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Home Builder reviews in Ellicott City

  • A
    Mountain View Remodeling
    So quick to get back to me, very helpful and went above and beyond to help me get everything figured out. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Nick is super personable and very professional as well as the workers.
    - Kyla W.
  • A
    Thomasville Homes LLC
    As a female in my early 20s who lives alone, I felt helpless and scared; I didn���t even want to be at my house. After ensuring the house was clear, I called my insurance company, who called Thomasville Homes. Within an hour, they had someone out to me securing my home. Thomasville handled the settlement with my insurance company, and within two and a half weeks everything was settled and like new. I couldn���t recommend a company more.
    - Emily K.
  • A
    Insurance Claims Specialist, LLC.
    My house had wind and hail damage to the roof and siding. A claim was placed with our insurance company but they denied it and claimed that none of the damage is covered. I then got Insurance Claims Specialist to take a look at the damage and subsequently to represent us with the insurance company. Because of the work done by Insurance Claims Specialist the roof ended up being covered at 100% and a good portion of the siding was also covered. Insurance Claims Specialist did a fantastic job for me and I highly recommend them! They are also extremely easy to work with.
    - Ronen F.
  • F
    Winthorpe Design & Build Inc.
    Horribly Disappointed in the final product this company delivered. The finish is not acceptable and they are doing nothing to fix the problem. They stated that they knew it would be an issue with what we requested (but never let us know that) and they are okay NOT remedying the work. I would NOT recommend anyone use them for any type of home improvement work. :( Many other issues. 1. mis-measured cabinetry and caused 3 week delay 2. poor installation of dog door 3. main issue is the horrible workmanship of cubbies. Totally unacceptable
    - Amanda F.
  • D
    BOZZUTO HOMES
    • Phase - Booking to Delivery: In total they took 1 year and 7 months to deliver a home for me. (Sales team originally Promised to deliver in 8 Months).As per Signed contract fine print, they said if its beyond 2 years, we can pull of the contract, but it was very close to 2 years.

      [I have to write down this, because this is history, and can in no way be corrected with a fix any of the issues in my current home]



      Phase - Signing Contract to Construction: After 1 year of signing the original contract, Builder called up and told that they "Accidentally" constructed unit with 8 foot ceiling instead of 9 foot ceiling. - Reason quoted was they built a "Prototype",

      and such mistakes are common. They gave only two options. Either take down payment back with no additional compensation (after 1 year of waiting), or switch to a different building which will be constructed with 9 foot ceiling. (no additional compensation for delay). 
    • NOTE: I wanted to purchase a Home, and Not a Prototype. We are paying real, hard earned money, not fake money. Builder needs to get that.

      [I have to write down this, because this is history, and can in no way be corrected with a fix any of the issues in my current home]



      Phase - Post Construction - Maintenance: To be honest, I have mixed feeling in this.

      1) GOOD: They have a good online system to log complaints, they do respond on time, schedule time, and send technicians to investigate issues.



      2) BUT - are all issues corrected? If it?s a simple fix, yes they do, but if it?s going to be expensive fix / complex fix, Technicians who investigate are very quick to either put the blame back on Owners, or they say it?s just the normal way.
    • - Sometimes the subcontracting companies are blamed by builder for faulty design, instead of fixing it.
    • - Sometimes they suggest fix at owners expense, for a design flaw that either the subcontracting company made or builder made. 

    3) Some issues have got resolved after escalation, but for some even the Management denies further action by stating that they have met minimum building code requirements. [They don't worry about quality they promised]. Homes in this community are priced higher corresponding to neighboring new communities, and always showcased with better standards and quality. So I don't want to trust this going forward as I did and feel the pain of it.



    4) Construction Quality promised by the builder is that, they would exceed the minimum requirement of building code by using good quality products and better design. But I think they just meet the base required standards to just satisfy the minimal requirement of building code. We went through a horrible winter. And we still working to resolve issues.



    5) I am not listing all issues here, as I still hope they will resolve before their 1 year warranty expires.



    OVERALL - Experience that has to be good, is now bitter. I wish I had either pulled out my investments when they made the construction flaw after 1 year of signing my contract, or not invested my earnings and hard earned savings with such a builder. I got deceived by look and feel of the community planning, development, and promises made at the point of sales.


    - Hari S.
  • A
    SULLIVAN BLAKE REMODELING
    We are absolutely thrilled with our new 2-story addition. We have an older, brick home, and were very concerned that the addition fit in with the existing structure (as opposed to a box added to the end of a house).
    ,John worked with an experienced architect to achieve an off-the-back addition that fits in perfectly. He even added some surrounding brick that matches the old brick, so the design flows with the existing structure.
    The design incorporated everything on our and quot;wish listand quot;, and was within our budget (walk-in closet, bonus room, laundry out of the basement, master bath w/ linen closet, half-bath downstairs). No other contractor came close.
    The quality is great. The addition is beautiful, functional, and we couldn't be more pleased. I highly recommend this company!!!
    - Melinda A.
  • A
    Moore Development of NC, Inc.
    Moore Development did an outstanding job on our new custom built house.  The quality of the work and attention to detail was above reproach.  We got exactly the house we wanted, if not better.
    - Christine C.
  • B
    BALLY SERVICES LLC
    All went pretty well, however, the contractor asked for the final payment before all the terms of the contract had been fulfilled. Those terms were written in the contract and consisted of 1) completion of punch list items, 2) final inspection approvals from the city and 3) written lien releases from subcontractors. He claimed that we were responsible for delaying completion of their work which was not true. We allowed them full access to the premises even though we had out of town family coming during the Labor Day holiday. The problem stemmed from one of their suppliers sending the wrong sized materials for the stair railings and the city could not complete the final inspections until the stairs were completed. The contractor was somewhat upset when we insisted that the contract terms be fulfilled first, saying it was a question of our lack of trust. Can't figure that one out since we trusted he would fulfill the written terms of the contract before expecting final payment.
    - Jane J.
  • A
    Lauer Construction Inc
    Two men came and removed the old truss and very neatly replaced the piece of wood. They were excellent! I was on a time concern due to selling my house. They came very quickly and everything was ready for the walk through. Very good experience!!
    - Josephine S.
  • F
    Gawthrop Builders, LLC
    Initially all was rosy.  They got started right away in May of 2000 and were very helpful in sheparding me through the process to get approval from the Historic district commission for the renovation and construction, as the 200-year old home is in Ellicott City. 
    After a few months, however, I began to get reports from my new neighbors that the crew frequently went multiple days with no one on-site and no work performed (I was not yet living in the house and thus was not on-site).  I finally - come fall 2000 - had to get demanding and insist that work speed up, as I was paying rent AND mortgage as well as the construction costs.  Clearly I paid the price for being a novice and not insisting on a finish date for the work to be placed in the contract.
    On one occasion I showed up unannounced to find the drywall subcontractor working unsupervised by anyone from Gawthrop, and his men were grinding out their cigarette butts on the original hardwood floors in the 200-year old attic.  The drywall work was so poor that even my untrained eye was able to spot most of the seams and screws, and Gawthrop finally had to fire the subcontractor and rehang most of the drywall.  Nevertheless there are still places on the second floor of my home where the screws and seams are clearly visible.
    One evening in fall 2000 I arrived at the site to discover no one at the property, yet a kerosene heater had been left on and blowing full blast in the upstairs of the addition, in an attempt (I assume) to speed the process of drying the spackle applied during the new drywall work.  When I called my contact at Gawthrop he told me he was currently at the site.  When I mentioned that I actually WAS there and he was clearly NOT, he stammered that he had JUST left and would be coming right back.
    The crew parked on my neighbor's land (as they had been specifically instructed on multiple occasions NOT to do) and one crew member went so far as to clean out his car, dumping the trash on my neighbor's lawn.  On one occasion they also used another neighbor's picnic table for their lunch hour, without an invitation or permission. 
    I moved into the house in November 2000, even though not all the work was finished.  At one point the upstairs windows were left open and a ladder up against the house - and I arrived home to find my television had disappeared.  At that point I began working from home since I clearly could not trust the crew with any care for my belongings. 
    When I gave Gawthrop the paint colors I had selected for the addition (painting was in the contract), I was told that I could only use ONE color, even though the addition contained three separate rooms and a long hallway.  Clearly I should have been a lot tougher with the contract, but to me at least this seemed a little ridiculous.
    After most of the work had been done and most of the bill paid, it was very difficult to get them back to finish up the minor work that had not yet been completed.  As a result I ended up bringing in someone else to do the minor things that remained just to spare myself from dealing with Gawthrop again.
    Two years later, as I was having a washer and dryer installed on my second floor, my new (and wonderful) contractor called to tell me that the roof of the addition had never been finished.  There was ice and water shield installed, but no shingles had been installed over the shield.  As a result I had developed a significant leak that was discovered when some drywall was removed to install the washer/dryer.
    I had to bully Gil Gawthrop into refunding me the $3,000+ it cost me to have S and K Roofers (who are also wonderful) to come in and repair the problem.  He insisted that I sign a release before he would cut a check, which says something about the confidence he clealy did not have in the work his company did.  What makes this doubly galling is that Gawthrop had come out to the house within the first 6 months after finishing the addition to check out the problem my chimney sweep had reported - that the new chimney Gawthrop put in the addition had never been flashed.  Gawthrop reported back to me after their visit that they had gone ahead and flashed the new chimney.  It never occured to them to tell me the truth - that, in fact, not only had that chimney not been flashed, the area of the roof around the chimney had also never been shingled.  I suppose I could try to believe that they were able to install the flashing without ever noticing that the same area had no shingles, but it does strain my powers of belief.
    Within the first year of construction I noticed that the second floor of the addition had begun to sag, to the point that most of the closet doors no longer fit properly.  It took a while to find a structural engineer for the job, but in 2009 an engineer went through the blueprints, examined the structure in the crawlspace, and discovered that the second floor of the addition was not supported on two footers (as the plans indicated) - it was actually supported entirely on a double crossbeam.  No footers.  I have since gotten an estimate for that repair in excess of $3500, and plan to have that work done this summer.
    So, here's a list of the issues that STILL remain in the house/addition:
    1) The new fireplace installed in the addition is not up to code.  The hearth is too small for the firebox.  As a result I have never used the fireplace.
    2) Many visible drywall seams and screws still exist in the addition.
    3) The master bathroom fan was never vented to the outside - it just blows hot moist air into the insulation just under the roof.
    4) The foundation of a 200-year old ice house of granite block, intact when I bought the property, was so damaged by the excavation Gawthrop did next to it that it collapsed.  To take DOWN the collapsing wall cost me $3,000, and I now have a pile of rubble where the ice house once stood.
    5) The drain on the right side of the addition was not installed properly - rather than draining to the street it drained behind a set of steps, which are now collapsing from the resulting erosion.
    6) The upper floor of the addition is sagging from inadequate support; footers will need to be poured in the existing crawlspace and the second floor will be supported on the new footers.
    In the past decade I have dealt with many tradesmen and a few contractors, with almost uniformly great results.  I have written very few bad or even mediocre reports for Angie's List as a result.  But the experience with Gawthrop was dreadful.
    I would be happy to provide pictures of the unfinished/rotting roof, dragging closet doors or the collapsed ice house, or provide the structural engineer's report to anyone who might be tempted to use this company in the future. Checking their Maryland court records (Google "Maryland judiciary case search") will provide additional information that could also prove helpful.
    - margaret w.
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