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Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jun 2016

Second house with Sarah homes and another great experience

5 out of 5, reviewed on Apr 18, 2017

Overall the whole experience was very good, the initial design/selection process (we made some changes to standard design without issues and at no additional costs) was efficient and timely.
The whole build was systematically managed so that there was minimum gaps between trades, from start to hand over was only 4 months.
Finishes and quality were excellent, a few little minor issues but all were fixed quickly and with no arguments.
We have now been in the house for 10 months and no post build problems, so very happy.

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encounter bay

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: May 2015

Poor, Poor and total lack of customer concerns

2 out of 5, reviewed on Feb 23, 2017

Sales and pre build went well. Staff were friendly and helpful.
During build communication was not the same in some instances site supervisor was rude and dismissive.
Problems really arose with the finish, this was very poor. Attention to detail was poor. Product was stored on site for months and deteriorated in the weather with no recourse for us the people paying the bills.
windows were uncovered and left lying in sand, sand in tracks still cannot be removed. Finally the second fix carpentry and then the painting were very po
or. Second fix problems were rectified when identified to a reasonable standard. However the painting was just a nightmare from woe to go. Initial paint had fluff in or fluff from rollers not sure which but once done was impossible to rectify. Also paint was thin and missing in many places. Just a great disappointment and ongoing frustration.
Our front verandah was to be concrete which we paid for in good faith expecting it to be finished to usable standards. It has foot prints in, holes, rough trowelling and in places has had pegs inserted while it was wet. It is not fit for purpose and after many months of trying to get it rectified or a refund we just had to give up because of poor health and total lack of care from the company.

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  • 9 helpful votes
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Verified Customer Construction End Date: Dec 2016

Not an enjoyable experience

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 09, 2017

Presales and design was good as was liaison with the local council
Everything about the build was awful.
Quality is non-existent. The list of problems is endless, some I consider dangerous
Many thing were not finished properly.
There is no recourse, if you want your keys you have to pay in full and finish/fix it yourself.
Reading the other reviews, Sarah work to a system, if it works it works well, if the wheels come off it's a nightmare, it's the luck of the draw which contractors and building supervisor you get.
At the end of it we have a house, it's cost a couple of thousand to fix up the bodges but it probably would have cost more using a traditional builder.

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Verified Customer Construction End Date: Jan 2016

Vision to reality

5 out of 5, reviewed on Oct 04, 2016

We built a terrific functional holiday home that met all expectations. The process was relatively easy with committed people who kept their promises and communicated well without too much "selling". The price does increase from base, but well worth the extra ceiling height, big deck and some of the smaller touches that make the property present better in the holiday rental market we are in. One thing I would do better next time is get some more advice about the plan and layout - ours is almost straight off the plan which is great - but a couple of things could have been tweaked to make it even better. The end product is what was planned, the build time and quality (so far) was great. We had some council challenges and got a lot of support throughout. The house is now renting very strongly and dealing with the numerous short stays - so far so good. The building manager was excellent (Jim), they have a lot on at once but keep up the communications are best they can. Very happy.

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  • 7 helpful votes
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Verified Customer

Disgraceful builder

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 25, 2016

If you are thinking of going with this builder forget it, take your money and run NOW!!! Or in the process of building at every stage get a building inspection before any progress payments are made. I regret building with Sarah Homes and will never again. Quality is very poor, customer service is dreadful especially the building supervisor. Please do yourself a favor stay right away from these people.

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Encounter Bay, SA

  • 3 reviews
  • 5 helpful votes
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Verified Customer

Our almost perfect house

5 out of 5, reviewed on Dec 05, 2015

Our first up contact, concept and plan set up was excellent, although there was some confusion over how the costings were set out, due to deletions and additions, but this was quickly resolved by our sales person, Mark.

After that, we suffered at start up, due to Council requirements not being met within plans submitted. This caused a significant delay, and was an issue that we feel should not have arisen, however once this matter was sorted, all proceeded smoothly.

Initially our building supervisor was a bit offside, but this was ove
rcome and the build proceeded almost a quickly as it could. There were delays in the first fix, due to one or two missing pieces of build material and the usual process of keeping more than one customer happy by way of building a bit here and there, but we have built before and these things happened then too.

Again we reiterate that once our relationship with the Supervisor was settled, our dealings with him were excellent and we could not hope for better.

All other stages went extremely well, and I must mention that the 1st fix builder, plumber, tiler, plasterer, electrician, garage door installer and painter were all extremely helpful and they installed a number of our own fittings.

There was an accounts issue that arose during the build, in that we received two accounts for progress payments, when the work had not been done, in one case some 2 weeks early. This was resolved with photos and emails sent to the person concerned, but it did seem somewhat that one or two internal departments were not talking to each other.

Hand over was a breeze and we have enjoyed the wine.

We are very happy with the result, with one exception and that is, we have put in the maintenance list and to date Sarah have been rather slow to fix. The list is not big, and in fact the independent building inspector, who did our review, commented that the build was of a high standard. Yes, the building supervisor has been in touch, but the actual fix has still not happened some 3 months since submission. (Since writing this review, all maintenance issues have been attended to in a timely manner)

We would be happy to rebuild with Sarah.

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Verified Customer

Our dream holiday house

4 out of 5, reviewed on Oct 20, 2015

We received a lot of help and advice from the outset and made a few changes to the original plan as ideas evolved but that was all managed smoothly. It meant that we got exactly what we wanted. We were able to check on all stages of the build due to excellent communications throughout. The tradesmen welcomed us being on site and explained things to us if we inquired about anything. We noticed a large window had been damaged slightly during transport and it was removed and replaced with a new one without delay. The build quality is excellent and the design very stylish and we have received many compliments from our new neighbors. We now enjoy many happy weekends away with family and friends. Thanks Sarah Homes!

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  • 14 helpful votes
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Verified Customer

terrible workmanship and even worse customer service

1 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 23, 2015

After finally getting to handover of my new house, 6 months late I might add, I was spoken to with arrogance and rudeness by the site supervisor when doing a walk through of my home. After moving in and noticing more issues with the house I contacted the site supervisor who was incredibly unhelpful. I contacted the general manager who started off helpful but that ended quickly. I ended up writing a letter with photos of the issues and less than satisfactory workmanship and received a letter in return stating I would hear from my site superviso r within 14 days to arrange a viewing of the issues I have. It's not 22 days later and I have not been contacted. I have contacted the office numerous times and heard nothing from the site supervisor or the general manager. Issues with the house; doors don't close, crooked tiling, crooked walls (20mm over a 400mm length of wall), windows not flush with outside wall, bent window frames, wrong toilet trap outlet installed, uneven floors, nails sticking out of floor, gaps around external doors.....
Not impressed to say the least. Contacting consumer and business services will be my next step.

I am yet to have anything fixed or repaired. I have however had a visit from the site supervisor who was just as rude and arrogant as last time. Another 5 weeks passed with no word from them, no phone calls returned until a month after his visit I started calling the office daily. The general manager finally called me back which was a complete waste of time! He has only just found out about what has been going on even though I have been calling and leaving messages for him for the last 4 months. He said he didn't call me as it has noting to do with him. He refused to answer my questions and said I have to wait until the new construction manager gets back on the 14th of October for anything to happen. He knows nothing about building or construction. These people are a joke!

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Verified Customer

Happy in my new home.

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 17, 2015

My experience with planning my new build with the consultant was exceptional. Suggestions were offered and discussed with no pressure and I am very pleased with all the decisions made. The building supervisor was attentive to my requests for updates on the building progress. I was happy with the quality of the workmanship by all trades and after handover, the couple of small fixes were attended to promptly by the company.

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Port Pirie

  • 2 reviews
  • 1 helpful vote
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Verified Customer

Fantastic House

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 14, 2015

The service that we received from Sarah Homes was fantastic and the finished product (our home) was built to our standard. The house is fantastic and is everything we wanted. The tradies who worked on the house were excellent and they allowed us access to the house whenever we wanted. We moved in ahead of time into a house that was complete in every way. I would certainly recommend Sarah Homes and if I was to build another home I would use them.

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Verified Customer

Great hassle free building experience

5 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 13, 2015

Everyone gets a bit nervous about building a house but we had no issues at all, it was a well managed process from beginning to end and was completed ontime. The trades all did an excellent job and there was no big gaps between trades. The one area where I was initially worried about was the painting but at handover I felt like I had failed as I couldn't find one thing wrong, its was a very good job! The supervisor was always available, or if not, would return calls promptly and the tradies themselves were very friendly and didn't mind us wondering through occasionally. Would recommend Sarah Homes for their efficiency and build quality.

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Verified Customer

Building a second time with Sarah Homes

4 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 07, 2015

We built 7 years ago with Sarah Homes on Yorke Peninsula. The house was fantastic and anything that we noticed at handover was attended to quickly. At that time the sales staff and our supervisor were great.
We have opted to build our home at Marino with Sarah Homes as we have just sold the beach house. So far the sales staff member and the office staff have been more than helpful and made it easy to finally have approval from council. We are more than happy with our experience with Sarah Homes as our block was a difficult one to be able to fit what we desired in a house plus to fit it on our difficult block. Can only thank our sales member for helping us so much. Looking forward now to the start of the build.

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  • 3 reviews
  • 11 helpful votes
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Ambiguous plans with gross basic errors as a result.

2 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 21, 2015

Sales staff are fantastic. Final execution of build dismal. Got footing levels wrong by 400mm which was critical for a split level home.
Supervisor was pleasant but ineffective, and would not commit to anything on paper or in writing for fear of responsibility for his promises. Rectification of problems took endless phone calls and emails to main office which takes up to 6 weeks to rectify issues if at all. Supervisors direct boss is only part time so was not there to oversee things reliably. A buil
d which was supposed to take 12 weeks took us 18 months before handover and there are still issues pending which i cannot get them to rectify quickly. If you build with Sarah, make sure you hire a independent supervisor/inspector, and don''t pay them for any stage until it is completed properly.

Workmanship of the tradies was dubious, especially the painters and electricians. They put in phone lines in an NBN area, and did not discuss the TV antenna point cable which are now hidden in the roof. Painted a wooden front door with clear coat but did not seal the base, so there is water seepage coming from the bottom seal. The gutters all leak.

Do a pre-handover inspection and make sure you have all faults rectified before handover, otherwise they have no incentive to rectify faults after you pay them....

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  • 39 reviews
  • 9 answers
  • 81 helpful votes
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Will find any way to con you

2 out of 5, reviewed on May 04, 2015

This review is maybe somewhat out of date but its an experience we had when we built with Sarah Homes in 2003. A friend of ours has had similar major problems building with them recently which has brought the whole experience back to us, so maybe nothing has changed over the last 10 years.
After building with Sarah Homes I would never sign a contract to build with any builder again without a solicitor present! These people have made an 'art form' out of playing with words!
For a start, from the time of contract signing it took them 11 months
to make a start on building our house. Materials (which they required us to pay for up front) sat on our block for almost a year, through summer and winter. Fortunately, we were building in a good area and nothing, not even a tube of silicone, was stolen over that time. Ironically once they did start to build our house things did disappear! Every day something ended up leaving with their tradesmen at the end of each day......and many of these trades people have holiday houses built at Point Turtin or somewhere or other on the proceeds of theft from their day job!!
The general quality of the construction was poor with items not finished, or shoddily done. One window was not even left fixed in position! No screws in it!!.....a decent push and it would have fallen out.

But there was one aspect of the job that I never saw coming....and this is where I would require a solicitor at contact signing in future!
When we signed the contract Sarah Homes stated they would not be responsible for the supply of services beyond 'The edge of the building'. They said that they would do all the in house wiring, supply switches, power points and light globes wired back to a fused meter box on an external wall but we would be responsible for the supply of power from the pit in the street to the meter board....fair enough! we knew where we stood there.
They would be responsible for all the water facilities in the house......the shower, bath, basins, toilet, sink, hot water service, taps and would connect all of this to a water point on the outside of the building. It was up to us to supply a water meter and connect from that meter to the water point on the side of the building....once again, fair enough. They also stated they would connect and run all the sewer plumbing to the edge of the building and we would have to connect from there to either the mains or a septic tank....Simple enough once again....WRONG!!!
This home was a two storey home being built on a metal poled platform on a sloping block with the owner being responsible for filling in the garaging, workshop and rooms downstairs and Sarah Homes being responsible for the construction of the main part of the house upstairs on their platform.
The house was eventually handed over to us on the day the hot water service was to be connected and the plumber approached my wife and said he could not hook up the hot water service because the under floor plumbing had not been done. Her reaction was...."Well, you're the Plumber", to which he said....."No, we are only responsible for the plumbing to the edge of the building and Sarah Homes considers the floor to be the edge of the building". The Shower, Toilet, Laundry, every waste pipe just went through the floor and was not connected to anything........What the!!!
Now in this instance the kitchen sink was in an Island bench in the middle of the upstairs area. These bozos of plumbers connected up the two bowls of the kitchen sink, cut a hole in the floor and stuck a waste pipe down through the hole and just left it at that knowing full well there was a ceiling and another room directly below. What sort of tradesperson does that sort of work???? We had to cut up a section of brand new flooring to get a sewer pipe from the sink to the outside of the building.
Now, if I had a solicitor present when the contract was signed he would have said to their salesperson...."Define what exactly you consider to be the edge of the building" .....but dumb ol' me, I never even saw that one coming. it went straight over my head!
So as I said these builders play with words. Sarah Homes quality is not bad but, my God, make sure you understand exactly what they state in their not take a single thing on face will regret it if you do.

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Beach house without the hassle!

5 out of 5, reviewed on Mar 05, 2015

we have recently completed our beach house that Sarah Homes have built.
Very easy process, agree what you want and lots of homes to review to help influence best option for you. We went with a Whiteley but there are lots of design options and great VFM. You can also personalise the style with different additions, we went with a really large balcony facing the ocean and none at the front, since we didnt want front balcony the design team contacted us and suggested how to improve the front appearance.
No hidden costs and once agreed they go and build. I would use them again.

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Adelaide, South Australia

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First home buyers !!

5 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 28, 2014

Excellent sales representative made the initial process easy, accurate and enjoyable. About to spend our first xmas in our home and are overall extremely happy with the design, quality and service. - We experienced some minor problems that were rectified appropriately

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Fantastic riverside home

5 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 06, 2014

+ site manager gave great access above and beyond what was expected.

- There was a minor issue between sarah homes and NAB with regard to final payment. nab did not want to give the money until sarah homes issued certificate of compliance and sarah homes did not want to give certificate of compliance until final payment was received. fortuneatly after offering to pay the final installment myself sarah homes budged first and aided me in getting into my new home quicker. national australia bank displayed complete incompetence, lack of knowledge in regard to their own policy, were untrustworthy and unprofessional throughout the entire process and thankfully sarah homes were always ready to go with the next stage of construction when this pathetic excuse for an organisation( did I mention NAB suck?) finally sorted their mistakes out.

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Home Sweet Home

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jul 22, 2014

We loved the Haybrough 3 design nine years ago, and after looking around again we still came back to the same design when we were finally ready to build. It has the perfect proportions to the living space compared to the sleeping areas (which are good). The team were happy to move things around to make things even better for us. A lovely house with no regrets.

+ Price was an important factor in our choice of builders as we were keeping to a tight budget. Nothing was impossible for them. Regular contact.

- Only hiccup was that we are a stand alone solar household and when we checked the gas stove and oven, it had an electric grill not a gas one.

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  • 1 review
  • 1 answer
  • 1 helpful vote
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Very pleased with final result

4 out of 5, reviewed on May 17, 2014

We spent several years comparing builders and designs before finally settling on the Sarah Homes - Lindsay 4 design. We flipped and reversed the design to suit our site and made changes to the interior layout, with co-operation of Sarah's sales staff. Nothing was too difficult and their advise was very helpful.

+ The chosen design worked well with our North facing site, did not detract from the views and very energy efficient.

- We experienced some minor problems that were rectified appropriately

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Very happy customer!

5 out of 5, reviewed on May 16, 2014

Sarah Homes were very professional throughout the entire building process. I had excellent communication with the site manager, and he was always willing to answer any questions that I had. I was also kept up to date constantly on the build process. I would definitely build with Sarah Homes again if the opportunity arose.

+ Great quality, open communication, reliable.

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1 of 3 pages

Questions & Answers

What are the standard inclusions ?

Suzanne Patten asked on May 30, 2017

How much difference is there typically from listed price and what people select? Is it possible to reduce the cost further from listed price? Interested in comments.

Andrew asked on May 04, 2016

Answer this

Hi Andrew.
There listed price is just a guide. Increase your final price buy 25% and you'll be close to your final costing. Council energy requirements and there listed prices for a very basic low speck home.

What was the difference between quote price and actual contract price?

Sarah28 asked on Jan 17, 2014

Answer this

In the subdivision that I purchased my block of land, the Local Council would only allow Sarah Homes to built onsite,
also they wanted me to install another window, before approving the plans for my home.

Therefore, I incurred extra costs of $2,400.00 to build onsite and $450.00 for a window to be installed, due to Local Council regulations.
I received two quotes for my home to be built, one without concrete piers, and one with bored concrete foundation piers, subject to the soil report.
With my soil report showing that I had to build my home with bored concrete foundation piers.

The difference between quote price, and actual contract price was $000.00.

The only difference in costing was what we asked for to be changed, however these were even out as we received a refund from the foundation cost.

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