After 1 year no contract - going with another builder
EMAIL To Rawson Homes DUBBO
"We would like to formally inform you all that we will not be continuing with Rawson Homes. This is not because of any of you personally as each of you have been very helpful in your own individual area and have been pleasant to deal with. The reason is the delay in the pre construction detail. I believe this stems from Rawson Homes the company not employing enough staff to cover the work that is taken on.
As discussed over the phone we are not happy that our plans have not progressed. Back at the colours selections (February this year) we made you aware that we would like to look at heating the home by way of a hydronic heating system powered by a wood stove/boiler that would also be connected as our hotwater with a solar back up. You advised us that this would be passed onto your manager. At this time we advised you that we did not want this to hold up the final plans. It was just a request to see if this system could be put in place during construction or if we needed to arrange this after construction.
We have made it clear since first discussing our requirements back in May 2015 with [name removed] at we needed confirmation that the build would be completed within a time frame. This time frame being May 2017.
Since initial discussions and the drawing up of the tender this process took from May 2015 to October 2015 (5 months). During this time we had concerns in the wording of the Tender Document and required a few changes to be made prior to signing. We kept being told not to worry too much about the wording that changes could be made at the colour selection. We signed the tender and were advised that we would have to wait approx 3 to 6 weeks for initial plans to be drawn up then we would be contacted for the colour selection.
I was expecting a call at the beginning of December 2015 (2 months or around 6 weeks). I didn't contact until 16 January 2016 (10 weeks after signing tender) thinking you must have been busy over the Christmas period. When I contacted I was informed that the initial plans had NOT been drawn up and that you were waiting for a variation on the positioning of the property and that [name removed] needed to come out and re-measure. We made it clear then that we had always had the position of the house worked out and that it was your people that had made the mistake.
Anyway - after a few go's we finally got the site re-measured, the initial plans were drawn up and we got them just before attending the colour selection appointment. (middle of February 2016) 14 weeks after signing Tender.
All of the way through our discussions we have always made it clear that we were needing to commence construction as soon as the land was registered. We have also made it clear that we had spoken with council re approvals of house design/effluent, etc. - council informed us they were happy to look at our plans prior to registration so that the approval process could be faster once the land had been registered.
At the colours selection appointment we were told that plans would take about 10 days to be drawn up and then it could take about 6 weeks for the contract to be drawn up for signing then plans would be submitted through council prior to construction. Basically about 10 weeks from colours appointment to the start of construction would be the minimum time frame. So I was thinking - that's ok we should be commencing our construction around the middle of May which matches our Tender document and should get us built well within our time restriction.
Since the colour selections appointment I have contacted your office by phone and also email requesting an update on the progress of the plans and our enquiry in relation to the Wood Stove heating system. Each time I have been told that your manager needs to look at it and that a meeting with the manager had to happen. I was then told that the plans could not be drawn up until the Manager had approved the "variation" being our wood stove/heater enquiry.
I sent an email on April 7 (6 to 7 weeks from Colours Appointment) and did not receive a reply so I rang the office.
I have continued to send emails and then I spoke with [name removed] on the phone and was advised that [name removed] and the Manager were having a meeting 19 April 2016. I advised [name removed] again that the plans could be submitted to council prior to registration to be looked over to speed the process up. On the morning of the 19th I have rung and left a message for [name removed] to call me prior to her meeting due to clarifications I thought would be important to go over with the manager. I received a message on my home phone at 3:30pm. At 4pm I called again and asked how the meeting went to be told that it didn't happen and that the manager was just "very busy."
I said, "That is just not good enough - this has been going to the manager since our colours appointment." I advised over the phone that we may seriously need to look for another builder due to our time restrictions in needing the build to be completed by May next year. I was told "I'm very sorry, I can understand how you are feeling, I will now tell the manager that your enquiry has reached Urgent. I will call you tomorrow with an outcome." I have not received a phone call, a message or an email outlining the outcome of the enquiry with the Manager.
I did receive an email 2 days later with a variation to sign in relation to a solar hot water system and refund of the gas hotwater system. In this email I had written confirmation that the house would be completed by May next year. Unfortunately this came too late and I had already lost any confidence in Rawson Homes being able to complete the project on time.
If you look back over the time frames I have listed here you can see why Rawson Homes is getting very bad reviews on product review. The majority of your negative feedback is in relation to dragging out the process and exceeding completion dates by way over a year.
There is minimal negative feedback in relation to the actual finished product but I seriously think that your planning and pre construction systems need to be looked at and changed ASAP. Employ more people if you are just "Very Busy" its not a good look for your business.
We will be leaving our own feedback on product review."
We have now gone with another builder who has completed the draft and quote within a week and instilled confidence that we will be built and moved in on time - possibly even before Christmas this year!
(Update) I received a phone call from the general manager apologizing and accepting responsibility for the mis communications throughout our process. He advised me that they have been in a major growth period and have been employing more staff. He also advised that perhaps in circumstances such as ours where we are looking at alternative energy systems we may have been better off going with another building company to start with. Found this kind of rude and blame shifting - perhaps Rawson Homes should not have advised us they could accommodate changes in the first place!
We are also disappointed that no offer was made to refund monies we had paid considering majority of the delays were due to Rawson Homes.
Perfect from start to finish!
From start to finish, this has been a very smooth and pleasant experience. After hearing horror stories of people building their own houses and how many things go wrong, I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy this was. From the start, the sales people, selection staff and site manager were all helpful, friendly, and nothing was too much of an effort. I never had a problem contacting any of the staff, and if I did, they returned the call within 24 hours. Everyone went out of their way to assure I got the dream home that I envisioned. The craftsmanship is second to none. My house is perfect. Thank you.
More perfectionistic than me.
For the past 11 years we have lived in a Rawson Home and although now it is 15 years old; it really is faultless. This quality spoke for itself, so when we decided to build a new home, the choice seemed logical; when you're on a good thing you stick to it - so we chose Rawsons.
I am a perfectionist so I thought that during the build I might have a fight on my hands sometimes if I was going to be fussy and particular. What surprised me was our project manager was even more particular than me! He initially said, "I build every home as if it is my own," which was nice to hear but I didn't really believe him. I wondered if that standard of exactness was even possible day in and day out? But he meant it! At times he picked up things that I didn't even notice and had them redone. He wanted our new home to be beautiful, without fault, and to exceed our expectations- and it does. Thank you Rawson Homes Dubbo for a wonderful, positive, enjoyable experience and for our magnificent home that we truly are overjoyed with.