Top 10 things they won't tell you at Gallery Custom Homes / First Texas Homes
1. Construction Standards, Whats that?
Yeah, they only follow their construction standards. That's unbelievable but that's right. We hired professional Inspector Certified in Texas to inspect our home during construction. He had more than 20 years of experience in industry. He noted several code violations and we passed details to builder including code numbers and page reference. Their reply: oh' we don't have to follow any of this standards and so we don't. We pointed to the fact that other builders do follow standards and their reply was "That's why their houses are more expensive". Furthermore, they disputed dictionary defined meaning of construction terms like Attic, Foundation and asked us to believe what builders are doing.
Support: Pictures built home with corresponding code violations with ICC number.
2. We dont follow any Blue print, including ours..
Before our construction began, they showed us a set of paper blue prints. We signed off our contract based on that. They eliminated major features like couple Box Windows. When we asked why, their reply was, "Our Architecture made an error. They did not know what they were doing. In addition, they are not on the site and they know nothing about construction. Blue print was not correct" so we humbly asked for some compensation and they gave us, you guessed it, NOTHING. They accepted mistake but flat out denied any compensation for that. They sensed our Time, Money and emotional involvement after 6 months into contract and took full unfair advantage of us.
Support: Portions of Blue Print dont match with constructed home.
3. We don't return calls from customer
To express our code violation complains, we placed several calls to higher ups of Gallery Custom Homes. Despite promises from their secretary, not a single call was ever returned. I have yet to speak with that mysterious man Mr. John who made countless decisions for our home.
Check this out: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/230/RipOff0230382.htm
4. We lie to our customers and that's normal
On submission of inspection report, first they challenged the credibility and qualification of state certified inspector. Finally, they agreed to address some of the concerns in inspection report. They gave us in writing that they will address issues before starting sheet rock installation. Guess what, they started sheet rock without fixing any of the problems they said they are going to fix it. On drawing their attention, reply was "I will tell supervisor of your concerns"
Support: Fax copy from Sales agent and corresponding pictures in construction stage.
5. Behave rudely with customer. We lead by example.
Diane Jackson, Sales agent was nice until we signed on dotted contract. After that, she shouts and yells over the issue on the phone. She makes countless contradictory arguments and makes false promise that she cannot fulfill. She is very nice compare to her supervisor. First, supervisor is hardly ever on job. If available, he will be on the phone. In pre-sheet rock meeting, he made several false and contradictory claims. He acknowledges violation of warranty term on shingles but said he will not fix it as he is not responsible for design. When I asked him to give me in writing what he just claimed, he angrily walked out on us from meeting.
6. Be prepared for whimsical charges AFTER you sign the contract.
We were building house on the lake lot. We paid the highest premium in community to get desirable lot. As per the association rules, all houses on the lake has to have brick on the back. Every other builder in community, do not charge extra for brick on the back as it is included in premium charge for the lot. I thought it might be this builder specific. Therefore, I called other locations of Gallery Custom Homes or First Texas homes and they told that they do not charge extra for brick on the back. However, in our case, they forced us to pay extra for the brick on top of lake premium. I have never seen anything like forced upgrade.
Support: Our Change order statement.
7. Our customers pay for our mistake
We chose to buy several upgrades from builder. They failed to document one of the important changes we requested. We discovered that a day after our "redline" meeting. They acknowledge their mistake BUT if we still wanted to have that change done, we have to pay full change and administrative fee. What a joke? We essentially pay for their mistake.
Support: Our Final Change order statement.
8. Our upgrade cost are whimsical(So come on a good day and pray god before asking for any upgrade)
Yeah, that's right. Most of upgrade charges are based on mood and whims of sales agent. They have no standards defined anywhere. By the way, they use computers only as a modern typing machine so be very patient and do not get frustrated with them, please.:)
Support: Our neighbors have very different charge for exactly same upgrade.
9. Dont rely on our promise for closing dates.
Well, our closing was delayed three times and about 30 days because. We found too many mistakes in finished house. We were literally living in U-Haul truck but they refused to close our house while they were working on slowest pace possible. Their solution, dont live your old house until TWO months after scheduled closing.
Support: Their emails and our final closing statement.
10. We can take advantage of your time and emotional investment.
It was typical bad business story. We were attracted to this builder by their big and relatively affordable houses in desirable neighborhood. We checked the reputation of builder and it was not good. We are young and naive, so decided to sign on with them anyways thinking it would be short-term hassle. Eventually we made huge emotional and time investment into this, which we could not get out. They have taken through advantage of us and have treated us very badly and rudely. Dont go through this if you dont have to.