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Culpeper Home Building Articles
Home Building reviews in Culpeper
Hall is a skilled draftsman & was able to provide line drawings of all aspects of the building construction based on our requests. We submitted a house exterior model for him to use & our own interior floorplan which we fine tuned according to costs, site, & building code requirements. After some negotiation, we signed a contract with Hall at the end of
Some preliminary work -- 1 or 2 days worth -- was done in August as promised but nothing more until mid Sept. Hall blamed this delay on obtaining the county building permit -- in truth, the county provided the permit within 2 weeks of his submission, no delay on their part. From this point on, work progressed in fits & starts -- some weeks lots of progress, some weeks not so much. To his credit, Hall was there on site probably more than 80% of the time. His foreman, Bill, was there most every day as his second in command & general worker bee. Hall rec'd & returned phone calls fairly promptly during the entire project but was not always very accurate in providing time schedules for subs or materials. This factor became rather frustrating to us as time went on & progress on some components was delayed again & again for no apparent reason. We learned to take whatever Hall told us with a "grain of salt". We also learned to interrupt Hall during conversations as he tends to monopolize any discussion -- he's a big talker & is very good at redirecting or misdirecting his customer to fit his own needs at the time.
Insofar as our working relationship, Hall seemed to have a fair amount of respect for my husband who is a commercial construction veteran, but little for me outside of necessary civilities. My last name is different from my husband's, but Hall had a real problem with my first name of "Virginia". He kept identifying me as "
Other areas of concern, Hall did not provide a portable toilet for his workers -- they apparently used the woods around our house site...ICK!!. He also did not provide a dumpster for all the construction debris & worker trash that accumulated during the project. He used his own small trailer for hauling fairly frequently at first, but not so much as the months went by. Only after a mountain of trash had built up & our repeated requests to remove it had occurred did he bring in dumpster & clean up the site. Hall was very sporadic about clean up or site protection in general -- we wound up doing a lot of the interior & exterior clean up ourselves & provided contractor quality drop cloths, floor covering protection, covers for special order items & appliances such as kitchen countertop & stovetop, front entry door, etc. The once beautiful m-bath soaking tub was permanently scratched & defaced by inadequate protection thanks to Mr.
By the end of 2012 it was obvious the house would not be ready for at least another month. We discussed this w/Hall who agreed that probably the end of
First week of March, we discuss situation w/Hall & advise him we plan to move in 3/20 -- will the house be ready? Hall assures us that it will be -- just need to get this electrical problem corrected & final inspections done, etc. go ahead with moving plans. We contact moving company & start packing in preparation for move. Weekend before move date, electrical contractor
Long story short, turns out we weren't able to move in 3/20 because with all the uncertainty of passing inspection, I'd told the movers that date was tenative so when we learned we could move in, the movers had already booked up for that day. Instead, we moved on 4/2; a perfect day as it turned out.
The week after move-in,
So, long story short & as I said to Mr. ”
1. The wrong tub/shower unit was installed in the smaller bathroom. When called to Graystone's attention, they wanted us to accept the unit anyway, even though it was completely different and looked cheap. They did change it out eventually.
2. The plumbing for the laundry tub for the basement workshop was not put in. They had to break-up the concrete floor to add it.
3. The skylight (in this case a Solartube) installed in the smaller bath was not centered in the room...it was placed up close against one wall. The light coming it illuminates that wall great, but the rest of the room is in the shadows. Plus, the placement detracts from the looks of the bath. They said they could not center the skylight because the rafters (or trusses or whatever) in the attic were in the way. However, it has been our experience in the past (built 2 homes prior to this), that skylights can be installed most anywhere if planned for in advance. It seems there was poor or no planning at all for placement of ours, so we are stuck.
4. Our contract called for radiant heat to be installed in the Master Bath floor. Shortly after moving in, we discovered the radiant heat was only installed in portions of the floor, not the whole floor. Graystone had no explanation for this, only saying where the placement was in the floor. We are senior citizens...we were counting on the radiant heat to completely warm that room.
5. The Great Room fireplace was constructed using the wrong stone...not at all like the sample we choose. We lived quite a distance away and didn't catch the construction until late. When we complained, Graystone had someone come in and stain some of the stones. Looks somewhat better, but still not what we choose. The hardwood floor was in by then, so there was no real question about taking out the stone and starting over.
6. The fan/light/heat unit installed in the Master bath did not work. The motor had to be replaced. The brand used was not what we expected. The builder's wife had indicated the type to be used was a well-known quality brand when I asked about it. Unfortunately, the brand was not specified in the contract. When I googled the one actually used, the only place I could find that sold that brand was Lowe's and the reviews on it are terrible. Graystone would not consider having the unit changed. A further google
7. We had two window seats put in, one in a box window in the kitchen area, the other in a bay window in the Master Bath. The wood used in both seats is very rough (none of it was sanded before painting) and the seat in the Master Bath is poorly constructed...the seat does not fit inside the window but sticks out on each side of the bay. There is storage space below in both seats. When the lids to the storage area are raised, there are large cracks and holes in the undersides of the lids. No quality construction in sight anywhere here and no real suggested fix by the builder.
8. There is a real saga about the problems with the hardwood floors. Before moving in, part of the flooring had to be redone because the stain did not completely cover the floor in places. Now "cupping" has developed in the floor. Response from the builder..."should the change in the floor rise to a level that calls for repair, refinishing should solve the problem". In other words, even though you can see every
9. There is another saga about the niche constructed for the toilet paper holder in the Master Bath. A small matter you say, but they had to redo it three times to get it right! Let's just leave it at that.
All I can say about this builder is buyer beware!! I'm left wondering, we caught a lot, but what did we miss that will bite us down the road.”
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