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Home Builder reviews in De Pere

  • F
    Gregory Rowe Construction
    To make the review short.  Greg Rowe promised a great product and an installation that, "he prides himself in because he doesn't like being called back to fix something."   That statement should have been the first indication that there were going to be problems.  As it turned out the windows that he used were a good quality window, the problem was with the installation.  First, Greg Rowe did not clean up after doing his job which was distressing as there are small children in the home.  After the installation we noticed that it was still a bit drafty.  Upon removing shoddily replaced woodwork around one of the windows we noticed that it was missing insulation.  As a matter of fact, insulation was scantily used on a multitude of the windows.  Also, one of the windows was loose.  We requested that Greg Rowe return and fix the issues.  He fixed some things but in the end, the windows were still not appropriately sealed and he even suggested that we were being too particular.  Greg Rowe was recommended to us by friends, but proved to be a big mistake to hire.
    - Amanda H.
  • D
    MIDWEST DESIGN HOMES
    Things are not going well.  I will start from the beginning.

     I was introduced to MDH during the Spring Showcase of Homes in NEWI. The MDH Spec homes matched the style and budget of home I was looking to build. The Sales Rep presented himself as knowledgeable and professional. I had some concern about choosing a builder who builds so many spec homes but through many conversations and meetings with the Sale Rep, I felt confident we could work together to build the custom home I was looking for.

    My goal was to build an energy efficient custom home. I have been researching energy efficient building techniques for well over a year. Anytime I presented an alternative technique to the sales rep I was met with encouragement and solutions. He was very quick to get my bid updated to reflect any changes and provided the information I needed to be aware of in a timely manner. MDH also works with Focus On Energy to certify all their homes. The Focus on Energy certification is not real special. It's kind of like saying "This brand new car has four wheels." Every new house should meet the Focus on Energy requirements but I was satisfied that I was working builder who thought it was important enough to test all of their homes for the certification.
     
    Everything was going great until I signed the contract.

    Once the contract was signed, I was passed from the Sales Rep to the Project Manager. Moving forward, I was supposed to keep contact with the Project Manager. The excavation was scheduled and my project was started. That is when the problems started.  During the sales process, I was told that not all decisions need to be made before the contract was signed. I was given a pretty good idea about what needed to be decided by each stage of the project. Anything that was different then the contract would be covered with a change order. It sounds simple but that is not the case. 

    From the start, the Project Manager did not return my phone calls or respond to my emails. I had questions, I needed answers, and I had decisions I needed to make but I got no response for days. I could make contact with the Sales Rep but he did not always have the information I needed. I was told the Project Manager would contact me but most of the time it was the Sales Rep returning the phone calls. Sometimes he had the information and sometimes he did not. I became very frustrated because the person I needed was "too busy" to find time for my project.

    It finally clicked for me one week when I needed information about a possible change to the next step of my project. I asked a question on a Wednesday and was told I would have an answer by Friday. On Friday I was contacted and told they would not have the answer till mid next week and I was told to "Think about it over the weekend." I needed the information on Friday to make sure the right people were ready to work on my project Monday. "Think about it over the weekend." is a classic builder move to get customers to get out of the way. I had already given it enough thought to ask the question so what good was it going to do for me to "Think about it over the weekend."?

    That is when I figured out that MDH likes to build Spec Homes. Spec Homes don't have customers who like to be involved in the decisions that need to be made in the building process. Spec Homes are important for MDH because most of their customers don't care if the house they are buying is energy efficient. Most of MDH's customers only care that their new home looks like all the rest in the trendy new sub division. I decided to work with MDH because I thought they could build the custom home I was looking for. Up to this point, I think I may have made a mistake.

    If you're reading this because you are considering buying an MDH Spec Home, I say go for it. They build some of the better Spec Homes in NEWI. You will own a home in the middle third of the subdivision you are looking at. It won't be the best, but it won't be the worst. If you are reading this because you are looking to build a custom home, then keep looking. When MDH says they can build a custom home they mean you get to choose the paint color and flooring. Any changes beyond their "standard" will be met with resistance once the contract is signed. 

    I have several examples of issues and red flags I have experienced up to this point. As I mentioned, I am still in the framing phase so I will update this review as the project progresses. I wanted to write this review a month ago but held out hoping things would change. As of right now, I don't see that happening. I am disappointed with myself for choosing a Spec Home builder for my custom home. All I can do now is make the best of the situation and hope to get the return phone call tomorrow I was told to expect today.

    *Update*

    Things are even worse then before. I have heaving footings and cracks in my foundation. MDH is trying to down play the situation like it is perfectly normal but I know it is not. The cause of the problem was not having power installed until late January. The reason power was not installed until late January is because power was not ordered until late December. I met my Project Manager and the Electrician on December 23rd to talk about outlet/switch/ight locations and the Electrician asked my Project Manager when the power was going to be installed.  My Project Manager said "I thought the power was already installed." Which doesn't make any sense because he is the one responsible for ordering it.  Either way, the frost was already set for a couple of weeks and the damage was done.  My upstairs floor is totally warped and uneven because of the heaving footings.

    MDH basically did nothing to prevent this from happening. Sometime in the middle of January they covered the basement floor with straw which might have slowed down the frost growth a little. But that should have been done late November or early December. It was like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.

    I finally get power on January 24th and we work out a plan to get rid of the frost in my basement. My Project Managers says they are going to bring in a temporary furnace and install fans to move the hot air around. Okay. The temporary furnace gets installed on January 30th and the thermostat is set at 85*.  The install was totally half assed.  I was told they would install a downward flow furnace and of course that didn't happen. The upward flow furnace had a total of 5 holes in the collection box and 3 of them pointed straight up! I capped those holes myself. Also, MDH did not remove the straw which was now acting as an insulator between the hot air and the frost. I removed the straw myself. Also, there were no fans installed. I was told they would install ceiling mounted fans to push the hot air down to the ground. On February 3rd my Project Manager shows up with one floor fan and says they will be installing ceiling mounting fans. Today is February 10th and there are no ceiling mounted fans in my basement.

    This furnace has been running 24/7 since it was installed. I have no idea how much this is costing me but it can't be cheap. I don't if MDH just doesn't care or if they are being intentionally negligent. This project has been a complete nightmare.

    *4/10/14 Update*

    4 months after my last update and nothing has really changed. Just a lot of half *ssed work that needs to be redone multiple times.

    Cracks in drywall from heaving footings that are still dropping.

    Mold in the basement which I am now finding out it is my responsibility to take care even though I was told it would be taken care of for the past 3 months.

    Door trim molding installed over Light switch covers.

    Windows that don't close because of settling footings.

    Unlevel walls and trim because of heaving/settling footings.

    No finish date in sight.

    Extremely high heating bills.

    Feb - $130 - Partial Month
    March - $614
    April - $329

    Furnace keeps having problems because of the amount of dust in the basement.

    Rusty door hinges.

    Dirt all over the house because nobody cleans up after themselves. 

    Plumbing water lines ran right above the electrical panel.

    Unlevel ceiling which has been "fixed" twice. 

    The list goes on and on.

    The only bright spot so far has been the siding guy. He is doing a great job.

    The Project Manager is very quick to point the finger at the sub contractors.  Well MDH is the one who hired them and the one who should be keeping them honest.  Ultimately it is my responsibility because I picked MDH to build my house.  

    Also, the allowances they provide in the bid are way too low. We went $2400 over in flooring. $400 in lighting, $1700 in electrical, $664 over in plumbing, and $1000 over in closets.

    Originally I said that it might be okay to buy one of their spec homes but I take that back. Knowing all the corners that get cut and problems I have encountered, I could only image what gets covered up on a spec home.  But they probably place a higher priority on their spec homes because they have to be ready for the next Parade/Showcase of homes.  Who really knows???
    - Eric B.
  • A
    Jim Haverkorn Construction
    Jim does high quality work, and most importantly, is a contractor you can TRUST. I cannot stress this enough. If you are looking for an experienced remodeler/contractor, you will not be disappointed.
    - STEVE M.
  • A
    TCD Homes
    TCD Homes is a great builder. They follow up with you after home completion. They are very thorough and use good subcontractors. They provide a generous allowance for fixtures, etc. TCD Homes is knowledgeable and professional.
    - Michael and Jennifer M.
  • A
    JG Development Inc
    We bought a house in Mount Horeb and soon realized that we needed a couple of things done to the house sooner rather than later. We chose JG because they built a home for our friends and did a wonderful job. Our experience with JG was top notch. They were professional, on time, and communicated frequently throughout the process of this small job. They cleaned up perfectly. Their price was fair and we will definitely contact them again when we have more work done. This is the type of builder that shakes your hand when they arrive for work. A real pleasure to work with!
    - Sally M.
  • A
    GREENLEAF BUILDERS INC
    unknown
    - Eddie T.
  • A
    CREATIVE DESIGNS
    unknown
    - Candace D.
  • A
    Overhead Solutions Inc
    Done on time as promised. Very clean - no Damage to lawm or deck. Followed up.
    - Gerald D.
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Home Builders in De Pere

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