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Old 05-10-2008, 06:20 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,184,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastercone View Post
[color="Navy"]
I vividly recollect advising you to wait until later this year to buy because prices would more than likely soften even further.
To this point. One of the reasons we did not wait was KB was in the process of discontinuing their Liberty and Estate product lines...the very product that attracted us to this neighborhood. Had we waited we wouldn't have been able to get the semi-custom look that is so different from the majority of the product they offer. I still think the timing is ok. And I am puting 40% down on the house, so while I am buying at last years prices...I am enough equity to weather any further deterioration in home prices.

It just stinks to have to deal with this kind of problem a month out from closing.

 
Old 05-10-2008, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Earth
226 posts, read 820,230 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by banker View Post
Well - It seems that despite the slow down in building and the short amount of work - there are some sub contractors with a total lack of ethics. Sadly today I stopped by the house to find that some fixtures had been stolen out of my nearly complete home. While normally I wouldn't care that much since the builder would just replace them...this really hit close to home.

First a little background: When going through the selection process and in our effort to keep the home under $300K we decided to go with the standard kitchen - nice enough - but opted to upgrade the counters and other items later. We were surprised to discover at the time that KB would not let us select under cabinet lighting for the kitchen unless we selected the "Gourmet" kitchen. This would have required about $30K in upgrades to go from the standard kitchen to the Gourmet kitchen. Surprisingly KB doesn't even offer under cabinet lighting on their mid level "Luxury" kitchen. So while discussing this with our sales counselor at the design center she encouraged us to pay for additional wiring to the kitchen and then to work with the electrical subcontractor to have the lights added when the home was nearly complete. This is exactly what we did. When we finally got to the stage that the home was being built our construction manager provided us with the contact name for the manager for LEC (the electrical contractor) for the Quarry homes to arrange for us to make this modification. While all along KB informed us that I was doing this at my own cost and was liable if anything was damaged or stolen in the process. I proceeded since I was assured that at night and on the weekend the home would be locked up when not being worked on once the home got to the finish out stage. So I ordered five of these lights: Series II Xenon Bronze 30-inch Under Cabinet Light from Bellacor and had them installed under the cabinets in my kitchen this past Monday. So imagine my surprise when I showed up today to see that they had been carefully removed from under neath the cabinets and the wires coming out of the wall cut flush with the sheetrock. This means that I must not only replace these lights but have the home rewired which will require removing cabinets and sheet rock. The most distressing this is that while I paid the electrical contractor handsomely to do this extra work - only the electrical sub and his crew knew the lights were there (besides myself). The KB site manager didn't even know since I was assigned a new manager mid build. I am actually pretty upset about the whole thing because the lights were there yesterday after work and today they were not...and the electrical contractor was "finishing" up today. So on the last day in the house...the lights disappear. To make things more suspicious - the lights aren't that easy to install much less take out in a hurry as a thief probably would have. You would have had to install the lights to know how to remove them. If only two people knew about the lights and one was me...it doesn't take a genious to figure out who took them...

At the house I tried to call my electrical contractor and he would not answer. This was surprising as he has always answered my calls when I have called him to set up the changes he did for me. I tried to call him four times over the course of an hour and no answer. I suspected he was avoiding me - so when I got to my parents house for dinner I called him on my mom's cell - from a number he wouldn't recognize and he immediately answered...and then told me that he hadn't missed any calls and that I must have been dialing the wrong number. That is complete BS. He was avoiding my call because he probably knew exactly why I was calling!! To pour extra salt in the wound...now more money will be paid to this corrupt and completely unethical contractor to fix the wiring that was cut clean. How convenient for them. I guess when business is slow...you screw over an honest home buyer and generate a little more work.

The thing that is so frustrating is that KB completely stood behind this contractor. And while they did warn me that they were not liable for my lights walking - there was not hint of questioning the actions of the electrical crew. It is like..."we told you so...now cough up the money to fix it" So...now I am out significant money for these lights and a huge delay has been dropped into the build schedule as they fix the wiring problem. To give the smallest amount of credit to KB on this...they are going to pay to have the cabinets removed and the sheet rock fixed...how nice of them.

I am really disapointed in this crew. To think that this could happen again before I close! I really wish there was a way to hire ethical subcontractors or to hold them accountable for this kind of theft. I am also disapointed in KB. Since this happened during business hours while there crews were there - I really hoped that they would take care of these lights.

And while I am venting about the lights...and this electrical contractor...I was also stiffed two exterior lights. They just covered up two outlets with blank plates and told me it wasn't included in the delivery so I will have to pay extra to get those...and I didn't get a chandelier that I paid for. It is really sad that after such a relatively good build process to have it soured at the end like this. I haven't decided how to handle this at this point...but will be demanding these "missing" exterior lights prior to closing. So the short and sweet is that LEC as an electrical company has some pretty shady guys in their employee and KB is willing to back them.

Hopefully things get better as we come down the final stretch of this build process. I hope that not for a minute KB doesn't think I will look the other way just to get my house finished quickly while these little issues start happening. This is only going to make me scrutinize every little step all that much closer until things are perfect.

Very frustrated future buyer.

Thanks alot KB and LEC.

I can't feel the pain, but I can attest to being nervous about having things stolen during the build process. I had a minimum of 4K in light fixtures, cieling fans, dimmer switches, 4 way switches, 3 way switches, timer switches for bath vent fans, zenon kitchen undercabinet lighting, bathroom vent fans, exterior motion detector lights, etc. installed during electrical trim.

I watched my house like a "hawk" until I closed. Additionally, my the sales staff also kept a close eye on my house. I knew that if something happened I would be out $4K. It was a risk I took.

However, I also know the electrical sub foreman and the electrician that worked on my house are very honest people. The foreman runs a very strict shop. He won't hesitate to fire an electrician that is trying to do work on the side. Very honest guy. Same with the electrician that did the work on my home. Hell they only charged me $1200 to do a custom job on my home. Although, I did pay another $2K to KB to add several lights etc. However, the foreman got behind schedule due to my home taking 2x as long to wire and trim out. He won't do it again.

I don't know if you have an option, but I sure as hell wouldn't hire the same electrician to do work on your home that you suspect stole the fixtures to begin with. They are milking you. It's doubtful, but I would see if you can get Tim Smoot Electric to do your work for you. Once an electrical contractor has started work on your home, they won't bring in someone else unless they have been fired because of warranty issues.

Something also to consider, since you have a 1 story home...if you have easy access to the kitchen via the attic I would just do the work after you close. It is quite possible that when KB removes the cabinets you will wind up with more of a mess. Then again second thoughts... when they wired my home they made one electrical run from the ceiling and used the same wire through each contiguous wall. You are right, probably only way to do it right is to remove the cabinets etc. But this time just pre-wire it and don't have the fixtures installed. Do it after you close.

As far as your thermostat, what does your plan show? Does it show it is behind the door? If it does, than you are just SOL unless you pay the drywall guy a little money to fix up the mess associated with opening up your walls. Those drywall guys can work wonders.

However, if you have easy access to it via the attic...you can easily get it fixed. I was at my home when the HVAC guys were installing everything. I told them specifically where to put my thermostats. For my floor plan for some reason KB likes to put the thermostat in the niche area where it would be out of place. Better to have room to put a picture or something else like it there. I figure your foreman doesn't want to move your theromostat wire because there probably isn't easy access to it.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Earth
226 posts, read 820,230 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by banker View Post
My floor tile went in today. We selected one of the standard tiles used in the Quarry - which is a stone colored porcelain tile. Very nice. By the way - some commented about their use of ceramic tile in their high end homes. They will use basically anything you choose. We opted for the porcelain tile as it is stronger and holds up better long term to the cheaper glazed ceramic tiles. And it was standard...about 600 square feet of it between the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and foyer. It looks great!
Porcelian tile is nice. However, I was told that what I had picked out was also procelian tile. It wasn't, however it still is a very high quality ceramic $2.50 sf market price. At first I was a little ticked to find out it wasn't procelian, but it doesn't matter because it is still a great high quality ceramic tile. In fact it costs more than alot of porcelian tiles.

I would suggest that you call the manufacturer of the tile to find out if it is truly a porcelian tile. Hopefully it is, but it wasn't in my case.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Earth
226 posts, read 820,230 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastercone View Post
Back when you were in the exploratory phase and managing a thread for "collecting feedback", it was as if you rejected or explained away ANY criticisms of KB home quality. These boards are replete with a litany of warnings NOT to buy or to "stay away", etc. It seems that you were already sold on the home and merely used the thread to quickly dismiss any complaints while reinforcing your own positive inclinations concerning the qualities of the builder.

I vividly recollect advising you to wait until later this year to buy because prices would more than likely soften even further. A lot of people took time to be helpful and were very honest with you. You really cannot say that you were NOT warned.

Buying a KB Home

http://www.city-data.com/forum/1604834-post2.html
*Don't buy one. Period. Be sarcastic all you want, but search through these forums and you will see NO ONE will recommend you to purchase a KB Home.
In the price range you say you are looking in, you can find a much more respectable and responsible builder.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/1607047-post8.html
*You would have to be completely insane to spend $300 on a KB home, much less $300,000. If you don't want to listen to us, fine. Better your money than mine.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/1610354-post15.html
*Please be aware that there is a huge population of people that will not not buy a KB home, and agents that won't take their buyers to view them, at all.

Some of the responses even included these persuasive links:
HomeOwners for Better Building - Home

Consumer complaints about KB Home
Construction Defect Help - Homeowner Websites - Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (http://www.hadd.com/websites.php - broken link)

And much, much more................

Buying a KB Home
*Buying a KB Home (San Antonio)

+++++++++++++++++
I can attest that the homes being built by KB at Springtree are great! I have talked to several of my neighbors and they are very satisfied with their homes. ALL the builders have horror stories, but I have been throughly impressed with KB and their quality control processes. It's not perfect, but its very good i.e. soil test each and every lot, engineer foundations to the soil test, plumber has to video tape drains, home has to pass indenpendent inspectors inspection, ALL energy star homes etc. etc.

Chalk one up to KB for doing an OUTSTANDING job on my HOME!
 
Old 05-10-2008, 07:38 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,184,554 times
Reputation: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe123456 View Post
Porcelian tile is nice. However, I was told that what I had picked out was also procelian tile. It wasn't, however it still is a very high quality ceramic $2.50 sf market price. At first I was a little ticked to find out it wasn't procelian, but it doesn't matter because it is still a great high quality ceramic tile. In fact it costs more than alot of porcelian tiles.

I would suggest that you call the manufacturer of the tile to find out if it is truly a porcelian tile. Hopefully it is, but it wasn't in my case.
The tile is stamped on the back of each tile "porcelian". Having installed tile in every house I have lived (including with my parents) I can recognize porcelain versus ceramic. This is the real deal. Very nice tile.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 09:00 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,184,554 times
Reputation: 336
Well, last night I arranged with the electrical sub contractor to meet me at the house to discuss how "we" were going to have to fix this issue. 8:30 was the prescribed waiting time. I arrived a few minutes after 8:30 and waited, and waited, and waited...calling the sub contractor every 15 minutes (of course with no answer)...until 9:15 when I called the builder (who was aware we were meeting today) and he informed me that he was in the neighborhood. He came right over and then called the electrical sub from LEC. Amazing enough...this time the sub answered his phone. I am so tired of getting the run around from the electrical contractor.

So...at 9:40 I left. I was tired of waiting on this guy.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
796 posts, read 2,757,620 times
Reputation: 348
Banker...
We were in a similar situation while building our home (Ryland). Not with stuff being stolen, we were lucky with that, but with build time. In the beginning, everything was perfect. We were so happy that we got lucky, and that having a house built was smooth sailing. Everything was on schedule, we did not have any rain to delay the process, and our inspectior was very impressed with the framework stage. We were scheduled to close in the beginning of December. That was 5 months from the day we signed our contract. Well, we should have knocked on wood. Our closing kept getting pushed back and back and back. They had to tear down the brick in the front of our house 4 times to get it right. They forgot to plumb my house for gas, and had the nerve to ask me if I needed a gas stove!!! I paid extra for the gas line to begin with, and the stove that I upgraded was duel fuel. Anyway to make a long story short, we did not close until the end of Feb. My husband's job paid for our extended stay since we came down under relocation, but when that was used up, Ryland picked up the tab for our hotel. We did get a lot of extras done so there will not be a house in our neighborhood that will ever be like ours. That's the good thing. Over all I guess the saying "no pain no gain" is true, even with home building, because we do love our house. I can also say with confidence that we are the black sheep of Ryland homes. LOL
 
Old 05-10-2008, 10:26 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,184,554 times
Reputation: 336
Just so no one gets the wrong idea...I think that everything done so far has been done well...it is just this late in the game customer service from the trades that bothers me. This will give KB the opportunity to "make it right" and follow through on their end of the customer service piece. At this point it is a blame game...and ultimately I don't care who is at fault. I just want things done right in the end. This unfortunate happening could end up being the icing on the cake if it is resolved well. Time will tell.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 12,789,652 times
Reputation: 2534
Do you have to close... what are you out if you don't? I don't know about the market there, but it's slowed here to the point that a stalling buyer would actually have some pull in unethical matters such as this.

I have only seen one (neighborhood) worth of newer KB homes and have already commented on the construction quality I've observed there. I'm really not that surprised about what I read about the wiring or thermostat placement. About the thermostat though, Carrier mentions in their installation instructions ( http://www.esmithair.com/support/Carrier/CCBAC01-B-Installation.pdf (broken link) )

Thermostat should NOT be mounted:
• Close to a window, on an outside wall, or next to a door leading
to the outside.
...
In areas with poor air circulation, such as behind a door or in
an alcove.

Seriously, Google brought back a TON of hits when I searched. It's common sense not to mount the thing there. If you want more ammo on how to get this changed, pull up the instructions for your make/model of thermostat online. It'll have location instructions in there that you can pull up. This should help you get it changed if they try and play hardball with you on this one. And don't forget to hire an outside inspector before you close if you haven't decided to yet. A good one will catch everything; I can reference one if needed.

One last thing that caught my eye,
Quote:
Ok...while I am admittedly frustrated by this end stretch problems...I am still getting what I wanted. A four sides brick home on a large lot with an excellent structure...so not all is lost...
I wanted the same thing; that's why I went with an existing home.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 11:36 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,184,554 times
Reputation: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
Do you have to close... what are you out if you don't? I don't know about the market there, but it's slowed here to the point that a stalling buyer would actually have some pull in unethical matters such as this.

I have only seen one (neighborhood) worth of newer KB homes and have already commented on the construction quality I've observed there. I'm really not that surprised about what I read about the wiring or thermostat placement. About the thermostat though, Carrier mentions in their installation instructions ( http://www.esmithair.com/support/Carrier/CCBAC01-B-Installation.pdf (broken link) )

Thermostat should NOT be mounted:
Close to a window, on an outside wall, or next to a door leading
to the outside.
...
In areas with poor air circulation, such as behind a door or in
an alcove.

Seriously, Google brought back a TON of hits when I searched. It's common sense not to mount the thing there. If you want more ammo on how to get this changed, pull up the instructions for your make/model of thermostat online. It'll have location instructions in there that you can pull up. This should help you get it changed if they try and play hardball with you on this one. And don't forget to hire an outside inspector before you close if you haven't decided to yet. A good one will catch everything; I can reference one if needed.

One last thing that caught my eye,

I wanted the same thing; that's why I went with an existing home.
Thank you so much for the A/C thermostat placement issue. I will work this immediately.

As to an existing home...we looked that route but couldn't find exactly what we wanted unless it needed tons of work and lacked modern standards of insulation and radiant barrier to keep the cost of ownership down.

Anyway...I will check with the brand of A/C thermostat and go from there.

This is very constructive help.
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