Had our new house built just about two years ago. Overall, the house is great and we love it, the sales process was excellent but starting from the build to after sales care I have to say my experience has been trending downwards from my initial experience with this organization.
Anything you want changed / done get it done before they get that first check. After they have that check, the only way you can get anything changed is if you forgo your deposit and cancel the build ...
I think another review said get everything in writing ... seriously ... get *everything* in writing.
The TL;DR version ... sales process is great, overall build quality is great where it matters, get everything in writing, post sales support is mediocre at best.
Just a few examples of where things started going south for us ...
1. We had a spice kitchen where we ended up with a 2 ft by 3 ft cabinet that can only be accessed via an 8 inch door. Effectively making the storage space useless. Understood that it was a code change that made this a necessity but verbally by the sales person we were told that something would be done to make this space useful. But once the build commenced it was left as is and to be honest no one really ever said anything to me besides that they personally could not help me with the matter or refer me to anyone that could potentially help. The cabinet company they used is super unresponsive, I reached out to them a few times for accessories and maybe to help me with some sort of fix but they have been less than helpful as well. Someday when I have a bit of money I guess I'll sort this out myself.
2. There were damaged sub floors that we caught during one of our initial walk-throughs. We directed Excel's attention to the matter and nothing was done. Carpet was laid over it and you could feel the dip where the boards were broken. Fast forward to our 1 year inspection, Excel finally decided to do something about. They cut the carpet in a new place, pulled it back, cut out the broken piece and then jammed a random piece of board in the hole. You could obviously see that there was a bump in the spot now as the fix was not flush to the sub-floor. I just gave in to be honest and said fine good enough; was just tired of dealing with the issue and couldn't afford any more time off of work. We got the lowest end carpet with the plan to replace it in a few years so the heck with it, I will fix the sub-floors properly when I do that.
3. Master bathroom glass shower doors were crooked, upon further inspection realized the top door frame was cut too short. First attempt to fix was prying the bar off, centering it and then using silicone to fill the gaps. Didn't work. Finally came back a second time to replace the defective part but the guy who did it just made a gigantic mess with the silicone. Excel's response was that's good enough. So I did my best cleaning it up and add it to the list of things that I'll get sorted my self someday.
4. Front landscaping. This one is funny and I'm not really bent out of shape over it just thought I'd mention it. I guess the developer decided that all of the properties needed landscaping in the front. We took possession right on the day of a big snowstorm in October, landscaping had been done too late. Grass is dead, slope is all messed up, whatever, I didn't have to pay for it will fix it next summer.
5. Driveway, gotta love that less than 10% damage means that it's okay rule. Driveway started peeling the first few months, according to Excel it was salt which is weird because it was only in two specific spots and no where else. There were also massive cavities on the side of the driveway where the pad didn't go all the way to soil / landscaping - which made a perfect home for a family of some type of small rodents that I'm still fighting off. They fixed it after a bit of back in forth but it was like pulling teeth to get it done. Best part of this one is that an Excel representative told me not to seal the driveway for the first year and then when it peeled same due said to me why didn't you get the driveway sealed. Get everything in writing.
6. Basement window didn't have gravel in it and was filled with construction debris. This one got on my nerves, the first person we dealt with didn't want to do the outside inspection due to the snow storm. By the time of the next inspection that guy had quit, the dude that took over from that point on started using "Should have noted this during the move in" as a mantra for any issues on the outside of the house. Wanted me to clean out the window well so that the gravel could be done. Took a few months but eventually the gravel was put in.
7. Que the "Should have noted this during the move in" mantra ... there were a bunch of drill holes on the siding on the garage obviously from the installation process but they wont fix them because we didn't do the exterior inspection.
8. One more for the "Should have noted this during the move in" chant ... They added a fake awning at the behest of the developer that I personally did not want or like but what can you do - architectural allowance. So they put it on but the thing was crooked and loose. Got "fixed" when the thing fell off the side of the house. I say "fixed" because they basically lag bolted the thing into the side of the house so hard that it warps the siding now, the bloody thing is all dinged up and scratched. Not too beat up about it, if they compromised the envelope and water gets in New Home Warranty can deal with it. Tried complaining about how ugly it looks but b/c it's functional according to Excel it's good enough. So add it to the pile of things I'll just fix myself later.
I could go on but it's pointless ... just wanted to give a small sampling of the after sales Excel vs. before sales. Before the sale, the customer service is amazing. After the sale, they start from the position of "can't do anything for you buddy". As long as you expect that, don't get tapped out like I did and just start giving you do get a pretty well built house for the price.
The floor plans, initial build, adherence to budget, timelines, etc. are great. It's just they are a very rigid and inflexible through the build process and to be honest once the thing is done, they are done with you as well.
- Company Response
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We are so sorry to hear that the after possession service has not been what you expected. There are a few items that you mention were on the exterior which were caused by installation, but you did not receive the opportunity to complete an exterior inspection, so they were not noted. You definitely should have been provided an exterior inspection, and any items which are discovered to be the result of install or a latent defect should be addressed. We would love the opportunity to review these items with you again. If you are open to this, please reach out to our Customer Care team at: email@example.com Thank you.