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Home Builder reviews in Linden

  • D

    Updated After One Year In Home

    Allen Edwin Homes is working in an exciting and upcoming market of focusing on energy efficient homes. My wife and I had a mid size ranch with a sun room built just for us. The process starts with a meeting with an Allen Edwin Homes Sales Counselor. Our Sales Counselor was incredibly patient with us and always returned our calls. She spent a great deal of time answering questions, traveling hours away to show other properties and just acted as our advocate when we needed support. Once you sign the build contract you are turned over to the selections process where you are given 2 three hour time-slots to pick out everything that goes inside and outside of your home. You are required to travel to the AE showroom in Portage Michigan. You are given a massive list to look through in preparation for your appointments however you must do considerable research to be somewhat prepared as there are no high resolution pictures to look at. There is also no customer web portal so this part of the process can be very difficult if you don't research as much as possible ahead of time. We did feel very rushed at selections but did get through it only because my wife spent weeks doing research online. Once your selections are complete you move into the building process which was hard for us for the first few months as permits and drawings were being worked on behind the scenes while your lot sits empty with no action. However once you break ground, hang on! You meet with your personal Project Manager who explains exactly what is going to happen, at least in the Disney world he lives in. Things moved very swiftly for us and we went from foundation to a completed home in 4-5 months which was a few weeks ahead of schedule. Our Project Manager gave us weekly updates even if there were delays and the updates were a bit vague or behind at times. Most news was shared so we appreciated the effort of trying to make the customer feel involved but a lot was still hidden from us.  There was some confusion between departments at AE during a couple of key events but all in all we felt the process went pretty well until we closed.  We watched the home being built from the ground up and visited the site nearly every day which was really very cool but we did notice a lot and challenge our Project manager to make things right. Unfortunately as you read you can visualize our frustrations. 

    The Good:

    Super energy efficient home with a HERS index score of 54

    Many options available for us to customize our home

    Dedicated support staff to help get through the buying process. Sales Counselor Karen was great!

    Beautiful design that we love

    Options available to match any budget

    The Bad:

    Selections process is unpleasant without a web portal to research options. AE really needs to address this issue as we felt that part of the process was unnecessarily difficult.

    Project Manager had a difficult time telling the truth or just make up stuff about most things.

    Closing and Follow-up Work:

    After you close you suddenly feel as though you made a mistake but this feeling will eventually pass. You are no longer on a first name basis with your Project Manager and the items promised to be fixed at the walk-through were not completed correctly. Advice to anyone reading this is to not sign the final walk-through papers until every single item is fixed and confirmed. It's sad this builder takes such a stand-off attitude toward it's customers once you close however the AE Service Department picks up most of the broken pieces left behind by your Project Manager. Since many items from the final walk-through were not fixed or just plain covered up, I reached out to the AE Service department and they have been excellent to work with. They are very responsive and seem to care. I had a pretty long list of items, most were small but needed attention. Within 2 weeks most everything hadbeen fixed. The final remaining item was my front porch was broken on the lower corner and there is a large gap across the bottom. This was identified at the pre-inspection walk-through and never fixed (no surprise) as of one year. The AE service department has told me for about one year it's going to be fixed however my landscaping has been on hold waiting for someone to own it. (see below update on porch)

    My one year update:

    Reflecting back on our experience, We suspect our Project Manager had good intentions, at least provided a lot of lip service however, for the most part, he did not follow through with his word. A man's handshake should be sacred however it means nothing in this case. We wanted to give him a year to fulfill his promises to us and that time has come and gone. So here it goes............our Project Manager would almost always become passive aggressive with us when we would bring up issues or repeat issues to him. He spent a great bit of time saying he would fix that or oh yeah it's on my list but he either hid the issues from us or just plain lied to us that someone was going to fix them, in most cases. An example of this is I went to visit the house when it was near completion and found our Project Manager hacking in a broken piece of weather strip on the front door. It was clearly torn and he was trying to piece it together instead of replacing it. I questioned him and was told oh yeah I have a piece on order. Of course when we moved into the house the same junk was still in place and I had to initiate a service call. Our Project manager promised us he would remove a pile of old stumps behind our home and again he never did. As a result my back yard was on hold for months waiting for him to do his job. I ended up hauling most of the stumps away myself and putting the rest on another AE lot. For months after moving in the AE trades were running extension cords over to my house and using power without permission. I repeatedly asked my Project Manager to put a stop to it and it never did until the new house had it's own power. As a concession our Project Manager promised us a $100 gift card however in return we received a $50 card and we were told oh yeah I have another one for you I will drop off, the other card never happened  Just examples of passive aggressive behavior that as a new home buyer should not have to deal with. My new AE neighbors are dealing with the same thing. Probably the biggest issue I have out of the entire experience is the A/C unit. I questioned our Project manager early on that I thought the A/C unit was too small for an 1860 sf house with an added sunroom. He promised me it was fine at that it was fine and a 2.5 ton unit was the smallest size AE ever uses. Well I discovered it is only a 2 ton unit and it is definitely too small to keep up on hot days. During the home construction four sections of siding were severely buckled due to improper installation. I strongly voiced my displeasure the siding would retain a memory and the buckling would not completely go away. You guessed it, our Project manager did not replace these sections and I was the one on initiated a service call to fix it right. Just more middle finger responses from our Project Manager who we are very happy to never see again.

    Over the past winter we had a big issue with mice getting into our house through a hole at the base of the drywall in the garage. It found a quarter size hole that I had to fix due to crappy drywall installation. I plugged the hole and no more mice. PORCH: The last big thing on my list from day one was the porch was not poured correctly and there is a huge gap between the ground and the concrete. I have an infestation of animals under my porch and my landscaping is still on hold. I've trapped over 30 chipmunks living under our porch! I get the usual lip service that it's on the list, for over a year! I've seen homes all around me have concrete work completed and my porch is still a mess at it looks like crap.

    Things the AE service department were unable to resolve:

    We had to upgrade the main bath fan as it was too small to evacuate the bathroom moisture. The fan itself would work but AE went cheap and ran 4" line to the outside wall which was a 25 foot run. AE insisted it was fine but when water drips from the ceiling, it's a problem. I installed a properly sized fan with 6" ducting and it works great. I also will need to replace the master bath fan with a larger one due to the same issues. The sound dampener under the kitchen sink fell off the first week and the service guy from AE hot glued it in place without cleaning the surface and of course it fell off again a few days later. This is on my list to fix my self. I found several entry points into the home by utilities where the caulk was only applied to the siding and not into the opening. The wind would blow right under the siding and find an easy path into the basement. I've found several areas where the siding was not nailed down.

    Living In Our Home:

    Even though our experience with our Project manager pretty much sucked our home is pretty amazing and it truly does feel like home. We love the layout and the beautiful upgrades we added to our kitchen, bathrooms, exterior and garage. The energy efficiency is awesome. Our utility bills are half of our previous home of the same size and it's so quiet with the windows shut you can sleep right through a thunder storm. We love our neighborhood, our neighbors and feel this will be home for a long time. Even though there were big bumps in the road right before closing and with our Project manager, we feel the builder overall builds a decent home. It's really a luck of the draw if you get assigned competent AE people to work with. The only reason i would chose not to use this builder again is our Project manager. He was a young man who demanded respect, claiming to be an expert in everything. I can tell you he didn't know squat and lied his way through most issues.

    - Keith W.
  • A
    Ridenour Builders
    They are currently building our house, and have done an addition for us in the past on our old home. Great builder, great crew he works with. Very open to ideas as we go along. As we have met with suppliers (picking out windows, plumbing, lumber yard, even our bank!) every person we have worked with along the way has said he is a great builder and one of their favorite to work with. Honest great guy! We would never go anywhere else!
    - Deanna S.
  • A
    J R Smith's Drywall Systems
    Overall I am extremely happy with the work that was done, Jeff went beyond what was called for him to do on his own expense and time. I will and already have recommended him to family and friends.
    - Kim P.
  • A
    Ridenour Builders
    Experienced builder
    - Cheryl B.
  • A
    Milan Glusica Contracting
    Very professional and punctual.  Great work ethics.  Quick response with a problem which arose.  Extremely personable young man.
    - Patsy V.
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