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Old 05-10-2010, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Parker Colorado
49 posts, read 107,837 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi All,
We are currently under contract for 5 acres in Plum, and are looking to build our own home. We first looked at modulars, but overall they were more expensive when you add excavation, and the whole nine yards. I then started reviewing and searching builders, I will only use on that is affiliated with the BBB since I am not from this area. Has anyone used Shumacher or Wayne homes and what was your experience?
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:14 PM
 
2,538 posts, read 2,397,839 times
Reputation: 3247
I can't comment on Wayne Homes quality, but take their price quotes with a grain of salt. I was going to build with them in 2004. Price quoted at the initial contract was $181k, but once we actually started to do the final numbers a few weeks before construction the price rose to over $200k. The problem is Wayne's prices are based purely on the lowest possible building cost. If you need any additional changes they'll nickel and dime you to death. My lot wasn't perfectly flat, so it was going to cost me an extra $8K just to make the one corner of the foundation deeper. Ok, this might not be their fault, but they do not tell you this up front that this is a possibility. One thing that did p*ss me off was they leave out stuff that is required by PA code. Again, when going over the final numbers the GC assigned to me mentions a $1200 charge to tie in the basement floor drain in to the main sewage system. He says 'this is required by code in PA'. Well, if it is required by code in PA and your price list is specifically for the Pittsburgh market then include it in the damn price. Don't add something later that is mandatory. I canceled the contract at this point because the house wouldn't have been worth what it was initially appraised at by their own lender. I'm glad I walked away. From what I found building a home on your own is not economically viable. Unless you get the lot for free or you absolutely love the property(or money is no object) it is cheaper just to buy an existing house or buy in a plan.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:53 AM
 
367 posts, read 610,751 times
Reputation: 155
I would search for a smaller,custom builder. They will build you a home of any size from any plan. You will get a FAR better product than most, if not all, of the "type" builders mentioned. You will be better able to control costs as well.

I know folks who paid 500K for a Heartland Home and it's junk. They are "Heart-Broken" about what they got for the money. A 500k home from a "good, honest" custom builder would be a great home.

Do some research and ask around, there are some terrific custom builders just looking for a new project.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Parker Colorado
49 posts, read 107,837 times
Reputation: 16
Smaller builder? I have concerns about a smaller builder because I know of one whom stole so much money from not only the sub's but also the client. He is in prison now for five years but his wife whom was also apart of the scam is out "free n clear" and many think she was the mind behind the millions of dollars stolen. After knowing these "gem" of people I am concerned with a smaller builder.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:29 AM
 
367 posts, read 610,751 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrobbie View Post
Smaller builder? I have concerns about a smaller builder because I know of one whom stole so much money from not only the sub's but also the client. He is in prison now for five years but his wife whom was also apart of the scam is out "free n clear" and many think she was the mind behind the millions of dollars stolen. After knowing these "gem" of people I am concerned with a smaller builder.
Smaller............not CROOKED. There are many smaller, custom builders who are legit and have been in business for MANY years. That is why I mentioned doing some research on ANY builder. You are not being fair to yourself or a smaller/custom builder by stereotyping them because of this crook. I assure you there are many BIG builders who paint a rosy picture to get you to sign on the dotted line and then give you a sub-par product. Research, ask to talk to prior clients, do your homework and you will prove to yourself that not all small builders are shady.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Oakland CA
8,239 posts, read 12,249,542 times
Reputation: 9989
If you are going to finance your home via a construction loan, ask the bank for a list of builders. Banks won't deal with a crummy builder, because the bank doesn't cut a check for the whole amount and hand it to the builder -- they dole it out in bits as the project is done and inspected. They won't deal with an idiot company that wastes money and time....

or steals.

A smaller bank that does lots of construction loans will know whos building quality....
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Old 11-23-2014, 01:42 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,683 times
Reputation: 12
After reading all the post, my hubby and I decided to buy an existing house with our own inspector. We have the perfect house plan for but we are terrified now of ever finding and honest builder. Plus we can't afford to be taken, period. We figure that our savings will go to adding on/or reconstructing it our way. Besides who wants to wait for trees and grass to grow when an existing house for sale already has it's growth and beauty.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:51 PM
 
791 posts, read 377,443 times
Reputation: 378
One of the things you need to do with any project is do your design and selections first, then have your contractor build to your specs. If you have a job quoted without having your selections made you will not get an accurate price.

Some contractors will bid a job with no upgrades and others will bid a job with some upgrades and some bid using allowences. You will get three wildly diffrent bids when the most expensive price may be the cheepest in the long run.

Without having your selection cost ahead of time, it is hard to compare labor and management costs from one company to the other.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,113 times
Reputation: 10
Lightbulb ill never buy again, only build

We built a wayne home almost 2 years ago now and we love it. We didnt have any issues at all. Prior to building, we had bought a home that was 30 years old, but had been renovated. After only 3 months of being there, we found out that electrical work had been done wrong in the house, and during their rennovaton, they had altered some structural elements of the house, and didnt properly support some walls. It was awful. It cost us almost 30,000 dollars to fix everything that was done incorrectly and its hard because our inspection didnt catch these things prior to us buying. After this we decided to build a home instead of buy another one. We were very cautious going into it, because of the issues we had had. We almost went with Schumacher, but a friend of ours who was a neighbor from where our house we bought was had a huge crack in their basement wall and water leakage ... after this, we decided to not build with them and looked at wayne homes . They built us a nice home pretty quickly as we wanted to be in before the kids started school. I wont ever buy a home again, only build. I dont want to buy anyone elses "potential problems" most likely we will build again when we become empty nesters way down the road, and its very likely we will build a wayne home again, but this time just a one story. Eveyone is different, but this worked for us. My only regret was that we didnt build the first time instead of wasting all that money on a house that was unfit to be made our forever house. Good Luck Imjustsaying!
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Old 12-20-2014, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Crafton via San Francisco
2,942 posts, read 2,281,709 times
Reputation: 1054
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy2073 View Post
One of the things you need to do with any project is do your design and selections first, then have your contractor build to your specs. If you have a job quoted without having your selections made you will not get an accurate price.

Some contractors will bid a job with no upgrades and others will bid a job with some upgrades and some bid using allowences. You will get three wildly diffrent bids when the most expensive price may be the cheepest in the long run.

Without having your selection cost ahead of time, it is hard to compare labor and management costs from one company to the other.
I'll add to guy2073's good advice. Do your homework. Size of the business doesn't indicate trustworthiness or value. I find Angie's List to be a better source than the BBB to research local builders. Read the reviews and contact the ones you like best. You should also be talking to neighbors and any friends and family who can point you to local companies they've done business with and can recommend. Once you contact the company ask for references and call them (you'd be amazed at how many people stop their research at a list of names). Ask if the builder kept to the budget and schedule, if the job site was kept clean and organized, if the employees were polite and respectful, etc. Very important, ask how well the builder handled any problems that arose during the project. And ask if they would hire the company again for future projects.

Check their license with the state and see if there are any complaints. Ask the contractor to have their insurance company contact you to provide proof of up to date worker's comp and general liability insurance.

When you've narrowed it down to a few companies, ask to visit their job sites. Might be a little more difficult this time of year as many people start projects to be finished in time for the holidays. But a reputable company should be willing to show you their work in progress.

I work in the construction industry and recently completed a major remodel of my own home.

As guy2073 noted, each company structures their bids differently. Sometimes the lowest bid doesn't include important things resulting in unpleasant surprises along the way. When you've gotten bids you have to ask a lot of questions to determine if you're comparing apples to apples.

One thing I've discovered is that people with stories of the contractor from h*ll are often the same people who didn't do their homework and chose a bid that was too good to be true. You don't hear nearly as many stories about home building nightmares from people who took their time researching potential builders before signing on the dotted line. Hope this helps.
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