Share a few things we have learned as the first time home buyer dealing with Soundbuilt homes.
1. The seller agent and builder orientation guy: The seller agent suggested us to hire a professional inspector after we moved in and before one-year warranty expired, so that we have more time and find more problem as the house still settling. The agent also state that the builder will honor the warranty and should fix any problem. This might sound logical, but with Soundbuilt Home, this is a big mistake. As the first time home buyer, you might not have all the knowledge about home construction codes and standards to spot all the problems during the first orientation/walk through with the builder. The builder is NOT on your side to spot any mistake they have made. In our case, the orientation was about 40 minutes to 1 hour. That was not much time to inspect house, learn how the appliance and plumbing work, go through appliance and home warranty, etc. The builder did fix about a dozen obvious problems we found and promise they would take care of any problem within the first year. Before you sign the purchasing paper, you have right to get out of the deal. Builder will do anything to keep you in. After you signed the purchasing paper, you will lose your leverage and you will start to see the true color of the builder.
2. The customer service: This is the worst customer service we have experienced. 80% of the time we could not reach the rep. on the phone. Half of our voice or email message was ignored. If you are lucky to get hold of the rep., the best she can do is sending a work order to a contractor and it is up to you to schedule with the contractor. The rep. would not even give you the contractor's contact information. In several cases, we doubted that either the work orders were not sent out at all or the contractors ignored us, because the contractor never showed up. Many of the items in our inspection report were ignored or down played or the builder could not fix and just gave up. One example is the water pipe in the attic was exposed in the air. It was clearly stated and pictured in our inspection report. The builder totally ignored it until the pipe was frozen last winter.
3. The sub/contractors: To my understanding that sub contractors should warranty their work to the builders. The builder should inspect the work before paying the contractors during the construction. Many problems start here that the builder did not control the quality of the work. When problem were found by home owner, sub/contractor was called and they want to control their cost and do as little as possible. Once again, the builder does not care the quality of the work and give your run around when complained.
4. The warranty: There are two type of warranties comes with new home: one-year with builder and two-year with 2-10 Home Warranty. The builder should honor all the items covered by those two warranties in the first two years as it is the subcontractor for the 2-10 company in the second year. Home owners can file a complaint with the 2-10 Home warranty if the builder failed to do its job. Legally, this is a perfect system. However, here are a few tricks the builder would do to cheat you out of warranty. First, the builder will ignore or delay your service request until your warranty is expired. Or they start the repair and do not finish the job till the warranty is expired. Second, the builder will lie to you straight (even on paper) stating your warranty is expired or the item you have requested is not covered in the warranty. I had to complaint to the 2-10 company several times to get a leaking pipe fixed. I am still fighting to get the builder to patch the open dry wall due to damage of the leak.
I have read some complaints here and other forum about the builder. But thought how bad a new construction could be with two year warranty before I bought this house. Now I realized it was silly ignoring all the compliants and tried my luck with this builder. This is the most expensive purchase in my life. This is also the bigest dispointment with quality of the craftmanship and the customer services with the builder.
Maple Valley, Washington