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

A disappointing and frustrating building ex perience

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 11, 2018

NB: the comments below are specific to Hotondo Homes Sunshine Coast (Matira Dev.) and should not be generalised to other Hotondo Home franchise holders. They have been crafted in good faith to enable prospective clients to perform their own due diligence in relation to the construction of their new home.

How was the workmanship and build quality of your property?
• Mixed, some parts were excellent such as most of the painting, tiling, flooring and carpentry.
• Other aspects were poor such as an uneven floor resulting in crooked window/sliding door, gaps under door (where there should be none), blocked sink, crooked and chipped tiles. These 'defects' along with the poor presentation at handover, gave an otherwise good job a sloppy, un-professional feel. This also fueled anxieties about what other aspects of the build might not have been done properly (for which we might become liable) or nasty surprises that might greet us at a later date i.e. when selling the house!
• Design decisions were difficult due to the lack of transparency around pricing/tendering process (design decisions are financial decisions and visa versa). Initial design/specification session was chaotic and disorganised leading to issues later on in the project as per below (see comment below re: kitchen cabinets).
• Design decisions were reinterpreted or misinterpreted due to lack of process around these. E.g. kitchen cabinets finished in black instead of white because our preferences had not been properly documented.
• Internal steps are unsafe despite being built to code and will have to be replaced/revised by ourselves because the contractor says “they are to code”.
• Have spent 100s $ post-build re-configuring site to ensure that when it rained, water flowed away from house rather than toward it as per care instructions for waffle-pad constructions.

How well managed was your build?
• The build ran over time by 2 months.
• Above quality issues reflect poor project oversight. Never sure who had oversight? The contractor or Site Manager?
• Our project was put on the back-burner while the contractor focused attention on the new show home in Pelican Waters - questionable task prioritisation and time management?
• Communication (esp. by way of email) deteriorated as build progressed - become more confused and disrupted e.g. contractor spent most of time on mobile phone during site visits rather than discussing the build with us the clients who had driven two hours to attend the meeting.
• Site visits were poorly planned and unfocused (as per above) e.g. not structured purposefully as an opportunity authenticate of stage completions prior to payment and discuss outstanding construction issues.
• Poor documentation of variations and inattentiveness lead to errors.
• Deceptive, sloppy paper work/invoicing/tendering practices. E.g. Initially, supplier quotes and contractor’s mark-up were seldom included in final quotes - were often well-above the market price e.g $11k for a driveway which we had re-quoted and installed for $5k. Correct invoicing and quoting provided eventually but only after these were actively sought by us. Not billed for some items (after we asked to see the invoice), were incorrectly billed or not refunded for others e.g. cavity slider and door payed for but not included in final build.
• Contractor adopted an adversarial approach during times of conflict as per below.
• Completion and handover was mismanaged and became adversarial due time over-run and contractors unwillingness to commit to completion date (while still demanding final payment). Forced to seek advice from QBCC and requested that Hotondo head office intervene to enable us to take possession of an (incomplete) build due to our having to move out of existing home (despite having organised 90 day settlement to accommodate time over-run . NB: Hotondo head office were very professional but ultimately sided with the builder saying that people sometimes take possession then default on the final payment. Although sympathetic to this scenario - we felt a bit insulted by the implication that we were being cast as one of 'those people' esp. when it was the contractor who had failed repeatedly to meet their obligations and in accordance with Queensland's Code of Ethics for the Building and Construction Industry (2000).

How was customer service and support?
• Contractor appeared unaware of obligations under the terms of Queensland's Code of Ethics for the Building and Construction Industry (2000) which emphasises the importance of ‘trust’, ‘cooperation’, ‘equity’ and ‘honesty’.
• Started out good but deteriorated as build progressed consistent with a business model that privileges 'sales' over 'service'.
• Notable Imbalance between ‘sales and service’, ‘strategy and operations’ in favour of sales and strategy. E.g. construction of the show home was bumped ahead of ours, which was already underway and paid for, Hence, the show home, although started after ours was completed sooner and completed too a much higher standard.
• Trust in the relationship was compromised by the contractor telling mis-truths, sloppy business practices and over-quoting (? to re-coup losses associated with mistakes made during the build .g. wrong frames ordered, damage to termite barrier, wrong window installed). Trust was completely destroyed when the contractor went behind our backs to contact our mortgage broker seeking information about our financial situation after we refused to pay for unfinished work (on the recommendation of the QBCC and HIA contract). Up until that time, we had always paid promptly except for work that had not been done.
• As above - aggressive in pursuing payment for incomplete work.
• Seemed inadequately informed of some common building products e.g termite protection, the terms of HIA contract and National Construction Code (2006) relevant to the build e.g. the need to provide variation orders, correct tendering processes, retaining walls and storm water management, respectively.
• Because of the domineering stance taken by the builder on occasion, we felt at times, that it was not our home but someone else that we had funded!

1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Carole34, Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We take this kind of feedback very seriously and are concerned with your review. The Sunshine Coast team are one of our award-w... read more »

Chirnside Park

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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria Construction End Date: Dec 2016

I wouldn't build another house with Hotondo Lilydale Vic

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 06, 2017

We had built a house by Metricon before and this one with Hotondo has not been a pleasant experience.
Quality of the building awful. They forgot the gas point, TV point, Toilet fan. They forgot to put a two way switch for the stair light. They had admin issues and could not finish the house on time and kept blaming the weather.
When they came for fixing issues they left a mess on walls that needs fixing. They have not come back to finish. The manager is a complete disorganisation. Can write even more...
To be fair they were flexible with changes at the beginning and they offered changes for good without extra charge.
After build care? There were some holes near the cabinet that allowed a mouse to commute in the house. I did not bother calling them as hopeless and fixed it by a handyman.

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Rez, We're sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your experience. It is very rare that we receive negative feedback and take this very seriously. We would like to discuss this further with ... read more »

As you see here the issue for now is pending maintenance issues that I have to chase the manager for with no answers. If you message them about this that would be enough for now.

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Rez,
Not a problem, a member of the Lilydale team has contacted you and will be able to assist.
Kind regards,
Hotondo Homes

ocean grove

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

Substandard tradesmen

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 15, 2017

Plumbing in wrong places in the slab (e.g.toilet and shower plumbing in hallway), brickwork not to Aus Building Standards (should have been replaced but we agreed to partial replacement and cement rendering of the front), concrete floor in garage delaminating (after 12 months it has now been repaired and coated but this now seems to be coming off). There were many other smaller faults which were fixed before or after handover.

8 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Geof, We're sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your Hotondo experience. We take this kind of feedback very seriously and would like to assist where we can. Could you please contact our C... read more »

When we were having the problems while building the house I contacted Hotondo Head Office and was told Hotondo have no control over their builders as they operate franchises - and I should take the... read more »

It seems the Hotondo PR man agrees that Hotondo have no control over their builders - not much point in referring all the people with complaints to the customer care dept I would think.


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Verified Customer Build Location: Victoria Construction End Date: Oct 2016


2 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 10, 2016

Hotondo Ocean Grove trading as Geelong Building Solutions. Workmanship on our house was very poor. Build was badly managed. Customer support ? What customer support. Just a nightmare. Take my advice. Do not build with Hotondo Ocean Grove. Get in touch with customer care at Hotondo Head Office and ask about the Director at Geelong Building Solutions. Franchisee at Ocean Grove. You will soon realize that Customer Care is no help. They will speak with you, send emails etc, but do absolutely nothing. If in reading this review you want more details on how badly Hotondo managed our build please contact me by sending private message. And if you have unfortunately signed up employ an independent building inspector. For a very small cost the inspector will make 3 visits. At frame stage, lock up and final handover. And speaking of handover, do not handover any money as progress payment until that stage is completed to your satisfaction. We have paid in full and have the keys and are finding defects every day. I will update this review if rectifications are done, however, do not build with Geelong Building Solutions or Hotondo Ocean Grove.

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Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Jim, Our customer care team has, and continues to work with you throughout the process of your build. As you’re currently in your maintenance period now is the time to make note of any issues ... read more »

We do not appreciate the fact that when the supervisor visited on Monday to inspect the problems with the skirting boards which have to be rectified prior to carpet installation, he agreed that som... read more »

Customer care team has done nothing except a few emails stating that they have been away all week at meetings and attending a conference. It's all about excuses. Hotondo is a very damaged brand now... read more »


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  • 6 helpful votes
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Build Location: Victoria

Perfect until the move in and maintenance

2 out of 5, reviewed on Feb 21, 2014

We built with hotondo ocean grove in 2013. We decided to build with them as they were so prompt in getting back to us with prices and the amendments we had made. Meetings were always scheduled around our work hours which was fantastic. Constantly updated through out the whole build process which was great. The big problem we had was with our site manager. Unfortunately this ruined the whole process for us and very little care factor after receiving our final payment cheque. Still chasing up maintenance after a year of living in the house which is still constant phone calls with no response- this was all meant to be done within the first 3 months of moving in. I wouldn't recommend hotondo ocean grove as I now don't see any difference in customer service or maintenance to your general companies like metricon or Burbank. Also after a year of making weekly phone calls it gets far beyond a joke!

+ Great process right through the design and build period

- Site manager, very little care factor after keys handed over, so many phone calls with no call backs, to much time has been spent trying to track down people to get things fixed.

6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi SAP1988, We’re extremely disappointed to hear about your negative building experience, especially after such a great start. It is rare that we hear these types of comments as we know the quality... read more »

All problems now rectified and people came out to finish the last of our maintenance - only 9 months over due but better late than never. It was amazing at how quick things moved along once we ment... read more »

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  • 24 helpful votes
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Build Location: New South Wales

Hotondo - Blue Mountains, Your Local Bodgy Builder

2 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 04, 2012

In the beginning we got the smoke and mirrors, the fake smiles and all the assurances in the world that our experiance with this so called local builder with a great reputation in the local community will be pleasant, professional and easy, Nothing was too hard for them! However this is only untill you are commited financially then this behaviour changes, We made our first set of payments and got our DA out of Council and then started having (initially small) problems and then finally when our builder had most of our money at the lock up stage of the build that's when the "we don't give a [censored word removed]" about what sort of work our tradies are doing in your house" attitude started!
We ended up waiting almost 12 months for our house to be built on a so called 190 day Building Contract and after months of arguments with the Three Stooges being (our site Supervisor, Construction Manager and our friendly local Builder himself) We come to the conclusion that Our friendly local builder and his sidekick ex wife are one of the best artists we have met in our life, They employ bodgy,substandard tradies who for obviouse reasons arn't employed by any of the major home builders in NSW. The end resoult is a very long list of things that we paid good money for that are not done at all or half done or are sub standard in anyone's terms or have simply been damaged during construction and not rectified. All the promises by our Supervisor and Construction Manager during construction that all issues will be rectified ASAP very quickly turned into excuses and half assed attempts to justify poor and substandard workmanship when our friendly local builder himself got involved. Oh and he does not give a about what the two other (before mentioned) Stooges have been promissing to rectify for the past 12 months. Overall this has been a very unpleasent experiance that I would not recommend to anyone.
I have build two other houses in the past 12 months with a larger Sydney project home builder (who is not without faults and shortcomings) however compared to this so called home builder it was a pleasant walk in the park !!.

+ My experience with this builder was reasonable only up to the point of the first deposit paid by me and Council DA approval, from there on it was downhill !!

- Dishonest, Manipulative, No pride in what they build, No Customer care and above all no quality in their workmanship or end resoult !!

24 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Hotondo Homes Official

Hi Lechsince1689, Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear about your negative experience with Hotondo Homes in the Blue Mountains. We currently have no record of these concerns, and we wo... read more »

Oh, Look at this... 15 months later and they finally care about what their franchise's are doing !! How about you contact your friendly local Hotondo franchise in teh mountains and get my detail fr... read more »


  • 3 reviews
  • 8 helpful votes
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Builders are not builders just head contractors!

2 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 11, 2012

We contracted to build our prestige dream home under the Hotondo barrier. We did not realise this meant locking oursleves into Hotondo's cheap and nasty components. Everything from cheap bricks to cheap kitchen. Poor quality paint. Droopy door handles, plastic cisterns the list goes on. We have been 'renovating our new home at the builders expense for the last six years. To be fair the builder has attended our home on many occassions but his fixes are mostly bodges. Buyers need to be aware that builders these days are merely head contractors. They employ whatever so-called tradies are available at the time you are intending to build. There is no loyalty shown by tradies to their head contractor who may be unemplyed again after their current job.

+ We thought we would have the protection of a large company.

- Read the above comments.

6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Questions & Answers

Hi. Has anyone built with Hotondo Homes Sunshine Coast? Any feedback would be appreciated, good or bad. Thanks BJH

BJH asked on Jan 10, 2018

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We built with Hotondo Homes Sunshine Coast (Matira Dev.) in 2017. I am about to post a full-review so watch this space!

We have just moved into our new home that was built with Hotondo... I cannot say a bad word about them! We made the move from Sydney to Sunshine Coast & Alyssa & the team at Hotondo made the whole experience very easy! For such a huge move & also building a new home we didn’t feel any stress at all, they helped us make decisions with ease & were always quick to answer any questions we had...
Now that we have moved in we are also very happy with the finished product & love our new home!
It was also a very quick build which helped us get here before Xmas & settle in

We are currently completing our build with Hotondo Homes (Matira Developments). We are extremely pleased with our choice of builder. The entire process from design to build has been seamless. Alyssa is very knowledgable and consistently goes over and above. We are interstate also and Alyssa has always kept us updated. The quality of the workmanship and fittings is excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, and will definitely be building with them in the future.

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Has anyone built with Hotondo Homes Melton ( Darvale Homes Pty Ltd)? Please share your experiences.

Hafiz asked on Oct 17, 2017

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I built with Darvale Homes (Hotondo) 3 years ago.
The process was one of the easiest to go through. Darren and Vesna run the business flawlessly. From the initial consultation with Darren, he stepped us through all aspects of the build and also linked us to a mortgage broker. The build itself was extremely smooth with only 1 minor issue that was corrected early on. Darren ensured that all the products used were of a very high standard and overall, we were ecstatic with the result. During the build at frame stage, I requested a change, which was readily accepted and I was able to add my own details as applicable with no issue from Darren. Any and all communication initiated by me was promptly answered to my satisfaction.

I then returned to Darvale 5 months ago to have an addition/modification completed as their quote came under an initial quote from another company. Once again, Darren excelled in delivering a fabulous product.

I have recommended Darvale to a number of colleagues and friends, and will continue to do so. I don't intend on moving any time soon, but if I was, I would definitely be choosing Darvale to build with again. And again!

I moved in to my new Hotondo home built by Darvale Homes in July 2017 ( 3 months ago) I have included my initial review completed after handover. Since moving in I have no reason to change my anything in the review but would like to add that the "after sales service" is also excellent. I did not put an Exhaust Fan in the Butlers Pantry, first time I burnt the toast off goes the smoke detector. Contacted Rob who put me in touch with the Electrician who wired the house, job complete and matched to the existing exhaust fans in the house.

I have never written a review before but believe poor service should be condemned, good service expected and excellent service praised.
The people at Darvale Homes may believe they are in the house building business but in reality, they are in the customer service business and in this instance the service has been second to none.,
I have just moved into my new Hotondo home built by Darvale Homes Melton and the journey through the process from pre contract negotiation to completion has been great.
Anna Maria who understood what I was looking for, found a plan to suit my needs and the block of land to suit the plan. She then put up with me as I altered bits and pieces here and there, offering her suggestions along the way, many thanks Anna Maria.
Darren who is straight up and easy to work with, offering professional advice along the way on many things and going beyond the call of duty to in helping to sort out items I had not considered at contract stage. But most remembered fort the following (Ron if you mix this you will not like the result, referring to my initial plan for the butler’s pantry and he was right the finished product is excellent)
Vesna, quietly in the background, getting progress payments squared away and always willing to take a call when others were not available.
Then these was Rob, Rob the building Supervisor, always willing to take my calls, meet me on site, explain the progress or answer my concerns (I resided 1.2 k from the construction site so was on site just about every week.)
Rob picked up on things I did not see, explained them and had them rectified, I would not like to be the Tradie who tried to short change Rob. How good was Rob, on day of handover at 5pm he would not sign off until the muddy footprints had been cleaned off the driveway so went and got a pressure washer and at 6pm was cleaning my driveway. Thank You Rob!!

Hey Fon,

Really appreciate your time in writing some details.

I have made up mind to go with them. See I go with them and will share my experience later.


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Hi what's the lowest price house you can offer in blue mountains area ie how much to build basic house ?

Fiona J asked on Oct 12, 2017

Answer this

Hi Fiona,
Thanks for getting in contact with us. Because we are a national building franchise you will need to speak to the local builder directly. You can contact Colin Duncan and his team by visiting
Thanks - Rose

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