Don't badmouth this builder - he'll tell dad

Meet custom home builder Dave Nash. Some of Dave’s customers say he has an interesting customer service philosophy.

"(He said) 'I'll sue you, you don't know who I am,'" Kim said.

"(He said) 'You can't do anything to me. My dad's a lawyer,'" Kelly said.

One couple said that when Dave knows he owes them money, he won’t agree to pay up, until they agree to shut up, and not talk about him.

"(I said) 'I can go and say anything I want' and he said, 'Oh if you do, I will sue you,'" Kathy said.

And if you go to Dave's office to sort things out, good luck.

Undercover video: "Can you call Dave and get him here?"

Secretary: "Uh .... nope."

"I am just done with this guy," said Chris.

Dave Nash’s company, Envy Homes, built this house for Chris and Megan.

The cost was $440,000. At least, that was what it was supposed to cost.

"I have been asking almost weekly, 'Where we at with the budget?'" said Chris."'We don't know.' 'Where we at with the budget?' 'We don't know.'"

Chris is a police officer and $440,000 was the top of his budget. But surprise - when the house was finished, Chris and Megan say Dave Nash jacked the price up another 20,000 onto the cost.

"I didn't want to give him any more money, but I also wanted a house," Megan said.

Chris took the money to the Envy Homes office and handed it to Nash, anyway.

"I handed him a check for almost $20,000," he said.

And he got this handwritten receipt from Dave for "overages."

But at least they were in the house, which they say has some problems. Problems they told Nash about - and included in their complaint to the state.

Then a couple of months later and after paying $20,000 in overages ...

"Today, I received an email saying they put a lien on our house," Megan said.

The couple thinks Dave did it just out of spite.

This is the flooring in Kelly and Dan's house. You can see it’s bubbling and has big gaps.  

"It's just a mess," Dan said.

It’s all detailed in their circuit court complaint.

A spot on the floor even pops up.

"Can you see that?" Dan said, pushing down on one of the trouble spots.

It's not great to walk on with two legs, but Kelly's only got one.

Kelly and Dan hired Dave Nash for an Americans With Disabilities Act compliant home. She says Dave didn't take any of her suggestions to make it easier for her to get around.

"He would just turn to Dan and talk to him - like I didn't even exist," said Kelly.

They purchased the modular home through another of Dave Nash's companies - Atlantis homes.  

They also claim they were hit with overage fees - and if they didn't like it, they could 'talk to his lawyer.'

"I don't want to be sued but I can tell my story," said Kathy.

Kathy also sunk money into a modular home from Atlantis. She also got hit for a big bill when her house was done.

"I had to pay him another $25,000 for the overages,"

She said she had problems with her siding and other issues that Dave wouldn't fix.

"He was uncooperative. He was rude. He was disrespectful," Kathy said.

She says Dave wanted her to sign a non-disparagment agreement.  Instead, she filed a complaint with the state attorney general.

"Then I receive a letter from Dave’s father, his attorney," she said in an email. "He wrote this letter threatening me to drop the claim because the company dissolved June 22, 2023.  He would sue me because Dave had 'no personal involvement in this case.'"

No personal involvement? It says right here on the Atlantis Homes website that he's the president/owner.  

"I think he's horrible," she said.

Even customers who are least expecting trouble, seem to get it.

Wolchek came upon Jeff one afternoon; he was pretty satisfied with his Envy home - but had a couple of warranty issues.

"He has his sister who is a lawyer I guess," Jeff said. "He has her contact me, (and) send a letter saying they're not going to cover it."

His problem was for the builder - not the builder's lawyer.

Wolchek: "So, your experience has not been a good one?"

Jeff: "It has not, no. It's been very, very difficult."

Randy Eshenberg is an Almont Township trustee. He says a group of angry constituents showed up at the public forum of a town meeting.

"They were concerned about some buildings that they had had done, homes by Mr. Nash," Randy said.

Wolchek: "They were unhappy?"

"Oh yes. They were all unhappy," he said.

Eschenberg, was familiar with Nash because Dave had been complaining about the city building official for years.

This guy - Joe Israel, the building inspector.

Wolchek: "He doesn't like you?"

Joe: "I don't think so."

Israel says he's been trashed by Nash.

"If something doesn't pass code, we get pushback," he said.

He says most builders who don't meet requirements just fix the problem -- but not Dave. He brings the lawyers out.

Wolchek: "You're sticking to your guns."

Joe: "Well, I have to. That's my statutory duty and responsibility as a code official for the State of Michigan."

"Dave called me and just yelled at me," said Kim.

Kim and Keith say their house was a mess from the start, showing photos of mold and mess all over the framing.

"It was quite a bit of mold and it upset me," Kim said. "So I called him and he got kind of aggressive and said there's mold in every new build."

They say they hired their own people to clean things up and finish some of the work. Dave didn't like that.

"I said I’m not going to sign that the house is done to my standards," Kim said. "And he said, 'Then, I'll sue you.'"

It got so tense, Kim filed a police report on Dave Nash.

"I felt that as a personal threat," said Kim.

Then, they say, Pam Dave had a proposition.

"(He said) 'You want a deal, let's make a deal. You sign something called a non-disparagement. It says that you can't talk about me and I can't talk about you. And maybe you can move a few things in next week,'" Kim said.  

"'Yeah, maybe I’ll let you move a few things in.'" Keith said Dave told them.

They didn't sign, took possession of the house, but since they had their own work done, Dave now owed them money.

But they say Dave won't pay unless they sign the non-disclosure disparagement agreement drawn up by who else? His lawyers.

So, Kim goes down to the Envy Office in Almont and she's accompanied by a FOX 2 undercover camera person.

Kim: "Hi Pam. How are you."

Pam: "Good."

Kim: "Hi. Dave here?"

Pam: "No."

Kim: "He's not here? I just stopped by. It's been over a year now. We wanted to, we wanted to end this."

Pam: "I can't discuss anything."

Kim: " ... settle this up. Can you call Dave and get him here?"

Pam: "Uh ... nope."

Dave's office assistant Pam isn't any help.

Kim: "Where in the contract did it state that we have to sign a release?"

Pam: "Kim, I’m going to call 911 in just a minute and ask the police to ask you to leave the premises. I'm asking you to please leave and call or email our lawyer."

Kim: "I told you both and Julie, that i would sign a document that stated you had paid me in full. The release that you want me to sign, signs away any and all responsibility and it does more than that. It doesn't allow me to talk to anybody."

Pam: "I'm going to go to the phone, and call the Almont police, and ask you to leave."

Kim: "About my experience with you."

Pam: "This is being recorded (points to security camera)."

Kim: "That's fine, I'm recording as well."

By the time Kim walks out, the cops are there and tell her she has to leave.

Customer service isn't their strong point says Melanie Dusquenal of the Better Business Bureau. Both Envy Homes and Atlantis Homes have "D" and "F" ratings.

"They're not answering and when we do try to push on it to say, ‘Hey, get a hold of us,' they're not responding," said Melanie.

But Wolchek will repond. It's time for a clash with Nash.

Since Rob has seen what happens at his office, he's got to catch him on neutral ground.

Wolchek: "Hi Dave. Rob Wolchek from FOX 2. Can I talk to you?"

Dave: "I can't take any calls right now, no."

Kind of a weird answer.

Wolchek: "I need to talk to you about your business and some unhappy customers you have,"

Dave: "Well, I’d be willing to take your phone number and have somebody contact you tomorrow."

Wolchek: "Who would contact me? I want you to contact me."

Dave: "I will."

Rob gives Dave Nash his card and starts asking questions.

Wolchek:"You know the Wilkins' don't you?  Keith and Kim."

Dave: "Do I know the Wilkins couple? Yes, I do."

Wolchek: "Do you owe them money?"

Dave: "I can't answer that at this time. That's between attorneys."

Wolchek: "Well, it's kind of between them and you, isn't it? It's your company, isn't it?"

Dave: "No. It's between attorneys."

C'mon Dave ....

Wolchek: "Do you owe them money?"

Dave: "Yes, I owe them money."

Wolchek: "Okay, so, they're telling me that you want them to sign a non-disparagement agreement and they don't want to do that."

Dave: "They have a release agreement that was agreed upon by both attorneys. The one representing me and the one representing them, and there was an amount agreed to, and now they don't like the amount their attorney agreed to. They fired their attorney, hired a different attorney, that's where we're at today."

Wolchek: "Why don't you just give them the money you owe them?"

Dave: "There's not an agreement of numbers."

But there is an agreement. Here's an email from Dave, admitting he owes them $11,000.

So why don’t Kim and Keith want to sign it?  They say Dave’s lawyers tried to slip in a whole bunch of stuff they didn’t agree to, incliuding the non-disparagemnt clause.

Dave: "They won't sign the release."

Wolchek: "They say they won't sign the release, because you're trying to keep them quiet. They don't like you and they want to be able to talk about you."

Dave: "Inaccurate."

Wolchek: "Inaccurate?"

Dave: "Inaccurate."

Wolchek: "Here's one of their emails."

Dave: "I think we're not going to continue any more of this conversation ....  I’m willing to take your name and phone number."

Wolchek: "I just gave you ..."

Dave: "Okay.and I’ll do a follow-up with you appropriately and issue a statement at that time if you'd like."

Wolchek: "Okay, I don't want a statement; I want to talk to you about these people if I could."

Dave: "This is the last conversation I’m going to have with you."

Wolchek: "Well then, I’m going to keep throwing questions at you."

Dave: "I'm going to ask you to finish the conversation."

Wolchek: "So what about this thousand-dollar lien from Megan and Christopher Ales?  Why did you put a lien on their house?"

Dave: "If they put a lien on something it was because they ...."

Wolchek: "No. You put a lien on them. So, they gave you $260,000 - no, $460,000."

Dave: "This conversation is over."

It's obvious the Envy builder doesn't envy Rob, but he needs answers.

Wolchek: "Why do you have unhappy customers like this?  Why? I know they gave you $460,000, the Ales, for that house; they said you kind of threw a $20,000 extra fee on there and I’ve heard from a few people that you throw money on there at the end for upcharges. Is that true?"

Dave: "I hope you're not making false statement here."

Wolchek: "i'm not making false statements. I’m asking you."

Dave: "This seems to be a very slanderous act right now."

Wolchek: "I'm not slandering anybody ...."

Dave: "I'm going to go into this school."

Wolchek: "Go into the school."

Dave: "I coach, I coach basketball I think it's the right thing to do."

Wolchek: "Okay. All right. I'd like to talk to you tomorrow, so please contact me. I've got more questions for you."

Dave: "I've got answers for you."

Wolchek would like to hear them, but Dave never contacted him. So, Rob gives him another chance two days later at his office - which now has a different sign out front - calling the company Celtic Development.

He isn't sure who owns it, but the same employee vehicles are there. Dave's office door is locked, but his truck was parked right by the door.

Wolchek hangs out for a while but he guesses that Dave doesn't really want to talk to him.

After waiting for five minutes, he got what he expected - no reply. So, he leaves a business card.

"So it says on the back... 'Dave, please call me back,'" Wolchek says, leaving a card in the door. "I’m going to put this (business card) on his car as well."

"Whatever, let's get out of here."

Dave Nash, your customer service is certainly not a smash... You're in the Hhhhhall of Shame."