Poor quality work and customer service
The main problem was that the site supervisor by his own admission, seldom attended the build. So the quality was very bad because there was no-one supervising it. Eventually we had to go down to the property every week, find the defective work and email the site supervisor who would seldom respond. So many of these problems were still there at hand over time when they were not eager to fix them. One of the worst was that the roofing iron was not attached to the roof joists in one area and it had also not been cut to size. So iron was just flapping in the wind. When I raised it with the site supervisor at one of the hand over inspections he asked how I found it. I told him that I had climbed a ladder. He stated "I don't do ladders".
I need to mention the painting. Very poor quality paint used and very poor quality painters. I had to repaint the entire interior of the house.
The other big issue was the upstairs floor. We contracted with an Adelaide based company to install a wooden floor over the structa floor in the upstairs area. Fortunately, the business owner came down to check out the structa floor on the same day as our last hand over inspection. He found that the floor dropped by 10mm in the last metre before the window out to the deck, and therefore he could not install the floor in that area. So we pointed that out to the site supervisor who stated that he saw no problem with that and that the floor installer should just turn his floor around and run it parallel to the window. We and the floor installer almost laughed because it was so absurd. We reported the issue to the construction manager of Sarah Homes who stated that the issue was "within tolerance" and therefore we would have to pay to have it corrected. More threats of legal action and finally they agreed to pay for a tiler to level the floor. I have never understood how a floor can drop away like that and not be picked up by a site supervisor.
Eventually, they told us it was finished. It wasn't. We hired a building consultant who found a lot of incomplete or sub standard work. We gave Sarah Homes his list plus those items that we had found. They told us that they had addressed all of those issues and that we could commence the hand over inspection. Eventually,we had three hand over inspections because they would lie to us and tell us that they had fixed everything, only for us to find when we arrived that they had barely addressed any of the problems. We finally resolved that by telling them that we would be deducting the cost of our wasted time from the remaining amount that we owed them, and did so.
The salesman told us that the build time would be around 20 weeks. The contract stated a maximum of 36 weeks. When we queried this we were told that the 36 weeks was only stated in case of unforeseen problems such as weather, acts of god etc. Fair enough. Once the actual build time approached 36 weeks without any unforeseen problems occurring and the house was nowhere near finished, we tried to communicate our concerns. Numerous emails and phone calls went unanswered. They even withdrew from the site for 6 consecutive weeks without any notice or explanation. Finally, we threatened legal action for breach of contract and that got some response. In the end the build time was around 39 weeks plus the abovementioned wasted hand over inspections.
The next set of problems arose when we presented our list of problems found in the first 3 months of ownership. There were a lot of items, some superficial, some more serious. Despite the contract stating that these would be promptly attended to, they were not. Many months went by and many communications were again ignored. Finally, they arranged to send a local handyman down and he was very efficient and fixed most of the issues. But we had to persist to get that.
The same terrible customer service has been a feature of all later problems that have occurred. We would contact them, we would receive an email stating that someone will contact us within 14 days, and that is it. No such contact occurs. Subsequent contacts promise action that never occurs. Do they think that dissatisfied customers will lose patience and get the problems fixed at their own expense?
Any person thinking of using Sarah Homes should be aware that, based upon our experience, the sales process is by far the most efficient and professional component. So do not be mislead into thinking that that level of efficiency will continue throughout the entire contract period. You may be lucky or you may suffer an experience similar to ours, which will be very stressful and we would not wish that on anyone.
So in summary, we would never use Sarah Homes again and would never recommend them to anyone. It is a pity that they have such a poor customer service ethos because the house itself, once all of the issues were addressed, is good, so far.
Good value for money!
Sarah homes did a good job on my first ever home. They helped me throughout the process of securing my property and the build itself. Greg the sales consultant did a wonderful job creating and modifying the Drysdale 3E design to my personal specifications. The only fault I could find with Sarah homes was the communication at the head office. There was only one time where I though the communication wasn’t the best. But after a while of hassling I got answers which explained the communication drop. Overall the communication with the builder and the site manger was awesome! The builder (Rob) was an absolute weapon completing tasks quickly and building to a high standard. My site manger Jermy was excellent with keeping me updated and also following up on jobs that needed to be done in a quickly manner. At handover I was over the moon with how good my house looked and was pleased that it all came together well. Also the enjoyed the wine. Sarah homes is a great builder for first home buyers keeping designs at affordable prices and not keeping you in the dark with extra costs. I actually got a refund at the end of my build of approx. $2500 because provisional sums came in under budget. So I was happy they didn’t pocket this themselves. I would recommend Sarah Homes to anyone who is on a tight budget or just a first home buyer.
Our Beautiful Farm Home
Our entire experience with Sarah homes was excellent. From the initial design and modifications, their assistance with council variations through to the finished product. Site supervisor was excellent and any problems were quickly addressed and fixed. We were quoted a 20 week build and it was achieved in 17. Some of the things we love about the house is open plan, skillion roof, large family lounge, dining kitchen and independant kids area. We feel we have achieved an architecturally designed home from a spec builder. We now have the home we always wanted which utilises the views across the hills and blends in with the surrounding environment. Its like being on holidays everyday.
Delighted with our new Sarah Home
This is the 4th home we have built, and the first one with Sarah Homes. Very pleased with the look of the house which we designed along with our sales person. We took one of their plans and tweaked it to suit our needs, and we were happy with everything, particularly our supervisor and the workmanship. All the tradies were very good, polite, and tidy. The building process took a little longer than expected due to the area encumbrances as well as dealing with council. Only thing to suggest is to make sure you go over every detail on your plans, including the location of the electric meter box on the outside of your home, as well as the size of your bathrooms and showers, and the size of your garage if you add one. We highly recommend Sarah Homes to build your new home as they truly offer value for money as well as friendly and helpful staff.
Living the dream
The build manager was excellent to deal with. He was realistic with time frames and got back to us in a timely manner with queries. We needed to make a few alterations to roof design etc to cope with the weight of solar panels, and increase wind and insulation ratings as we live off the grid and efficient energy is important.
The quality of the build met our expectations and the workers were tidy on site.
The after sales service was good. We experienced a gas leak due to incorrectly plumbed pipes, but this was promptly dealt with and repairs are not noticeable.
Unsure how to describe
Sounded fantastic in the beginning, salesman tricks-who knows. I was not impressed 100% from day one, if I wasn't allowed to go onsite I wouldn't have picked up all the problems throughout the build; which would have then probably increased build time another 6 months or more. 1. footing holes not in strait lines nor level, 2. each tradie whinging about the one before, (they should have done it this way) 3. after having the windows delivered by A & L thrown in a pile of dirt out front and scratched, 5 out of 10 windows installed wrong way (sliding), one window totally incorrect style didn't match other windows but still installed.!!! 4. kitchen cupboards installed on wall in wrong place (out by 20cm no room for fridge!), lucky I noticed before tiler came. 5. light fittings not centred in rooms or installed to plan. 6. I think the tiler was an apprentice, no waterproofing on walls (looking back at pictures) tiles not cut straight, more silicon in corners than required and now a one inch gap between wall and floor in wet area !!! (structural ???) and cracked tiles on floor in a line guessing join of cement sheeting underneath??? He also chipped my non standard extra $$$ bath with something, as one day visiting the site supervisor told me the bath repair man was here!!! 7. paint - well I paid for 3 coats, but don't think I even got 2 coats in some places and didn't get any on the top and bottom of any doors, hence they are all now bowed and my front and back doors need replacing ASAP they are swelled and don't close properly :( 8. it is supposed to be 5 star energy efficient home, but gets to 40 degrees inside no problem on a hot day so wondering if they put in the correct insulation (or any at all) after hand over (3 months after) I noticed broken bathroom door handle like someone shoved a screw diver in it to unlock it, scratches in the tiles in bathroom and a few other things all which could not be claimed. My house is now nearly 7 years old with big cracks in the wet area floors and windows that look crooked, hot is summer and cold in winter. I could probably add to this review when I think of more of the issues I had or am having but I'm stopping now. At least I have a roof over my head, but I don't think they truly build them to last :(
Second house with Sarah homes and another great experience
Overall the whole experience was very good, the initial design/selection process (we made some changes to standard design without issues and at no additional costs) was efficient and timely.
The whole build was systematically managed so that there was minimum gaps between trades, from start to hand over was only 4 months.
Finishes and quality were excellent, a few little minor issues but all were fixed quickly and with no arguments.
We have now been in the house for 10 months and no post build problems, so very happy.
Poor, Poor and total lack of customer concerns
Sales and pre build went well. Staff were friendly and helpful.
During build communication was not the same in some instances site supervisor was rude and dismissive.
Problems really arose with the finish, this was very poor. Attention to detail was poor. Product was stored on site for months and deteriorated in the weather with no recourse for us the people paying the bills.
windows were uncovered and left lying in sand, sand in tracks still cannot be removed. Finally the second fix carpentry and then the painting were very poor. Second fix problems were rectified when identified to a reasonable standard. However the painting was just a nightmare from woe to go. Initial paint had fluff in or fluff from rollers not sure which but once done was impossible to rectify. Also paint was thin and missing in many places. Just a great disappointment and ongoing frustration.
Our front verandah was to be concrete which we paid for in good faith expecting it to be finished to usable standards. It has foot prints in, holes, rough trowelling and in places has had pegs inserted while it was wet. It is not fit for purpose and after many months of trying to get it rectified or a refund we just had to give up because of poor health and total lack of care from the company.
Not an enjoyable experience
Presales and design was good as was liaison with the local council
Everything about the build was awful.
Quality is non-existent. The list of problems is endless, some I consider dangerous
Many thing were not finished properly.
There is no recourse, if you want your keys you have to pay in full and finish/fix it yourself.
Reading the other reviews, Sarah work to a system, if it works it works well, if the wheels come off it's a nightmare, it's the luck of the draw which contractors and building supervisor you get.
At the end of it we have a house, it's cost a couple of thousand to fix up the bodges but it probably would have cost more using a traditional builder.
Vision to reality
We built a terrific functional holiday home that met all expectations. The process was relatively easy with committed people who kept their promises and communicated well without too much "selling". The price does increase from base, but well worth the extra ceiling height, big deck and some of the smaller touches that make the property present better in the holiday rental market we are in. One thing I would do better next time is get some more advice about the plan and layout - ours is almost straight off the plan which is great - but a couple of things could have been tweaked to make it even better. The end product is what was planned, the build time and quality (so far) was great. We had some council challenges and got a lot of support throughout. The house is now renting very strongly and dealing with the numerous short stays - so far so good. The building manager was excellent (Jim), they have a lot on at once but keep up the communications are best they can. Very happy.
If you are thinking of going with this builder forget it, take your money and run NOW!!! Or in the process of building at every stage get a building inspection before any progress payments are made. I regret building with Sarah Homes and will never again. Quality is very poor, customer service is dreadful especially the building supervisor. Please do yourself a favor stay right away from these people.
Our almost perfect house
Our first up contact, concept and plan set up was excellent, although there was some confusion over how the costings were set out, due to deletions and additions, but this was quickly resolved by our sales person, Mark.
After that, we suffered at start up, due to Council requirements not being met within plans submitted. This caused a significant delay, and was an issue that we feel should not have arisen, however once this matter was sorted, all proceeded smoothly.
Initially our building supervisor was a bit offside, but this was overcome and the build proceeded almost a quickly as it could. There were delays in the first fix, due to one or two missing pieces of build material and the usual process of keeping more than one customer happy by way of building a bit here and there, but we have built before and these things happened then too.
Again we reiterate that once our relationship with the Supervisor was settled, our dealings with him were excellent and we could not hope for better.
All other stages went extremely well, and I must mention that the 1st fix builder, plumber, tiler, plasterer, electrician, garage door installer and painter were all extremely helpful and they installed a number of our own fittings.
There was an accounts issue that arose during the build, in that we received two accounts for progress payments, when the work had not been done, in one case some 2 weeks early. This was resolved with photos and emails sent to the person concerned, but it did seem somewhat that one or two internal departments were not talking to each other.
Hand over was a breeze and we have enjoyed the wine.
We are very happy with the result, with one exception and that is, we have put in the maintenance list and to date Sarah have been rather slow to fix. The list is not big, and in fact the independent building inspector, who did our review, commented that the build was of a high standard. Yes, the building supervisor has been in touch, but the actual fix has still not happened some 3 months since submission. (Since writing this review, all maintenance issues have been attended to in a timely manner)
We would be happy to rebuild with Sarah.
Our dream holiday house
We received a lot of help and advice from the outset and made a few changes to the original plan as ideas evolved but that was all managed smoothly. It meant that we got exactly what we wanted. We were able to check on all stages of the build due to excellent communications throughout. The tradesmen welcomed us being on site and explained things to us if we inquired about anything. We noticed a large window had been damaged slightly during transport and it was removed and replaced with a new one without delay. The build quality is excellent and the design very stylish and we have received many compliments from our new neighbors. We now enjoy many happy weekends away with family and friends. Thanks Sarah Homes!
terrible workmanship and even worse customer service
After finally getting to handover of my new house, 6 months late I might add, I was spoken to with arrogance and rudeness by the site supervisor when doing a walk through of my home. After moving in and noticing more issues with the house I contacted the site supervisor who was incredibly unhelpful. I contacted the general manager who started off helpful but that ended quickly. I ended up writing a letter with photos of the issues and less than satisfactory workmanship and received a letter in return stating I would hear from my site supervisor within 14 days to arrange a viewing of the issues I have. It's not 22 days later and I have not been contacted. I have contacted the office numerous times and heard nothing from the site supervisor or the general manager. Issues with the house; doors don't close, crooked tiling, crooked walls (20mm over a 400mm length of wall), windows not flush with outside wall, bent window frames, wrong toilet trap outlet installed, uneven floors, nails sticking out of floor, gaps around external doors.....
Not impressed to say the least. Contacting consumer and business services will be my next step.
I am yet to have anything fixed or repaired. I have however had a visit from the site supervisor who was just as rude and arrogant as last time. Another 5 weeks passed with no word from them, no phone calls returned until a month after his visit I started calling the office daily. The general manager finally called me back which was a complete waste of time! He has only just found out about what has been going on even though I have been calling and leaving messages for him for the last 4 months. He said he didn't call me as it has noting to do with him. He refused to answer my questions and said I have to wait until the new construction manager gets back on the 14th of October for anything to happen. He knows nothing about building or construction. These people are a joke!
Happy in my new home.
My experience with planning my new build with the consultant was exceptional. Suggestions were offered and discussed with no pressure and I am very pleased with all the decisions made. The building supervisor was attentive to my requests for updates on the building progress. I was happy with the quality of the workmanship by all trades and after handover, the couple of small fixes were attended to promptly by the company.
The service that we received from Sarah Homes was fantastic and the finished product (our home) was built to our standard. The house is fantastic and is everything we wanted. The tradies who worked on the house were excellent and they allowed us access to the house whenever we wanted. We moved in ahead of time into a house that was complete in every way. I would certainly recommend Sarah Homes and if I was to build another home I would use them.
Great hassle free building experience
Everyone gets a bit nervous about building a house but we had no issues at all, it was a well managed process from beginning to end and was completed ontime. The trades all did an excellent job and there was no big gaps between trades. The one area where I was initially worried about was the painting but at handover I felt like I had failed as I couldn't find one thing wrong, its was a very good job! The supervisor was always available, or if not, would return calls promptly and the tradies themselves were very friendly and didn't mind us wondering through occasionally. Would recommend Sarah Homes for their efficiency and build quality.
Building a second time with Sarah Homes
We built 7 years ago with Sarah Homes on Yorke Peninsula. The house was fantastic and anything that we noticed at handover was attended to quickly. At that time the sales staff and our supervisor were great.
We have opted to build our home at Marino with Sarah Homes as we have just sold the beach house. So far the sales staff member and the office staff have been more than helpful and made it easy to finally have approval from council. We are more than happy with our experience with Sarah Homes as our block was a difficult one to be able to fit what we desired in a house plus to fit it on our difficult block. Can only thank our sales member for helping us so much. Looking forward now to the start of the build.
Ambiguous plans with gross basic errors as a result.
Sales staff are fantastic. Final execution of build dismal. Got footing levels wrong by 400mm which was critical for a split level home.
Supervisor was pleasant but ineffective, and would not commit to anything on paper or in writing for fear of responsibility for his promises. Rectification of problems took endless phone calls and emails to main office which takes up to 6 weeks to rectify issues if at all. Supervisors direct boss is only part time so was not there to oversee things reliably. A build which was supposed to take 12 weeks took us 18 months before handover and there are still issues pending which i cannot get them to rectify quickly. If you build with Sarah, make sure you hire a independent supervisor/inspector, and don''t pay them for any stage until it is completed properly.
Workmanship of the tradies was dubious, especially the painters and electricians. They put in phone lines in an NBN area, and did not discuss the TV antenna point cable which are now hidden in the roof. Painted a wooden front door with clear coat but did not seal the base, so there is water seepage coming from the bottom seal. The gutters all leak.
Do a pre-handover inspection and make sure you have all faults rectified before handover, otherwise they have no incentive to rectify faults after you pay them....
Will find any way to con you
This review is maybe somewhat out of date but its an experience we had when we built with Sarah Homes in 2003. A friend of ours has had similar major problems building with them recently which has brought the whole experience back to us, so maybe nothing has changed over the last 10 years.
After building with Sarah Homes I would never sign a contract to build with any builder again without a solicitor present! These people have made an 'art form' out of playing with words!
For a start, from the time of contract signing it took them 11 months to make a start on building our house. Materials (which they required us to pay for up front) sat on our block for almost a year, through summer and winter. Fortunately, we were building in a good area and nothing, not even a tube of silicone, was stolen over that time. Ironically once they did start to build our house things did disappear! Every day something ended up leaving with their tradesmen at the end of each day......and many of these trades people have holiday houses built at Point Turtin or somewhere or other on the proceeds of theft from their day job!!
The general quality of the construction was poor with items not finished, or shoddily done. One window was not even left fixed in position! No screws in it!!.....a decent push and it would have fallen out.
But there was one aspect of the job that I never saw coming....and this is where I would require a solicitor at contact signing in future!
When we signed the contract Sarah Homes stated they would not be responsible for the supply of services beyond 'The edge of the building'. They said that they would do all the in house wiring, supply switches, power points and light globes wired back to a fused meter box on an external wall but we would be responsible for the supply of power from the pit in the street to the meter board....fair enough! we knew where we stood there.
They would be responsible for all the water facilities in the house......the shower, bath, basins, toilet, sink, hot water service, taps and would connect all of this to a water point on the outside of the building. It was up to us to supply a water meter and connect from that meter to the water point on the side of the building....once again, fair enough. They also stated they would connect and run all the sewer plumbing to the edge of the building and we would have to connect from there to either the mains or a septic tank....Simple enough once again....WRONG!!!
This home was a two storey home being built on a metal poled platform on a sloping block with the owner being responsible for filling in the garaging, workshop and rooms downstairs and Sarah Homes being responsible for the construction of the main part of the house upstairs on their platform.
The house was eventually handed over to us on the day the hot water service was to be connected and the plumber approached my wife and said he could not hook up the hot water service because the under floor plumbing had not been done. Her reaction was...."Well, you're the Plumber", to which he said....."No, we are only responsible for the plumbing to the edge of the building and Sarah Homes considers the floor to be the edge of the building". The Shower, Toilet, Laundry, every waste pipe just went through the floor and was not connected to anything........What the!!!
Now in this instance the kitchen sink was in an Island bench in the middle of the upstairs area. These bozos of plumbers connected up the two bowls of the kitchen sink, cut a hole in the floor and stuck a waste pipe down through the hole and just left it at that knowing full well there was a ceiling and another room directly below. What sort of tradesperson does that sort of work???? We had to cut up a section of brand new flooring to get a sewer pipe from the sink to the outside of the building.
Now, if I had a solicitor present when the contract was signed he would have said to their salesperson...."Define what exactly you consider to be the edge of the building" .....but dumb ol' me, I never even saw that one coming. it went straight over my head!
So as I said these builders play with words. Sarah Homes quality is not bad but, my God, make sure you understand exactly what they state in their contract...do not take a single thing on face value....you will regret it if you do.
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