Finishing details & customer service at the end of the project can make or break a custom home project

First of all, an update is long overdue! We have been busy moving and still unpacking….
Settling in, buying new furniture and unpacking is taking a lot longer and will continue for a while I think.

I want to say thank you to all of my new Twitter followers! I became a “Featured User” on a social media site recently, so we got lots of traffic to this blog. I will do a better job updating it. Also, I’ve been getting many emails about modern home building, I even got an email all the way from Chicago who was interesting in building a modern home in Issaquah. Thanks everyone.

Building and living in a modern dwell home has been a long time dream of ours. This project has been super stressful. The ending has been a nightmare due to lack of customer service (borderline purposely bad service), poor communication, and unfulfillment of ridiculously low expectations. It’s sad because it could have easily gone the other way with little effort.

Now we are living with random things not finished or wrong with the house.
We hired a house inspector (another detailed post later), who was surprised and blown away by certain things missing or left undone in the house. For instance, he said he has never seen a house without any door stops.

The design of the house and green features are great, if the finishes were done and done correctly, it could have been a spectacular house.

Here are some things not done:

Missing door hinges:

No door stops.

No weather sealing on exterior doors & garage doors so cold air blows into the kitchen from under the door (this is ironic since ours is a high level energy efficient home!).

Roof drainage system was improperly installed where the water cascades off the roof about 2 feet away from where the downspout is located. Think Bridal Mist falls on a rainy day.

Windows don’t lock or don’t open, not to mention handles that don’t match (brown handles on white windows).

Huge bubbles on the flooring. Kids like the trampoline effect but I would still like to get this fixed.

Cracked cement floor edges.

Vent hood left exposed, but the back splash is finally finished!!

Yellow foam left on the exterior walls.

Ceiling access areas were left open and exposed.

Lobby closet not done.

Lobby lights not installed.

On and on, too many to list here.

We expected some things to be left on the punch list, but this was overwhelming (over 70 items) with lack of communication on when these will be finished. After three trips by the tile installer to finally complete the backsplash job and two trips by the closet door installer (aka ex Project Manager) for a still incomplete closet, we have finally run out of patience with the builder. We are at the point where we will bring in our own independent contractor (1-800-HUSBAND) to finish the work.

A little effort on requested fixes would have brought this to a nice close, but sounds like this might become a long drawn-out process. Sigh…
Brings to mind the saying – “Everything will be ok in the end, if its not ok, then it isn’t the end yet.”

Builders, take pride in your work, because if you can’t, how do you expect anyone else to?