May 03, 2012BERLIN — A local family, who put their life savings into upgrading their home, has found themselves caught up in a construction scam. Richard and Erica Buteau, of Hillside Ave, paid a Bow Contractor $9,000 to replace their drafty, old windows with new ones, but after months of missed deadlines and excuses, they find they have been taken and they are not alone.
Tim Currier, of Green Home Energy Solutions, the Buteaus have learned, has various complaints against him for taking deposits and then taking off. At least three other homeowners have had the same experience and he appears to have vacated his home in Bow. Efforts to reach him have been unsuccessful and the Attorney General's office is investigating him.
"The company seemed legit. The New Hampshire BBB (Better Business Bureau) had given them a B+ rating," Erica said. "Consumer reviews appeared positive; I thought I did my homework. Instead, I feel like I flushed our entire savings down the drain."
Richard, who is a native of Berlin, works at Easter Seals in Lancaster and Erica is originally from Milan and works part-time as an Adjunct Faculty member at the White Mountains Community College. They have three children. A year ago, the Buteau family lost everything in a fire that destroyed their rented home and everything in it. A small renter's insurance policy gave them enough money for a down payment on a foreclosed house next door to the Hillside School. But the 120-year-old home needed work – and cold air leaked in sending heating prices higher and higher.
Last December, Mr. and Mrs. Butueau met with five companies about installing 19-energy efficient windows and a front entry door. Currier's bid came in the lowest and he explained that his business model was to undercut his competitors by 10 percent. In early January, the Buteaus researched Currier's company and accepted his contract, which stipulated the windows would be installed within 5-6 weeks. The deadline was delayed several times and then finally, last week, Currier stopped responding and the Buteaus started making calls. They learned of two other people caught up in a similar situation with Currier.
The scammed-homeowners are working together to coordinate a formal complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer division. It will take at least a month as their office is backed up with complaints. For a video interview and other documents relating to this story, go to www.WhiteMtNews.com