On April 2, 2005 a deposit was paid for a modular house to Bob Morgan of Hobart, Indiana (d.b.a. Site Ready Homes). We also at that time hired a builder to serve as a project manager. Bob told us that until we obtained a building permit the house could not be ordered; he had to fax the building permit to Ritz-Craft before they would begin the order. Because of delays in obtaining other permits(highway, health dept, etc.) the building permit was not obtained until June 9. Before this date my husband and I requested a 36" basement door to replace the standard 32" door. Bob told us it would be no problem, and on a House Order Acceptance form dated 6-15-05 the 36" door was written in, in Bob's handwriting, among the specs.
Once the order was placed Bob began calling my husband on his cell phone relentlessly, about the terms of COD of the house. To anyone buying a modular, the company which builds the house will deliver it COD, but the bank will not cut a check from the construction loan until it is placed on the foundation. When the modular is still on the trailer it is considered "personal property", which the bank will not recognize as real estate because of the possibility of it being taken away or moved. Only when the house is on the foundation will the bank cut a check.
This technicality was not explained to us either by Bob or the bank until a week before the house was due to arrive! Imagine coming up with the balance of the house, out of pocket. Bob threatened us that Ritz-Craft would sell the house to someone else if we did not take delivery on their predetermined date. During this time I was quite rattled about the thought of losing our initial deposit of $15,000.00.
I drove 2 hours up to Ritz-Craft (Bob would not return several calls I placed requesting directions). I was given a tour of our house (while it was on the trailer, awaiting delivery) by Jeff Tanner. I explained the pressure Bob was putting on us about the money, and we were concerned the house would be sold to someone else. This was untrue, Jeff assured me. (Lie #1).
We managed to come up with the money, the house was delivered and set and Bob was paid. We did not hear back from him for over a month. During that time we were instructed to make a list of anything missing or damaged that Ritz-Craft would repair or replace. Two weeks after the house was set Jeff Tanner came back for the walk through, along with our project manager.
Besides some minor damage to the roofline and fascia, our list of repairs was small. However I called Ritz-Craft and discovered that the order was placed the week of May 2, well before the building permit was obtained (lie #2). We brought to Jeff's attention the basement doorway was too small, but to widen it to 36" would be major work; it would involve cutting floor joists, moving another door, and moving electrical switches. We discussed with Jeff the possibility of having Ritz-Craft help us with the installation of trim, fascia and carpet in exchange for the error. He agreed that would be fine, that "We want the customer to be happy", and he would have a repairman out next week.
Well, that was three weeks ago and besides a fax I haven't received any correspondence whatsoever about the repairs. Finally yesterday I was able to get Bob to return a phone call, and he said the change to the door width was made too late and Ritz-Craft didn't "owe us anything", i.e. they won't help us install the trim and carpet as Jeff had promised.
Also to note; two weeks ago the electrician was out hooking things up and kept hearing "snap" noises. He noticed a breaker had flipped, and went in the basement to check things out. The wiring went under the floor joists in two areas rather than through them, and when the house was set on the foundation it was set on the wires. The wires were sparking and had they not been caught (and re-wired) a fire would have followed.
When hooking up the electrical from one side (module) to the other there is basically a giant plug. Ritz-Craft's electrician switched the black and white wires from one side of the house to the other. A phone call to the company confirmed that this was not intentional, and the electrician had to re-wire this, as well.
Last week the plumber was finishing his work when there were leaks all at once. He had to repair the following:
1. Hot water leak on master bath lavatory (pvc tube to copper)
2. both water supplies on toilets "blew apart" at the copper to valve 5/8
3. A nut and washer were missing on the toilet tank bolt in the back
4. multiple sink "hold-down" clips were missing: 2 on the master lavatory, 2 on the kitchen sink, and two on the main lavatory.
5. re-seal under the main lavatory as he could see light between the lavatory and the top.
I have asked nicely, and been patient, waiting for Ritz-Craft to follow up on the warranty work, and the trim and carpet installation as agreed upon by Jeff Tanner. Since they refuse to contact me, I might as well save someone else the grief of dealing with them.