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Sunrooms And Patio reviews in Ephrata

  • F
    Custom Lite Inc
    Before the Sunroom was purchased and contracted on 2/12/2011, my wife and I had a very specific discussion with the salesman, Barry from Custom-Lite, Inc. about a newer electrical raceway system design; that in fact, it included cutouts or rough-ins for electrical outlets. I had told Barry that I would run the electrical myself or through an electrical contractor. After requesting a sample of the electrical raceway design, he proceeded to present to me a sample cutout of the aluminum-based wall with an outlet in place. Barry removed the outlet cover, outlet receptacle, and a piece of foam out of the sample piece, and said that it included the floor raceways, hallowed walls to run the electrical wiring, and the rough-ins so that I could mount the outlets flush to the wall without using protruding outlet boxes. Before signing the contract, I had again asked him if the electrical raceway included the cutouts and he had said, yet again, ?The cutouts are included in the electrical raceway design and you can request where you want them towards the end of the construction process.? Keep in mind that I did say I would take care of running the electrical for the room. This will come back to haunt me later...read on.

    During the process of the build, the project manager was incommunicado most the time. The only response she could give me was, "Tony (the owner) is not in today. Let me take a message?" Then I would wait several days without response, until I would have to call again. This carried on throughout the length of the project.

    The owner Tony, was extremely rude and arrogant. The first time I met him, he proceeded to tell me (not suggest) how I should design the room. I'm always open to ideas, so I guess I'm used to dealing with contractors who work with me, not against me. I had sent plans back to him requesting a slightly steeper pitch (6"-1' additional pitch) to the roof for more head room, and after calling him to discuss, he proceeded to yell over the phone about how ridiculous and outrageous that sounded, and that his men could not "walk" a church steeple without getting killed?this was before I even had a chance to explain exactly what I was looking to do and why. He just reacted to everything with condescending responses without hearing my thought process and if he didn't get his way, he would respond emotionally and irrationally.

    Remember the outlet rough-ins?...Towards the end of the project (approx. 2-3 days before completion), I had phoned in some questions about the electrical rough-ins and why they weren't put in along with issues regarding windows that are sticking and some trim that looked incomplete. Of course, the Project Manager could not tell me and the owner wasn't available?surprise, surprise! The Project Manager told me that she would schedule Tony and an engineer to come out to look into my issues. She gave me 1 business day in advance at 9am on a Monday morning, and told her that just wasn't enough time to schedule a half day from work. I suggested later that week and she said, "This was the only time he could come out." I asked her if I had to be there for this and she said that I didn't have to, and that they were only looking into resolving my initial issues. In addition, she wanted my final payment immediately. That would be my biggest mistake next to signing the contract from the beginning.

    After that discussion, I had attempted to call one the guys that were building the unit, because no one else of assistance seemed to be available, and couldn't initially get a hold of him 'til the next day. When I did, he told me that the design didn't include the rough-ins and asked, "why would the salesman tell me such a thing." I asked, "Why would you sell a design feature you can't deliver?" That would be the last time this guy would take my call. All other attempts to reach him were cut off?I would presume on request by the owner.

    Several days passed after the owner had come out to "resolve" my issues. No calls were attempted to me or my wife. My wife decided to call them for a followup, and Tony had immediately started the conversation with, "So, I heard your husband thinks the roof is going to fall of the sunroom!" He proceeded to tell her that the windows were fine and there was nothing wrong with the trim. Nothing was going to be done about the outlet rough-ins either. After a number of attempts to reach him myself, he calls back knowing I was in the middle of work to leave a message with the same sentiment, without, of course, the sarcasm. Although he did tell me that this, "wasn't a big deal." How nice of him to be so concerned about how I should feel.

    Days passed without any success in trying to get a hold of the owner and decided to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

    Several weeks later, I had finally reached of the owner, Tony, whom proceeded to scream and yell about how I was running electrical illegally?he was repeating the same permit question to me that only a licensed professional would know, over and over....He said that, "If I were cutting the electrical outlet rough-ins, don't you think I would need a permit?" I said, "I wouldn't know, I'm not a licensed electrician. That's why I hired you, the contractor!" He proceeded to tell me that the room was uninhabitable and that the permit was still open (never told me why it was still open). He then proceeded to hang up on me (Similar experience to the other reviewer had noted in his complaint).

    I found out through the municipality, that the permit WAS still open and that IT DID include electrical!! He also lied about it to the BBB as well...I have the written transcript for anyone who would like to see it. All he had to do was have someone come out and cut the holes where I wanted them and I wouldn't need to write half of this complaint. He also told me that I refused the final walk-through...there WAS NO final walk-through. I was told they were coming out to address my issues.

    I'm not looking for money or rebates?just cut the rough-ins and follow-through?that's what separates the good contractors from the exceptional (Diamond) ones.

    My overall rating of this company would be unsurprisingly an F. I would expect this behavior from an uneducated teenage employee, but Custom-Lite's abhorrent customer service goes right to the top?the owner! It just amazes me, especially in this economy, how the owner of a customer-centric business behaves in such an irresponsible manner. If I raised my voice at a customer for any reason, I'd be fired. It's that simple. Even if it were over a $5 order...it truly is senseless.

    Here's the other kicker...after signing the contract, the salesman never contacted me before, during or after the entire build to see if I were satisfied with how things were going. Not even to call me to defend what he had sold me! And I'm still waiting for the care manual for the room!! But I won't hold my breath because it took 4 weeks just to get the warranty paperwork as contracted which was supposed to come immediately after the room was completed!

    If you absolutely HAVE to do business with these guys, make sure:
    1. You get EVERY little detail in writing. The salesman's word is only as good as what's put in writing! (Lesson learned)
    2. Ask for the full and original room/material manual upfront because it has everything they don't want you to know before making the sale. If the salesman says, "I'll get it to you later." you tell him, "I don't sign until I have it in hand and reviewed thoroughly!"
    3. Never pay before the job is completely approved...by you! Learn from my mistakes.
    4. Get quotes from at least 3 other local contractors who install these units. Custom-Lite will tell you they are the only gig in town. I know of at least two local companies that can build these for at least 3-5k less.
    5. Ask to meet the owner before signing the contract. SERVICE IS EVERYTHING when dropping this kind of cash for a home improvement project! If you have to spend more for better service, it's worth every penny! Trust me. The last thing you want to do is to have an addition that leaves a bad taste in your mouth...you have to live in it every day!
    6. Do your research on Angies List! Read good and bad reviews. then make the call based on your own personal comfort level. This is something that lasts forever, make it a pleasurable experience.
    - Jeff B.
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Sunrooms / Patio Enclosure Builders in Ephrata

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