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Fernbrook Homes

Builders
575 Bloomington Rd E, SS 6 Richmond Hill ON L4E 1A2
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Fernbrook Homes
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Reviews for Fernbrook Homes

Average customer rating:
4.2 10 (51 reviews)

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Random in Mississauga
Random in Mississauga
0 reviews Milton, ON
4/10

SevenOaks: Be prepared to be trivialized

Get a nice beverage, this could be a long one. I think this is realistically the only means for catharsis and a tiny measure of justice.

For context, I've bought and owned pre-construction homes before, so it's safe to say that I'm familiar with how this is supposed to proceed. I'm not some self-entitled 50-year-old nutjob raging behind a keyboard either.

I suppose if you've got scads of money and/or don't have any knowledge or opinion on how your pre-construction home is going to be built, you won't have too many issues with the decor experience. We'll see how the rest of the process pans out once I've taken possession.

I bought a detached home from Fernbrook a year or so ago. Our salesperson, while amicable and polite, ended up providing us with either incorrect or very misleading information - Errors and omissions worth well in excess of $10k. Things you'd think were obvious-to-mention items, like up-charging you $2k to select anything other than the 4-5 standard coloured bricks or floor height upgrades that didn't include an "architecting fee" that was almost as much as the upgrade itself. Why am I getting charged an architecting fee for drawings of a home in the configuration you've sold more than a hundred of? No chance I'm the first person to ever want this upgrade. Even if I were, does it really cost THAT much to draw the exact same home but with the first floor a foot taller? I'll omit my gripe about them being sneaky around undesirable lot features for now, that's at least partially on the homeowner to investigate prior to purchase, but boy, the smoke and mirrors.

This then brings me to the meat-and-potatoes of my compendium, the decor portion. From the get-go, there is absolute pandemonium, lack of proper process and procedures, and a general disregard time. You'll see that my attestation is not the only one indicating this. The business seems to be run more like a mom-and-pop shop. Everything is hand-written, details given can barely be called scant, not to mention that unless you're going top-shelf upgrades, the finishes are very very outdated and of poor quality. For reference, the stuff being offered as 1st level upgrade in a $1.5m home is the same stuff I got STANDARD in a starter home in Milton (the big M builder).

To be fair, my grievances are largely tied to policy/procedure/process break-downs, so it seems to point to the builder as a whole. My assigned-consultant is not completely devoid of faults, mind you. Some generalities to pick on:

* Who writes quotes and upgrade prices by hand on templated forms? Human error, handwriting interpretation difficulties, omissions, spacing constraints, scribbles, information inaccuracies... You're not writing up a bill for 2lbs of meat at the butcher, this is a home in excess of a million dollars.

* The very first thing we were asked when we began the decor/structural process: "So what do you want?". I haven't been given any information, prices, or options. How would you like me to tell you?

* Devil in the details. You go into this transaction without a full knowledge of all options and typical upgrades, good luck, there's no list. You don't ask, you don't get it.

* Upgrade pricing. I mean, see above comment about re-architecting fees. Moreso despite decor finishes being grouped neatly into tiers, there is no set pricing on anything. You want pricing on all tier 3 tiles so you can choose a nice one that is in your budget? Nope. You have to pick a tile, then I have to contact some remote office and get a price for it. Different tile in the same tier? That's another interaction with the remote office. Your 3hr consultation quickly evaporates when most of it is spent getting quotes instead of making choices.

* Electrical gremlins. Not really (yet?). Good luck finding out where any electrical outlet or fixture is. Apparently pre-approved mechanical and electrical layout diagrams necessary to gaining a building permit, are treated like taboo. Nobody has 'em, nobody see's em. You "think" you need a light fixture somewhere? Pay for one in that room "just in case" it doesn't have one. Need an electrical outlet somewhere specific? Better fork out for the outlet, just in case. Want to know where a light fixture will be placed? "Dunno", but pay over a hundred bucks to move something that could have already been slated to be placed there, just to be sure.

* Shady backroom deals. as if all of the above didn't raise enough eyebrows, this one smacks of kickbacks and back-alley deals. Fernbrook does not employ their own electrician subcontractor when it comes to network drops or conduits (and security-related items). Nope, they refer you to an entirely separate business who has zero affiliation with Fernbrook. If there are any issues with these items post-closing, you deal with this 3rd party, not Fernbrook. Meaning if this company installs shoddy security equipment, you don't have the luxury of documented and enforceable dealings with your builder and/or Tarion. No, you chase this small business on your own. Ditto, if you buy a home, despite potentially closing more than a year later (4 years, as I've come to hear from other owners), you're expected to have bought your appliances right off the bat. But don't worry, if you haven't already bought the appliances and can provide exact measurements immediately, come shop at my buddy's appliance store nearby. They'll provide all the measurements so you're hands-off, and your deadline to provide measurements is magically gone. No pressure this way. Great right? Except the buddy's store is one that is consistently reviewed horribly for skipping delivery dates, delivering damaged or downright defective appliances, then denying any accountability for the issues, demanding that newly-delivered appliance owners contact the manufacturer for warranty service.

At the end of the day, let's be realistic here. This review, assuming it gets approved and stays online, will hopefully reach a few perspective home buyers as a "buyer beware". In the GTA, homes are still selling with reckless abandon, so business will likely not be affected. If you take my notes into consideration, assuming you want to buy a Fernbrook home, you should be much better off than I was - At least you're not blindsided by a train and forced to run a mile-a-minute to compensate for the builder's lack of proper protocol.

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Bardia
Bardia
1 review Richmond Hill, ON
0/10

Fernbrook home equals to nightmare

I purchased a house from them in Sharon Village and had nothing but the worst experience of my life and an absolute nightmare!!!
Since day one everything was terrible.
I asked their sales person to send me a copy of the contract and price list of the houses in advanced and he refused and asked to go to the office and he would give me the price lists.
When I went over, he pretended that he was in rush and got me sign all the papers in less than 5 minutes and refused to give me the price list for “confidentially reasons”!
Price was extremely high and unreasonable and they were just taking advance of late 2016 and early 2017 market.
Few months later their décor center contacted me and asked me to book an appointment without giving me any information on why I am going there.
When I went there a very rude girl called Diana was there waiting for me and showed me the worst possible attitude that she could and was forcing me to choose the décor stuff right away!
When I was asking for the quality or price, all I was getting was attitude.
I got frustrated and spoke to her manager and rescheduled my meeting for two weeks later and went there on Saturday before my appointment to preview the material and selected some, but nobody explained to me that many of those materials were not my options and I just had a very limited options between the worst and lowest quality material and for anything else I had to pay extra.
You can imagine how frustrating it is, when you have paid them 150 k above market value and you selections are the worst possible materials.
Anyway in my second décor visit I had been forced to select some stuff and sign some papers, I tried to put some comments on papers about my assumptions but Diana tore off the paper and forced me to sign another copy without any comments on it and charged me around 12k for those awful upgrades.
As I had purchased all my appliances in advanced, I sent them the exact dimensions and asked them to consider it when they build the cabinets and counter tops.
Then closing came and they charged me around 17 k in adjustments above what their price was which I never understood why I was paying so much to them for such a garbage house.
In closing I contacted their lawyers and asked about the adjustments and other stuff and they just sent a very official legal answer that they would not do anything and they didn’t care about my concerns.
Since I have moved in, I have noticed that almost on everything they have the worst possible material that they could including water taps, faucets, lightings and anything that you can imagine.
I have used the washroom for less than 6 months and all sealing material in washrooms has already been gone.
Their hardwood is scratched in many places, their lawn was damaged just in less than 2 weeks and their grading was terrible, all the downspouts were pouring water right to the foundation of the house.

And 8 months after living in the house I noticed there was mould in the ceiling and all over windows in my master bedroom and when I reported it to them, instead of fixing it, they asked me to contact the Air conditioning Company!!!

And their AC Company was even worse than themselves and refused to come on site.

As a result I reported this to Tarion and my BRAND NEW house turned to a construction zone for more than 5 months!
I brought in different contactors and all of them were just shaking heads on the poor quality of work in the house.

To save the cost; their insulation contractor had used less insulation material that they should have used and this had caused a very terrible condensation in the attic which had damaged all the ceiling of my master bedroom and had created very dangerous moulds there!
And the most ridiculous thing was they were trying to finger point this at me that a home owner should go to his attic once a week and check if everything is good!!!!
I never had to do this in my 60 years old Bungalow before this house.
I wish there was some minus scores in this website and I could score them -10 as they are really terrible
and their customer service is the worst possible service that you can expect.
And after one year all my bathroom faucets are rusted, my hardwoods are scratched, my lawn has been damaged, my attic had condensation problem all over, and …

Prevent buying a house with them except if you want to have few years of nightmare

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Oakville, ON
1/10

Terrible service after closing

We bought a property from Fernbrook ROC in 2017. Service was great before closing, but the quality of service dropped precipitously after that. These people (excluding the sales team) are either incompetent or just don't care. Some issues that we faced:
- It took a month for them to respond to our concerns about our driveway, which looked like a wormhole in August 2018
- Some locks were not properly installed. They fixed it eventually, but making an appointment with them felt like pulling teeth
- Dishwasher doesn't close properly

I pray that I won't have other problems given the other reviews on this page.
- Walls are starting to crack (Jan 2019)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Home owner in Oakville in Oakville
Home owner in Oakville in Oakville
1 review Oakville, ON
1/10

Homeowner-Oakville

The building materials are very inferior especially the doors. We had to change room doors within the first year. And within 4 years the shower door hinge dangerously cracks without any definite reason and now we have to pay $510. Called their customer service and they do not seem concerned that such low quality glass was installed. I find this ridiculous.
This is the most recent among others like the roof. I'm never going near these builders next time .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Toronto, ON
3/10

New Townhouse Purchase

Had my closing a few months ago for a townhouse built by Fernbrook Homes and the following are my comments/experience:

Pros
- Sales representative was easy to work with and quick to respond to questions throughout the process up until closing.
- Customer Service, site office staff and office staff will work with you and respond promptly to delay compensation issues, deficiencies and rectifying upgrades that were not installed or missed (either refund buyer or fix the problem).
- Although technology was very outdated and everything was done manually at the Decor Center, the staff there did work with customers carefully choosing the best upgrades according to budget and offered lots of advice.

Cons
- Even when all the items listed in the feature sheet formed part of the Purchase Agreement, construction related items maybe substituted to save costs without compensation nor consent from buyer. Fernbrook will simply state that building codes were met or the approved drawing did not specified item to be required (e.g. exterior sliding door replaced with swing door that intrude into interior space, steel beam replaced with laminated lumber beam, etc.). Note: Fernbrook and Tarion will both use "meeting building codes" as definition for "substitution with equal or better quality", so as long as the item meets the minimum building codes, builder could substitute any construction features even when the promised feature is of better quality/material than the substitution (if a feature is important to buyer, it is not enough to include it in the Purchase Agreement, must ask lawyer to put in language to prevent substitution for the particular item(s)).
- Workmanship in general was very poor, rather than fixing the obvious items before the PDI, Fernbrook would let buyer identify them and waste everyone's time to have each trade come in fixing one thing at a time. Builder also overbooked slots for rectifying defects and promised slot would be missed because the customer service technician was asked to drop my appointment to work on something else without notifying me. My agent did actually agreed that the workmanship at my home was really bad as she just looked at another client's home also built by Fernbrook and the workmanship there was much better but closing was delayed for more than a year. So, looks like Fernrbook does have crew that are good but buyer might suffer a much longer delay, and to avoid delays, Fernbrook would employ contractors that are quick but do a sloppy job to speed things up.
- Lots of garbage (e.g. lunch boxes, socks, shoes, plastic bottle filled with yellow liquid, cigarette boxes, used tape, etc.) were left in the ducting, under vanity cabinets, under kitchen cabinets, any crevices or nooks.
- When closing, check each adjustment carefully against the Purchase Agreement with your lawyer, builder's lawyer overcharged on many items (either they have too many closing at the same time and used a template to save time, or overcharging simply hoping buyers would missed them).
- Issues with water tank rental agreement is nothing new (e.g. no definite termination date, unreasonable rental charges that could also increase anytime in the future, no clear buyout schedule, etc.), but always check to see if buyer can include a reasonable buyout option/amount in the Purchase Agreement to have a way out if the charges or terms in the rental agreement is unfavorable (which I learnt the hard way).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Cindy in Toronto
Cindy in Toronto
3 reviews Vaughan, ON
4/10

New Build

I purchased a Fernbrook home in Maple in October 2015 and closed July 2018; although the long wait was disappointing, it is expected in this industry and I planned accordingly.
Upon closing there were deficiencies, which I have come to learn is common with new builds; we were in a time of growth and hiring good contractors is not always easy.
Fernbrook is in the process of fixing the deficiencies, and to be fair, I will provide an update on their completion, including quality and timeliness; this may also increase my overall score.

Review has 2 previous versions
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Oakville ROC homeowners in Richmond Hill
Oakville ROC homeowners in Richmond Hill
1 review Richmond Hill, ON
7/10

ROC Oakville

Royal Oak Club Oakville: Having never built a home from scratch before, we had a lot to learn about the process and there was a huge gap in our understanding about the process, but Fernbrook came through on almost every part of their promise. We now have a beautiful home in a lovely neighbourhood. The personal service from the ladies at the design centre ( pre build help from Carmela, Susan S at Downsview was outstanding ) and the the "after sales " service was excellent. ( amazing assistance and trouble shooting from Stacy P and Darius). As long as we were patient and persistent we found that Fernbrook was able to resolve all our needs. And few times they saved came to our rescue to resolve a problem.-thank goodness for their help! We have been truly satisfied with our new home.

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J and D in Oakville
J and D in Oakville
1 review Oakville, ON
10/10

Bronte Creek Oakville

I had the pleasure of purchasing a home from Fernbrook in Oakville. The entire sales experience was exemplary. From the construction process, picking out the upgrades into the decor centre, to the after care service. If I was going to buy another home it would definitely have to be a Fernbrook. The quality of their workmanship, the layout of their homes, and their locations are second to none. I would highly recommend them. If you're in the market for a very well built home, you should make Fernbrook the first name on your list.

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Corey Ellis in Oakville
Corey Ellis in Oakville
1 review Oakville, ON
10/10

Fernbrook Homes - our experience

I came across these reviews for Fernbrook Homes and thought I’d share our experience.

We moved into our Fernbrook home in Spring, 2016. This was the third time we have purchased a new home, and we have previously lived through a complete renovation of a century home.

Our experience with Fernbrook continues to exceed our expectations. The designs are inspired, with architectural details usually reserved for only the best custom homes. The choice of finishes and materials at the decor centre was fantastic. The sales team was a pleasure to deal with, both before and after our purchase. Changes to layout and finishes were accepted without additional cost, and our home closed on time.

As with any new home, there were some incomplete and defective items. While repairs didn’t happen overnight, the customer service team did everything we asked of them and more.

I would not hesitate to recommend this builder to anyone, and would certainly purchase another Fernbrook home.

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Private User
Private User
Private User reviews Vaughan, ON
9/10

New home

I love my new home! Fernbrook has been great! The market value has gone up every year and the house is solid and still looks brand new after 6+ years!
Stacey the customer service manager has been fantastic! She really cares about the home owner and it makes a big difference. The few issues that we had were dealt with professionally and completed within a reasonable period of time. I would recommend Fernbrook to anyone who is planning on buying a home. They are a solid investment.

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