My youngest daughter was two when my wife and I started looking to build our first house. We chose Jim Walters because they had a two story model we liked and they were the only builders we felt we could afford at the time.
This was June of 2003. We signed a contract in September (2003)to build thier Victorian model. We chose to option the detached garage.
We were told we needed site work done before they could start. This was done and approved by the construction manager (the first construction manager).
We signed our mortgage papers with Walter Mortgage in January of 2004. They did not apply for the building permit untill April of 2004. The building permit was issued and recieved June 2, 2004.
One month later they finally started. The footer pilings(42" stilts) were poured in July of 2004. When the construction manager(new one) called to tell me the piling were done and they were going to start framing I went to see the progress. I'm not sure how it got past them, but I found they had poured the pilings in the wrong spot, and they reversed the floor plan!
It wasn't untill September of 2004 that the "new" construction manager got a company to come and fix the pilings. They came to the conclusion that they would not have to remove the old pilings, just add a few new ones.
Later that month the framing crew got started, and finally after eleven and a half months we started to see a house. The same time the framing started, the newly hired(#3) construction manager told me I needed more site work done in order to start the garage. The site work was completed w/in two weeks.
The work went very slow, the framers said they could not get lumber, the lumber company said they were not getting paid, and Jim Walters said the framers would not show up. By November of 2004 the work had stopped.
The house had been framed to the point all exterior and interior walls were done. The porch was done. The roof and exterior walls had been covered in sheething. Most of the windows had been installed. There was no tar paper or proctive covering put on (the framer said he could not get it from the supply company).
I would like to add the work done on the framing to this point was very good, and I was very pleased.
This is the way the house sat for SEVEN MONTHS! Many, many calls were placed to the two new construction managers that were replaced during this time.I was given soo many excuses and lies I cannot begin to list them all.
I had the house inspected in May of 2005. The house was deemed unfixable due to mold and excessive rot. The inspection also found that two of the load bearing pilings were never put in and were missing!
In June of 2005 a new construction manager started and the house was demolished. This was done without removing the windows or anything. The whole place was just torn down.
The site sat with all the rubble on the ground for two months untill. Yes, you guessed it. A new construction manager had it removed. I cannot tell you how many friends this made for me in my new neighborhood I had not yet lived in.
In October of 2005 the new pilings were poured and the framing was started. This time with a new framing crew, the old ones were "let go".
Twards the end of November of 2005 the framing had gotten to the point the outer shell had been framed and sheethed as well as the roof. The first floor interior walls had been framed and the staircase was roughed in. The porch had been started, but only framed.
I took a contractor friend to check it out. There was not ONE plum wall in the whole house. They somehow missed the large picture window opening in the front of the house, and the staircase was out of square about seven inches. The work that had been done was extremely poor.
THE HOUSE HAS NOT BEEN TOUCHED SINCE THEN!
Last Monday I called (again) to find out what was going on. I was told the construction manager had beed fired, and everyone else was in Georgia for a meeting. I demanded someone call me!
Thursday I got a call from the "Florida Construction President" in Tampa. He was going to drive down to meet me on Friday at 1:00. He said he was unaware of my situation.
Friday at 1:00 I was alone at my construction site. When I called the local office I was told they were unaware of the meeting, and they would have Tampa call me. They called me from Tampa a few minutes later to tell me the Florida construction president had been fired Thursday night and the local office was told about it and they were suppose to call me and cancel the meeting. There was no one else there to talk to, but they would have someone call.
Saturday I recived a call from the "Texas Construction President". He set up a meeting with me for Monday. I met with him today along with several other of his Yes men. They say they are going to take over the project themselves and get things taken care of and finished right away.
I WON'T BE HOLDING MY BREATH!
I am writing to let anyone in a similar situation know there are some steps you can take. I got some advise from a friend in the business.
First contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint, they will assign someone to investigate it. You can find them on the internet or in your local phone book.
You can also (more importantly) contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Bereau of Investigative Services. They will assign you a case manager and they will get things done.
Lastly you can contact a lawyer, but good luck finding one to take your case.
My daughter is now almost five, and I still don't have a house. Some say I have been more than paitent, but I don't have a choice, with the cost of homes in south Florida today I can't afford to start over.
I hope somehow this may help someone in one way or another. But most of all I hope you will NEVER BUILD WITH JIM WALTERS HOMES!
Cape Coral, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Jim Walter Homes 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, it's paid for!