We own an existing Lindal (Justus) home in Maryland and wanted an addition. We contracted with our local Lindal Cedar Homes dealer, Dereggi Custom Homes (now Legacy Homes International) for plans and materials. We were encouraged to believe that our Winter Promo special order contract would get us the unbelievable low design price of $854.00 based on square footage ($1.00 / sq ft.) Other incentives were included, specifically, a significant amount of T&G cedar liner for free.
As an additional incentive Dereggi also provides contractors through her other business Dereggi Construction Company and since they have many years expierience in solid cedar, we should consider no one else.
The total cost of the materials for the addition was @$70.000. $854.00 for design fees and the balance for materials only. A 15% deposit on materials was required to initiate the work by Lindal. After signing the Lindal contract and forwarding the deposit to Lindal in Seattle it soon became apparent that our dealer/designer was very evasive when it came to providing a estimate, proposal or contract for construction of the addition. In short we felt we were mislead into believing we had carpenters to erect our addition in order to gain our confidence to secure the contract with Lindal.
Making the best of it knowing we'll soon need to find reputable contractors, our permit plans delivered from Lindal revealed a massive post and beam right in the middle of our existing loft. Something they kept hidden from the beginning. I specifically wanted all loads for the addition to be handled from the addition side. There was No foundation plan either, our dealer was pushing for a foundation pour as soon as possible! The T&G liner was not available and cedar shakes for our roof of unknown style. We were also told not to contact Lindal directly, to route all design issues through our dealer.
Dereggi refused to reveal current costing, we had adjusted the overall square footage and a rather expensive sunwall was a very low estimate from the begining. Under these circumstances we elected to cancel our Lindal contract March, 2001. We were informed that our $10.000 deposit was non refundable as it was collected for "Services Rendered". So much for our $854.00 design fee and deposit on materials "Bait and Switch"?
Lindal Cedar homes would NOT talk to us regarding this matter, we were forced to retain a lawyer at an additional expense. The only indirect communication from Lindal was to take $3000.00 and go away or they will come after us for the full contract amount!
It has become apparent that there are others who have been swindled by the same sales pitch and ultimate useless plans delivered by Lindal, where the customer wisely cancels the order, only to be told that there deposit is gone. The arbitration clause in the contract quickly removes the customers ability to apply legal pressure. Lindal walks away with easy cash.
Think twice before building a Lindal home or using Lindal services. The arbitration clause is there for a reason. The prices and extra values used as an incentive will disappear. Many Lindal dealers tout their ability to provide additional construcion services as a cozy package deal. You'll always sign the Lindal contract first and then after the terms of the arrangement become less clear, you'll be on your own and your dealer and Lindal will be very rich! You'll also find that Lindal and its dealers put very little on paper. Much of your communication will be over the phone! Get it in writing and not in E-Mails as many courts will not accept E-Mails as evidence!