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Old 09-16-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
wfopossum
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Default Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

http://www.unclehowards.comHas anyone on here heard of Uncle Howards barns? Or pennypincher barns? He advertises an $11 sq.ft price for his barn kits and pennypincher is $8 a sq. ft.,I'm planning on building a gambrel barnhouse and garage. He's based out of wash. state.http://www.pennypincherbarns.com
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:05 AM   #2
Chevy Bob
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Run away as fast as you can. Good product/design, horrible business practices and ethics. He does not follow through with any verbal or written agreements.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Thanks for the heads up on that,seems like a good deal ,but I think I'll try someone more regional anyway. Seems like you had a really bad experience with uncle howard.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #4
Roadshow
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Wow ... I'm surprised. We had a great experience with Uncle Howards. Really happy with the barn. Did you have a contractor build it or did you do a DIY?
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
Chevy Bob
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

I'm happy to hear that yours went well. We had their crew perform difficult tasks (e.g., posts, beams and rafters). We supplied labor to do siding, stalls (it is a horse barn), etc. with their supervision and direction. This was not the issue though.

The barn turned out fine. It is a great design and the quality was good. And it's working as intended. I just wouldn't recommend them as his poor business practices (which manifest as ethical issues) discounts the other positive aspects.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

We are just finishing up with our Uncle Howards barn and I would echo the above. Beautiful product, people say our barn looks like a house or a church and our animals will be very happy when they get to move in.

We did have some problems, Uncle Howard's has made good on most with 1 issue still pending.

The blue on the door windows is just a protective covering - they will be clear when the project is finished. The dormers and windows let in so much light that we will be able to work with the livestock during the day without turning lights on!

Last edited by Olypengal; 03-06-2009 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Maybe my initial post was too harsh in these tough economic times?
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
Mike in Ohio
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Olypengal,

That is a beautiful barn,and seems to be a georgous setting for it. Any critter would be proud to call that home. Mike
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Thanks Mike! We're thrilled with how it turned out, not trouble-free process but we're happy it's almost finished. Horses, sheep and milk goats will eventually call it home.

Last edited by Olypengal; 03-06-2009 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

chevy bob, you never explained what the issues actually were, just what wasn't issues.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Run the other direction is the proper response. Nice design. Bad business practices. Not once was the crew on-site when they said they would be. One delay after another.

Painful experience. Very painful. Crew didn't care at all.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

The owner of Uncle Howard's Barns has a long history of lawsuits against him throughout the years through WA state and Alaska, from homeowners, via various different company names. Once his "luck" runs out on him or shall I say his feet are held to close to the fire (too many homeowners expecting him to uphold promises he can't and won't keep/IRS calling and garnishing, lumber yards requesting bill payments), he closes up shop and reopens under another name.

Other companies he has operated under the name of in just WA state alone: Top Hand Construction, Stable Systems Inc., Lullaby Barn Company, Penny Pinchers, and Uncle Howard's.

He will collect payment from one homeowner, while speaking of many promises, with the only intent to have enough money to go on to another project that should have been done months ago with money from that homeowner - of which has already been spent.

BEWARE. Do your research.

THe reason why these are now sold as kit barns/packages, is because Howard can no longer obtain or hold a contractor's bond. His previous bonds had to be under his wife's name and had multiple liens placed against them from homeowners, IRS, suppliers and employees.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

I did research before I signed. Unfortunately I couldn't find any complaints at that time. Seems like the truth is really surfacing.

I sure wish I had taken the plans and gone elsewhere. The design is nice. The construction shows of taking shortcuts where ever possible. The more I look at the building and construction the more I see that just isn't right.

Hopefully this information stops someone else from the pain we were in. He definately was taking the money I paid and working on a previous project. Then we had to wait for someone else to pay to finish our project. It was so obvious after the fact. It took two months to get materials for our project.

We paid for the RV doors, then after the doors were installed, they said, "oh, it doesn't include any hardware other than the hinges. So now we have huge doors without any latches. And, there wern't any stops installed on the doors. So, the wind could blow them around into the building. Bad installation. How could you install doors without a latch or stops? Just board them up was their solution.

Lesson learned. One of the worst decisions of my life was to go with Howard Horton and Uncle Howard's barn.

At least I finally got the building up and am done with them.

Last edited by Auggie00; 03-16-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

I had Uncle Howard build my Barn last fall and I would like to complement their Company in that I got an outstanding product and they were super easy to deal with. I know that there has been a few bad complaints on this forum, but I experienced none of this. If anyone is interested in a quality product that is affordable and adds alot of value to a property I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Uncle Howards Barns to anyone looking for a beautiful high quality structure that would enhance any property.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Chevy1 you must be Uncle Howards uncle. Sounds to good to be true.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

New member here and thanks for such a great site!! I was also interested in an "Uncle Howards RV barn". (44x60 overall; 24x44 deep RV bay with 36x36 house) I have had quite an interesting time just getting a return call and working on a few changes and getting a more firm price... I will leave it at that.

I really like the style of the RV barn they offer. I need a decent sized shop with a house/cabin and dont want to build two buildings. Im also trying to stay away from just a huge shop with a loft type building. I liked the versatility and size of the building, and still had a "cabin feel".

Just curious if anyone was in the same situation and what was built instead? I guess I could get similar plans drawn up anywhere, but am still fishing a bit for that perfect building plan. So far I really like this RV plan, but have given up working with them.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Swampy;

The design is nice. I am very happy with the design. You might think about having them draw up the plans, then go elsewhere for the construction.

We have windows that leak, the building isn't square. The siding was put up with a nailing gun. They didn't turn down the pressure so the nails punched in at least 3/16" to 1/4" into the siding. There is an area on a dormer where you see a gap of at least 1". I won't call them back. They are that bad. I am paying a local contractor to fix things. I shouldn't have to do that.

Again, I think they are in financial difficulty and using the money from new contracts to complete old projects. So, someone is going to lose their money.

And, don't believe the promises. It took us almost 4 months to get the plans.

Ok, now that I write all this, I would take the idea to someone else and have them do the plans.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Chevy1;

There is no way the could have been as bad with us and you didn't have any problems. NO Way!

They are not paying their employees!
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:51 AM   #18
Swampy
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Augie00- Thanks for the heads up, I had a feeling as much just dealing with particulars and such over the phone. Just curious, what barn did you build?
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

We did the rv barn with shop area. Really great design.

I think it was the Sweet home plan.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: Uncle Howards,pennypincher barns,good,bad,ugly?

Thanks Augee00- That is the same kit I was considering. I will send pm, I had another question.
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