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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria Construction End Date: Jul 2017

South Morang; South of the truth.

1 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 05, 2017

After explaining our crappy start with another volume builder we were super excited and felt reassured that handing our deposit over to [name removed] was going to be a great move for our future. He assured us that we could supply our own appliances and use our family’s connection for Hydronic Heating and, verbatim, 'we won’t let you use a mate that's an electrician or plumber, but anything else won’t be a problem!' We briefly met the builder, [name removed], who seemed like a good guy. Prior to this initial meeting I had spoken with [name removed] at length and provided everything from the site survey and soil test to the dial before you dig report and the Yarra Valley Water service plan to ensure he would be well equipped for our meeting. He explained that site costs would be around $25K, no more than $30K and gave me a price on the house we were after. [name removed] went on leave and I was left dealing with a very curt and abrupt [name removed] who I'd speak to one day regarding something and then she'd call me the next to ask questions she'd received answers to the day prior. I'd then get emails requesting info she’d been given weeks ago. At one point I received an email intended for another client and it just felt like they couldn’t get themselves together and that they were very disorganised.

Whilst on the phone with [name removed] one day I explained that I would send over the specs for the appliances I was using and she said that they had their own providers and that I couldn’t supply my own. When I explained that [name removed] had said it would be okay she then told me that [name removed] was no longer with the company. Alarm bells starting ringing and I requested a meeting with [name removed], the owner of the company. I was fairly emotional during this meeting as [name removed] said the [name removed] was fired for lying to clients and that he was never going to work in this industry again as he had done this to two other volume builders. He said that I couldn’t use my own appliances because he had installed another clients pre-purchased appliances and they were pursuing him for warranty claims. He then said I could but he would charge me hefty legal fees for it. When I told him what [name removed] had promised he was very aggravated towards me, to the point where I was uncomfortable, and said ‘I can’t verify that he said that to you’. …Excuse me, but you’re now getting angry with me because you didn’t vet your staff member that you just confirmed was lying to all of your clients and you’re calling me a liar?! This is something I should have said to him and at this point I should have left but being there by myself, feeling slightly intimidated and having already paid the deposit I simply confirmed with him that we would still be able to start building by the end of the year, to which he said ‘absolutely’ and I got up and left.

Hubby and I decided that we would simply install our appliances after handover and see what kind of quote they got for the hydronic heating. This had already been a two month process and we had paid the deposit so let’s see what it comes back to us at. We finalised the floor plan and met with [name removed] for the colour consultation. [name removed] was lovely! We went through everything with her and we left only having to confirm some bathroom tiles, taps and sinks. It took us two weeks to get this information to her but she had the completed colour selection by mid-September. We were told from this point that it would be two to three weeks to get our tender back and we were back to being excited and started to slowly pack up our house. At the start of October [name removed] emailed asking when we would be demolishing the house so that they could do the final soil test. I said it was coming down the first week of November. By mid-October we had moved out of our house, and the abolishment of the Electricity and Gas were going to happen anytime within the next 14 days. I know [name removed] had confirmed that we would definitely start building before the end of the year, but nothing with this builder had gone true to plan so I emailed [name removed] explaining I didn’t really want to pull my house down without the tender and she said that it should be ready next week but that they had pushed my build back to the end of January 2017. I was gobsmacked! You spoke to me a week ago and you didn’t think to tell me this then knowing I was moving 50 minutes away??!! I emailed seeking confirmation and was told that they had prioritised other builds to go to site before ours and that our tender would be ready next week.

At this point I called head office to ask if this was normal; was it normal to wait so long for a colour selection? [name removed] listen to my whole story and asked me if I would like her to get the build date back to pre-Christmas and enquire as to why the tender was taking so long… I was worried that this would triple the cost of my house as they would be annoyed with me for going to head office with this enquiry so instead we moved essential items back into our house and cancelled the abolishment of gas and electricity. Lucky too as we didn’t get our tender back until mid-November!! We finally met face to face with [name removed], who turned out to be very, very lovely in person. Unfortunately that’s where the loveliness ended. We were shown an up to date version of our house plans - which neither of us had seen - showing changes that were required for things we had queried but assured were okay, incorrect cabinetry layout, different ceiling heights... What the hell had just happened here?! Add to that the fact that our tender came in $150k over budget and we were beyond annoyed. I swore at this point and was told 'That's okay, I've seen much worse!' ...Great, so you do this a lot to your clients do you?!

We had a contingency plan as we knew there were a lot of variations but it certainly didn’t stretch that far. What killed us the most was the fact that base price of the house had risen $25,000.00, in addition to the extra sq we added on and our site costs were now miraculously $50,000.00! In the two months it took to get our tender back they had also fired [name removed], our colour consultant… The benchtops that were meant to be standard were a cat 2, the wall colour we picked ‘Yes, we can do that colour but we can’t guarantee it will be the same shade’ and there was something like an extra $40,000.00 in cabinetry costs because the style of cabinets we chose had to be vinyl wrapped, all unbeknown to us. The clincher; while doing our colour consultation we asked [name removed] the owner, personally, how many bathrooms were included in the promotion and he, himself, said two - but guess what... Only one was included! So basically the whole six months was a huge waste of time having been misled or lied to at every stage. I deserve and should pursue a refund for the initial deposit but I just don't feel like I have it in me to fight them for it...

Reading this back, we look like fools – we should have opted out long before we did but building for the first time is definitely a learning curve and we have both learnt very valuable construction and life lessons from this. I suppose that’s one thing to be grateful for?! I wouldn’t suggest building with these guys, increasing site costs to increase profit is disgraceful; though apparently the norm from what I’ve read. All I can say is be wary and trust your gut. Good luck with your build!

12 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi NatB, We're sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your Hotondo Homes experience. We always aim to deliver the best possible building experience for our customers and take this kind of feedb... read more »

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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria Construction End Date: Aug 2017

And this is why one should rethink 'Building'!!!!

1 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 28, 2016

(We chose our Builder using this Site, so its only right that we give our Feedback now that we are done with them). So we get told by HOTONDO SOUTH MORANG that the Hillgrove Design Home with 'mid to high end everything' will see us get change out of $350k (and that included Demolition costs). So we bulldoze our House and get Soil Tests and pay the $2.5k Deposit and then get totally stuffed around for so long that the Lease we took out on our Rental would have long expired had we proceeded, and when we eventually get the Contract ...... Shock Horror its an extra $150k+ (so $500k+ including the Demo). Suffice to say we bailed, lost money, lost our House and lost all respect for them in there aside from the two girls that did the Drawings and the Interior Designs who we really good. Never again - lesson learned, don't trust them, and if you catch them out they'll blame others and you the client (like they did with us)!!!!

3 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Gary, Thanks for getting in contact with Hotondo Homes. We take negative feedback very seriously and are sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your experience. We have looked into the reco... read more »

Hi Hotondo Homes. Thanks for your selective recall on WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Most variations were known prior to the initial estimate, subsequent variations would have seen the 'change out of $350... read more »

Pakenham

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  • 8 helpful votes
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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria Construction End Date: Oct 2016

Hotondo sales team were fantastic but do not build with Hotondo (Cardinia Homes) Pakenham Vic

1 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 15, 2016

We found the Hotondo sales team terrific at the display home in our local area and we were happy to contract with them, but when we signed our contract and started to deal with the local builder in Pakenham was when our nightmare began. There were excuses for late starts like the drafting had to be outsourced to other companies, then the draftsman was on leave, then holidays were upon them blah blah, finally got our drawings and began excavation but the house build was too close to the easement which influenced the angle of repose, more delays and more costs more excuses for something that was foreseeable.
Then they took so long that the Colorbond colour was no longer available so we had to re-do the whole external colour scheme. Then even more time went by and they went through three different tile suppliers so we had to re-do our entire internal colour scheme again (three separate times). Some tradesmen took up to 5 attempts to fix their mistakes and dodgy workmanship. Missing paint work, then walls and skirts were so far out of whack it was embarrassing to look at and yet they said it was within standard and I had to argue to get it straightened. Bricks along the strip footing were laid on edge facing out and more than a few without mortar so that surface rain water would flow straight through the three holes in the bricks and the gaps without mortar and then directly under the house where my garage, workshop and poolroom were. This was industry standards by their reckoning and again I had to argue to have it sorted, what a joke these people are to have such disregard for the customer and their standards of workmanship. As far as I am concerned they could no manage simple chook raffle let alone $500000.00 home build. Trades were promised to turn up and weeks and sometimes months would go by without anyone striking a blow or finishing the job. The list of dramas, incompetence and dismal workmanship go on and on. They tried on more than one occasion to have large invoices paid before the jobs were completed, in fact they were not even started! Review your variations carefully and insist on checking quotes with your variations to show they only apply the correct builders margin.
Stay away from this Pakenham builder and get someone that is competent to build your dream home.

8 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Brett, Thanks for getting in contact with Hotondo Homes. We take negative feedback very seriously and we're sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your experience. We'd like to discuss this... read more »

Hi Hotondo, there is not much else to do as we have the house now and I do not have a complaint against yourselves but it is exclusively for Cardinia Homes. I thank your wonderful sales team though and would recommend you again but not the builder.

Just had a call from the builder complaining that I complained, ironic really.

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Bidwill

  • 5 reviews
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Verified Customer Build Location: New South Wales Construction End Date: Aug 2017

Too expensive and unprofessional

1 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 08, 2016

Paid $4400 for a tender from Hotondo Homes in Nowra only to come up with a ball point figure of well above what my expectations were. I had asked for an itemised tender when the manager said that they never give itemised tenders and that it will take too long. Well I did wait up to 5 months for this and they came up with a ball point figure?????. Something which I find odd as every builder
the years do itemise their tender and so it should be if in case you feel it can be reduced at certain point to suit your budget.
I find this to be unprofessional. And to tell me at my last meeting with the Manager that I will make a lot of money on this, is really none of his damn dam business whether I sell now or in the future!
Well, at the end of the day none of us are going to "make a lot of money on this" as my bank wouldn't lend me their construction cost. So who is the smart one on this one ???

6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Michele, Thanks for getting in contact with us. Our records show the builder discussed the project with you in regards to your specifications in detail. The team offered alternative solutions ... read more »

That is incorrect. I wanted remove from the tender cost was the landscaping and the driveway and the reduction cost given to me was a figure of only $11,000 when the driveway itself would have be... read more »

Hunter Valley

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  • 11 helpful votes
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Verified Customer Build Location: New South Wales Construction End Date: Oct 2015

Terrible, terrible, terrible

1 out of 5, reviewed on Oct 06, 2016

Very dissapointing experience. All potential customers should be aware that your contract is with the franchise builder for the area not Hotondo. Our builder, left the area mid way through our build and did not renew franchise. We contacted Hotondo and while they did try and contact the builder they had no effect and that was all they did, no other assitance was provided. Would recommend going with a large builder eg Mac Jones, Metricon etc. One name to be protected and contract directly with the company.

Fair Trading unable to assist - builder licence not renewed so cannot under take work now anyway.

90% of our defect items remain incomplete - despite many of these being included on 2 independent reports from [name removed].

Workman ship build quality - structure ok - finishing poor

Build management - very poor. Builder dis organised tried to blame sub contractors/others. Very poor communications and dishonest not/up front

Service and support - virtually non existent.

8 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Geoff, We're sorry to hear about your experience. This builder is no longer part of Hotondo Homes and as the company has been deregistered, you can now make a claim against home warranty insura... read more »

We have spoken with hotondo on two separate occasions already regarding this and no help can be provided. We have already prepared and submitted our claim with home warranty insurance some time ago... read more »

Harrington Park

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Verified Customer Build Location: New South Wales

Hotondo MacArthur Disgraceful

1 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 28, 2016

We have just finished a build with Hotondo homes in the Harrington Park area, although the build did start well the lack of communication from supervisor to client was non existent, I found myself calling the supervisor weekly asking for updates.
Mid way through the build is where the majority of the issues happened. We were continuously delayed by waterproofers and tilers only to be advised by the supervisor weekly that the trades were booked in and than to be let down was quiet frustrating. After raising concerns continuously with the supervisor with no result I seek further assurances that my issues will be raised and atleast considered with the owner of the MacArthur franchise, his dealings with myself onsite I found him to be quiet arrogant, dismissive and down right disrespectful to his clients needs and at one stage telling myself to grab a paint brush and paint the downpipes in which I was not happy with the quality of only being only half painted, again the communication from the owner was disgraceful and to go with it a bad attitude.
Here is a list of just a few issues we have with our Hotondo home:
-Quality of brickwork and compliance issues
-round downpipes being painted as close as possible to brick work leaving white unfinished pvc pipe visible.
-Bedroom doors and robes binding on carpet
-internal garage door still not installed.
-broken electrical box lid.
-defective painting throughout home inclusive of plasterboard patching and joints in ceiling.
-Discontinued stone in kitchen. Having to downgrade, I spent endless weeks searching for stone without the help of the supervisor at all.
- kitchen bench has been built to high. Our freestanding oven is to low and sits lower than stone.
- kick boards to kitchen not cut to size for installation.
- scratches/chips to aluminum Windows
- Cleansliness of home, final clean was messy at best. Instead of cleaners returning to site the supervisor and owner returned to clean the home to leave just as bad.

In conclusion I would not recommend Hotondo homes to anybody, in our dealings we have found them to be disgraceful with the lack of communication, empathy, attitude towards myself and wife, the lack of finishing details provided to us with certain things within the home and the fact it took 9.5 months to build a single story home with no landscape, driveway or finished floors within the home showed Hotondos lack of time management and unprofessionalism.

Do not use HOTONDO MACARTHUR!!

Daniel.

5 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Daniel, We're sorry to hear about your negative experience with the team from Macarthur. We do take this kind of feedback very seriously and would like to discuss this further. Please contact o... read more »

Hi,
I have contacted head office approx 1 month ago. I did not recieve one return phone call from you guys.

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Daniel, We’ve looked into this matter and our records show the builder contacted you on the day you raised a concern with the Support Office. Our builder has met with you on several occasions i... read more »

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Sunshine coast

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Verified Customer Build Location: Queensland

Dodgy builder and poor franchise management

1 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 12, 2016

Build workmanship and quality was terrible, in fact deemed defective by QBCC with 24 separate repairs required. Franchisee builder went broke as Hotondo did no checks prior to allocating franchise and builder had licensed cancelled 8 times previously. Hotondo wiped everyone that was building with them and provided no support or customer service when they were fully involved with the franchised builder. A terrible experience building with a franchise that offers no certainty or security purchasing through them.

6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Pcow, We're sorry to hear about your negative experience with a previous franchisee. We take negative feedback very seriously, so if you would like to discuss this further please email customer... read more »

2 years later I am still trying to get my house certified through Council. Hotondo kindly phoned me after this review to provide fruitless advice about ringing the statebuilding commission and they... read more »

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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria

Real world experince building with Hotondo

1 out of 5, reviewed on Mar 04, 2016

I would have liked to write a review with the heading "well done guys, love your work, thanks for building my home, stress free" like the other reviewers. Unfortunately, my experiences tell a different story, subsequently resulting in trust in the Hotondo brand being non existent.
How many times have you heard the phrase "the dog has eaten my homework"- welcome to the world dealing with Melton Hotondo. I think I have heard every single excuse in the builders handbook, I've even had personal assurances and 100% guarantees. I am 8 months into a 9 month contract and I'm still waiting for the 'lock up' to be completed. Enough said!
Be warned- tread warily.

10 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Hotondo Homes Official

Dear Test321, Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your negative experience with Hotondo Homes in Melton. We have contacted our Melton franchisee regarding your experience to dat... read more »

Hungry dog update. Thinking that a company which invests in marketing their brand could provide 'assistance & support', I took up Hotondo` offer and made contact. The 'dog has eaten my homework, a... read more »

Hotondo Homes Official

Dear Test321, We've reviewed your file in accordance with your comment. Our records show Customer Care has assisted in resolving the issue, you met with one of our managers and have been communica... read more »

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ADELAIDE

  • 1 review
  • 18 helpful votes
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Build Location: South Australia

Hidden costs but no refund

1 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 28, 2012

After getting what I thought was as acurate a price as possible prior to visiting the site, I signed a preliminary agreement with Hotondo Homes in Port Lincoln and paid $1500. They then informed me of
another charge of several Thousand dollars for Tradesmen accomodation and meals. When I stopped the project, I received only $1100 refund. If all the charges were revealed up front as was supposed to be the case, I would not have signed the agreemnet or made the payment. Neither Hotondo Port Lincoln or the head office will resolve this issue. I say, "Why take the risk, there are plenty more builders around."

- Not wiling to take responsibilty for a misleading quote

18 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

  • 1 review
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  • 13 helpful votes
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Build Location: New South Wales

Hotondo Homes

1 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 30, 2012

We have had an absolute nighmare building with Hotondo on the Central Coast NSW. It took us ages to get the design of the house right due to poor communication between the sales lady and the drafts person. Once this was finally sorted out it was another 4 or 5 months to get through council.

When construction finally started the slab was poured incorrectly and then a section of the slab was required to be jack hammered out and then was left exposed for over 2 months before it was fixed.

The frames for our 2nd floor were ordered incorrectly. When the frames finally arrived 4 months after we started and were erected, it was noticed that the frames for the 2nd floor were wrong and didnt allow for the correct exterior cladding. Due to extensive delays to fix this problem we had to change the entire exterior look of the house.

The problems just went on and on, pipes not placed correctly by the plumber, so not consealed in wall cavity and false walls were needed to be built to cover these, toilet plumbing not it the right place, warped walls, gutters not level so dont drain properly, and the list keeps going.

Very poor communication between us and the office. We usually only heard from the office when there was a problem, or if they were chasing their next payment before the due dates.

Very minimal supervisor contact and in the early stages it appeared very little supervision or very poor supervison due to the amount of problems and avoidable errors that occurred.

We still have not got our keys yet, but already have a large list of things that we know will need fixing due to mistakes and also poor workmanship.

We definantly would not reccommend them to anyone. We expected paying top price for a house such as ours that it would meet the promises made by Hotondo of excellent quality and finishes, and value for money but it is very far from it.

The nightmare continues..........

+ Design

- bad workmanship, bad service, poor communication

13 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Comments

15/5/12 - We finally got our keys 2 months after the origional promised handover date due to a dispute of variations they wanted us to pay and we did not agree with. We ended up paying the money un... read more »

The house is sorted now. only good thing about them going bust was the builders warranty insurance kicked in so we did not need to deal with them anymore. Head office was useless. They did not want... read more »

  • 1 review
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Very dissapointing building experience

1 out of 5, reviewed on May 09, 2012

Received flash brochures about how professional Hotondo Homes builders are, no hidden costs and what great service they offer.
Unfortunately, hardly any of the promoted items on the brochure were delivered.
I was not advised that all household items (kitchen, lights, carpet etc.) was costed on lowest possible price. I would call this a hidden cost.
I felt that my satisfaction and expectations came in last while the priority was always the convenience of the builder.

- Hidden costs and poor warranty service

20 people found this helpful, do you? Yes


Questions & Answers

Hi, I understand that each Hotondo builder is different, but I was just wanting to get an idea of how Hotondo house and land packages are usually paid for? Because it is a house and land package, is it an initial deposit, and then a lump payment once construction is finished, or is it like a regular construction with progress payments? Thanks

SeanM asked on Jul 09, 2018

Answer this

Hi Sean,
Thanks for getting in contact with us. When purchasing a house and land package the transaction consists of two contracts, one for the purchase of the land and another for the construction of the home. The land contract would be prepared by the land developer or land sales agent, the home construction contract would be provided by your perspective builder. A deposit is payable to hold the land which would require a lump sum payment to secure. Following this, you would need to pay a deposit to the builder and a building contract would be prepared. If you proceed with the contract a further payment is required and then regular progress would begin.
I hope that helps!
Kind regards,
Rose

Why doesn’t Hotondo itemise tenders? Why would you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a building company & not know what your paying for? Very weird as our previous builders gave us the costs to most of the build.

Leigh asked on Jun 23, 2018

Answer this

Hi Leigh,
Thanks for getting in contact with us. We'd like to hear a little more about this so we can assist. Could you please get in contact with our Customer Care team by emailing customercare@hotondo.com.au?
Thanks,
Rose

Hi Rose, I've sent an email through to customer care & have had no response.

Hi. My mother wants to build a big single story house (around 400-500 sqm) which has a parent retreat with kitchenette. Would you do a custom design/building? Cheers, Boram.

PLM asked on Jun 20, 2018

Answer this

Hi PLM,
It's best to discuss this with your local Hotondo Homes builder, I'm sure they would be able to assist. Where are you looking to build?
Cheers,
Rose

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