YORK COUNTY, S.C. — They tease and they smile. But, inside, Alexey and Irina Divachuk say it’s been hard.
They say they hired Christian Novellino — and his business, Constructing Up — to build them a house along Shady Tree Lane in York County. They say they signed the contract in 2020. They claim the builder was supposed to finish the house by the end of August 2021.
They say they put down more than $74,000.
“It was our whole savings. We gave it to him,” Irina Divachuk said.
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The company did a fair amount of work. But — more than two years later — the house still isn’t done.
“He would kind of bring your hopes and spirits up when we needed it, and then he would crush them. Repeatedly. Over and over and over again,” she said.
The Divachuks sued. They’re the fifth homebuyers to talk to Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke about their lawsuit. Stoogenke has been investigating the business for more than a year.
“He told us he was going to build us the whole dream,” she said. “It was just disappointment after disappointment, and I mean we were torn. Our dream, he took that away from us.”
The Divachuks say they’ve spent the last few years jumping from home to home because the “dream” never became reality. They say they finally gave up and bought another house, but more out of necessity than love.
The builder’s lawyer emailed Action 9 a statement in the past and said to use it for any follow-up reports.
She said, “Constructing Up cannot comment about active litigation other than to say that each case is different and Constructing Up is working toward resolving all outstanding disputes.”
South Carolina’s licensing board suspended Constructing Up’s license late last month. In North Carolina, the board is investigating and will take this up again in January.
In the meantime, a woman who filed for bankruptcy recently told the court she owns 10% of Constructing Up.
It’s not clear if or how that impacts the business or the customers.
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