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Coopersville man pays contractor $35,000; left with unfinished pole barn

Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 13:44:12-04

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — A Coopersville couple is not happy with a recent construction job on their property.

They say they agreed to pay $50,000 for a new pole barn.

They’ve paid $35,000, but told FOX 17 that the contractor did not finish the job and even made several errors.


“So, I put a string around it,” said Ron Malone as he showed us his unfinished pole barn in Coopersville. “And you can see that the walls are pretty wavy.”

On the inside, he said the back wall does the same, the window frames are too large and the windows themselves are crooked.

“This one is 7/16” out,” he said, pointing to a window.

It’s a big investment for the family and this was supposed to be Ron’s "man cave."

“I always wanted one and thought now would be a good time to build it,” he said.


His mom’s home in Jenison recently sold, and some of his things were kept in her pole barn, so he wanted his own: a place to work on a few things, fix cars and store his belongings.

First, he needed a contractor.

“I actually found him through a friend,” said Malone. “A firefighter friend, and he was on the department and he says, ‘Have Elliot give you an estimate.’”

The invoice with Elliot Parcher of Parcher Renovations laid out the plans to build Malone a 40’ x 56’ x 16’ pole barn for $50,000.

Malone, as shown on the invoice, gave Parcher half the money ($25,000 on Sept. 9, 2020) as a down payment.

The work, he said, later started in December.


“At first he worked on it steady, but then it was kinda a material issue where he had to wait for materials to come in because of this COVID thing,” he said.

That’s when Malone tells FOX 17 the issues got worse.

The barn was designed to be 16’ tall, have steel siding and three overhead doors. The deal also called for insulation and a 4” concrete floor that was never poured.

“It was just kind of a hit and miss; you know, he’d show up and work and then I wouldn’t hear from him,” said Malone.

Text messages seemed to be the way to go.

In one, Parcher wrote, "As long as the costomer [sic] is happy and I get paid that [sic] what matters."

“Every time I noticed an issue,” says Malone, “I was telling him that, ‘Hey this needs taken care of,’ and I think he just developed an attitude because I was not really picking his work apart as he was going but telling him issues we were having.”

In December, while walking the dog, Malone’s wife noticed a corner of a window was missing, so he texted Parcher.

He replied, “I’ll ask the crew and see if someone put it in their tool bag. Hopefully, it can get glued back on.”

SLIDE SHOW: See the issues that Ron isn't happy with.


Malone felt there were structural issues, so he reached back out.

He got a response saying it was fixed, the sagging in the back wall was being taken care of, and they found the broken window piece that should be glued back in place.

“One night he was out on a date, he told me, and he couldn’t talk and he’d get with me later, and I don’t believe he ever did,” said Malone.


Malone tells us Parcher ordered the wrong color of metal, the shingles were not right either, the overhead doors that arrived were not insulated, and screws were not even drilled into the wood.

“I actually need siding because there’s holes drilled in the side of mine where he missed the purlins, so it looks like someone shot it with a .22 in places,” he said.

In January, Malone wrote another check for $10,000 after he said Parcher told him he needed money to pay his crew.

“The last day he worked on it they just loaded all the materials and then he was gone,” said Malone.


Ron tells us Parcher gathered up his personal items and left on Feb. 4 and has not returned or finished the job.

“He told me that I have my building and it was built to residential standards,” said Malone, “although I didn’t get my service door, I don’t have my overhead doors and I don’t have my concrete.”

“Right now I couldn’t even get a garage doorman to put doors in the building because it’s so out of square and out of plumb.”


I emailed Parcher twice with the address he listed on the invoice but he never replied.

I also texted him to get his side of the story. But after I told him I was with FOX 17, he never responded to my questions.

So, we showed up to the address listed on the invoice on 8th Avenue in Grand Rapids but no one answered.

Ron is frustrated and just wants a good building that he can use, especially after paying $35,000.

Parcher Construction's website was taken down, but Ron tells FOX 17 there are new signs up for Parcher Exteriors around town with the same phone number.

“The work that he’s done so far--and honestly I don’t think he knows how to fix it, or he would’ve,” said Malone. “I think he owes me the labor because what he’s done all needs redone; I know he has time into it, but it was a waste.”


Malone tells me he’s been talking with a lawyer about his options but just wants it all fixed. He says he needs it done by November so he can move his stuff in before winter.

If you’re dealing with any contractor, it’s advised you only give them 10 percent to 20 percent of the total cost up front. If they ask for more than half, that’s a big red flag.

And remember, if your contractor cannot offer a reasonable explanation for a high down payment and doesn’t adjust it, find another builder.


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