[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Dillavou Letter to Park County
received April 25, 2000

This letter is in the Park County Building department file on NorthStar, license #1490. In some places this letter has been altered for readabilty purposes only. The content has not been altered. The original letter is 10 pages long.

886 Kutsu Ridge Road
Florissant, Colorado 80816

To: Mr. James Bilyeu
      Park County Building Department
      Box 517
      Fairplay, CO 80440

From: Dale R. Dillavou
      Autumn Dreamers Construction LLC.

March 5, 2000

RE: The complaint filed with your office by Daniel A. Naredo And Ricky D. Thomas dated February 4, 2000 against Northstar Home Sales and Northstar Construction LLC.

Dear Mr. Bilyeu:

      I am a licensed General Contractor specializing in the installation of manufactured homes in Teller and El Paso counties. I recently pulled my license in Park County as well.
      During the period of May 1998 through November 1999, I was one of the primary subcontractors for Northstar. I did the foundations, the set of the home, the wood skirting, and the interior trim of the homes. As the volume of home sales increased, the interior trim and the skirting of the homes were subbed to others.
      As of November 24, 1999, I discontinued my business relationship with Northstar Homes. I did so because I was professionally embarrassed to be further associated with Northstar in any way and because I was not willing to accept the new way that Mrs. Barbara Robbins was paying subcontractors!
      I was very much involved with the home for which the above mentioned complaint was filed. I have read the letters sent to you by the home owners and the response to these letters from Mrs. Robbins of Northstar.

      I am absolutely compelled to write to you and share my first hand knowledge regarding this home project! I will apologize, to you, now because I expect this letter to be long because there so many issues involved. I thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

~ Page Two ~

      The letter of complaint submitted by the home owners is absolutely TRUE in it's general content! To have a clear understanding of all that actually occurred; you would have to know the details of the many issues involved.

      The letter of response from Mrs. Barbara Robbins contains many lies, contradictions of her own statements in the same letter, and obvious attempts to deceive you. This letter of response cannot be left unchallenged by the truth!

      The truth is: to the best of my knowledge and research, no home owner, no subcontractor, and no other person has received any kind of valid notification that such a law suit actually exists! What many of us have received are certified letters from Mrs. Robbins that are threatening, very degrading, offensive, and highly unprofessional! I have enclosed, for your review, copies of such letters that were sent to: me, another sub-contractor, a home owner, and a previous salesman for Northstar Homes.

      Later, in paragraph 2, Mrs. Robbins states "Blue Rose Homes, along with several sub-contractors that this office has fired for incompetence, has (for reasons of capitalism and competition) elected to try and put this company (me) out of business"

      The truth is: Not myself, not any sub-contractor that I am aware of, not any home owner that I am aware of, and not Blue Rose Homes, are motivated to put Barbara Robbins, or Northstar, out of business. What we are compelled to do is: motivate Mr. And Mrs. Robbins, and Northstar Homes, to fulfill their contracts with all of their home owners, to provide professional, complete, accurate and truthful accounting for the home owner's money, and to change their business practices so that other home owners are not subjected to the nightmare that the home owners, listed above, have been subjected to.

      At this time, I must enlighten you to the fact there are several home owners that have issues with the way that their home projects have, and are, being handled by Northstar homes and Northstar Construction LLC. They, also, have very serious issues with the accountability of their funds! I have personal knowledge of 2 serious complaints that will be filed with your office in the very near future. One home owner's constructions costs were bid at $28,800 by Northstar Construction LLC. And came in at $56,000 with no real challenges like blasting. Another home owner, who is dying of cancer, has checked with her mortgage lender who states that her loan is in good standing and includes her garage. Yet, Mrs. Robbins is demanding that this home owner pay an additional $40,000 immediately! Another home owner, within your jurisdiction, put $45,000 cash down on their project in April of 1999. I set the home in November of 1999. An additional $75,000

~ Page Three ~

was borrowed and yet, as of this date, the home owners are still not able to move into their new home. Also, I did the site clean up on this project for a total cost of $45.00 in dump feels which was not billed to Northstar yet the home owner was charged, by Northstar, $3000.00 for site clean up and trash removal. Another home owner was charged for 400 feet of tie down cable, 100 turnbuckles, and 1000 cable clamps for a total of $1700.00. Their home only required 10 turnbuckles, 40 cable clamps, and 100 fee of cable at an estimated cost of $200.00. There are many more examples of flagrant, and false, charges that these home owners are being subjected to!!!!! Someone, somewhere, has to investigate what Mrs. Robbins, and Northstar, are doing to these home owners!!!!!!

      One of the problems that these home owners are facing is that some of these projects are in Park County and some of them are in Teller County. Therefore, the Park County Building Department does not have sufficient knowledge of the problems, and their severity, that exist in Teller County and the Teller County Building Department does not have sufficient knowledge of the problems, and their severity, that exist in Park County!

      Another problem that these home owners are facing is : by the time they realize that their homes, and their money is in trouble, they have invested all the money that they have. They cannot afford to hire an attorney to defend them. Even when they come together as a group, because their claims do not involve hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars, attorneys are reluctant to take their case on a contingency basis, because the attorney will not make enough money to justify taking the case.
      These are average working class Americans who do not know of all the avenues available to them to seek justice. They are seeking, and learning, of ways to make entities of authority aware of what is happening to them.

      Back to Mrs. Robbins letters of response, In paragraph 2, she states that she fired several sub-contractors for incompetence…….

      The truth is Since May of 1998, with the exception of an individual known, to me, only as "Smoky" whom I will address, in detail, later in this letter, I know of no subcontractor that Mrs. Robbins has fired for incompetence! I made the decision for my company to discontinue doing business with Northstar. All other sub-contractors, that I am aware of, who left Northstar, did so because of dissatisfaction with the way they were being paid by Northstar and, or, because of dissatisfaction with the way that home projects were managed by Northstar.

      ON page 2 of Mrs. Robbins response, third paragraph, item #1, Mrs. Robbins states that the tongue on the home broke while still on the factory property, that the home did not crash to the ground, that that the home did not suffer massive damage.

~ Page Four ~

      The truth is: I was in the town of Jefferson, waiting for the home, when it arrived. The driver of the transport told me that the tongue broke on the highway between the factory in Berthoud, CO and I-25. The home owners were told that the incident happened on C-470 in Denver. Now Mrs. Robbins claims that the incident happened at the factory on their grounds. I do not know why there are so many reported locations for this incident.
      Mrs. Robbins cannot possibly know whether the home came crashing to the ground or not. She was not there! I, also cannot know, for sure, that this home crashed to the ground. But I own transport trucks for manufactured homes. I have had a tongue collapse while a home was being transported. It brought my truck to an immediate dead stop from approximately 25 mph. It scared the hell out of me!! There is no other appropriate way to describe it except that the home crashed to the ground!
      As for the massive damage: "massive" damage is entirely a matter of opinion. To those in the construction business, the damage to this home, from this incident, would not be considered massive. To the average home owner, the damage, from this incident, would be extreme! In my professional opinion, the damage, from this incident, was serious but repairable. The particle board sub-floor was cracked the full width of the home and directly above the tongue. Approximately 15 feet of the front wall with 2 windows, angled downward at an estimated 5 to 8 degrees toward the tongue. Once the home was set, this slop would, and did, become corrected with interior drywall repair needed. This damage was all repairable at someone, other than the home owner's expense!

      ON page 2, para. 3, item 3, Mrs. Robbins address the fact that the transport driver had problems getting the home around a corner in the subdivision. Mrs. Robbins made it sound like it was a very minor incident.

      The truth is: This was not a minor incident at all !!!!!!!

      Some historical ground work must be laid at this time. In the mountain home markets, it is not uncommon to have difficulty transporting manufactured homes from the major highway to the job site. It often involves the use of rollers and related equipment to get around corners, back hoes, dozers, etc. and the associated costs. For months, prior to this delivery, I had difficulty getting Mrs. Robbins to understand that the costs associated with getting the home to the job site were a part of the delivery costs, not the set of the home. The set began when the home was on the foundation. She expected me to do this work as part of the set without additional compensation. I had made a decision that I was not going to do this work for free, anymore. I, now, believe that I know why Mrs. Robbins supposedly, believed that these costs should not be part of the delivery. At the time that this home, and others, were purchased, Northstar was advertising FREE DELIVERY of the homes! If these additional costs were added to the delivery, then Northstar would have to pay these costs, not the home owner. It is actually irrelevant because all of the home owners I have talked to were charged for the delivery and any additional costs any way.

~ Page Five ~

      Back to this home: On the day that this home was delivered, I was setting a Northstar home in Florissant. Mrs. Robbins came to the job site and informed me that this home was being delivered that afternoon. She asked me if I was going to be there in case the home got into trouble. I told her that I was not because I would have to load up all of my equipment and that it would put me behind schedule on the home that I was currently setting. This was the truth and I didn't want to do the work for free.
      Mrs. Robbins left for Jefferson where the home was to be met. I, and my wife, who is part of my crew, discussed the matter. We know that the probability was high that this delivery would have problems. We loaded our equipment and went to Jefferson. Mrs. Robbins was there waiting for the home. She stated that, since we were there to handle the situation, she didn't need to be there and she left.
      The first half of the home had been delivered to Jefferson on the previous day and parked. The half that was already in Jefferson was the half that had to go onto the foundation first. When the driver arrived with the second half, he was pretty well shook up. During my conversation with the driver, I learned that he been pulling manufactured homes for only 90 days and that he had never pulled an 80 foot long home before this one, and that, pulling it over the mountain passes had scared him.
      I told him that I was an experienced driver and, that if he would listen to me, he would be just fine. I explained that we needed the parked half delivered to the job site first. He argued that he was not told that he had to deliver the home to the job site, but only to Jefferson. I was able to convince him that delivery to the job site was the right thing to do. I piloted the route and told the driver that he had plenty of room to swing wide at the corners. He did not do so. The first corner he cut too short and dragged the house against the bank tearing the trim off of the bottom of the home. The second corner, he made fine. At the third corner, I again, told him to swing it wide. He did not do so! He put the home in the ditch. The rear of the home was bottomed out on the road. The front of the house was bottomed out on the road. Most of the axles on the ditch side were handing in the air. The transport truck had lost traction and was stuck. The driver had no idea what to do and asked me if he should call for a tow truck. I knew that a tow truck wasn't the answer and by the time a tow truck got there it would be dark with a major entry road to this subdivision blocked, probably until the next morning. I assured him that I would have him unstuck before a tow truck could get there. I blocked the home to prevent it from moving, put the side of the home that was in the ditch on rollers, disconnected the transport truck and repositioned it so that it had traction and reconnected it to the home. At this time, the driver asked me if I would finish the delivery because he was afraid to. I agreed to do so. I backed the home out of the ditch, picked up our equipment, and proceeded to the job site without further incident.
      At the job site, the transport truck did not have enough power to get the home over a rise near the foundation. After repeated tries, I determined that we needed additional equipment for the job. We blocked the home in place and disconnected the transport truck. While attempting to move the transport truck

~ Page Six ~

back out to the road, it sand in a very soft spot in a field. We did not have the equipment to get it unstuck. The driver and I agreed that, the next day, I would get a back hoe to pull his truck out of the mud. I would then use his truck to deliver the second half of the home to the job site. I agreed to take his truck to Florissant and call him when it was ready to be picked up. The driver got in the pilot car and went home to Pueblo. The next day, I delivered the second half of the home to the job site without incident. The back hoe was used to help place the home on the foundation.
      The first half of this home was subjected to serious stress and therefore the drywall interior suffered far more cracking than is normal for a delivery. Again, it was repairable but the repairs should not have been at the home owner's expense!
      During the course of the home getting stuck in the ditch and the difficulty in getting the home placed on the foundation, the home owners expressed their concerns for the damages to the home. I told them it was not uncommon, in the mountains, to have these difficulties. I assured them that we were experienced and accustomed to handling these challenges. I also told them I did not believe that the home had suffered any structural damage. I still don't believe that this home suffered structural damage.
      When we finally got the home spotted on the foundation, the home owners stated that they had made the decision to refuse the home because of the damages and wanted the home removed from the property. I, immediately, called Mrs. Robbins. She called the factory, and called me back. At this point, I was merely a communication relay between Mrs. Robbins, the factory, and the home owners. The factory's positions, and therefore, Mrs. Robbins, position was: unless the home was damaged so severely that it would be considered structurally unsound and condemned, it could not be refused for delivery. The factory made the statement that they would, if necessary, completely gut the interior of the home and replace everything. Mrs. Robbins stated that the home owner's had a 7 year wall to wall warranty and that everything would be "handled" to their complete satisfaction. The home owners believed the factory and Mrs. Robbins and conceded to accept the home.

      Pg 2, para.3, item 4, Mrs. Robbins states that the claim of gaps between the walls and ceilings upon arrival are unfounded and that she has video tape of the interior of the home.

      The truth is: The home owners stated that they saw these 3 to 4 inch gaps while the home was stuck in the ditch. I'm sure that they did because I did! When a home is bottomed out at both front and rear with axles suspended in the air, and the home is in the ditch on one side of the house resulting in the house being twisted, something has to give. Once the house is on level ground, the gaps close to the size of normal cracks. Mrs. Robbins video taped the interior of this home after it was spotted on the level foundation and what the home owners saw was no longer visible. But, again it was all repairable but should not have been at the home owners' expense!

~ Page Seven ~

      Pg. 2, para. 3, item 5. I am "the other driver" and, yes I charged $300.00 for all that I had to do. It should have cost far more and it should not have been charged to the home owners!

      Pg. 2, para 3, item 6. I have no direct knowledge of the home owners receiving these accountings that Mrs. Robbins claims that she provided to them. I do know that, throughout this project, the home owner's expressed their increasing frustration over the fact that they could not get a satisfactory accounting for their money.

      Pg 3, item 1. Mrs. Robbins states: "Doesn't even make sense."

      The truth is: The set of this home was extremely difficult compared to most sets. Because of the slope of the land, it had to be put on 36" stands, the highest available on the market, and it's extremely dangerous during the set process, especially for a house this large. This home was set properly. The home owners were living in an RV on the premises and saw many things that the average home owner does not see. To those of us in the business, what the home owners were seeing, was either typical, or just another challenge. To the home owners, what they were seeing were major issues. They, repeatedly, stated that they wanted Mrs. Robbins, their General Contractor, to come to the job site so that they could discuss their concerns with her. On several such occasions, I would return to the Northstar office and alert Barb to the fact that she needed to go the job site because the home owners were becoming increasingly upset. Her typical response was : "Oh no, I just got off of the phone with them. They are fine." I knew that they were not fine!!!

      Pg. 3, item 14. Mrs. Robbins states that mud was a major issue with this project. She implies that the mud was a major issue during the entire project. I find this difficult to believe since it took most of a year to complete a project that should have taken 45 to 60 days to complete.

      The truth is: The mud was an issue only during the original excavation and during the back fill and final grade. The cement trucks did not get stuck in the mud. A supporting statement from the pump crew is attached. The reason that they did not get stuck in the mud is because there was no mud when the foundation was poured. The day that we poured this foundation was a beautiful sun shiny day. Mr. Robbins had a professional photographer video tape the pour of this foundation for use in this advertising. This video tape was being run all day long in the Northstar sales office ad advertisement. This tape shows us in t-shirts on a beautiful day.

      Pg 3., item 16 and item 17. These items are directly related to each other. Mrs. Robbins states that moisture existed in the material that was used to back fill the foundation. She also states that at no time was there standing water under this home.

~ Page Eight ~

      The truth is: When I set this home, the back fill of the foundation was as dry as a bone and as hard as a rock! I believe that the existing soil has a high clay content. When the home owners informed Mrs. Robbins that there was water under their home, she asked me about it. I stated that I would have to see it to believe it. She asked me to go out there and look. I did so. What I saw concerned me greatly. There was standing water under the home and the back fill of the foundation, on the uphill half of the home, was completely saturated to a consistency of cake batter. This was the first time that I had been to the home since I had finished the set of the home. The reason for the water under the home was very obvious. In addition to the "trench" for the well, the final grade had been done extremely poorly. The backfill of the uphill side of the home did not have a slope away from the home, but instead sloped toward the home. The "monsoons" ran directly under the home. I reported what I saw to Mrs. Robbins. No immediate action was taken and I do not recall how long it was before action was taken. A sub-contractors laborer was tasked with removing the plastic vapor barrier so that the soil could dry.

      Pg. 3, item 21. Mrs. Robbins states that she has requested written statements from every individual involved in this project and that she would be happy to provide you with those statements.

      The truth is: Mrs. Robbins has not asked me, nor any sub-contractor that I know of, to write a statement regarding this project.

      Pg. 3, item 22, pg 4. Item 23, and pg 4. Item 28 reference an individual that I know only by the name of "smoky". Mrs. Robbins states that his sole purpose for seeking work from Northstar was to discredit her and that he worked for a competitor and that he slandered her for malicious reasons. She goes on to state that his termination was hostile and resulted in assault charges and a trial date set for February. She states that she will keep you posted if you wish.

      The truth is: At the time of this project, Mr. And Mrs. Robbins, myself, and others associated with Northstar frequented a bar in Florissant where Smoky was a "regular patron". For months, Smoky had been hounding Mr. And Mrs. Robbins to give him work as a sub-contractor. Smokey claimed that he, and his crew, were very experienced at the interior trim of manufactured homes. At this time, and for various reasons, Northstar was is need of interior trim crews. This particular home required an experience crew! They made the decision to sub-contract this interior trim to Smoky. Ten days after Smoky was given this job, very little work had been done and Mrs. Robbins could not contact Smoky to find out why. She set me to the home to do the job until another interior crew returned from vacation. Upon arrival at the home, it was very obvious that Smoky was not experienced at the interior trim of manufactured homes at all! What little work that he had done had to be completely removed and the job had to be started from scratch. We, also, learned that Smoky had no crew at all. During the time that he was at the site,

~ Page Nine ~

Smoky did, reportedly state many falsehoods that could be considered as slander. Mrs. Robbins did fire Smoky, a the mentioned bar. As for the assault charges, Mrs. Robbins makes it sound like the incident occurred at the time that Smoky was fired and that Smoky was the assailant and Mr., and Mrs. Robbins were victims. This is not the case at all. The assault occurred a few days later at the same bar. Mr. Robbins was charged with assault and the trial was set for February. I won't go into the details of the incident. I will say, in Mr. Robbins defense, it is my opinion that: given the circumstances of the incident, any man would have done what Mr. Robbins did. As I understand it, Smoky has left the state and it is probably that the assault charges will be dropped against Mr. Robbins.

      Pg. 4, item 24, The statement is true except for the last sentence.

      The truth is: Mrs. Robbins has agreed to hire my son's company to install the log siding on this home, therefore he frequently asked Mrs. Robbins what the status of the log siding was. Her response was: That the siding had been ordered and that we were just waiting for the mill to deliver it. Months went by and still no siding was delivered for this home, and to this date, it has not been delivered.

      Pg. 4, item 25. Mrs. Robbins states that, with the exception of "Smoky", her sub-contractors, for the year 1999, were the best.

      The truth is: This statement is in complete contradiction to her statement on pg 1, para. 2 where she states that she has fired several sub-contractors for incompetence. The several sub-contractors that she has fired for incompetence are figments of her imagination.

      Pg. 4, item 26. Mrs. Robbins states that Blue Rose Home's intent was to sabotage her and her company and that very little work was left to be done on this home when Blue Rose Homes took the project over.

      The truth is: The home owners fired Northstar, and Mrs. Robbins, as their General Contractor, for incompetence. The home owners had contacted Blue Rose Homes to finish the project. When Mr. And Mrs. Robbins heard that Blue Rose Homes was at the job site working on the home, they directed me to go to the job site and demand that they cease and desist and leave the premises. I went to the job site and talked to the home owners. They informed me of the decisions that they had made. I then spoke with Brian Trausch, General Contractor for Blue Rose Homes. I realized that his purpose for being there was to finished the project in a professional manner, and to do so in the best interest of the home and the home owners. I have set a lot of homes and am considered to be very experienced, but Brian Trausch is far more experienced than I am. He determined that, with an 80 lb. snow load, the marriage wall of the home needed far more support. Who was I to argue this point. The more support, the better. Brain, also, determined that the factory had not made the frame of the home lone enough to support the home in a very critical area. He extended the frame and informed the factory of this findings.

~ Page Ten ~

The Blue Rose Homes crew did a considerable amount of work to complete this project and I highly comment them.

      Pg. 4, item 28. Mrs. Robbins addresses the various interior crews hired to do this job.

      The truth is: The interior crew that Mrs. Robbins had been using up until this time consisted of a man by the name of Paul Brown and Northstar's handyman, Wes Olson. Paul Brown bid this job at $4500.00 which included the repair of all the damage to the sub-floor. $3000.00 of this bid could be charged to the factory and the transport company and the home owner would be charged $1500.00. This charge would be a normal "fair market price" for the interior trim of a home of this size.
      Mrs. Robbins rejected Paul Brown's bid as too high and has not hired him since. To date, the home owners have been charged over $7500.00 for the interior trim of this home with no repair to the sub-floor at all. Approximately $1000.00 was for alterations that the home owners requested. The promises that the factory made to repair all the damage, "no matter what it took", were not kept at all. Also, note that Mrs. Robbins states that this work was being done "in the middle of the summer".

      This concludes my comments regarding Mrs. Robbins response to the formal complaint filed by the above mentioned home owners. I have more information pertaining to the challenges that this particular home presented like: alignment, racking, etc. and would be happy to discuss them upon your request.

      It is my opinion that the formal complaint filed with your office by Daniel A. Naredo and Ricky D. Thomas is very legitimate and warrants investigation!

      In conclusion, THANK YOU for taking the time to read this lengthy letter!


                                                                        Dale R. Dillavou

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]