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Old 06-12-2007, 07:11 PM   #31
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I agree with you 110 %.

We tell our workers to fix mistakes IMMEDIATELY. ''We'' are supposed to be the experts ........and a client should rarely be able to see a mistake and they should never have to ask that ''something'' be corrected. Mistakes, flaws, or issues, should never be left for fixing at a later time....

When mistakes are left unfixed, it sends red flags up. A client will then just look closer at everything else. They will inspect in detail.They will start asking lots of questions .... it's human nature.... (thus we see Aerovette's situation)
I understand where he is coming from now. IMHO - The builder left the door wide open and invited the kind of questioning he is getting from his client on the build - because of his absence of quality control, follow-up, and proper site supervision ...

Sounds like it ''could be'' a builder that is more concerned about profit than putting his "name" on a quality piece of work.....
Thank you for this post. You and I are eye to eye on this. Too bad I couldn't have you as my builder. Oh and I forgot even mention the empty beer bottles the workers left on site. That gave me a real "warm and fuzzy" right there.


Last edited by Aerovette; 06-12-2007 at 07:18 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:19 PM   #32
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I am amazed after reading these posts......If you feel you are getting a lipsticked pig, then you might consider documenting everything, bail, go to arbitration, then follow in court, or.....take the 15k loss as a learning experience.

If you ever decide to have a new home built again, try looking for a GC, or builder who actually builds.....maybe 4 or 5 homes a year...chances are he will be on site every day, and probably has his own crew to do most of the work. I sub very little out on my homes, since we do it all (except hvac/elec/plumbing). When I do sub out, like drywall, I am there a few times a day, and if there are issues, the check isn't written til I am happy.

From your original post, I think you have some legitimate concerns, but.....what you are seeing is what I would expect to see from builders who crank out 100+ homes a year, and have supers to "watch" the work being done.

Sometimes the advice you can catch may be hard to take, and DIY'ers on this site get offended, but those of us that work in the field see this everyday, all day long, and know what it is really like.....so take it with a grain of salt......customers like you are why I avoid custom homes like plague....when I build a spec, I won't sell it until it is over 80% complete.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:10 PM   #33
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.....customers like you are why I avoid custom homes like plague.....

Customers like me? I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. Customers like me that won't let any monkey with a hammer bang boards together?
Customers like me that want what they are paying for?
Customers like me that would like the Supervisor to step out of his A/C trailer and watch his people now and then?
Customers like me that don't want the crew getting sloshed at work?

What kind of a jerk am I? Expecting straight walls and a roof without daylight shining in. I must be really picky asking for windows that weren't installed with the latch ON THE OUTSDIDE. Yeah I forgot to mention that one too. Wanna see the picture? I guess I'm just picky that way.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:55 PM   #34
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I do feel your pain. The truth of the matter is now days their are some contractors out there today that fully believe if we can hide the problem later why worry about it. I am sure somewhere in the middle you are both correct (builder and you). At this point I believe you really need to figure out where you want to put your foot down. You are not going to get everything you want. I know you are hacked. Now is the time to prioritize. Figure out what you can live with or try to use what leverage you have left to pull out of the deal. Jack the price up on your house you have now so their is no way it will sell. I believe you said you have a contingency on the sale of your home. If I am right on this then can't you raise the price to insure it will not sell. If I am wrong I must have misunderstood.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:13 PM   #35
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My listing contract might impede my ability to change the price at this point. However, all the prospects have made offers well below the value. I foolishly over-remodeled for the neighborhood and am about $5k high in my list price. I thought I would be in the house forever so I remodeled to taste, not for resale. I am pretty secure in using that as leverage, but ultimately, I want the new house. I just want it right. I have already made many concessions on both function and form. Out of frustration I have let many things fall from the list and am trying to focus on issues that I cannot address easily after completion (plumbing for example). I have an electrician friend and another that does siding so I am willing to let some of those things go and make the repairs after closing. (It kills me to let them get away with this stuff). As for mediation mentioned previously, keep in mind that the BUILDER hires the Arbitrator. Guess how that will probably turn out.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:08 AM   #36
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Rock and a hard place. It is so easy for us who do not have the time and $ invested. It basically boils down to what you want to fight for. But when you want to vent keep posting. I will be here to listen. Can't guarantee I will say what you want to hear but I do understand your pain. Fortunately I built my own house from the ground up so I did not have to put up with what you are experiencing. However my best Friend just had a house built in Spokane WA. and I could not believe some of the things they did. Overall the house is fine but it could have been better.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerovette View Post
Customers like me? I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. Customers like me that won't let any monkey with a hammer bang boards together?
Customers like me that want what they are paying for?
Customers like me that would like the Supervisor to step out of his A/C trailer and watch his people now and then?
Customers like me that don't want the crew getting sloshed at work?

What kind of a jerk am I? Expecting straight walls and a roof without daylight shining in. I must be really picky asking for windows that weren't installed with the latch ON THE OUTSDIDE. Yeah I forgot to mention that one too. Wanna see the picture? I guess I'm just picky that way.
I guess I'll jump in here. I haven't posted here in a couple of weeks. I am very much like Aerovette. I have been a hard core DIYer for a long time. I am confident I could build my own house from scratch. (ok, GCs, roll your eyes) When I wanted a bigger house I went with a largish builder that operates in SE PA, not a national one but not a 4 house a year outfit either. My house was semi-custom. Started with stock plans and modified them to suit our needs. I too had a similar agreement and earnest money in jeopardy if I backed out. I also had the clause that prohibited me from visiting the work site unaccompanied. I ignored the do not visit clause. I went every day, almost. Yes, I saw bowed studs (side to side like you described). I did not complain because I knew they would not cause any problem. I also had one stud that was nailed on the wrong side of the line and not plumb. I thought of mentioning that one but never did. Sure a few things were not as I would have done them. My house went from grass field to hand me the keys in 2.5 months for a 2850sq ft house. Pretty darn fast! At one point in framing I noticed that the openings for side windows on a kitchen bump out were not framed out. I called my contact and mentioned it. Siding guy was starting the next time I visited, no openings, all other windows were installed and these two were sitting in the garage. Called again, told them they would need to re-do the siding if they didn't fix now. Well, the siding went up. Then electrical went in and, of course, ran right through where the window should have been. Long story short, they did make it right, no one got upset. Oh, and I DID go when workers were there. I brought drinks, an occasional 6 pack, etc. I was friendly and complimentary. I never asked the subs for anything, I never questioned what they were doing. Any concerns or questions went through agreed upon channels. Yea, I could see light between plywood sheets before tyvek and siding went up. Yea, I'm sure I had a door header not level. Yea, I had a few issues here and there. My end result? I got a great house that I am happy with. Is it perfect? No. Did my builder do everything I paid him to do? Yes. Did he go above and beyond? No. I got exactly what I expected and paid for. Any issues were fixed as they were found or after final walk through. Final walk through list had over 50 items with settlement the next day. ALL were resolved properly prior to settlement as agreed (Except for a globe for a light fixture that had a crack and needed to be special ordered. The order was placed though. I installed that even though the builder was prepared to do it for me) So, I think by making the crew HAPPY and not cranky I ended up with a better product than if I would have just showed up for the keys. Your builder is cussing you behind your back. You have participated in creating an antagonistic relationship. Yea, its not your fault completely but you certainly contributed. My crystal ball says things wont get any better until you stop nit picking and play nice. There is some saying about flies, honey and vinegar. I can remember it exactly at the moment but I'm sure it applies. So, threatening lawyers will cause more problems IMO. talking like men and making nice will go a long way.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:04 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Aerovette View Post
Customers like me? I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. Customers like me that won't let any monkey with a hammer bang boards together?
Customers like me that want what they are paying for?
Customers like me that would like the Supervisor to step out of his A/C trailer and watch his people now and then?
Customers like me that don't want the crew getting sloshed at work?

What kind of a jerk am I? Expecting straight walls and a roof without daylight shining in. I must be really picky asking for windows that weren't installed with the latch ON THE OUTSDIDE. Yeah I forgot to mention that one too. Wanna see the picture? I guess I'm just picky that way.

I knew I should have avoided the remark, but I prefer a good relationship with a customer, and by the way, I would take exception with the builder for the problems you have listed....so you say you must arbitrate any problems before legal action? If you took your photos and documented problems to arbitration, and they didn't act in your favor, I would be lawyering up, because you have legal recourse. Instead of blazing the posts due to advice, you should consult a lawyer, and let him give you a course of action of you feel you are being sold a pig with lipstick. Read the post above again...see if it rings a bell.

There will be things that are on the punch list, and things that are not that important......the home we are currently building has a soffit that over 16 feet is one inch out further at one end......my customer didn't even notice, but we are changing out the custom steel soffit panel, since it isn't right....now the correct way to fix it, would have been to remove the roof panels, and trim the rafter tails, and square the soffit, but ordering a piece of trim took care of it...shoddy work or problem solved? The guy on my crew that made the mistake won't make that mistake again, but we didn't catch the problem til we were trimming......and just to add, i challenge anyone to take a handful of experienced construction types through any home and not find flaws....our eyes are used to seeing stuff the average person will never notice.
By the way, did you read the full post? You would be fine with a reputable GC/builder on site, but I bet you will know this next time.

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Last edited by joasis; 06-13-2007 at 10:15 PM.
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