the kid's bathroom upstairs was also deleted. Then did not vault or trey one of the upstairs bedrooms as discussed and agreed upon in our addendum. Shane's decisions to eliminate items in our home quickly became out of control.

It was becoming apparent that it was more than just poor communication issues, as originally thought, but that Shane never had any intention to deliver what he promised us after he talked his way into getting our business. The sad thing is that things have still continued to get worse. It was unimaginable at the time that he could make promises like he did and then not keep them. At times we want to kick ourselves for being so trusting. For the 3 to 4 months that we fought with him to get things in writing the red flags should have been going up for me when he persistently said, just trust me, and later, saying, I am just doing what is best for the home.

Shane got sick for a while and the roof did not get put on. Lumber was all there at the site and the crews left for 2 weeks to start framing on the neighbor's home in the development. During this time mold began to grow on the 2nd floor all around the bottom plates and up the studs. When we asked why our house was left incomplete the Framers said that Shane needed to be there to tell the guys how to do our roof. Did they not have a set of plans?

When our roof was done we showed up to see that on the main part of the house that the roof pitch had been changed and framed different than what was on the plans. It took a lot of nerve to frame our garage with a gabled roof system rather than the hipped roof that was supposed to be there. How would anybody feel pulling up to their new home under construction, where all their money is paying for what they have dreamed of, and the house on the lot isn't their house?

I'll tell you how we felt. Not only was their fury of seeing a gabled roof on the garage instead of the hipped roof as shown on the plans but also the 2' bump out on the garage with the gable deleted, the dormer on the roof was also missing, and hearing Shane the builder say, I'm doing what's best for the house, wanted us to be able to go back in time and build with our originally builder. Never was a change order placed or signed on are part or his. We confronted Shane about these drastic changes and requested that they get fixed. He explained why he did it. He claimed he envisioned a better look. I listened to his reasoning and then persisted that it is changed back. He lost his temper and became threatening. He said, I'll change it back so fast it'll make your head spin.

He also said that he would take back the good windows he had promised to put in and wouldn't put any of the nicer exterior finishes on that he had discussed with us. His threats were manipulating and forceful. He gets upset and threatens to eliminate additional features on our home each time we try to discuss it with him. He said he didn't want to argue or fight with us but he was totally unwilling to compromise or listen to our concerns and complaints.

We told him we were upset because he had made these changes without even asking or consulting us. It felt like he hurried to make them and get them done so then he wouldn't have to do it the original way. It felt like he trapped us into having to accept the changes he made and so far that has worked for him and he has continued to do it. In our addendum he agreed that we would have pull-down stair access in the garage to the attic space. When they framed that space they framed it up so high there is no attic storage space. They did a ceiling height in the garage at about 13'-6. He also made that change without telling us and was not willing to frame it down. When we discussed that issue with him he dodged the question a lot and then finally acted like he might try and do it, but he never has, and still has no intention of fixing it.

For the electrical layout Shane agreed to let us layout what we wanted because of our experience in electrical and because that's what we had done on our previously designed home that he would not allow us to build in his development. We drew everything out on the plans and gave it to the electrician and walked and talked through each thing with him before he started the job. The electrician asked us during that walk-through how much Shane was allowing for the electrical. We told him Shane has not told us that he's not playing the allowance game with us. We told the electrician that he needed to talk to Shane directly about that.

That was in June or July. The rough electrical was complete and looked very good, and was laid out as discussed. We then left town for a couple weeks and left 3 different numbers with Shane where we could be contacted if there were any problems or things he needed to discuss with us. After returning soffit, fascia, siding & shingles had started, however concerns were lingering because there was a lot of framing punch out that was not complete at this time.

Our fireplace and chase on the exterior wall had not been framed, though our draw for framing was prematurely requested and we paid the draw; this was one of the biggest concerns at this stage. The next biggest concern was finding Shane's crews stuccoing our foundation deck piers that were promised to receive stonework. We called and left messages with Shane trying to talk with him about some of these issues on our house. 2 weeks later he finally returned the call and said we'd meet on Tuesday August 24, 2004 at 7:00 pm at the jobsite. When he came he told us the electrician was also meeting us here because we had to discuss some numbers because we were over on the electrical bill.

What electrical bill? The electrician got there and proceeded to say that Shane had allowed an $8600 dollar allowance on each of the 3 homes for the electricalincluding finishing. Allowance? We were already at $6900 with just the rough in. Shane then proceeded to give us an estimate that it would cost us anywhere from $2500-$4500 dollars more to do the finish work. He said that it was not his fault that we went over our allotted budget.

We were standing there wondering what allotted budget was ever discussed. Shane said he wanted us to think about it and decide what we were going to do as far as paying it, or decide what we wanted to cut out of our house. We spoke up and explained everything that he had already cut out of our house, and the most recent cut, no rockwork on the foundation piers. He commented that he was just going to stucco them for now until we figure out how his electrician is going to get paid. We already paid our draw on the rough electrical work. We then spoke up and asked why we hadn't been notified in the beginning about the allowance and why they hadn't told us sooner so we could have made changes to get the cost down. Shane said he didn't know about the overages, and the electrician said that he had know way of knowing how much we were going over until he finished the job.

Shane then proceeded to tell us that he had only found out 2 days ago about us being so high on the electrical. We talked with our neighbors who are also having their house built by Shane and they said that they personally knew about the electrical problem 2-3 weeks ago because he had shared this information with them. We brought up the past issues like the garage and other items we had never been compensated for and Shane did not like that. He left and said, You made me irritated, I'm leaving and I won't be paying the extra $4500.

Picking things out for our home has been a difficult process as well. For interior finishes we asked Shane where he is getting flooring, cabinets, etc. He told us he doesn't know for sure but that we should go to Lowe's or Tastingers floor Coverings and pick out what we wanted. All along he has told us we are not the high end but we're not the low end either. We need to be somewhere in the middle.

He has promised that with every thing going into our home. According to the subcontractor who installed the HVAC system, Shane undersized the heating unit for the home. At this point we're afraid to pick things out and then give him the info because he doesn't know whom he's using and we are nervous that we won't get exactly what we've picked but something similar to it.

On our doors we discussed that all the hardware we wanted a brushed nickel or a brushed pewter look and he said no problem. When our doors came they were all brass. When we asked him about that he said that brass comes standard and you have to change them out yourself. Our thoughts were, fine change them out. In our family room we discussed putting in French doors with the swing going on to the porch because the space is so limited in that room. Again he said, no problem. The door he ordered is a patio door instead of French and it swings into the room. For our front door we picked exactly what we wanted, gave him all the information, he said, no problem. We haven't seen the front door he has ordered yetbut can only imagine the scenario.

This has been a frustrating and exhausting process with Shane. He has been dishonest with us and has not delivered what he promised according to the plans, the contract, the addendum, and the verbal agreements. Based on our previous experience with Shane we are afraid that he will not deliver what he promised on the interior of our home either. He promised us inch wood floors on the entire first floor except the laundry, which is supposed to have tile. The stairs, hallway and bedrooms are supposed to be carpeted. The 2 upstairs bathrooms will have tile. In the master bath he promised a tile shower with a glass door. He also promised that we could have a hard surface counter top such as, granite, or a quartz product. Crown molding is supposed to be on the entire first floor. We are also supposed to get to choose all our paint colors exterior and interior. What lies ahead with Shane building our custom home is a mystery.

Though we do not feel responsible for this electrical bill, we will pay it in full. We also propose that a punch list to be completed by Shane, prior to paying any more draws or the electrical bill. On the punch list we have listed what we want to either see corrected or be compensated for. We feel this is the best approach due to the current stage of construction, trying to avoid the high costs and time it could take to correct the home to its original design. We will no longer sit and let Shane build a spec house with our money. We want him to build and deliver the custom home that he has promised us.

If this punch list is too much to ask then we will get estimates from three alternate custom homebuilders to correct all the problems on the home and get the work done with the least of the three quotes. The bill will be sent to Titan Building Contractors.

Please help us in any way possible to reach a mutual resolution so that we can get into our home by our promised completion date the end of November.

Thanks,


Brandon & Jennifer

PUNCH LIST 8/27/04
For
Titan Building Contractors INC (Shane Stikeleather) CONTRACTOR
On The Home For
Brandon & Jennifer Wilkinson - OWNER

1. Correct the roof system on garage to be a Hipped style Roof, per plan and agreement, NOT a gabled style roof, OR pay the difference back to the Owner of $1175.
(See #1 & #2 on Photos & Plans)

2. Put Dormer back on Garage, per plan and agreement, OR pay the difference back to the Owner of $1280.
(See #1 & #2 on Photos & Plans)

3. Put the Gable back on the Garage, per plan and agreement, OR pay the difference back to the Owner of $550.
(See #1 & #2 on Photos & Plans)

4. Vault or Trey the ceiling in the upstairs Bedroom, per addendum & agreement, OR pay the difference back to the Owner of $1045.
(See #3 on Photos & Plans)

5. Install Window back into Upstairs Hall Bath, per plan and agreement, OR pay the difference to the Owner of $100.
(See #4 on Photos & Plans)

6. Install Arched Window into Master Bedroom, per plan and agreement, OR pay the difference to the Owner of $254.
(See #5 on Photos & Plans)

7. Correct the Garage ceiling height from 13'-6 to approx. 9'-6 by lowering rafters to rest on the top plates, per plan and agreement, OR pay the difference to the Owner of $1200.
(See #6 on Photos)

8. Install Pull-down Stairs in the Garage to access attic storage, per addendum & agreement, OR pay the difference to the Owner of $150.
(See #6 on Photos)

9. Frame in Fireplace Chase for vented gas Fireplace w/ logs, Blower, & Gas Line run onto Deck for Grill. Will now require shingle patchwork & soffit fascia patchwork as understood and told by Contractor. (Framing Draw & Soffit/Fascia Draw already paid).
(See #7 on Photos & Plans)

10. Install 2 missing hose bibs as discussed (Rgh. Plumbing Draw already paid).
(See #8 on Photos & Plans)

11. Change Door in Family Room to be out swing French Doors, as discussed, NOT an in swing Patio Door, OR pay the Owner the difference of $200.
(See #9 on Photos)

12. Change out all Exterior Door Hardware to be nickel/pewter, as discussed, NOT Brass.
(See #9 on Photos)

13. Correct the Location of Electrical Switches in Living Room, as was originally laid out on the provided Electrical plan, by the door way entrance, NOT in the middle of the room.
(See #10 on Photos)

14. Install Rock Work to go on Foundation/Porch Columns, as discussed, NOT Stucco.
(See #11 on Photos & Plans)

15. Pay the Owner the Allowance on the 6' Jetted Tub, per agreement of $750. (Tub already purchased by owner, need the promised $750 reimbursement).

16. Pay the Owner the Allowance on the Appliances, per agreement of $1200.

17. Install Septic Tank, per agreement of land purchase (payment was made on the first draw at time of construction loan closing for this to be done).

18. Provide Estimate to Owner to do Change Order to do the Additional Deck on back of home as discussed.

19. Provide Estimate to Owner to do Change Order of Additional Fireplace in Master Bedroom, per plan.

20. Provide a Lien Release from all Subs to date on completed construction before release of any further draws.

Brandon
Franklin, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/02/2004 12:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/titan-building-contractors/otto-north-carolina-28763/titan-building-contractors-inc-ripoff-otto-north-carolina-106707. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#7 Author of original report

Titan Homes - Shane Stikeleather - Franklin NC

AUTHOR: Brandon - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Due to the legalities of our agreement with the contractor we choose to make no comment in reference to our settlement.
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#6 Author of original report

Titan Homes

AUTHOR: Brandon - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Due to the legalities of our agreement with the contractor we choose to make no comment in reference to our settlement.
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#5 Consumer Comment

curious of hte settlement

AUTHOR: Kraze - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
what is the verdict of the settlement, did he deny, or did you have to fight? was he an a** did he lie? what are comments of judge, inspectors...let us know some stuff about this...
Cause im assuming hes a great guy willing to do whats right, this may lead to some people saying oh cool, if we have problems then he'll make it right
do us a favor and put some specifics in there.

thanks
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#4 Consumer Comment

curious of hte settlement

AUTHOR: Kraze - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
what is the verdict of the settlement, did he deny, or did you have to fight? was he an a** did he lie? what are comments of judge, inspectors...let us know some stuff about this...
Cause im assuming hes a great guy willing to do whats right, this may lead to some people saying oh cool, if we have problems then he'll make it right
do us a favor and put some specifics in there.

thanks
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#3 Consumer Comment

curious of hte settlement

AUTHOR: Kraze - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
what is the verdict of the settlement, did he deny, or did you have to fight? was he an a** did he lie? what are comments of judge, inspectors...let us know some stuff about this...
Cause im assuming hes a great guy willing to do whats right, this may lead to some people saying oh cool, if we have problems then he'll make it right
do us a favor and put some specifics in there.

thanks
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#2 Author of original report

SETTLED

AUTHOR: Brandon - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, September 14, 2006
As of the lawsuit filed on 10/3/05, this case has been settled.
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#1 Author of original report

Titan Developments, Titan Development, Titan Developers

AUTHOR: Brandon - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, November 21, 2005
The company may also be using several different names such as:

Titan Developments, Titan Development, Titan Developers
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