I want every consumer to BEWARE!! A brand new home should be exciting, for my husband and I it wasn't thanks to Dominion Homes and their lack of committment to building good homes. Below is a letter which explains a SMALL PORTION of the problems. The letter was sent to multiple people at Dominion as well as every news station, consumor protection service and my attorney. After some research and spreading the news of our experience, I KNOW we're not the only ones... Actually a couple of years ago there were couples in my neighborhood that filed a lawsuit. There are thousands of stories on the internet about Dominion.
This letter is to inform you of the experience my husband and I have had with Dominion Homes since the time we decided to build our new home. We were in the market to buy our first home in late 2006. After reviewing several pre-existing homes our Realtor took us to the Dominion model located in Galloway Ridge Subdivision. After looking around the model home and meeting the sales representative, we decided that we wanted to think about it. After consideration we ended up deciding to build our first home with Dominion. The lot that we chose was on a cul-de-sac that was an additional $3000. Looking back I must have been a complete IDIOT. We put down the required deposit, met all time limits required in order to build etc. The house began to be built in the beginning of 2007 and we closed in May of 2007. During the construction of the home the front porch wall collapsed which had to be re-poured, due to construction in the winter months.
When my husband and I walked through during the building process we noticed, the gray stone upgrade that we opted for was incorrect. The stone was brown, which had to be torn out and replaced with the correct stone.
One of the other upgrades that we opted for was to have upgraded paint. The representative at Dominion's show room said that we get to pick 4 colors for four different areas of the upgraded paint. After getting into the house upgraded paint only means you get to have different colors. The quality of paint was not upgraded. If we would have been told that, we would have painted ourselves. That was a $1600 UPGRADE that was a waste.
When we moved in the sod in the yard was already dead, so that had to be replaced too. The day that we moved in there was a leak in our basement from where it had cracked. We had numerous puddles sitting in our basement; that was a multiple day project that we had to miss work for. There is another crack in our basement but since it's not leaking it can't be fixed. So, we'll just wait until it does!
Here is a look at more problems we have had over the past 16 months:
There are gouges in the wall which had to be fixed multiple times, (still not fixed).
Seams in the ceiling kitchen (attempted to fix a total of 3 times).
There was a swell in our backyard and only one drain hole on the far end of our house. Because the swell was deep, we had our own river in our back yard that laid there for months. We had BLACK GRASS. Our yard has been torn up several times and sod re-laid several times. After my husband mentioned that we needed another drain hole, the quality assurance associate told us that they have to redo the lawn again because this time the Engineers have to reconfigure the land as it wasn't done right in the first place. After the Engineers did what they had to do our yard was torn up again and a second drain hole was laid, not to mention more sod. The problem is STILL not fixed. To total up the times we have had our back yard fixed is 4 times already and the 5th time is coming this fall.
Throughout the house the trim was not nailed/screwed in correctly which enabled it to pop off numerous times until someone came out for the THIRD time.
There is trim throughout the house that is NOT cut the right size. But according to Dominion that is okay because they have this brown adhesive that can cover up any gap, (applying a band-aid to a broken boneshoddy work).
Our 6 month quality assurance check, brought a quality assurance man to our house whose name was Chip. We had a large moisture spot above our cabinets coming from the ceiling. Chip sprayed primer over the spot, rubbed it in with his FINGERS and brushed paint over it. When we asked where the moisture came from he said it's ok because you can't see it. It was at that point we asked for the manager's name and he wouldn't give it to us.
During the 6 month check our counters were separating from the walls. Chip explained that it is typical home maintenance to re-caulk every 6 months. In the home maintenance guide, which isn't given until the day of closing, explains re-caulking is needed EVERY 6 MONTHS. First and foremost, that is ridiculous. We know many people who have built homes with OTHER builders, they have lived there for YEARS and have NEVER had to re-caulk. So, I guess only with Dominion.
Our faucets, in the bathrooms, were not caulked right so those had to be redone as they were falling off.
There were cracks in the grout in all of our bathrooms, around the fireplace, and again, around the stone on the front of the house. As these things weren't done right the FIRST TIME and most not even the SECOND or THIRD.
Also, during this 6 months QA checkup there were seams in our walls, carpet, and ceilings (again). We were told that the drywall would not be fixed until our 1 year. (Keep reading for that headache and exciting story)
Our floor started to lift and had soft spots throughout the lower level
CURRENT HEADACHE AND EXCITING STORY
After the 6 month QA checkup with the professional Chip, we called Dominion and they explained that Chip was no longer with the company and not to worry because we would be dealing with someone else hereon out. This whole experience has been a NIGHTMARE FROM THE GETGO! That wasn't that satisfying to hear as Chip only played a small role in this nightmare.
NOW The icing on the cake:
Our 1 year QA checkup, we met Bob. Who looked at everything and said we need to schedule all of these people to come fix this, this and this..so on and so on. Again we had to take off of work because all of these people were coming into our home to fix everything. Sorry, but we're not taking Dominion's word that these things are going to be fixed. After all from the track record can you blame us. Bob told us that to fix our ceiling AGAIN, it would be max a 3 day project. It was during these 3 days that our drywall issues and ceiling would be fixed. This is where Majestic Drywall comes into play.
o The first two days Majestic was supposed to skim the ceiling and do the drywall repairs
o The second day Majestic was supposed to stomp the ceiling and finish up any needed drywall work
o The third day Majestic was supposed to sand.
The following is actually what occurred:
Bob told Majestic to fix the seams in the walls. The Majestic employee explained that he couldn't see them so he wasn't going to do it. Bob simply said okay.
Every spot that needed to be fixed was marked and ready to go. Four people from Majestic come in and prep the ceiling with blue painters tape and plastic in order to scrape the ceiling, re-mud and re-stomp.
After they re-did the ceiling, they tore off the painter's tape which in turned pulled off the high quality paint. So now I have a nice white rim around my walls on the lower level.
As we examined the house where they had fixed we noticed that A. they didn't fix all of the spots and B. half of the spots they fixed weren't the right ones. They had just taken mud and thrown it next to the area we had marked. They didn't look to see what needed to be fixed.
After complaining to Bob about this he again said his famous clich of okay Majestic is going to come out again, and fix the spots and sand. Bob also said that because of the problems he was going to have a painter come and paint. So when ANOTHER guy from Majestic showed up to sand on the third day we showed him the places and the seams in the walls and he was shocked that they weren't fixed the first time. Apparently the seams were VISABLE. So he mudded the seams and the other spots that were missed the first time they came out for two days. He also sanded, but can you imagine.no painter's showed up.
My husband called Bob 8 times with no return phone call until the following week. When Bob finally called us back he again said, okay I will call another paint crew to come in.
Majestic then called and wanted to schedule their paint crew to come in. WAIT, Bob was supposed to find another company to have come paint. The representative from Majestic explained that he had just talked to Bob and they are going to do it. FINE!!!! Add to this nightmare more!
Majestic's paint crew was supposed to come out at 10:00 A.M. on August 8th. GUESS WHAT.DIDNT SHOW. My husband called Bob, he didn't answer of course. So he called Majestic and the representative was again shocked, that they weren't there. He told my husband that he would call to find out where they were at. The representative called ME after already talking to my husband to tell me that they would now be here around 1:00. I had to find a babysitter for my children already and I had an appointment. I told him to call and talk to my husband as this is getting absolutely ridiculous and I wasn't sure what steps we were going to take yet.
By that time Bob from Dominion had called back and said that he was going to bring in another Company (AGAIN) , Moore Paint, as they are the original ones who painted, so they have all of the colors. Again, FINE!!!!!!! ONE LAST TIME, let's see if you can do something, ANYTHING, correct.
On Friday, August 29th, 2008 Moore Paint was supposed to be at the house at 10:00. At 10:05 Moore called and said that they thought the house was in Newark so they would be there soon as they had to turn around. They didn't show up until 11:30. GUESS WHAT AGAIN..they couldn't paint because when Majestic tore the tape off of the walls they took portions of the drywall off so it needs to be re-mudded and re-sanded. IMAGINE THAT!!!!!! When the guy from Moore Paint showed up A. he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do so he asked my mother who was at the house waiting for him. My mother told him to talk to my husband. When my husband talked with him, he told the guy from Moore Paint what needed to be done. After about 15 minutes, my mother calls my husband and said that they left here is Moore Paint's number. When my husband called him he explained what happened and why they didn't just paint the wallsbottom line is that Dominion just told him to leave and that Bob is out sick and that they would have him get with the homeowners.
So now we have to re-do all of this again. I don't think so. We have let Dominion try to redeem themselves numerous times and we have had it.
This is the bottom line: We have upheld our obligation; we have paid our mortgage on time every single month. We have been patient and quite understanding in light of this experience. This is absolutely ridiculous. Home builders are a dime a dozen. In light of this catastrophe we have decided not to be taken advantage of by this large corporation. I know for a fact that there are a lot of people have had this exact same problem with Dominion and lack of customer service and quality work. I am sure most people have shrugged their experience of with Dominion as a bad choice and decided to get actual professionals to fix Dominions shoddy work. Well, needless to say we are sick of the promises, the clich meaningless apologies and the penny worth work.
Every single time Dominion has come out, we have had to taken off of work, resulting in lost wages. We have had to find babysitters or have other people come over to the house to wait for them to show up. We have lost more in this experience than gained.
We are hoping above and beyond the numerous people we know whom we have told not to build with Dominion. The public should and will know! New home buyers and builders beware!