We had a terrible experience building our house with Cardel in Ottawa. We didn't choose the builder but it happened that we liked the location and this was why we went with the builder building in this area. At the beginning they claimed that they are upscale builder with very high standards. P.S. this is our 2nd house that we build from scratch.
The first problem was when we signed the purchase agreement. They ask for the 10% of the house price as a deposit upfront and didn't allow for installments, which was very inconvenient. Other builders allow for paying the deposit in installments.
Then we were rushed into deciding on the kitchen design, which meant that we had to buy the appliances well ahead of time and try to convince the vendor to keep the appliances in their storage with couple of tricks since the storage was for not a couple of month but for almost a year.
The only pleasant experience was the helpful lady we had in the design center. However, their options for material (hw, tiles, etc.) were very limited compared to other builders.
Their design center bonus was $5000 and granite kitchen countertops. These $5000 were not supposed to be used for the kitchen because it was outsourced to Des Laurier and which the most expensive upgrade. As for the granite countertop, we had only 3 options to choose from. So we chose one of them to not exceed our upgrade budget. The granite countertop we ended up getting was the worst quality ever, plotchy, stained, rough feels always like sane paper and not clean or shiny. So bonus means very bad quality, now we regret that we haven't upgraded it to something else.
All the above was just the start of it and we were still excited about our new house. Our closing date should have been at the beginning of June 2018. So In February we started selling our house at that time and made the closing date by the end of June. Right after selling our house we received an email from Cardel saying that due to the cold weather (which lasted only for 2 weeks during christams) there will be delay in the closing date. And they delayed our closing date for 6 weeks. We had to move our stuff twice, look for storage and live in an Airbnb until the new closing date. This costed us more than $6000.
When we went to the pre-delivery inspection, there were still windows screens and light fixtures missing, door knobs, some hardwood parts were defect, the paint was not clean and the countertop looked awful and the wrong fireplace was installed.
A week after we moved into the house, we found out that there was leak in the basement, which we finished with them and the utility room was flooded. It turned out that there were at least 3 cracks in the foundation, which they tried to fix for almost 3 times. Each time after they claimed that it is fixed, the basement was flooded again. Consequently, we even found mould in the basement. They had to change the carpet in the basement and after their repairs the seams of the carpet are visible in an ugly way. Of course, each time they come to fix something, either they make more mistakes or they didn't finish the work completely, and they never do testing on the quality of the repairs they perform, so we have to wait for a couple of weeks to discover that they issue was still there. In addition to many, many other issues that we found after moving in. We are almost a year after we moved in and we are in a nightmare of repairs and frustrations with them to get them to fix the issues and respect our time, because every time they come to fix something we have to take time off work. Not to mention that they have poor handle with their trades: sometimes we find strange people in our property without notification. When we ask Cardel, they seemed that they didn't know. They installed the tree in the front yard when the weather was very cold and snowy. So we are not even sure whether that tree will survive or not. Also they installed the staircase of the patio in February when the backyard was deeply covered with a sick layer of snow and ice. So again we are doubting the quality of the work done.
Now we completely lost trust in Cardel. It is our most expensive house and investment but because of all these issues, we lost our excitement about it. We definitely won't recommend Cardel to any new home buyer's. Just stay away from them. They clearly have issues with planning, closing homes at the planned times. We noticed that they have a very big turnaround in their staff. Seems like they have issues with not only their trades but their own staff too. The remaining staff are just a punch of sweet talkers that over promise and don't deliver.