Verified Customer Construction End Date: Aug 2018

Good builder

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 03, 2018

We started our home building journey over 3 years ago after purchasing a block of land. We researched various custom and volume builders, visited display homes, read ProductReview and talked to people who had built homes recently. We selected Latitude because of their expertise in building on sloping land, their ability to do custom builds and make best use of available land, their good customer reviews and the impressive display home in Balwyn.

We found the design process relatively smooth. We presented our ideas and the designers came up with the design. We went through over 10 revisions of the design and the designers were always able to accommodate our requirements. Unfortunately they did not have any 3D design software at that time to give us a 3D walkthrough
of our proposed home, it would have been very useful. Rachel did the interior design and we found her to be very knowledgable and helpful.

After the design we had to put the project on hold because the housing estate developer was behind schedule and we couldn't settle the land purchase. Unfortunately the contract price had an 0.25% escalation penalty each month because we couldn't sign the contract as we had no idea when the land would settle.

The project finally resumed in late 2017. Once the build started, the main issue we found was the site manager wasn't the greatest at communication.The site manager seemed like a decent fellow but seemed to struggle a bit under the load of managing several site builds at the same time and at times didn't respond to messages and once forgot to attend a meeting. The worst incident was getting billed for the use of power generators months into the build and only finding out when the bill arrived. However we managed to come to a mutually acceptable agreement with Latitude management over this issue. We changed site manager after this and Steve came on board as site manager.
Steve turned out to be a fantastic site manager. He has a strong attention to detail, is great at communication and goes out of his way to keep the customer happy. Our first meeting was an on-site meeting after hours on a raining night. Steve picked up the build mid-way and did a stellar job in bringing the project to a conclusion a month before the contracted date.

We paid for our own independent building inspections at the slab, frame and lockup stages. No major defects were found and when I spoke to one of the inspectors during an inspection, he said Latitude is generally pretty good with their build quality. We have just moved in to our new home and think the build quality is excellent. The only issue we have noticed since moving in is that the TV aerial appears to be sub-standard as we can't pick up most TV channels. Other than that we are very happy with our new home.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Simon, thanks for taking the time to post a detailed review. I'm very pleased that the experience was a good one and you are very happy with the finished home. I can confirm that we now offer 3D ... read more »

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2018

We appreciate latitude 37 for there expertise in dealing with challenging landscapes. Overall a deli

3 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 29, 2018

I would definitely recommend Latitude 37 to anyone who is looking at build on a sloping or challenging block. Before signing up to latitude the prospect of us building our dream home on our block was looking highly unlikely. We have gone through an entire drafting and quotation process with two other custom builders and offered us very little for our money. No major volume build would touch our block with a 10 foot pole. Latitude were the only builder with pre-designed and priced plans that would talk to us. After our initial consult and quotation we were very excited that latitude could actually put there display home (which was on a flat block) onto our sloping block. We did take a hit with site costs to make this happen given the extra excavation, retaining and modifications to make the plans works but overall we had a quote for a 44 square meter home for around $470,000 when a our other quotes were not even 30squares for $550,000. These prices are bare basic homes with no extras. By the time we ended up with our final contract we ended up paying $560,000 but we did have some nice inclusions like timber flooring and ducted cooling.

This left us in an excited and vulnerable position (especially when we have the "take it or leave it" disputes and we know there are no other builders to turn to). The initial quotation process was an extremely stressful process. The process is approximately 5 steps and at each step a new quotation is given to sign and pay until you receive the final contract. At each step we had an unpleasant surprise or thousands of dollars added to the cost without any consultation or explanation given to us as the customers. We would then have to dig through the paperwork and investigate were the extra costs were incurred, have an argument, and end up loosing with a "take it or leave it mentality". A few examples, after the initial quote it was determined that the drop next to our laundry entrance was to steep and we needed to have a landing included. This added around $4000 to the price which we weren't prepared for. He were forced to accept this for the property to meet building compliance. In another step we found that the price of the building itself went up $4000 (again just casually just added to the new house proposal without informing the customer). After questioning Latitude they informed us that when we previously asked for a room dimension to be increased and they only added the width into the total square meters and not the length. (this was picked up after we accept the original price and paid more money to progress with the contract). We were again told "take it or leave it because that is how much it costs". When it came to the final stage in the quotation were you start pick out the little details in the house like timber flooring, carpet, shower screen etc the quotations given were massively inaccurate beyond comprehension, some of the prices appeared triple to quadruple to that which was at the consult. I believe the problem is that the people who provide the advice and quotation don't actually communicate to the people who draw up the new home proposal to allow for such discrepancies. Latitude are very quick to push the process to the next step, provide paper work that states payment to be made in 7 days or incur penalties but fail to talk the customer before hand about all the changes and prices differences.

Putting the contracting stage aside which is horrible, the actual build process was very pleasant and exciting. It was evident that this company is very organised and move things along quite quickly. I particularly enjoyed having constant updates from the construction site managers who kept me informed at every stage of the process (throughout the 10 months of building I would speak to site manager around once a week to hear how the progress was going which was very appreciated). From the office end the construction co-coordinator's were also very pleasant to deal with and very prompt to address any concerns. We would regularly visit the site and we were very impressed to the attention to detail. The site managers are very thorough going through the build process and calling back the trades to correct every little imperfection that arises.

There was one sub-contractor that we were personally not happy with Latitude using is the electrical/home tech company Argus. I would recommend anyone using latitude to treat Argus with maximum suspicion if you are expecting premium high end products. This company charges astronomical prices for the wiring provisions but uses average/standard cabling. For most people this might be ok, but if your an enthusiast demand the brand and specifications in the contract and not just a generic list of provisions. An example, we were expecting argus to use a 192 strand speaker cable when they installed a 60 strand cable (the fact that this number was actually specified on the contract we could battle out a replacement). I wish i knew the brand of the HDMI cable being used since they charge around $400 for this, and a cheep generic cable was used (valued at around $60-$70) which doesn't work with some of the high end 4k HDR projector brands (obviously you need to factor in some labor costs of taking a minute to run a cable 10 meters in a open frame building...).

Latitude are also ruthless with post contract variations. There is absolutely no room for negotiations for any changes that have any costing involved without incurring a $750 post contract variation fee. If you have to do one add everything into this variation before signing it. We tried to avoid this but we bit the bullet on a big ticket item and signed for $750. We then thought of one extra item we wanted added after signing this 6 hours later and we received another $750 post contract variation fee. IE we paid $1500 in a single day of post contracting. Even if the builder gave you wrong advice during the contract stage and you are told you can do something after building commenced, this is not taken into account and you will be charge $750 to make the change. To give latitude credit they are very happy to accommodate any changes post contract changes which don't have a price attached, such as changing the position of an item or changing the pattern the tiles are laid or changing the color of the paint.

With all that said and done we are very grateful for the finished product. We have our dream home that we are proud off. We feel this home is the "next level" in quality far beyond what you would get with your standard volume builder. Even after we have given our final payment and the home is handed over, latitude have been very pleasant and supportive with any problems we had. I simply message the office or site manager with my problem a trades person is organised practically the same day. We are very grateful for this.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Adam, thanks for the feedback. Given we offer genuine custom design solutions, we do get involved in complex projects that other builders are not equipped to handle. You raise a number of concern... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jul 2018

met our expectation

4 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 21, 2018

Overall the quality and service met expectation. Better quality control at earlier stages of building would have prevented a lot of later rework and fixes. On the whole we are satisfied with the built and services. 1.reasonably good but need rework a number of times.2.when Steve Dimitriou came on board it was better managed.3 we hardly used it but for that few times we used, the response was reasonably prompt.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Thanks Ken, we now have independent QC inspections at each stage in addition to our own in house QC checks so we catch any niggling issues early. I agree with your assessment of Steve, he does gre... read more »

Melbourne

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: Mar 2018

Our Dream Home .. A Reality

4 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 04, 2018

This is our second build experience in Melbourne. We were very happy to find L37 who are able to take on the challenge of building our new home on a sloping land where other builders would not consider. We wanted a customised home which would utilised the slop of our land and fulfill our living requirements for now and the future. We were very pleased to have Chris Sfiligoj to design our home to our list of requirements.

We were finally able to secure finance and construction commenced early last year. We kept our fingers crossed for not hitting rock when they did the site cut and as each stage went by we saw our home being built. Like our first build, we wanted to put in a physical termite barrier to ensure low cost and maintenance for the future. This was missed in the build stage which was extremely disappointing as it was stated in the contract and we did remind our site manager at the time. A site visit was arranged to see what could be done. We are reasonable people and with a heavy heart we understood that it was far too late to rectify this. An alternative was sought and agreed to which was not ideal but acceptable but still we are disappointed.

We added sound proofing in certain walls, under shower bases and lagging of water pipes. Upon inspection the lagging around the water pipes were secured by a small piece of tape so came undone very quickly. Sound proofing in the wall was incomplete and had gaps. By the time we flagged this and the construction manager came to inspect, the plaster boards were already installed. Gap in the walls were filled to rectify but nothing could be done to secure the tapes around the pipes. It would have been good if this was picked up by QC before hand.

We received fantastic guidance and advice when faced with making decisions with interior design and colour scheme. Each process of the build after this went by quickly and according to plan. Any challenges that rose was dealt with well. Progress reports were made, site visit arranged and progressed payments transferred. All good and everything was on track. We put our house on the market to sell with the longest settlement date possible to allow us to landscape, have the carpet laid and window furnishing done before we move in. We were realistic in the estimated dates given for hand over and wanted to make sure there was a buffer in the time scale to allow for the unexpected and a less stressful move.

After the Christmas break, progress was slow and it was difficult obtain a definite hand over date as our settlement date approaches. This was rather stressful given we had no where to go if the house wasn’t ready in time. Luckily the assurance came that we could have the keys one and a half day before settlement. Just enough time to get the carpet laid. Although it was extremely stressful we are grateful for this. The alternative was unbearable to think about.

So now we are settling into our beautiful new home. No longer a vision in our mind but a reality made of bricks and mortar. It has taken money, time, effort and a lot of energy but finally we are in.

It is only when you move in that you truly know your new home. L37 offer a 90 days warranty period where defects are picked up and rectified if they are below Australian standards. We had an independent inspection prior to hand over and also an independent paint inspection post hand over. We are now awaiting our warranty inspection and rectification work to be carried out.

We understand that building a home will come with challenges and things will go wrong especially when using third party tradies. We are now in our home and for us the final test for L37 is whether they fix the defects to a satisfactory standard and without unnecessary escalation. We hope that for this final stage the facts speak for themselves and L37 will do the right thing and bring issues below standard up to standard in a timely manner.

Our experience has been good so far so we’re really looking forward to showing our home to friends without all the green stickers.

A big thank you to Liam Myers and the team at L37.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Hi Cam, Thanks for the feedback. I am very pleased that we delivered on your vision for a dream custom home. It was certainly a challenging site requiring a bespoke design solution with a singl... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2018

Great Builders, Superb Workmanship

5 out of 5, reviewed on May 28, 2018

Our experience of building with Latitude 37 was a great one; the whole building process was stress free. We now have a high quality custom-built home which we are thrilled with.
The team of site managers/supervisors was committed and highly professional in ensuring that no corners were cut and everything was built to specifications. When errors were discovered (which we didn't even know about till later), they were rectified promptly.
In particular our last 2 site managers, Adrian & Steve went over and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our build was as perfect as could be. We were also frequently given updates on the build without having to ask for them. They were always happy to discuss any concerns we had and addressed them with a high level of professionalism.
Even the sub-contractors on site were polite and helpful with our questions during walk throughs and visits.
Kudos to the team at Latitude 37 and if we were to build another home, I would definitely go with Latitude again!

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Mary, we are very proud of the custom home that we designed and built for you. We appreciate you taking the time to post a review about your experience and confirm that we have again delivered on ... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Oct 2017

Our Beautiful New Home

5 out of 5, reviewed on May 21, 2018

We are absolutely delighted with our new home.

We are recently married and the design brief was very much about bringing key design elements together to satisfy both my wife's desire for light filled living areas and my desire for zoned living spaces. Latitude 37 has delivered on these key requirements.

We were impressed with the way Gabriel our sales design consultant took our ideas from concept stage to working drawings and with our budget. My wife wanted a grand facade and we worked closely with Gabriel to create a beautiful Hamptons entrance.

Our site supervisor Graham treated the build process like his own. Yes there were un planned delays but Graham kept punching right through to the end. Graham's customer focus, attention to detail and integrity was the Latitude 37 builder experience for us.

The build quality is beyond our expectations. The home features a solid hardwood timber floor and a magnificent long hallway leading to a large pavilion family, dining and kitchen area. Large sliding doors and high windows open to expansive living areas of jarrah decking. The light streaming through these vast windows illuminates the quality of the finishes.

The customer service was great and Mick our construction manager has followed through on all our requests promptly and efficiently. A number of local residence have enquired about our experience with Latitude 37 and we are excited to see more Latitude 37 homes under construction in Ivanhoe.

Thank you for building our beautiful new home.

Helen and Ian

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Ian (& Helen), Thanks for the fantastic review. We're certainly very proud of the fantastic custom home solution that we designed and built for you in Ivanhoe. It's a unique home that is specifi... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Sep 2017

Lovely home

4 out of 5, reviewed on Apr 10, 2018

We did our homework initially & decided on L37 to build our new home as they advertised as being experts on sloping blocks & with knock down/rebuilds.
Thought we would wait for 6 months since hand over in Sept 2017 before submitting a review. We are happy with the overall build & finishes bar a few issues with paintwork, water leaks etc.
The maintenance work order was all completed post the 90-day warranty period with a few delays only after the month long Christmas break.
We were satisfied with all the Office admin support from initial stage to final post-handover stage. Thanks to all of them especially Linda & Kara.
We did also feel that the initial design appointment is completed way too in advance & crammed into one day, so much so that when it came time for the internal finishes inside the house to be completed almost a year later we had questions about some of the earlier selections we had made.
Our contract end date was delayed by 8 weeks & L37 did pay nominal liquidation damages until the certificate of occupancy was issued on 16/8. Our final hand-over however was almost 4 weeks later on 12/9 when all outstanding works was completed.
Our site manager was well meaning and we acknowledge that these guys have several builds to oversee at the one time, but we felt he lacked the experience to multi task & co-ordinate jobs in a timely fashion & also an eye for detail on some occasions.
Our Boutique alfresco stacker doors & decking timber planks all lay exposed to the elements for more than 6 weeks before they were all installed. It was sad to see our glass stacker doors lying outdoors so dirty & covered in mud/dirt. Some of the decking planks left lying in the front yard went missing too at one stage as advised by our site manager! A bit more thought & planning needs to go into coordinating the delivery of such expensive material & their timely installation.
One issue that the warranty department has not resolved for us to date is that every time the upstairs en-suite toilet or other bathroom toilet is flushed there is a very audible rumbling, thundery sound going down the plumbing shaft all the way down the side of our fridge space in the butler’s pantry downstairs.
We wonder if any other clients have experienced this issue in two storey homes ??
Collins Plumbing who did all the plumbing suggested "lagging"- some sort of sound proofing around the plumbing column but the maintenance department have not agreed to do anything about it which is very disappointing.
We have always lived in 2 storey houses & have never experienced this sort of noise every time a toilet is flushed upstairs! We believe that when we pay a substantial amount for a house we should not experience such inconveniences & feel L37 needs to fix this issue for us.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Hi Unni, Thanks for the review and the "Lovely home" headline, we appreciate it. I'm pleased that you are happy with our design specifically designed to work on your site with about 3m corner t... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Aug 2017

Great Builders, Great Home

5 out of 5, reviewed on Mar 16, 2018

Latitute 37 are a terrific medium sized building company. We built two terrific townhouses with them and the service we received over the years working and with them was exemplary. The build quality in particular is outstanding. In particular I would like to make mention of Leisa Stanford, our Construction Co-ordinator, who was our contact in the office during the build. She was extraordinary. Being a first time builder, the process at times can be a scary and overwhelming. Leisa always put me at ease and sorted out any issues in an incredibly timely and professional manner. I would also like to mention Brock Reid who oversaw the project. His direction and attention to detail resulted in an excellent end product. We love living in our beautiful new home. Bravo Latitude 37!

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Hi Lou, Thanks so much for the glowing review. This is a fantastic reward for our team and all the hard work they invest on a daily basis to achieve our Vision "Happy Clients, Great Homes". We a... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Oct 2017

A Building Company that works with you

4 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 09, 2018

We wish to thank all at L37 for the build of our brand new townhouses. This was just a dream 18 months ago and now we are standing in our new quality homes thanks to L37. We are happy that we did our homework initially and chose a builder that understood and was flexible with changes to house design to suit what we needed. The journey from knockdown to handover has been an exciting experience for us. We are looking forward to moving into our newly built low maintenance townhouses. Cheers to L37.
Laura & John

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Laura & John, Thanks for the great feedback, confirming that we have again delivered on our Vision "Happy Clients, Great Homes". We are very proud of the design and build outcome achieved for you... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2017

Great home on a difficult sloping block

5 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 09, 2017

We were initially attracted to Lattitude 37 through the advertising re building quality homes on sloping blocks. Our block of land has wonderful views of the bay and city skyline but is steep and rocky. The company gave us a clear and practical design that met our expectations. To cost the excavation and rock removal even with a detailed soil report was going to be difficult. To be fair to both the builder and the client it was suggested that this cost would be addressed once the excavation began and we all knew what we were up against. This was done in a very fair, transparent and professional manner and it enabled us to get the house out of the ground which was the biggest challenge.
The rest of the build went as expected. We had continual contact with our project managers at the different stages and communication throughout the build with office personal was excellent. We are not builders so relied on the expertise of the project managers to ensure that the trades employed did quality work. Whenever there was an issue it was sorted out and we felt comfortable voicing any concerns we had.
The final product is a beautiful quality home that reached and exceeded our expectations.
We decided to wait and write a review after we had been in the house for 90 days. This is the period that we could document any issues/ concerns that arose after moving in. We had some cosmetic items listed and the maintenance team fixed them up promptly so we are very happy with the whole process.
Thank you to the team at Lattitude 37 and if we ever built a house again we would not hesitate in using your company.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Michael, thanks for the great feedback. It was a long journey from when we first met to design, navigate the difficult Town Planning process and then build a fabulous custom home for you that met ... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Dec 2018

great company to work with

5 out of 5, reviewed on Oct 23, 2017

we just started our shopping for a builder, we know L37 specialize in sloping block and they build a lot of millon dollar home, it has a good reputation in the industry, that's why we chose them to start with. We just paid our deposit and with L37 we have just been through the early design stage. So far, both me and my wife feel their professionalism in handling our project and the person we work with are always punctual to meeting. the design team always listen, take notes of my wife’s wish list. they are always patient and respectful. Would high recommend this company to anyone!

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Hi Tim, thanks for the great feedback. We work really hard to provide great design, service and value to each and every client in line with our Vision: Happy Clients, Great Homes. Just to clarify... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Sep 2017

Good Builder in Bayside area

5 out of 5, reviewed on Oct 13, 2017

- Good concept and townplanning process with quick turnaround.
- Great customer service and response to emails.
- Willing to listen and make changes that are reasonable. Not everything is possible but they try within reason.
- Quality finish and defects inspection process.
- Did not have any material variations during the build.
- I would use this builder again overall for a modern build at a reasonable price.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

CWC, Thanks for the great feedback. As we have discussed, we are very pleased to have delivered a great outcome for you. Thank you for choosing Latitude 37 for your project. We work really hard ... read more »

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Terrible experience with this company

1 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 14, 2017

We approached this company after being impressed with their display homes, the claims they make in their promotional material and reading the reviews on this website. While there were some unhappy customers, the majority of reviews described a positive experience. Unfortunately ours has not been. In the end they did not build us a home. However, rather than us walking away from them they walked away from us without any notification or explanation. Please note that I have put a surrogate construction end date in only because this website demands one for a review to be submitted.

We needed a custom home designed and constructed and decided that there would be advantages in using a "one stop shop" for the whole project rather than using an architect. We had very clear ideas about what we wanted and a detailed written brief. We paid the up-front fee they required to get started and looked forward to getting our project underway. Being fair minded, I will note that this non-refundable up-front fee is lower than that required by other companies and I do acknowledge their preparedness to back themselves like this.

I will not dwell a great deal on the design process but will make just a few comments about this phase. It can be summed up as being very frustrating with successive versions of the plan completely ignoring many of our requirements spelt out both verbally and in our written brief. This aspect, ignoring our requirements and feedback and adopting a "this is how we do it" position was a feature at every stage of the design process. So much for being custom builders as the claim. Eventually, however, after a great deal of persistence on our part, we got to the point after five months of having an acceptable concept design we were prepared to have them cost and price.

When the 12 page proposal was received it indicated acceptance and payment of a more substantial fee was required within just 7 working days or the price would start escalating by a flat 0.25% per month, or an annual rate of 3%. While that rate of cost increase exceeds recent CPI movement it may not be seen as excessive but we did consider that the requirement to accept this detailed proposal in such a short space of time was very unreasonable.

To be fair again, the "base price" was pretty good and if that's all we wanted it would have been great. However, the extra cost of our numerous "non-standard" requirements, those they included anyway, showed a quite different pricing strategy that I am tempted to label as "price gouging". For example, figures for some “upgrades” three times the price the item in question was readily available for at a number of retail outlets, let alone what a large building company could get them for. To be fair again, this is not something unique to this company, though, and I believe most of them adopt this approach.

Given the magnitude of the money involved we did, of course, take the time we needed to go through it carefully. At the end of this process we had some 10 pages of notes listing aspects on which we required clarification. We sent this document back to our contact exactly 2 weeks after receiving the proposal.

Included in this 10 page document were many aspects that may be considered minor. However, as the customer being asked to commit to a very large sum of money we consider that we are very much entitled to have every detail clear. In any event, there were many other items that cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered minor. These included:

1. A number of aspects where requirements in our original brief or subsequent feedback were still not included in the proposal, continuing the theme of the design process. For example, our requirement for the large external deck to be roofed, i.e. under the main roof line being listed in the pricing proposal as being "unroofed" (and therefore not pricing the additional roof area). Another example is that it specified merbau decking on the deck when our brief and discussions made clear that a durable composite product such as Modwood or something similar was what we wanted. No additional cost option for this was included in the pricing proposal.

2. A number of aspects where the proposal seemed to exclude items that the company's promotional material indicated very clearly are standard inclusions in their custom homes, or applying an additional cost for such standard inclusions. The best example of this, and it only one of many, was in regard to the eaves. We made it very clear in our brief and subsequent feedback and discussions that we did not find the modern trend for houses without eaves at all acceptable and were attracted to the company's advertising which indicated eaves were standard and that they were all about effective orientation and sun control in their designs. However, our pricing proposal provided for no eaves around much of the house and applied an additional cost for some areas where it did provide eaves.

3. A number of aspects where what was being proposed was quite unclear. One example concerned flooring in a ground level living area. They presented an extra cost option of timber flooring but it was unclear what floor covering was included in the base price, i.e. if we did not go with the timber option, was it to be tiles, carpet, or bare concrete slab? It may have been clear to them but it certainly wasn't to us from reading the proposal.

4. The proposal provided for external cladding of rendered aerated concrete panels but, as we had made clear at our very first meeting, the title to the property has a covenant on it requiring full brick or brick veneer construction and the company has a copy of the title on their file, i.e. they had priced something that could not be legally built on our property.

5. The proposal was accompanied by a document called "Approval to Proceed" which we would be required to sign. This document reads at the beginning:

"We are pleased to confirm that you have approved the Concept Design and pricing proposal and you would like us to proceed to Exterior Design Development, based on the documents listed below:
• Concept Drawing No: 1, Revision E (including site plan, floorplan and elevations)"

We noted in our response that irrespective of the numerous other issues we needed to clarify we could not sign this document because we had never been presented with any elevations and as far we knew no such elevations had been produced as their own process documentation indicates very clearly that this doesn't happen until a later stage.

A meeting was arranged for a week and half or so after we sent this 10 page list of issues we needed clarified. We had expected that they would all be addressed at this meeting. However, the company representative had not read the document at all and so was not in a position to address all of the issues. To say that this was disappointing is an understatement.

We went through the document. Some of the issues were clarified but many were not including most of the matters covered at 1-5 above. Indeed, the company representative seemed quite perplexed about many of them. He acknowledged aspects where our requirements had not been included, acknowledged that there were inconsistencies between the proposal and their advertising material about standard inclusions, acknowledged that the exterior cladding proposed was inconsistent with the title covenant and that building in brick would be more expensive, and acknowledged that no elevations existed as the “Approval to Proceed” document asked us to sign off on.

It was clear to us that, as had been evident throughout the process leading up to this point, a significant absence of attention to detail had been shown. Our contact had apparently been happy to send us this proposal without satisfying himself that it was correct and met our requirements, just as had been the case at various stages where designs were presented to us that did not capture our clearly articulated requirements. Despite calling himself a designer, he seemed to have had nothing much to do with the design process and every time we queried something he was unable to explain it and had to refer it back to “the design team”.

We left the meeting again disappointed and expecting that we would subsequently receive clarification of all issues and indeed a revised proposal given that the original one did not cover our requirements, could not be legally built and sought our sign off on elevations we had not seen and which he confirmed did not exist.

You would think that given the above the company would place a great priority on coming back to us promptly with clarification and a revised proposal. However, after 3 weeks passed without anything further from them I emailed our contact asking for an update on the matter. No reply was received whatsoever.

A week later I emailed again. Still no response whatsoever.

A week after that, 5 weeks after the last meeting, I rang and asked to speak to him. He was not available and after I explained my discontent at the lack of any communication I was offered (I did not ask for it) the opportunity to talk to the CEO/Director about it. While he was unavailable at the time, he rang me later in the day, which I appreciated.

I outlined the events of the pricing proposal and our subsequent documented issues and meeting with his representative and the lack of any further communication whatsoever. He was suitably apologetic, agreed it was not good enough, and asked me to email him the document and my follow up emails which I did later in the day. He indicated he would endeavour to have everything clarified by the end of the week (this was a Tuesday)

However, after two further weeks nothing further had been heard bringing us to 7 weeks since our meeting seeking clarification of numerous aspects of the pricing proposal. So I emailed the CEO/Director noting that we had still not received anything from him or his company and that I assumed from this that they had no further interest in building us a home and that refusing to communicate with us was a policy that reached all the way to the top of the company. I also said that as they had apparently abandoned us that I expected the initial fee we paid would be refunded. I have left it a further 2 weeks before posting this review, making 9 weeks since our last substantive contact with the company, to give a final opportunity for them to respond but I have still received no response or further communication from him or anyone else in the company, nor of course have we received a refund.

So, rather than us walking away from them, it seems they have walked away from us but have not had the courtesy to actually tell us and instead have placed us under some sort of communications embargo, refusing to answer emails or clarify and revise the pricing proposal.

Now if they don’t want our business that is their right, although I can’t understand why the idea of a customer wanting their proposal to include clearly stated customer requirements, to include in the base price things their advertising material says are standard, to be clear and unambiguous, to price something that can be legally built on our site, and to not require sign off on non-existent elevations is apparently too much for them to deal with. What I don’t accept is their lacking the courtesy to actually tell us this.

So the upshot is that we have wasted more than 6 months and a small sum of money. The former is the part that is really annoying. The frustration of the design process where our requirements were continually ignored, a pervasive lack of attention to detail in all they do, poor communication, never feeling like we as customers were important to them (our main contact was late for every single meeting we had with him, sometimes by 20 minutes – every meeting we had was at their offices so there is no traffic excuse) was all just a lead up to being completely abandoned when we sought to have very fundamental issues with the pricing proposal clarified with what appears to be a conscious and deliberate company decision to not provide the clarification we sought and to simply stop communicating with us. A very strange way to run a business.

I will make one final comment. At the meeting where we went through the list of items in the pricing proposal on which we needed clarification we advised that, on the then presumption that we would eventually go ahead with them, we would be having the construction independently inspected at 3 or 4 stages by a building inspector we appointed and paid who would be working only for us. This would be in addition to the sign offs they obtained from an inspector they appointed and paid.

The company representative did readily agree to this verbally. However, we are wondering if it is coincidental that from that point on they have refused to communicate with us, clarify and revise their pricing proposal, or show any further interest in building us a home. If this is in fact the reason for abandoning us, it leaves open the question as to why such an independent inspection would concern them so much that they decided to cut off all communications with us.

We are pleased that others have been happy with their dealings with this company and the home they built for them but our experience has been a distinctly disappointing one, particularly the last phase, and one which makes a mockery of their claim to have a vision about "Happy Clients". I would urge anyone dealing with this company to be absolutely forensic in checking everything they present to you.

I note that the CEO/Director of this company often responds to reviews on this site, both positive and negative reviews and I applaud him for that. I will be most interested to see what response he posts to my review given the contempt with which we have been treated by a refusal to communicate directly with us at all.

6 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

Comments
Latitude 37 Homes Official

Geoff, You did not contract or build with us and, as such, we find your review misleading. You engaged in our concept design process only. As you correctly point out, after you called the offi... read more »

Melbourne

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jun 2016

One year on.

3 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 18, 2017

One year on we are very happy, the finished product is great.
I preface this by saying l37 did deliver quality in the end without trying to avoid their responsibilities.
The sales process and design phase was very good, the communication was timely and appropriate.
The contract was smooth and clear which provides confidence, the only thing I would do differently is negotiate the damages to a level that reflects the cost of accommodation in the event L37 run over.
The color selection meeting was too rushed in our opinion for a house our size. A smaller home would be fine.
We encountered significant and concerning problems at every stage of the build, very significant rework due to omissions errors by contractors, surveyors and site managers and a lack of interest and willingness to speak us by our site supervisors manager.
When it became obvious they were going to run significantly over contract time, our build got the attention we wish it had all along. [name removed] and [name removed] were given the task of fixing the mess we were in and they were great. Even with the care and skill they bought to the site, the rectification was so substantial we were left in temporary accommodation for about 8 weeks costing us significantly.
The experience went from exciting optimism, to significant disappointment finishing in relief.
The post build support has been great, only a handful of issues, all handled quickly with no fuss other than a hand mark in the render on the second story.
I admit being surprised when asked to post a review on this site by L37 at handover. I decided to wait a year to allow some live in time to balance the build experience.
We are very happy now and would use L37 again.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Hi Andrew, thanks for your review. It's been perhaps 2 years since your Interior Design Consultation - in that time, we have substantially changed our Interior Design Consultation to separate the ... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jul 2017

A brilliant home and building experience

5 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 01, 2017

This was our first home build, so we took our time sorting through possible builders. We went to several display homes and had a shortlist of builders we were considering. Latitude 37 stood out from the outset, with their excellent attention to detail and flexibility in modifying a pre-designed home to suit our needs. After an amazingly positive experience chatting with the consultants in the office, we knew we'd found our builder and cancelled our other appointments!
We've been happy with our decision at every stage of the project. From design through to completion, we've been thoroughly impressed with the quality of support we've received. Everyone from Leisa in the office to Adrian and Brock out on site made what could have been a daunting and confusing process perfectly straightforward.
Latitude 37 has been 100% transparent, professional and helpful along the way, and we can't speak highly enough of their commitment to building us the home we've always wanted.
It goes without saying that the quality of the home is wonderful. This quality was apparent at the Latitude 37 display homes, and the finished product we're now living in is a testament to the company's exacting standards.
One of the things that attracted us to Latitude 37 initially was the high quality of standard inclusions, which meant we didn’t have to spend much additional money to enjoy luxurious fittings and so on. Latitude 37’s willingness to modify the home off the plan to suit our sloping block was also excellent. This could have been tricky, but they did it without fuss. We now enjoy the kinds views and natural light we could only dream about in the old home we demolished.
We couldn't be happier with our experience, and our new family home. Thanks so much to the whole Latitude 37 team!

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Comments
Latitude 37 Homes Official

Ant & Melita, thanks for the glowing review, we're very pleased to have again delivered on our Vision, Happy Clients, Great Homes. We hope you enjoy your fantastic new home for many years to come.
Regards,
Doug MacLeod
CEO/Director

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jun 2017

Satisfied Customers

4 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 24, 2017

Our home was handed over around 6 or so weeks ago. Having had some time to enjoy and cast a critical eye over the finished product, as well as to reflect on the building journey, we can say that we're pleased with our new home. There was a few issues encountered in the build, however in the context of the overall process, these were relatively few and not overly major and, for the most part, addressed well.

The staff at Latitude were helpful and professional.

On consideration, we're comfortable recommending Latitude to those considering building.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Tony & Allison, thanks for the feedback and for recommending us. Building a custom designed home is a complex process, minor issues can and do arise and we always work hard to confront and deal wi... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2017

Amazing Design and Exceptional Quality

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 22, 2017

WOW, what can we say, amazing house submitted for both a HIA customer design award and also featuring on Australia’s Best Houses! We read many reviews before settling on Latitude 37 to build our home. We loved their design style and they delivered within our budget and to our brief, grand entry, vast open areas focusing on indoor / outdoor living. We had a very difficult site, very steep slope (circa 6 meters). What they delivered was extraordinary. But they also very stylishly added practical features into the design spaces, plenty of storage, a mud room, laundry chute, drying cupboard and hanging rods cleverly hidden under over hanging cabinetry. The quality of the build and finish has been exceptional, everyone who has visited the house has commented on how well it has been appointed and finished. We have previous experience in renovating houses but this was our first knockdown rebuild. The build process was very clear from the outset, lots of support from the latitude team explaining all the extra bits for a knockdown rebuild, council asset protection permits, electrical pits, utilities disconnections and so forth. We also used an external pool company and Latitude worked well with them to ensure the build process was managed and the works all completed. As far as the building process went, no build ever goes completely to plan. In our view the measure of a building company is determined by how they manage issues as they arise. In this regard, we were delayed on our building process and completion but Latitude communicated well throughout the process and most importantly never compromised on the quality of the build. Joe, our project manager was amazing and very client focused. He was always available and would meet onsite at our convenience and always more than happy to take the time to explain the process, where work was at or any issues that arose. Our friends and family ask us would we use Latitude again and yes we would and recommend them to others. After speaking to many other people building a home, we recognise that the building process is not particularly enjoyable and definitely not problem free, but it is the way your builder goes about resolving these issues that makes them a good builder. We feel we got a beautiful custom home for a reasonable price.

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Comments
Latitude 37 Homes Official

Warren, thanks so much for your review. It certainly was a challenging project with around 50 squares of luxury custom home built over 3 levels on a very steep site. We're very proud of the desig... read more »

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2017

Lovely Home

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 15, 2017

As this was the first time for us building a home, we were understandably nervous about the whole process. Did a lot of research and concluded we really wanted an L37 home. We had quite a tight budget but L37 were happy to accommodate - designing the home of our dreams yet sticking to our budget throughout. They were honest and transparent about every detail. Communication from start to finish was excellent. Quality of the build was great - we had our own independent surveyor concluding as much, with the build finishing ahead of schedule. We have since moved in ~2 weeks, and only minor issues detected so far with prompt response and repair/rectification. Am truly glad the journey just didn't end at handover. A huge thank you to Adam and Darwin for the design and trying to accommodate our every wish, Tracey, Rachel and Leisa from admin, and especially Joe our site manager who has been so prompt, attentive and efficient during and after the construction. We hope to be in this home for many many years!

1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

MYT, thanks for the review. I called into your home just before handover. It's a fantastic example of a truly custom single storey design solution in Surrey Hills that met your brief and budget p... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2017

Smart, Professional & Attentive Builders

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 13, 2017

Latitude 37 have given us a home to enjoy with exceptional finishing standards unmatched by most builders in the market. Forget the "she'll be right mate" line, they listened, discussed and provided options for making our build process something to be proud of for a very long time. Specifically, there were 3 key areas -
A reputation for delivering custom design on our site which by their standards was very easy;
A quality control process to leave only a handful of items to be addressed post handover;
Experienced, responsive building supervisors which we think makes all the difference - thank-you Brock & Cameron.
It's a busy office yet Mandy provided good follow up and we knew what to expect if we asked and L37 were happy to have us on site to see the progress.
In summary, the crew are good operators and the build is great to live in after a short period of 8 months.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Jeremie, Thanks for the feedback. We are very pleased to have again delivered on our Vision with a fantastic custom designed single storey home that met your brief and budget, completed to a high ... read more »

Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jun 2017

Exceptional quality and attention to detail

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 09, 2017

I have just recently had my home handed over to me last week and was in awe of the finished product! The home itself is quite large (72sq in total) in a french provincial style, over three floors and a steep slope, but this did not deter L37. We had seen Chris Sfiligoj who designed multiple homes shown on Australia's Best Homes and loved the ideas and concept he generated. The construction phase generally ran well with most of the site managers being super attentive and consulted us at every stage of the progress. My only qualm was that we had 6 site managers which led to my built being almost 6 months overdue.

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Latitude 37 Homes Official

Ivan, thanks for the feedback. It was indeed a very challenging project on a very steep slope. The design solution addressed the significant challenges of the site, not least of which was 12m of ... read more »

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Questions & Answers

Hi, I wonder why your have knockdown rebuild advertised as part of your service? Latitude 37 does not knockdown existing houses. The clients have to do the demolition and hand over an empty canvas to Lat 37.

Samw asked on Jul 02, 2018

Answer this

Hi Samw, thank you for your enquiry. Many of the new homes we build are in established suburbs and typically involve clearing a site prior to construction of a new home.
We can organise the demolition as part of your custom home build, including any required permits as part of our end-to-end service. Please feel free to give us a call on 8795 3000 to discuss your demolition requirements and custom build aspirations.

Kind Regards,
Doug MacLeod,
Director.

Why was my question edited before published?

I just confirmed with your company. Lat 37 does not organise demolition. They may give you names of demolition company. You have to organise it yourself.
Another example of one staff saying one thing and another saying the opposite. Demolition. Temporary fencing. Paving. Permanent fencing...

Hi there Does Latitude 37 still offer the pre-designed homes range as noted in the design booklet on your website?

Bfab asked on May 29, 2018

Answer this

Hi Bfab, we have always designed and built custom homes for our clients. Typically these start with a clean sheet and a design brief discussion with our in house Design team where we carefully consider your unique site, lifestyle and budget aspirations. That's why we say at Latitude 37. "Every Home is an Original".

As you correctly point out, the Our Designs book on our website does have a range of pre designed homes as well as a sample of our custom solutions. The pre designs are really there for inspiration and to assist clients who may not be comfortable providing a brief from scratch. Sometimes we find clients like to start with something pre-existing and then talk through how it could be adapted for their needs. So we are always happy to discuss your requirements if there is a particular plan you have in mind.
Yours sincerely.
Doug MacLeod CEO, Director

On average, what is the cost per square with L37? Looking at your previous response, it starts around $10,500 square & the majority of your clients invest between $13k-$18k/square. Has there been a price change since then? We have recently been quoted $19k per square (minimal spec), $21k mid spec and $22.5k top spec taking into consideration of the complexity of design/site. We are finding it hard to understand as we can’t really compare apples to apples if the square price is assumed based on the complexity of our site. We have spent some time after the 2nd meeting, with a base price that we thought might be achievable and wanting to commit paying the $1k deposit only to receive an email from the sales consultant a few days later, saying policy has just changed and it’s now $5k (which isn’t an issue) but that the price has increased by $100k for a much smaller square than what was initially discussed. Can you please tell me how much per square is your min, mid and top spec?

Wong asked on Mar 22, 2018

Answer this

Hi Wong,

It is not possible to quote a rate per square for custom designed homes. Every home we design is an original and the price to build depends on the size, complexity of the design, structural efficiency, in ground works, materials, fitout and finish, as you would expect. The amount of "articulation" in walls and roof, for example, make considerable difference to the price as does the orientation, extent of glazing and so on. So we work with each client to create a custom solution that aligns with their design brief, site requirements and budget and we workshop the solution until the right balance between these requirements is achieved. To give you an idea of the variability in pricing, we have current clients who have committed to build with us from under $15,000 per square to over $25,000 per square. Averages rates per square are not really appropriate for the type of work we do and with such a wide range of pricing outcomes. Just adding a lift, for example, can add $2,000 per square. Or adding a basement might add $5,000 per square. Unlike off the shelf volume builders, the custom nature of what we do means rates per square are just not a good indicator of what your project might cost.

Also note that construction costs have increased considerably in recent times - HIA quoted an 11% increase in cost across the industry in 2017, much higher than CPI which would normally be anticipated and this affects all builders - with a margin and GST applied, this adds 15+% to retail pricing compared with a year ago.

Our Concept Design Agreement fee did change recently - for $5,000 we now offer a more comprehensive initial design including a bespoke 3D design presentation which aligns with our clients' expectations and is more appropriate for the custom nature of our work. We include several rounds of design iteration and preparation of a pricing proposal.

I hope this helps you to understand what we can offer.

Regards,
Doug MacLeod
CEO, Director

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