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"I was very nervous , as I have never build a home before. was very hands on and made me feel very comfortable. He handled every thing from" drawings to permits even recommended a lender that worked out great.. We interviewed several other builders, and my feeling was they were just the sales person. I did not feel that way with . And that turned out to be true, he was hands on from start to finish.

-Jeff E.

"Horrible experience from the get-go. We contracted with to both build an additional room onto the back of our house and swap out our sliding" glass doors to French doors while also changing out our 14-year old AC unit for a brand new (state of the art) AC unit. While the room addition went somewhat smoothly (a few minor issues that we could deal with), we initially had major problems with the doors. All of the new French doors were leaking when it rained and most did not fit correctly when installed. It was very difficult to get and his team to respond and respond appropriately. He actually brought out someone from the door supply company that told us all doors leak like this when it rains!!! Ridiculous. We finally complained enough that they came out - weeks and weeks later to adjust the doors and fix the warped wood flooring in the new room (which was ruined by the water and already had mold growing). The door issue seemed to take months to get resolved - and with a lot of pain and frustration. The biggest issue, unfortunately, was with the new AC unit - in which hired their own AC guy for this. This was (and is) a nightmare! The AC contractor insisted we go with zones for our new AC and began to incorrectly install these zones while taking out our existing insulation and replacing it with mobile-home grade insulation. The wiring and duct work was never done correctly and our house temperature was in the mid 80s for several months! There was no way to cool our home AND our electric bills began to double! While the AC contractor tried - unsuccessfully - to fix these problems, refused to get involved and assist even though it was their contractor. After months of discomfort and major expenses, we decided to call in 2 local AC companies that came highly recommended. Both could not believe what they saw in our attic. One suggested that it looked like an 8 year old did this work and both agreed that the zones weren't set up correctly (nor did we need zones for our home configuration). They were just shocked and appalled at the duct work, wires hanging unconnected and overall shoddy work, We finally decided to go with Cornerstone Air & Heating (a fantastic company) and they proceeded to both undo what was in place, put the correct insulation back in, fix the wiring and duct work and they had our house cooled in no time. We also saw our electric bill go back down to where it had been previously. We continually kept aware of what we were doing and were asking for help as we originally paid them over $12k for the AC piece of this job and then had to pay Cornerstone thousands of dollars to repair it. Not only did not respond - or seem to care - but they refused to assist us with the cost of the AC in any way. They wouldn't refund any of the payment we made and would not assist with any payments we made to Cornerstone to fix it. We then reached out to for months - with no response - to see if we could settle this face-to-face. Finally, when I mentioned that we would get a lawyer involved and possibly go on Angie's List, Better Business Bureau,etc... (the owner of ) responded and agreed to meet. He came to our home, we summarized the issues over the past 16-18 months and he told us that he would have to go back to the AC contractor to see what they could do. Well, that was almost 2 months ago and he, again, refuses to respond to our calls, texts and emails. I let him know that we would give him until the end of April 2015 to respond and he didn't. So I am out on Angie's List for the first time to let everyone know in the greater Tampa area that you should NEVER use and share our horrendous experience. The monetary cost is one thing but the true frustration is working with someone who doesn't seem to care or have any intention of completing the job to the satisfaction of the paying customer. I can supply additional details of this experience if anyone is interested.

-James M.

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Local Articles in Tampa


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Angie's Answers

For this type of job, you need plans and specs from an Architectural/Engineering firm before thinking about contractors - and to get a building permit. Ben's method would work and done incrementally could cost well over $100,000 plus as he says, but this not really the most economic way to approach this big a job. A House Mover or Foundation Underpinning specialty company can usually slide your house onto a whole new foundation, or jack it up on steel beams and hold it there while a basement is dug underneath it, without any intermediate piers. The jacking/move cost would probably be on the order of $30-40,000, and a new basement probably about $40-50,000 - rough ballpark, though I have been involved in some 1000-1500SF single story jobs that went for under $70,000 total. I have been involved in a fair number of these type jobs - and the way the numbers come out, if there is room on the property to move the house, it is almost always nearly as cheap or cheaper to build an equivalent square footage (basement plus ground level) addition rather than add a basement under the house, and that way your new footage is half above ground so worth more on resale, plus you do not lose use of the house for a month or two. Second cheapest is usually sliding house to a new foundation, if property is large enough to do this - though house is totally cut off from utilities for a week to three. Most expensive, and usually only done in tight city environments or with full 2 story or higher houses, is adding the foundation in place, though your utility interruptions should be on the order of hours at a time rather than days or weeks. Talk to an architect - I think you will quickly lean towards the addition option rather than adding a basement - it is just too expensive to deepen foundations in most cases, plus you WILL get cracking in the house and possible water and sewer pipe problems in a move/underpinning job, which is not the case with an addition. This become more likely the case since you want to add 8 feet off the back of the home anyway - so why not just enlarge the addition and do it all that way - MUCH simpler, and MUCH less disruption of your life, and you get much higher resale return on your investment.
Yes, but you won't like what will probably happen (this is a worst case scenario, hopefully you will avoid most):

The purpose for a building permit is to ensure meeting the minimum standards for construction practices and minimum safety standards.  A contractor who works without a permit, does so because they know they are not in compliance (and to save money at your expense).  They knew they should have had inspections and permits for their work.  Who ever built the addition should be reported to both the building official as well as the Better Business Bureau.  It is ultimately the homeowner who is responsible for ensuring the proper permits have been applied for, though.

So when you apply for your permit, you will be pretending as if the work is not completed (you do not hide this fact, you just have to follow the correct process as if it hadn't been built).  Your first stop will be with zoning; can you even add an addition, do you have the proper clearances from the side, front and rear property lines.  If it is a bedroom, does the septic system (perk test) support an additional bedroom.  If your building already meets or exceeds the amount of building allowed on the site or if you do not have the clearances required from the property line, your addition may be required to be removed.  There are appeal processes and variance requests you can try before tearing down the addition (Get an architect).

If your zoning review is fine, next you go to permitting.  Here you will submit plans (drawings) of what was built.  If you do not have these plans, consider hiring an Architect to generate As-Built drawings for this use.  Hopefully the plan review comes back with no changes, or you will alread know your addition is not in compliance and may face rebuilding.  Depending on the type of construction, your zoning and your local building requirements, you will be required to have inspections of your foundation / footings, the framing, the electrical, mechancial and HVAC systems, etc. affected by the work. 

This may require digging the ground back up so the inspector can confirm foundation depth, size and draingage requirements.  The interior wall finishes (gypsum board, panelling, etc) may have to be removed in some or all areas so the framing and electrical can be inspected (If one area fails, be prepared to pull all areas down).  At each inspection, if the work is found to be lacking, then you will have to correct the work before getting permission to use the room.  If there is an electrical or safety violation found, it is possible the Building Official could declare the entire property inhabitable until the offenses are corrected (IE you are homeless until it is fixed).

As you can see, you have to hope beyond belief that the builder constructed everything correctly and that the building officials will work with you to minimize the amount of deconstruction necessary to inspect the work.

Also, you will be charged all the fees associated with plan review and permitting, and you will be charged for each inspection visit (as your builder would have been charged initially had they followed the law).

As for value, here is the real concern:  If your home burns down or faces some similar disaster, your home owners insurance will balk at paying; they will blame the illegal construction as the cause.  As for the value of your building, not having a permit will make any buyer have a difficult time getting their own insurance, thus harder to sell.  The room itself will add value to your property, if it isn't a hazard (IE permitted). 

Also, taxes are based upon assessments, which use the land records.  Building without a permit, can be seen by local officials as an attempt to avoid paying property taxes, since the land records do not show the addition.  Until the official tax records reflect an accurate statement of your building, you may face fines, tax fees and other costs associated with the improvement depending upon how long it has been there unreported.

You may wish to contact a local, licensed Architect who works with the local building department.  They will know the personel, know which forms you need to fill out first and how to protect you from an overzealous Building Official (there are exceptions and options within the Code that the Building Official may forget or ignore that an Architect can request be used to prevent tear down or damage).  Next time you go to build get the Architect first to protect yourself from what this construction firm did to you.

Good luck!
Unfortunately this is not something you will easily resolve; and even if you were to win, the amount of time and funds spent will probably exceed the cost of the actual repair.

Each state has different rules on what "as-is" means, but almost all use the term when it comes to realestate sales.  At two years, you are facing a hurdle that any issue could be the result of new conditions, acceptable wear / settlement, etc.  Has there been any changes in the area? (New house built next door, new addition, earthquake, flooding, etc?)

While you may have been given a home warranty with the purchase (do check your sales paperwork to see if there is any warranty and what it covers for how long) the house is sold to you as-is; it is your responsibility to raise concerns prior to taking over the house, so going back two years later is a huge up hill batle.

The home inspector is also going to be found faultless, as their reports almost always have words like "consult with an expert. . ." after each report section and they have disclaimers for missed items, etc. I got certified as a home inspector and was surprised at just how little they actually require you to know to become an inspector. They are really just an extra pair of eyes to help inexpereinced home owners look where most people don't look or go.  You even mention that the repair work was well masked, so you didn't notice it until you began looking for it.  A good inspector might have caught it, but you won't win any court cases proving yours wasn't good enough.

The Seller will claim that any foundation issues were fixed and resolved, which is why they marked "No" on the foundation issue section.  They fixed it; so it was no longer an issue.  If it came back, that is a new issue.  You and I know this is bogus, but to win in court you have to prove intent; and the builder can easily show they thought it was fixed.  Or, they might even be able to claim they were unaware - the repairs were from the previous owner, and were hidden so well HE and YOU didn't notice them.

So the next step is to meet with your home insurance agent.  As I mentioned above, if there have been any enviromental changes (a new house next door could have changed the underground water table flow or pressures, for example) you may be covered.  Even if there are no issues, you still may have a policy that allows for major repairs to be covered after a certian cost threshold, etc.  You'd be surprised at what your home owners insurance covers - find out first; they might have in house or low cost engineers who will do the initial inspection, etc.  They also will provide advice on your home sale; if they think you have a case against the Seller.

Best of luck on this issue.  Make sure any solution you pay for solves the cause (Stress on the wall), and doesn't just fix the results (cracks).

"Like a sunroom" indicating the addition has yet to be built?  If it's just a remodel there are several remodeling contractors to choose from.  If you also need the addition built pick a general contractor with experience building new construction as well as additions.  If s/he provides a price before the plans and specifications are on paper drop them like a hot potato.  They don't know what they're doing.  Whether they have the ability to provide the plans and specifications first or they refer you to an architect you must have plans to properly bid a major remodel or addition.  It is also good practice anyway just to make sure both parties are on the same page and understand exactly what will be done.

Just a note about the "type" of contractors described in another answer.  The one's who do most or all of the work themselves are not very profitable without doing something illegal or cutting corners somewhere, if they finish the job.  The time a contractor spends on a job takes away from the office time needed to run a proper business and chase new leads to keep working after your job is finished.  There are honest people out there who do everything themselves and don't need to make much money in a year but they are few and far between, typically retired and so the work as a means to keep active and make a little side money.  Others try to do a couple of jobs at once and rob from the funds of one to help pay for the other.  They just aren't experienced enough and were probably sub-contractors who suddenly thought they could run the show.  I've seen it repeatedly.  They hit up the customer for more money due to their own budget planning or abandon the job because they aren't making any more money.  be leary of a contractor who does not either use an employed or sub-contracted crew, meaning they manage the project's quality, time, and money distribution.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Home Building reviews in Tampa


On August 27th 2013, I signed a contract with Contractor Inc to build my house. From the start there were issues with very poor construction. I had to have the block work inspected when I was suspicious the work had not been done properly which the inspection ended with the discovery of 4 hollow cells. Throughout the build, he ...More never inspected anything, if I requested something fixed, he would shudder his shoulders and walk away, or either stop work completely. The site was left filthy dirty the whole time construction was going on. Pieces of wood with nails where left in front of the garage (have pictures) Someone filed a complaint at the county to have the 2 large containers removed that were full of construction debris and also garbage others had dumped in. Instead of removing the containers when they were full, they just sat on the property, which smelled horrible. The plumbing company subcontract with is Plumbing in Seffner Florida (read the review I posted with pictures of what they did at my house) They installed molded pieces of wood on the master bath wall. They installed the master shower on top of a huge 2 x1 foot drain hole they left open and never bothered refilled with concrete, the shower drain was connected crooked and water was leaking in the dirt under the slab of the house from the drain. That hole was discovered when we couldn’t find where ants were coming from in the master bath. They installed the toilets with offset flanges, which still were not to code (still off 1" with the offset) to which the builder was furious I asked be removed and installed to code so I would not have problems down the road. There is more pictured and info under that plumbers' reviews. They swap the washer and dryer location on the floor plan without asking, I discovered it when I arrived at the house and again, the builder was upset I questioned why they had done that without my knowledge or permission. There is 1 row of block missing on top of the front porch, when I questioned the builder, he just shrugged his shoulder and couldn’t answer so he walk away. Windows and doors are installed by his painting sub contractor crew - unlicensed crew by the name od Arco Painting of Plant City. All the doors were so badly installed, they all required to be taken out and brand new frames re-installed. Even the door leading to the garage from inside the house had a ¼ inch gap under the door. It was discovered when I had forgotten to close the light in the garage. The window in the dining room had to be exchanged for a new one because it was installed damaged and the contractor flat out refused to change it. The French door frame was split upon installation, I requested many times it be fixed to which just ignored and continued on building the house, They put wood putty in the split on the French door and just painted over it. He flat out refused to fix it also because the frame had to be removed and a new one put in, too costly to the general contractor to do, just like the windows or it was because they just didn't know how to install doors and windows. That same crew Arco Painting painted the inside of the house which ended up peeling everywhere and had to be redone because there was barely any primer applied to the walls, which caused the problem with the peeling. They primed the stucco outside when it was only 3 days old stucco and ended up peeling just like the inside also. That is when I requested that crew Arco Painting no longer be allowed to do any work on my house because all they did was shoddy work. then gave me the choice of giving me back my contract or have Arco Painting continue working on my house. I told him I would take my contract back. Upon being told that, requested a bank draw without my consent which I withheld until I could get estimate for all the repairs that had to be done on the house. Because I was withholding his draw, he immediately filed a on my house claiming I had fired him and withheld his draw. He offered me 7K for the repairs which I accepted but he wanted me to sign a mutual agreement that I would never him for anything known or unknown to the house which I refused to sign (he had built 70% of it) He gave me the choice of signing the mutual agreement or he was filing a lawsuit, which he ultimately did because I refused to sign his agreement. I hired a construction attorney and ’s lawyer still wanted me to sign the same mutual agreement. My attorney explained to his attorney all about construction law and that they could not make anyone sign such an agreement and the lawsuit was settle. I moved into the house in September 2014 and there are still major problems with doors and windows. The company that installed the garage doors 31W Insulation has been here 4 times already and the garage doors are still not fixed. Beware of using him as a general contractor; he will sweep you off your feet using his sweet demeanor. He has been in business long enough that he has learned how to play the game. He refused to fix anything during the construction of my house, do you think anything would have been fixed if he had build it all? I will post pictures to prove what is written above.
- D L.

It was awful. He was very rude and short from the beginning. When we started showing him the job (A large restoration project in Heights). He stopped in the middle and said "I have to have drawings" He did not sit down in a rational manner and say what drawing he needed. He just stormed out! Very rude. The worst ...More experience with a contractor in 35 years of civilian an military experince. We were nice to this man and opened our home to him and he talked to us and treated us in the most demeaning manner. Do not use this contractor unless you desire to be dominated by a alpha male.
- Bart R.

Went way over budget. Some subs didn't get paid and I had to pay for completion. 1 year later the plumbing leaks and paint needs to be redone
- Kelly S.

DO NOT BUY A HOME FROM THIS BUILDER!! Some of the following problems: 1) Cracked exterior stucco 2) Cracked cheap tile 3) Roof Vent in bathroom missing 4) Bathrooms flat paint promoting moisture and mold instead of semi-gloss
5) Bump in drywall staircase 6) Floor uneven along slide ...More doors 7) Crooked baseboard 8) Kitchen cabinets shelving short 9) GE appliances awful: dishwasher not clean, dryer timer not work. 10) Driveway concrete poor quality and stained 11) Poor insulation since no sound from outside noise 12) Slide doors poor quality 13) Cheap windows 14) Garage extreme heat without proper vent fan system 15) Home owner association against additional landscaping 16) Home owner association not keep up entrance sign with proper paint 17) Breakfast bar short on granite for proper seating 18) Electrical system keeps tripping 19) No electrical box was put in the dining room ceiling 20) A/C Amana system and flexible duct system poor in cooling all areas of house

- Lesa M.

The "yes" or "no" response as to whether this service would be provided again is subject to my talking with the Owner of the business. The women were efficient and punctual. They emptied our plastic bag container which houses all of our used plastic bags, used for various tasks around the house, especially emptying the kitty litter ...More box. These bags are no where to be found in our trash or re-cycling items container. They were not asked to dispose of these bags and it is believed they took the bags with them. They used a cleaner on the stainless steel top that has left stains we are unable to get rid of.

Overall we had a negative experience. We hired an architect and towards the end of the project the architect felt they had ignored design elements in the plan to control his (contractor) expense on materials. The overall work was mediocre for the cost of the project and he did not manage the project very well. For example, he forced suppliers of ...More materials to deliver in short time frames only to have them sit on the site for weeks. Once the cabients were installed we were told it would take a month to have the countertops installed, even though we picked them out weeks in advance. The project took twice as long to complete then advertised. We had to move out of our temporary home and live with family for 6 weeks. The tipping point was at the end of the project, when he spent all the money we paid him, he referred the remaining subs to call us for payment. Later I found out we were the third person this happened to.
- Kelly S.

The trifecta of a prototypical "bad contractor". Poor quality of work, massive cost overruns and untrustworthy. The worst quality of work I've seen for a $440,000 major remodel. Literally not one of the major projects was done to satisfaction. For example, the gate sometimes does not open. The mailbox embedded into the wall was incorrectly ...More sized and they filled it in with some white caulk type substance to hide the large gap. They painted damaged wood doors without first making the repairs and then painting it. Who paints first and then say they will fix it and re-paint it over it later? Heck, even when they did my roof, they improperly covered the work during the multi-day process which resulted in it actually raining in my house from a storm overnight. Obviously, there was a massive pattern of not caring about the quality of their work. Lastly, they kept on reassuring me that they were going to fix things to my satisfaction and did not. Constant and massive cost overruns of over 150% on specific line items. DO NOT USE. You have been warned.
- Albert K.

I realize the job was done years ago but it has taken me until now to get the problems straightened out.
I needed my roof re-done because it was old - not because it was leaking. I was having solarvoltaic panels installed on the roof (to provide solar electricity) when the solar company suggested I re-roof before placing all those panels. I ...More needed the roof job done quickly so the scheduled installation of the panels could be completed. The roofing company priced it below other bids I got and got the job done quickly. I was pleased with the job and the courtesy of the crew.
I even recommended them to my neighbor who also used them. Then came the problem. Seems the company failed to pull a permit for the job. I found out when my neighbor said the county was going to fine him and asked if they pulled a permit on my job. I said they did since they sent a to my house to get papers signed so she could go directly to the county building for a permit. But I looked on line and found there was no permit recorded.
It has taken me until this year to get it straightened out. I had to hire a structural engineer to come inspect the roof and send the information to the county, then I had to file for a permit and pay (with penalty) to have the permit closed.
Many efforts were made by me, my neighbor, and the county and even the engineer to get the roofer to remedy the problem but he said he didn't do the job, but another person who was operating under his contractor license. The company still has the same phone number as the one on the card I got from the representative.
The job was well done. I don't know why they would want to take such a shortcut with the permit. I would not use them again!
- Barbara P.

Home Builders in Tampa

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

WSV Group Inc

P O BOX 530921
Saint Petersburg

Wytek Construction LLC

PO Box 2008

YD West Coast Home. INC

2505 W Douglas St




801 N Rome Ave

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