BBB Business Review

What is a BBB Business Review?

Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 08/02/2010

Essex Homes

Phone: (704) 423-8988Fax: (980) 225-8990

BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

Customer Complaints Summary

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Guarantee / Warranty Issues3
Problems with Product / Service5
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Total Closed Complaints8

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (8)
12/14/2015Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Essex Homes doesn't deliver on the quality that the list as core values. I closed on 8/19/2015 and have not been able to use 50% of the home.
Closing was set for 8/14/2015, was notified that the home would not be ready due to final trim items not finished and touched up. Delayed my move date first time. Preclosing walk through 8/18/2015 identified several major defects with interior and exterior of home (Hardwood flooring defective on first and second floors, floors not level, ceramic tile not level, columns and Corners not square, drywall and paint imperfections, driveway concrete was etched from chemical spill, concrete had holes on various areas (even more now), concrete discoloration not standard with normal finished color, deck had boards that needed to be replaced because of defects (even more now) landscaping sod was dead was told that it was under distress and would return to its original state after ample watering daily.

Applied blue tape and annotated items in email. The morning of closing walked through again and tape had been removed but defects were not addressed. I was told that the flooring would be taken care of immediately once the manufacturers sent a new shipment of flooring materials. I closed on 8/19/2015 @ 1100 AM, under the pretense that I would be able to move the following week as I have a lease agreement with a tenant to occupy my current residence on September 1,2015. I contacted the builder via emails and the flooring company direct nothing but excuses about receiving a second shipment of defective wood. Well to summarize this saga is September 23 and the hardwoods are supposed to be installed on second floor today. The production supervisor and division president were emailed regarding the status of my issues again after the supervisors site visit to obtain a time line on finishing all repairs and defects. I assumed by their lack of response that those items in two list will go undone.

I have had to live like a homeless person out of a box because my furniture can't be moved and all the new items can be unboxed and placed where originally planned due to outstanding issues. I paid for white glove delivery and set up for over $40K of new furniture that is sitting in parts, garage or getting saturated with dust and debris from flooring replacement upstairs. I have watered a weed infested lawn with over 6 thousand gallons of water all on the promise that it will return when every other neighbor walks by and says "our yard never looked like that", I have had to pay a mortgage at home due to tenant not being able to move in because our furniture is still occupying that space. Had to pay that tenants September rent due to our breech of contract by not letting her move on date intended. And the cost keep going up. I get told by production supervisor that he will work something out but nothing done to date to put the cost of the past and those I continue to incur in check. Contractors working on my home use my power, water and leave doors open which later requires insect sprays to remove bugs.

All that said Essex Homes has a good marketing program on eBuilt and so on, but I have over 5 thousand photos of the process from start to where we are now and it could use some tweaks in my opinion.

Don't get me wrong Essex Homes does have some good people on their staff the guys that try to move the mountains but come up short since they were only equipped with a teaspoon.

Desired Settlement
Finish replacement of hardwood flooring on second floor as well as tile work.

Start defective flooring replacement of hardwood floors on first floor.

Replace concrete drive way, sidewalk and patio

Replace landscaping sod on front and sides of home.

Replace decking that is defective and or was cut improperly at installation.

Repair all defective columns, corners, drywall and paint.

Repair all damaged areas due to repairs made to flooring components.

Repair erosion at rear of house and implement drains at patio edge that catch water and pipe into rear drainage area.

Compensation for delays preventing full delivery of home so that I could vacate previous property for tenant occupancy.

Compensation for white glove delivery services on items setting boxed awaiting assembly.

Compensation for my utilities that have been used throughout the repair process.

Reimbursement for any item that is damaged in box/wrapped that was delivered but could not be opened and inspected because of pending floor replacement work.

Professional cleaning of all vents, custom blinds, ceilings, walls, doors, baseboards floors (top to bottom deep clean for dust and debris removal.

Business Response
Customer informed our Warranty Representative that he was satisfied and was withdrawing this complaint.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I only stated that the flooring on the second floor had been taken care of and posted the items that still required attention from Essex Homes before I would consider closing this matter. If the BBB requires I can provide photos of items that still require closure not to mention the financial reimbursement required to offset my loss resulting from not being able to move out of my other property and turn over to lessee as scheduled on September 1, 2015.

Final Business Response
Essex Homes has continued to service this customer per our new home warranty agreement and will continue to do so.

01/02/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Repeated communication in regards to service request both with builder and subcontractor. Nothing has been done 6/25/14 purchase date.

Desired Settlement
Replacement of grass and proper drainage provided

Business Response
From: **** ********
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2014 6:31 PM
To: ***** ****
Subject: FW: BBB Complaint Case# ****** (Ref#XX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-X-XXX)

Ms. *****

We are aware of this customer's concern and have tried to make it clear that the property is graded correctly to take storm water/rainfall where it's supposed to go based on the community storm water plan that was approved by Mecklenburg County. The customer has insisted that the stone/rocks placed by Essex on the back of the property should be a spillway for water to exit his property. That is incorrect - the rock was added in that area to stabilize the slop and prevent unwanted erosion. Essex Homes never implied or instructed the customer that it was a drainage spillway.

The complaint states he wants us to replace grass. Our builder warranty (and any other new home warranty that I'm aware of) clearly states that landscaping (grass, plants, trees, etc.) are not warrantable. Some folks take care of their new yard (water when needed, fertilize, weed, etc.) and some folks don't. Not sure what he's after here because when the yard was visually inspected recently, the grass, plantings and trees seem to be doing well.

I've never been contacted by this customer. How do we get more information on exactly what this person is trying to accomplish?

**** ********, Division President
Essex Homes Southeast, Inc.


Consumer Response
. (First this was not done to be proactive by Essex homes, this issue was addressed on my first visit to the lot with my real estate agent, and builder rep. It was negotiated in to the contract of the home as they actually attempted to charge us for the rocks $1500, and we refused. This drainage area is, which it is a drainage area is not in the correct place as it was constructed prior to completion of grading of the home next door. If it was a spill way then it would of been constructed in a much different manner, this is as they state to reduce erosion. The issue is that the area is in an incorrect position, and as stated above should of been completed after final grading of lot next door, and after studying how water drains off that lot. I have video, pictures, emails, all communications from the beginning of our home purchase to now.)

(First off, you have never visited my lot to my knowledge so do not imply that I do not maintain my yard. You are correct the entire property is doing well, except for the one location where this drainage issue, and rocks are. All of my sod died in this area, I have spent 100's of dollars on seed and fertilizer to get this area back growing still to no success. Again, the rocks could be a success if they were placed in the correct location originally. Asking for those to removed is likely no going to happen, but asking for some additional dirt to be added so the grade and proper flow of water from my neighbors yard into the rock area is a legitimate ask. So at the end of the day, we are asking simply for your landscape team to evaluate, add proper amount of dirt in that area, re-sod that area that was originally sod and died because of "too much water" flowing from the steep grade of the house next door and be done with it. Again, this is a reasonable ask.)


Final Business Response
From: **** ******** (mailto:*********@**********.***)
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2015 5:20 PM
To: ***** ****
Subject: RE: REBUTTAL FINAL NOTICE CASE #******-*********** ******

Ms. *****

Again, we visited this customer's home to inspect his claim of drainage issues and determined that what Mr. ****** wants is not warrantable and in our opinion, not the correct thing to do for drainage in that part of the community. In an unrelated complaint he shared and as a show of good faith we offered him a gift card to ******* **** *********** to offset his cost of staining his deck, since he also claimed the stains were a result of one of our subcontractors spilling something on his deck. His response to us was basically an editorial on our company, the threat that the neighbors won't make referrals and so on. I've copied you on the email exchange between Mr. ****** and our Warranty Manager, ***** ****** below.

Best Regards,

**** ********, Division President
Essex Homes Southeast, Inc.
XXX-XXX-XXXX
*********@**************
*****************************\


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From: ***** ****** (mailto:*********@***********)
Sent: Thursday, February 12, XXXX X:XX PM
To: ***** ******
Cc: Charlotte Warranty; ****** ****
Subject: RE: Warranty work

*****

I am not surprised by your decision, it is what it is I suppose. Essex has not started off on a superb foot with many of my neighbors, and I assure you as time goes that will affect referral business. The overall assumption of value is decent on the home, workmanship could of been much better, and communication could of been a lot better from sales down the chain. Essex is no where the size of **********, so my initial interest was that it was more of a custom track builder, but stepping back and evaluating you are just a smaller track builder, offering more apparent value with trim, brick, etc.

I will gladly accept a $100 ***** card. If you could drop that in the mail to my attention I would appreciate.

***** ******
XXXXX ********* **
*********, ** XXXXX



07/28/2014Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
warranty work at final inspection was inferior
I purchased a home from Essex 2/1/2013. There were defects at the 90 day inspection that I agreed would be repaired at the 11 month inspection. Work was done on 1/31/2014. The workmanship was substandard as the defects have reappeared and are more unsightly than before. These are the same defects that were supposedly repaired 1/31/2014. i have contacted Essex for the inspector to review the poor work and to correct the defects that were to be corrected at the final inspection in January.

Desired Settlement
Repair the defects to my satisfaction.

Business Response
From: **** ******** (mailto:************************)
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 1:21 PM
To: ***** ****
Subject: Re: BBB Complaint Case# ****** (Ref#**********************)

My response is we need to know specifically what she is complaining about. Thanks


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have requested for someone to inspect the warranty work so they can understand why I am dissatisfied. They have not done this. I am specifically complaining about defects that were covered during the warranty period that were not satisfactorily or properly repaired.

Final Business Response
Finally, I see what the specific complaint is. Caulking is a homeowner maintenance requirement. Impossible for builder to warrant, since it expands and contracts with seasons.

Official response is I will send our warranty manager by to take a look at the home even though neither of these items are covered after one year by our written warranty.

This could have easily been resolved by the homeowner picking up the phone and calling me.

Thanks,

**** ********, Essex Homes

10/07/2015Problems with Product / Service
02/15/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
unethical business practice in contract terms & execution; marketing info to lure buyer to contract and withhold the earnest money deposit
We were moving from ********** to North Carolina ********* area during the summer of 2015 on a job relocation. We found the ********** subdivision in **** **** area and started to talk to the Sales rep of the builder Essex Homes (******** ********** via my realtor ******* agent **** ********** We (the buyer) selected a home plan to build and picked a home site, and signed a purchase contract on Saturday 8/1/2015 with a deposit of $12500 required by the builder (Essex Homes). The next day (Sunday 8/2/2015) I stopped by the home site notices some noise around the home, and via ****** ***** I found out the Interstate Freeway **** was right behind the home site, which was blocked by the woods, and the freeway traffic is the source of the notice I'd noticed of. On Sunday night (8/2/2015) I notified my realtor the intent to cancel the contract for the selected lot (home site) and requested him to notify ******** ********* first thing in the morning of Monday 8/3/2015. The builder did not respond until Wednesday 8/5/2015 and declined my request of cancelling the contract, and indicated the contract had been signed & executed by Essex authority on 8/3/2015. I believe this is an unethical behavior knowing that the buyer already intended to rescind the contract for a legitimate concern (the freeway **** info was not disclosed in any form before the signing), and Essex still went ahead to execute the contract to bind the buyer. Additionally, the builder offered its second phase lots which are further away from **** for the buyer to choose and told the buyer it will be open for construction in October/November timeframe. Because of the $12500 deposit being withheld by the builder, the buyer had to agree with the offer and picked a different home site in phase 2 and waited for the construction to start. In September 2015 buyer also signed a contract cancellation for the original home site, per builder's request, so the builder can build a spec home on the lot to sell in on the open market. After a series of delays and excuses, as of February 2016, there have been no activities of any kind (permit, construction, recording, etc.) in the phase 2, meanwhile the build also silently increased the price of the home by $5000 in November. I believe this is also another unethical behavior from the builder to entice the buyer to agree into a later phase of the subdivision development which they never planned to deliver in the timeframe they originally promised the buyer.

Desired Settlement
Essex Homes to refund the $12500 earnest money paid during the signing of contract on August 1, 2015

Business Response
Essex Homes was not notified of the cutomer's concerns until AFTER the contract was signed by all parties. Essex Homes gave the customer the option to move to another homesite as soon as the customer raised a concern about the home being built specifically for them. Essex Homes offered and the customer accepted to move to a new phase that was under development. The customer did not have to accept this solution but approved of moving forward for us to build them a second home in the new phase under development. The homesites in the new phase cost more (Essex Homes purchases finished lots from the developer of this community). The base prices in the new phase were increased $10k dollars and there were also homesite premiums on the lots. As a show of good faith, Essex Homes waived the lot premium and reduced the price increase $5k for this customer to allow them to move into the new phase. Essex Homes would now have to sell the original home as a speculative home with no guarantee that the home would close when it was finished, impacting the cost of building the home. Over 30 inches of rain in the area since September delayed the infrastructure (roads and utilities) from being installed in the expected timeline. Weather delays are not controllable. Essex Homes is not the developer of the homesites and has no comtrol over when they are delivered. Essex Homes went above and beyond for this customer, allowing them to change homesites per their request, reducing prices while doing so and through no fault of our own, has been delayed on construction starts due to weather. Per the contract, the customer requested cancellation because of weather delays is a default on the customer's side and they forfeit all deposits as a result. Essex Homes will still honor the contract, should the customer decide to move forward and build a home in the new phase. The developer should have the homesites ready for release this month.

02/10/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
My home is less than 2 years old I have a constant leak in the basement when it rains, and our septic pump failed and flooded in our basement.
We purchased our home in February of 2014. In October of 2015, there was a flood in our basement. We contacted Essex and they told us that we were out of warranty. They then recommended that we contact ****. **** contacted the plumber who initially did the plumbing in the home. The plumber came out and reset the electrical outlet that the septic pump was plugged into. They then charged us $125 for this job. After my husband complained about the price they brought it down to $75. When they left the septic pump was still not working. Because of the frustration of paying $75 for nothing we called a different company who came out and replace the septic pump as the previous pump was defective. The person who replaced the pump told me that our entire house which is three stories all feeds into the septic pump in the basement. If the power were to go out, we would not be able to use any of the bathrooms or the kitchen. I contact the Essex to come out to the home to verify or deny whether this was true. They refused because I was out of warranty and because the plumber who initially did the plumbing did replace the pump. We also have a constant leak in our basement. Every time it rains. There are two areas where we have placed buckets that fill up with water. The other plumber came out to assess the situation at no cost and told us that it has to do with how Essex did the plumbing as to why we are currently having leaks when it rains.

Desired Settlement
I would like for essex to come out to the home assess why we have a leak in our basement when it floods, and fix the issue. I would also like to have knowledge about our plumbing and septic system. I was told by the person who replaced the septic pumped that our entire house is working off of the septic pump in the basement. If this is true, it is a major problem.

Business Response
We have never seen this complaint before. We will schedule our Warranty Manager to inspect and research the comments made by the homeowner.

**** ********
Essex Homes

12/04/2015Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Essex Homes has acknowledged improper installation of the hardwood flooring in my home. They have refused to properly address the situation.
I purchased a new home construction from Essex Homes in August 2013. Shortly after moving in issues with the hardwood flooring became apparent.Excessive floor squeaks, floor moving when stepped upon. Essex homes was immediately notified of the problem with the flooring. Months later Atlanta Flooring who was contracted by Essex Homes to install the hardwood flooring came to my residence. An attempt to repair the flooring was made. The repairman stated there was a problem with the sub-floor of the home. Mr. ***** ****** of Essex Homes was at my residence on the date of this repair. The repairman advised Mr. ****** of the situation. Essex Homes then sent their flooring expert to my home (*** *******, CEO ******************) who found issues with my flooring which also had excessively high moisture readings. Mr ******* advised me that securing the floor from the crawlspace was not advisable because the squeaks would return in other areas. Essex Homes sent the flooring company's Field Supervisor to my home ***** ******** approximately 1 month later to take additional moisture readings. The readings at that time were in tolerance. I later advisedEssex Homes the air conditioning had been on inside my home for approximately 3 weeks. Mr. ******** found areas of concern and stated he would forward the information to Essex Homes. I have requested the full email from Essex Homes and have not received that information. Essex Homes later sent an individual who represented the company that makes the sub flooring. It was recommended that a sample of the floor be removed for testing. A few weeks later Mr. ***** ****** of Essex Homes was present at my home. A carpenter removed a section of flooring outside my bedroom in the hallway. This location had a problem with floor squeaks but was not an area of concern regarding high moisture readings. The hardwood flooring was removed from this area of my home. ***** ****** along with myself observed the flooring underlayment was not installed properly. Mr ****** took a photograph of this area. This section of flooring was sent out allegedly by Essex Homes for testing. As of this date I have requested the official report and have not received any correspondence. A second flooring expert ****************** & **** was contacted and came to my home along with Mr. ****** ********, ***** ****** of Essex Homes and a rep. from Atlantic Flooring. Prior to the inspection by the flooring expert a conversation regarding the first flooring inspectors report(*** *******) was brought up. Mr.******** stated "Disregard that guy, he was somebody we had used in the past".
Mr. ******* inspection found the floors which encompass the entire first floor of my home except the master bedroom and laundry room (See report) had been installed improperly. A check of the crawlspace under my home showed there was not complete coverage of the moisture barrier on the floor of the crawlspace. Essex Homes was made aware of the situation and later sent a contractor to cover the exposed area in a very poor manner. I advised Mr. ****** of the poor workmanship and of this date he has not been back to my home to inspect it. I contacted a company to inspect my crawlspace and was advised that I had mold growing in this area. Essex Homes was immediately contacted who then had the mold re-mediated after some resistance.Essex Homes has never identified the actual cause of the moisture entering into my crawlspace. I later contacted the ************** Building Inspections. Three employees from the Town came to my residence with the grading plans for my property and surrounding area. It was determined the grading for my property along with a common area behind my home was not the same as the plans submitted to the ************** (No grading amendments were submitted to the **************). Essex Homes previously sent there Land Manager out to my home and advised that nothing was wrong. A copy of all reports are available upon request.

Desired Settlement
As a homeowner, purchasing a new home we paid for new flooring to be installed properly not incorrectly needing repair. We are requesting replacement of the hardwood flooring (which is beginning to show signs of cupping) along with repair of the sub-floor as stated in the ******* report. We are also requesting the crawlspace moisture issue be identified and repaired correctly as the health of my family is at risk of getting sick from mold which was identified when my home was only 1 1/2 years old. We are also requesting Essex Homes to remedy the grading issues regarding my property along with the common area behind my home.

The information submitted is not in its complete format to allow space on this report.

Business Response
Essex Homes' Warranty Dept. has inspected the customer's flooring for moisture on at least three separate occasions and moisture readings were within tolerance each time. Regarding floor squeaks, Essex Homes has offered an industry standard remediation to the customer that he has refused to accept. As a show of good will, we treated the crawlspace for mold in spite of it clearly stating in our sales contract that it's not a warrantable item. We also increased the crawlspace plastic barrier beyond code requirements. This complaint is the first notification we've had from the customer regarding concerns over the grading plan for the community. The community has passed zoning inspections and his property has no standing water as a result of improper grading. Essex Homes has not received any correspondence from the Town of Waxhaw regarding any issues with the customer's property or the common area referenced.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
For your review we have attached the reports of *********** CEO of ****************** and ************** of ****************** & **** who were hired by Essex Homes. We are asking Essex Homes to complete the repair as commissioned in the above reports. Essex Homes has not addressed the hardwood floor underlayment issue. Please be further informed that Essex Homes was previously aware of the water intrusion and standing water on our property. As evidenced by there previous attempt to regrade our backyard and remediate mold from our crawlspace.

Final Business Response
Essex Homes stands by it's original response.

Final Consumer Response
From: ***************
Sent: Friday, December 11, XXXX X:XX PM
To: ********** <***********************>
Subject: Fwd: Estimate from Beyond Floor

********,

In response to the rebuttal from Essex Homes I am submitting a second estimate (Estimate attached) regarding the cost of repairing the hardwood floors in my home.

In speaking with the owner of Beyond Flooring, I was advised the repair offered by Essex Homes would be acceptable in certain small areas and not in such a large area as my home. I was further advised that the floor is bowing and needs to be replaced. I am requesting the complaint filed against Essex Homes be reopened.

BBB complaint # ******

06/23/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Stairs in garage dangerously un-level
busted stair
Deck -separated / nails popping up/ breaking
Damaged concrete
Squeaky floors
peeling paint
Stairs to kitchen improperly installed. They are uneven and rocks side to side . Has a stick under one end holding them up. If stick removed they rock back and forward and could cause injury.
Deck boards coming up / warped . Broken nails Side of deck nails coming out. Wood cracked foot gets stuck in the spaces.
Busted stair inside house - glued back by builder refused to properly repair

Sprinklers do not work properly

Holes in concrete Mud puddles when rains. Concrete obviously very thin and wearing away already
"Bricks" crumbling

Floors uneven - squeak / creek - feel like will fall through.
3 water leaks since move in (less than 3 years). 2 due to nails in pipes. This was repaired.- thanks / builder had to repair


No tops on columns - took short cut One of numerous. Etc

Desired Settlement
Repair of items not property done when first purchased home

Business Response
Please submit documentation that these items have been brought to the attention of our Warranty Department prior to the date of this complaint.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Home Builders

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.

X

What is a BBB Business Review?

We offer free reviews on businesses that include background, licensing, consumer experience and other information such as governmental actions that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.

X

BBB Reporting Policy

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.