Kenneth Giesbrecht took emergency days off of labor to surround the remainder of his home after a contractor left him and his spouse freezing throughout winter.
“We had nothing to guard us, he took all of the insulation out and simply shred it and threw it up within the attic,” Giesbrecht mentioned. “It was possibly 30 levels, the heater was blowing broad open. … I needed to depart work and are available dwelling. One night time my spouse was simply panic stricken.”
He mentioned he received insulation and positioned it between the two-by-fours within the uncovered wall. Giesbrecht mentioned he referred to as the contractor one or two extra occasions. He mentioned the contractor informed him there was at some point’s work left but it surely was going to value him extra on high of the already paid $27,890 — after he didn’t present, Giesbrecht employed 4 contractors to finish the work. It took a couple of month and an extra $27,000.
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“He actually caught it to me,” Giesbrecht mentioned.
Giesbrecht and his spouse have been out of their financial savings after hiring Black Hills Development and dealing with Bernard “Bernie” Haag. Giesbrecht mentioned Haag made the low bid of about $40,000 on his kitchen rework and enlargement on their Speedy Valley dwelling.
It wasn’t till Giesbrecht filed, and gained, a small claims courtroom case towards Haag that he found he was not the one sufferer.
In line with South Dakota courtroom information, Haag has 33 courtroom instances containing his identify, 12 of that are related to Black Hills Development and 27 of that are small claims filings. One of many instances is a straightforward assault prison case towards Haag. In line with courtroom paperwork, Haag pushed Giesbrecht within the Pennington County Courthouse. Giesbrecht, his spouse and 5 sheriff’s deputies are witnesses.
In line with federal courtroom information, Haag was convicted of failure to withhold, correctly account for and pay over tax; and concealment of chapter property with reference to a daycare enterprise in Piedmont which was operated by Haag’s corporations Massive Canine Industries and Idea Growth. In line with the Factual Foundation Assertion, he did not pay taxes on staff’ wages between 2005 and 2011, in addition to 2012. In 2016, Haag was ordered to serve 18 months in custody with three years of supervised launch, pay $230,854.85 in restitution to the IRS, pay $70,000 to chapter collectors and $100 to the victims fund for each counts, which ran concurrently.
Giesbrecht gained his small claims case towards Haag — a Pennington County choose dominated that Haag was to pay Giesbrecht $12,095 June 13. Giesbrecht mentioned he has not acquired the cash he’s owed, which in response to courtroom paperwork and a former Black Hills Development consumer shouldn’t be out of the abnormal for Haag.
Giesbrecht and his spouse stay in a 2,400-square-foot dwelling. Giesbrecht mentioned he needed to retire in a pair years and needed to downsize.
“That is simply an excessive amount of for my spouse, so I believed nicely, if we construct this kitchen… and I put some huge cash (into it), I figured I’d get that again after I promote the home,” he mentioned.
In 2020 Giesbrecht redid his fence, tried his hand at landscaping and rock work, and put gates on the fence.
For the kitchen, although, he would wish a contractor. He marketed on House Advisory and that’s when he was launched to Haag and Black Hills Development.
Giesbrecht mentioned the 2 talked in regards to the undertaking. He needed to push the wall out by 10 ft and have wraparound counter tops.
“He mentioned, ‘Yeah, we are able to try this, no drawback,’” Giesbrecht mentioned.
In line with the contract between Giesbrecht and Haag efficient Oct. 23, 2020, the contractor agreed to supply supplies and labors, prep the bottom for brand new basis, excavate the realm for footing and basis partitions, all foundations could be constructed to satisfy code, re-bar and concrete to code, use the identical flooring joist as the prevailing flooring, exterior partitions to match the prevailing construction, siding for use could be a textured hardy board kind siding and painted to match the prevailing construction, insulation could be std R-19 batts in partitions and R-19 within the ceiling, rafters, shingles could be matched as shut as attainable, an $8,500 allowance for the cupboards together with counter high and new sink and tap, flooring allowance at $1.70 per sq. foot, all permits included and extra.
The full got here to $39,950.10 after a ten% army low cost. The contract additionally acknowledged as soon as the crew began, it could be 4-8 weeks, give or take, to order materials, however no precise time date or time could be given to finish it.
Giesbrecht gave Haag a ten% down fee of $4,000 on Oct. 22, 2020, with intentions to begin the undertaking spring 2021.
“He by no means confirmed, by no means confirmed, by no means confirmed,” he mentioned. “Lastly I referred to as him and I mentioned, ‘You possibly can’t simply take my $4,000 and stroll,’ which he can do. He’s performed it earlier than.”
Haag responded and had a crew out the subsequent day. Giesbrecht mentioned they carried rocks out and in, after which it turned about when Haag was getting paid.
The Giesbrechts then paid Black Hills Development April 14 and 29; Could 10, 18, 25 and 31; June 15 and Aug. 2 to complete $31,433.74.
Giesbrecht mentioned he and his spouse discovered a $745 discrepancy of their funds, which he mentioned Haag informed him was a mathematical error and took it off of his subsequent fee. Giesbrecht requested every thing be invoiced: the variety of hours and the components.
“He wouldn’t do it. ‘I simply I don’t try this, I’ve by no means performed that,’” he mentioned. “That proper there to me is a con, however he had the again of my home. I used to be form of at his mercy at that time. I didn’t have plenty of selection.”
On Could 24, a consultant with Pennington County got here to the home stating they’d been notified there was an addition to the home with no constructing allow being issued. On June 2, the Giesbrechts acquired their first discover from the Pennington County Planning Division stating the identical.
“That’s when all hell broke unfastened,” Giesbrecht mentioned. “The constructing inspectors got here and so they mentioned stop and desist. You can not construct anymore.”
In line with texts between Giesbrecht and Haag, Haag responded stating to let Giesbrecht’s spouse know he would swing by and choose up a duplicate of the allow because the county didn’t mail it out. On June 4, Haag despatched a photograph of the constructing allow bought. On June 14, Giesbrecht texted Haag that another person from the county confirmed up on the home and had Giesbrecht’s spouse pay $93 for a advantageous for not having the constructing allow. Haag mentioned the cash could be taken out of the fee as a deduction.
Texts additionally mirror that the kitchen was scheduled to be accomplished by the top of July and the Giesbrechts wanted to buy cupboards. Haag adopted up and mentioned July is a proposed date. June 27, Giesbrecht requested if the undertaking could be accomplished by the point the cupboards arrived — Haag mentioned the undertaking ought to “be method completed” by the supply date.
Giesbrecht then requested about materials for the skin of the home. Texts from mid-July between Giesbrecht and Haag state the value stored growing for the undertaking and went $6,000 over the unique bid.
A July 20 textual content states Giesbrecht had paid Haag $27,890 plus the $8,500 allowance for cupboards leaving $3,560 owed, however the flooring had not been accomplished and outdated materials was getting used which was a violation of the contract.
Haag mentioned with the price of every thing, they might not be capable of end the undertaking except a change order was signed.
Giesbrecht mentioned he tried to cancel the job in March earlier than Black Hills Development received began.
Haag mentioned they wanted to work on the drywall flooring and had the set up prepared in addition to the labor.
“It’s not a big quantity however it’s an extra value which I’m sorry I’ve to do this,” he mentioned within the textual content.
Giesbrecht mentioned in a textual content that he acquired an bill that acknowledged the crew may end the job for $4,500. Giesbrecht mentioned if that was right, he may pay it. Haag mentioned they might as soon as the final bill was paid and a change order was signed. He then mentioned he may choose up the final fee.
On Aug. 17, Giesbrecht requested Haag in the event that they have been going to work on the home extra earlier than the cupboards arrived. Haag mentioned there wasn’t sufficient for a full day’s work.
The following texts are from September when Giesbrecht requested what Haag and the crew was going to do with the roofing that was left. He mentioned there was plenty of work left to do however nobody had been engaged on it. He requested if the fuel line and electrical could possibly be accomplished in at some point. Haag replied that it may.
“I don’t wanna run in electrical until we be sure that we received the cupboards there trigger it’s essential we put the bins similar with the fuel line,” Haag mentioned in his textual content.
Giesbrecht informed the Journal and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Workplace that there was no additional communication after that.
With every portion of the home, Giesbrecht was charged greater than anticipated. He mentioned he was charged $1,500 for one window.
Giesbrecht mentioned there was a big coil of wire, electrical bins arrange however not working, a door out of sq. that couldn’t be latched, a bit of plywood for a window and no insulation. As an alternative of galvanized metal within the floor, it was two-by-fours, there have been metallic nails uncovered on the flashing, an eyebrow of a trim from the roof nonetheless sits on the wall going through the road.
In line with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Workplace report accomplished in 2022, an officer interviewed three folks — Giesbrecht, a former Black Hills Development consumer who informed the Journal they didn’t wish to be named out of worry of retaliation from Haag, and Haag.
The officer mentioned in his report that he spoke with Haag on March 7. He wrote that Haag mentioned he was virtually performed with the undertaking in summer time 2021 and had put within the basis, and was not capable of get the roof flashed or put the shingles on.
The officer wrote Haag informed him Giesbrecht was sad as a result of the crew stopped work ready on the cupboards.
Black Hills Development isn’t the primary enterprise in Haag’s identify.
He beforehand was the agent for Haag Development Inc., which had its ID canceled in 2000, and Haag Development that was filed in 2012 and dissolved in 2018. He was the agent for Massive Canine Industries Inc., which filed in 2004 however dissolved in 2018.
In line with preliminary submitting paperwork with the South Dakota Secretary of State’s workplace, Haag was listed because the agent for Idea Growth in 2008. It’s now in good standing with the agent Marshal B. Haag.
In line with the South Dakota Secretary of State, Black Hills Development initially filed for its LLC identify in 2013 and is in good standing. Haag can be listed because the president of the corporate.
Black Hills Development had one in all its first courtroom instances filed towards it in 2018 for work Black Hills Development bid on in 2014 in Spearfish.
In line with courtroom information, the plaintiff and Haag entered right into a contract the place the plaintiff agreed to pay for provides and labor vital for renovation and roofing. The bid was for $29,879.56. Beneath the contract, work was to be accomplished inside 45-60 days. The plans have been accredited by the town of Spearfish and work started on the property.
In line with the criticism, the plaintiff found Haag didn’t have a contractor’s license in Spearfish nor did he have a constructing allow. Development resumed between November 2014 and February 2015, however to not the agreed upon requirements.
The plaintiff tried to sue Haag in civil courtroom for breach of contract, breach of implied guarantee and negligence. In line with courtroom information, there was an order for staying proceedings pending arbitration in 2018. The case was later dismissed with prejudice in 2022.
A separate case filed in 2018 in Campbell, Wyoming, and filed in Meade County in 2021, included a judgment towards Haag and Black Hills Development stating each owed a pair $25,000, plus pre-judgment curiosity on the statutory charge of seven% per yr from June 15, 2018 to Oct. 17, 2018, plus publish judgment curiosity on the statutory charge of 10% per yr from Oct. 17, 2018, and the cheap prices of assortment together with legal professional’s charges. A writ of execution occurred Feb. 4, 2022.
In a Pennington County small claims case, a pair acknowledged Black Hills Development took funds from the plaintiff and didn’t full the job or present “agreed upon providers or supplies.” In line with paperwork, the couple paid Haag $7,400 out of the complete undertaking of $15,370 for a loo rework. The couple reported that the bathtub that was introduced in was the unsuitable measurement and didn’t embody the options that had been mentioned. A brand new tub was speculated to be ordered and the unsuitable one despatched again, however courtroom paperwork state that by no means occurred.
“The development firm requested (extra) funds to cowl the brand new tub and the house owners had already paid over $7,400 in the direction of the undertaking and didn’t suppose any (extra) wanted to be paid at the moment,” paperwork state. The couple requested $4,989.40 in small claims.
The choose dominated in favor of the couple. In line with courtroom information, a return of execution was not happy towards Black Hills Development July 30, 2020.
In a separate Pennington County 2020 small claims case, a pair requested $1,415.50 from Black Hills Development after failure to finish a transforming undertaking and refusal to return a deposit. The choose dominated in favor of the couple with a judgment complete of $1,415.50. The couple, who requested to not be named out of worry of retaliation, informed the Journal they haven’t acquired the cash.
After Giesbrecht gained his small claims case towards Haag, he mentioned Haag pushed him within the courtroom. Giesbrecht mentioned he informed sheriff’s deputies within the courthouse and Haag was charged with easy assault.
In line with courtroom paperwork, Haag pleaded responsible to the crime and was sentenced to 360 days in jail with 300 days suspended. He was additionally eligible for work launch with situations together with attending and finishing anger administration lessons and offering proof of completion to the courtroom.
In a telephone name with the Journal this week, Haag mentioned it could not profit him to elucidate it to anybody.
“It looks as if contractors are at all times unsuitable, it doesn’t even pay to go to courtroom,” he mentioned.
Haag mentioned Giesbrecht slandered him and that Black Hills Development accomplished the undertaking.
“We didn’t simply depart him sitting excessive and dry like he’s claiming, however once you begin speaking irrational, I’m sorry, there’s simply no method of fixing it,” he mentioned.
Haag mentioned the corporate wouldn’t admit to something and that his firm has been in its line of labor for a very long time.
“We’ve been attempting our damnedest to maintain everyone comfortable and stuff, however on occasion you run into purchasers that simply suppose they need to be getting a Cadillac for a Chevy value,” he mentioned. “Any time the contractor goes to courtroom, 99% of the time he loses as a result of the choose has to award them what they’re asking for. You discuss to any contractor on the market, that’s the place they find yourself.”
Haag informed the Journal he wouldn’t be keen to debate the matter additional.