I am taking the time to warn anyone who may be considering hiring Schumacher Homes, Inc. to construct his / her / their home. I hope no one else encounters the difficulties we've had since signing the contract.
Prior to signing the contract to build our house, the company's staff was calling my place of employment 3-4 times a week. Now, we cannot even get a hold of one person in this large organization. They spend an indiscriminate amount of time "in meetings". Don't bother leaving a message because you will not receive a return call.
We signed a contract in October 2002, and the company has yet to break ground on the house. They've not helped us attain any of the permits, as a reputable builder would, reconfigured our plans twice for something we didn't request, and have the worst communication among their staff that I've ever witnessed.
I realize that some problems are inherent in this type of business, but SCHUMACHER HOMES MAKES NO EFFORT TO SATISFY THE CUSTOMER OR RECTIFY THE PROBLEM. One would think that when messages are left that a lawyer has been contacted, that a return call would finally be made. Not true.
Unfortunately, we cannot get out of the contract, and will probably end up with a substandard house. Oh, we can get out for a mere $5,518 for "sales commissions, CAD and administrative costs". I'm sure that part of those design costs are from them constructing wrong plans twice!
To give a good example of Schumacher Homes practices - We had a $4,200 allowance/net put in the loan (closed months ago) for a driveway. We questioned, and we're allowed to seek another contractor to complete the work. (FYI, the driveway cost $800 for 250 feet).
Coincidently, after they saw the driveway had, in fact, been put in, our dirt "wasn't suitable to build on", but our unused allowance would take care of it! Low and behold! I received additional expert opinions on the quality of the dirt, which has been determined to be very good for building purposes.
Unfortunately, we did not listen to people in the real estate and mortgage loan businesses on Schumacher Homes practices. We had been told that they had a history of lying and adding on unnecessary costs (as contract stipulates, cost plus 15% for anything they deem necessary, otherwise they will refuse to honor the warranty). Also, I ADVISE EVERYONE TO USE THE SERVICES OF THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. Had I looked into the amount of complaints (10 times the other builders we had considered), I would have made a more informed decision.
To top it off, and prove that the company has not the foggiest clue about customer service, in the certified letter they sent me for contract termination, the letter from the Director of Sales and Marketing states "We would be very happy to build your home at a future time and hope that you will keep us in mind." Unbelievable!!
PLEASE SERIOUSLY RESEARCH THIS COMPANY BEFORE YOU CONSIDER CONTRACTING WITH IT TO BUILD YOUR HOME. I'VE DISCOVERED TOO, THAT ANY REPUTABLE BUILDER WILL ALLOW YOU TO TALK TO FORMER CUSTOMERS - A PRACTICE THAT SCHUMACHER WILL NOT PERMIT.
U.S.A. STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, its paid for!