Friday, November 30, 2012

I have been hoodwinked, bamboozled......


CAUTION TO NEW CONSTRUCTION HOMEOWNERS!
**this is a long read but worth reading and will save you lots of stress**
plus my first RANT

Someone mentioned to me that she was looking for some information on my blog regarding the pre-drywall meeting.  So I am taking this opportunity to share what my experience has been and what some of you, actually most of you, need and may want to be aware of while building your home with the specific selections, upgrades and options you may or may not have chosen.

First, we did not have a formal drywall meeting because we had many mini meetings in between to discuss the different options in our home so it wasn't necessary to have a formal pre drywall meeting. We just kept it moving!

Second, let me urge each of you to schedule another meeting with your SR after you sign the purchase agreement to discuss all the details of the selections you chose for your home.  This meeting will be much shorter than your first meeting if you follow the next step.  Take the selection sheet home and thoroughly go over each item because 99% of the time most new homeowners will discover options that they are unaware of and this gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to your options and stay within budget.  Plus most homeowners are not privy to this selection sheet until after they complete the purchase agreement so it's impossible to know all the options available for your model/floor plan until you walk out with a big grin on your face with your purchase agreement in hand.

Third, Schedule another meeting and go over ALL your paper work and change orders to be sure that your paper work is reflecting the paperwork of your Sales Representatives including your paper work from Guardian and the flooring company. Be sure to get copies of your Guardian options and flooring options and over go that paper work line by line and verify the prices you are being charged for each item you selected.  DO NOT BE SHY ABOUT ASKING FOR A MEETING-- IT IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR NEW HOME OR YOU WILL BE TOLD, SORRY WE CAN NOT CHANGE THAT OR SORRY I NEVER TOLD YOU THAT OR YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT YOU OVER PAID FOR SOME OF YOUR OPTIONS.  ***BE SURE TO HAVE THIS MEETING WITHIN YOUR TWO WEEK DEADLINE PERIOD WHICH MEANS SCHEDULING ALL YOUR APPOINTMENTS WITH ALL THE VENDORS ASAP OR YOU MAY BE TOLD, SORRY IT'S TOO LATE.

Fourth, record in a notebook/journal all the discussions you have with your building team and record the date and time.  Be sure to verify the information with them to be certain you are only recording facts and not your interpretation before you record your notes.  After your conversation, back it up with an confirmation mail to cover your assets. Do not be shy about recording your notes in the meeting, you do not want to rely on your memory once you get home.

Fifth, If you follow these steps you should show up to your pre construction meeting with very little concerns because you checked your list and you checked it twice with your SR.  Bring your back up material to your pre construction meeting.  AND, be sure to go over every detail with your PM at this meeting too.  AND, yes, take notes in this meeting too.  Record everything in your journal even if it feels unnecessary.

Sixth, If you requested and were approved for any non standard customizations again, keep records and discuss with your SR detail for detail your non standard request and do the same with your PM before they start your build.  Also, ask for a copy of the customizations approval list from the costing/pricing department during this meeting to include in your records along with a copy of the change order until the official change order copy is returned with signatures in the mail.  Be sure to be very specific in your non standard request and ask for clarification from your SR to be sure it is going on your change order according to your specifics.  It is easy for your non standard request to be misinterpreted. Be sure your PM understands your request and don't forget to bring copies of pictures to provide to your PM for his clarification of your request.   

Seventh,  For all non - standard requests provide pictures, measurements, and if necessary, provide     the name of the company, your point of contact, phone numbers, address etc if you are working with a company outside of RH to expedite your request.  If it is a RH product that RH does not offer as an option, contact the vendor to verify that the product is available in their warehouse to request as a non standard request to provide to your SR.  Do your research before presenting your request so that you are prepared and to increase the chances of getting your non standard request approved.  If your non standard request is denied, ask what are they willing to do to meet you half way to have the non standard approved.  I have seen some very unusual requests that RH has approved for customers on this blog that I was shocked to see approved because I have been consistently told that RH is not a customer builder; however, these requests were approved. 

Eight, Keep all your documentation for NVR on a thumb drive for both you and your spouse, in a folder in your email box for easy access from your smart phone when asked to provide the same documentation, once, twice and maybe even a third or fourth time.  Go to your human resources department and/or immediate supervisor and alert them of your home purchase and to expect a call for verification of employment at different stages and better yet, get an official (notarized) employee verification letter a week or two before your walk through and also have all documentation in a binder with you at all times.

Nine, check on your home as often as possible to catch any mishaps.  It is much easier for your PM to make the changes sooner rather than later.  If possible, ask a friend or two to check on your home if you are not able too because the mishaps will happen.  For instance, my cabinets were installed the other day and some of the doors are not aligned, the wrong cabinet product was delivered, the wrong brick color was delivered even though my change order reflects the correct colors, etc.  If you discover an item isn't reflected on your change order chances are they will tell you it's too late.  Check all your supplies to be sure they reflect the colors you chose.  I caught the brick layers just in time before they installed the wrong brick color and the guy told me he was mixing the two styles of brick together because he thought that is what we ordered.  We had one stack of the right color and three stacks of the wrong color.  Imagine the set back it would have caused and luckily it was reflected on our change order.

Lastly, I hope this information supports you in your building journey and to at least prevent some of the common pitfalls throughout your build.  It will not in any way guarantee any mistakes from occurring but it will definitely reduce some of them.  I have had some very interesting mishaps over the past few weeks that made me feel highly discouraged and honestly, at the highest level of pissosity because I was misinformed by my SR that an option in the Rome was standard and when I discovered it wasn't there my SR rescinded what she told me.  If I had known otherwise, I would have submitted it as a non standard request several months ago while we waited six months for approval.  I feel hoodwinked and bamboozled because they did nothing to accommodate the miscommunication except tell me in so many words they were not going to do anything about it and they accommodated several requests that we are paying our money have these customs built into our home.   The bottom line for me is that regardless of the number of requests we submitted it has nothing to do with this issue.  I WAS MISINFORMED. PERIOD.  They suggested that I had several customs and they accommodated most of them and I should be happy about that which I am but DO NOT suggest to me that there is nothing that can be done to keep me a satisfied customer.  If RH has a cap on the number of upgrades, selections/options, and customizations that a family can choose to build their home it should be stated and have each family sign a form stating such.  As far as I am concerned, I do not see a limit of the customizations, selections, or upgrades in their model homes.  I have discovered that as much as your SR/PM/RH/LO would love for you to be in your dream home and will go to bat to see it through the key thing ALL new home builders need to know is cover your assets because they are definitely covering theirs; because at the end of the day--IT'S BUSINESS.  SO TREAT THIS EXPERIENCE AS YOUR NEW HOME START UP BUSINESS THAT YOU ARE PURCHASING AND WILL BE PAYING FOR FOR THE NEXT 15/30 YEARS.  DO NOT BE SHY OR FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE FOR ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE IN YOUR HOME OR ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT YOUR HOME. IF YOU HAVE THE QUESTIONS--ASK. NO QUESTION IS TOO DUMB TO ASK FOR SUCH A CRUCIAL PROJECT BECAUSE ONCE THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY CLOSES, THEY WILL UTTER THE WORDS, SORRY WE CAN'T DO THAT OR YOU CAN ADD THAT LATER AFTER YOU SETTLE!

**ON A GOOD NOTE:  THE PROGRESS OF OUR HOME IS MOVING ALONG NICELY, THE SIDING, BATHROOM TILES, CABINET INSTALLATION FOR KITCHEN, ALL BATHROOMS WITH GRANITE, WET BAR, TRIM HAVE BEEN COMPLETED!  WE ARE EXPECTING THE GRANITE INSTALLATION FOR THE KITCHEN AND WETBAR NEXT WEEK.  I SAW A PICTURE OF THE SLAB AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE SCHEME IS GOING TO WORK OUT FINE WITH THE BACKSPLASH.  THEY ARE PREPPING THE PORCH FOR CEMENT AND THE STONE FOR THE FIREPLACE IS WAITING TO BE INSTALLED MAYBE TOMORROW SINCE THEY ADDED ANOTHER COAT OF PAINT TODAY. WE SHALL SEE!

**ON ANOTHER NOTE:  THE DURANGO SHELVES IN THE GUEST BATHROOM ARE TOO LARGE TO BE INSTALLED UP FRONT NEAR THE SHOWER HEAD.  I SUGGEST THAT WHEN YOU PUT YOUR REQUEST IN HAVE THEM INSTALLED TO THE BACK CORNER OF THE SHOWER.  IT APPEARS TO BE A SAFETY ISSUE.  I IMAGINED RAISING MY ARMS AND MOVING ABOUT AND THEY ARE DEFINITELY TOO CLOSE.  THEY ARE PERFECT FOR INSTALLATION IN THE FRONT OF THE SHOWER FOR THE MASTER BATHROOM BECAUSE THE STALL IS MUCH LARGER.  I PLAN TO TALK TO OUR PM TOMORROW AND HOPE THIS WORKS OUT!





11 comments:

  1. Hi Nadase. I'm sorry to read about your bad experiences. I hope everything will be uphill from now on.

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    1. Thank you Carly because this REALLY upset me!!

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  2. GREAT POST !!!!Cant of said it better myself!!!! We checked everything, everyday, but we only lived about one mile away. We would not allow them to start the fireplace stone installation until we approved the stone color... and Ryan agreed and PM called when it was delivered and waited for us to take a look at the color before putting it up! We had taken a ton of pictures from the model and compared it carefully to the home they were building us. We caught several small mistakes that would have never been remedied unless we said something. For example, the shelving units in both master bedroom closets. They only put up half of them up and I showed them a pic of the Vic Falls model home we had taken and they corrected it. They also corrected our staircase about 5 times over again to get all the molding correct to match the model home. We also had a disagreement because the model showed that the bathroom tile went a couple of inches over the shower head and they were ending out shower tile at the shower head which would have meant that more drywall would be exposed closer to the water splashing on it. After telling them that their model was a misrepresenation and we wanted a refund, they finally agreed to tile about 6 inches above the shower head in the msaterbath to match the vic falls model... I know these sound little but it makes a differnece in the long run to get what you paid for !!!!!!

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    1. No, they do not sound little because at the end of the day we are building our dream homes and if we can make a difference during this stage it's crucial to speak up. I am glad it worked out for you! I was appalled at the implications and the nonsense they were taking us through. It left a bad taste in my mouth!!! It's unfortunate I had to go through all of that and still did not get the door.

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    2. YOu have a waited a long time for this dream.. I am sorry you went through this! Hope it all works out for you !!!

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    3. I hope so too! My cup runneth over!

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  3. Try this approach for fun: there are a BAZILLION things that can go into building a new home. Your ability to understand them all, depending on your experience, is quantifiable... let's say 20%. Next is your capacity to conjure a memory of your understanding (dock 2% - 5%). Next is having enough luck and timing to apply your understanding and memory (dock 10%). Next is your aptitude for negotiation, which I don't think is quantifiable, since it depends on your opponent's aptitude as well. All this means is there is a very slim chance you are going to get exactly what you want. Screaming bloody-murder, throwing a temper-tantrums, making back-door deals, are in my opinion all great tactics to improving your chances, but all battles can't be fought, and all can't be won. Roger and Donna is right, this is a great guide... use it and stay engaged! What may be a special request for you, could be a standard for the next rookie :)

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    1. Nice response, Isz!! I did give me something to think about and to put things into perspectives. However, I HATE with a passion being bamboozled!!

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  4. Nadase,no pics of all the progress though, you are killing me, I need pics.... what's going on, other than this Rant you have been super quiet??

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  5. How about shutterfly? Can you put pics of there and and add the link to the blog.

    Or i know you dont want to start a new blog, but you could do PARTII, you should still be able to incorporate into your BLURB??

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