The company did not build the home to the specifications that were agreed upon when the contract to purchase was signed. NSB overcharged for "upgrades" that were not installed and they have been non responsive when standard home warranty issues come up in the home. Only after considerable time and effort on our part were we able to have them fix some of the problems with the home (e.g., simply completing the grout work in the home) and many home deficiencies, that were supposed to be completed before closing, still remain. In addition to the poor service the quality of the home is suspect: we have had multiple water leaking issues as well as electrical and plumbing issues in the home.
We would like NSB to fulfill their contractual obligations that were agreed upon when signing the contact to purchase. We would also like them to fulfill their contractual obligations and complete standard problems (i.e. warranty work) that have been identified with the home and do so within a reasonable time frame.
It is unfortunate that additional time and effort needs to be put into this, but given that much of the content in the Mr. ******** response is wrong, it is necessary.
I **** go through Mr. ******** comments one by one and a pattern **** emerge of how NSB handles contracts and deals with customers:
1) In the comment 1. Mr. ******** suggests that the ***** signed a contract that says that the specifics to the home may be altered to meet code. We do not deny this, but, in addition to basic common courtesy, that same contract indicates that NSB must inform us if they were going to alter the plan. NSB did not do this despite this being explicit in Paragraph 17b of the Purchase Agreement and #9. of the Rider in addition to 13 a) of the rider which NSB signed. "Meeting code" is implicit in a home building contract and does not grant the right to the builder to disregard other parts of the contractotherwise what would be the point of having any other points.
2) In comment 2. Mr. ******** suggests that NSB was not required to build a deck since the pricing matrix says "Ala Carte". Attached is a drawing of the main floor which was sent by NSB to the ****'s, along with the purchase contract, asking for it to be initialed for NSB's records (email records can be provided if need be). If this drawing had no bearing on what was going to be built, why did NSB require that all drawings be initialed by the ****'s and the originals (with initials attached) be sent into NSB? It was not disclosed to the ****'s at any time that what they had initialed would not be provided. If it was disclosed, please provide a record of this disclosure and evidence that it was sent to the ****'s.
3) Mr. ****** briefly mentions a stamped concrete patio which was not installed correctly and was not the correct size because NSB stuck an Air Conditioner in the corner of it. Following his letter's format, a more elaborate discussion **** be provided below.
4) In point 3. Mr. ****** mentions water issues in the basement and that NSB considers this issue resolved. Mr. ****** told the ****'s directly that the issue occurred because the sump pumps were of insufficient size and that new pumps would be ordered. The ****'s were told this by Mr. ****** on May 13, 2014. Until this letter (which was sent by Mr. ****** near the end of August 2014), the most recent communication about the pumps with by Mr. ****** was via email on May 19, 2014 which reads "I am also setting up a meeting with the manufacture pump for the sump pump. I should know what day tomorrow". Despite repeated requests for updates on when the bigger pumps would arrive and be installed (again email records can be provided), Mr. ****** would not provide any further information. When we asked a NSB employee about the sump pumps again in August 2014, he said that Mr. ****** indicated that the reason for the water in the basement was because there was debris in the sump pumps, which has now been cleared and therefore there was no need to do anything further. This was completely contradictory to anything Mr. ****** had told us regarding the sump pump/basement water issue.
5) In point 4. Mr. ****** brings up side doorlights; here is the experience with the side doorlights:
a) A NSB employee, in December, noticed that he door lights were scratched badly and he indicated (again, like the bead board, a NSB contractor or employee, not the ****'s) that it was unacceptable and should be replaced. Cory Anderson said that new lights would be ordered and installed soon.
b) Several months later, one door light appeared, and it did not match the other door light. A NSB employee indicated that the reason it did not match was because, rather than actually order a new one, they tried to use a door light that they already had in stock, indicating that one had not been ordered in the first place, and instead they tried to "make do" with what they already head. When this didn't work, they said they would have to actually order a new door light.
c) NSB ordered the other door light which later arrived, but it was later discovered that, again, there was an incorrect size window size. It did not match the other door light for the second time. A new one was ordered.
d) Finally, the correct lights arrived. It took NSB about a month to paint them, which meant we had one black, and one unpainted door light during this time.
e) It took NSB approximately 8 months to actually complete the job.
6) In Point 5. Mr. ****** mentions the beadboard in the Kitchen island. In this point Mr. ****** appears to imply that it is *** **** who has been difficult to satisfy in regards to the bead board. But here is exactly what has happened with regards to this (one can begin to observe a pattern in the way NSB resolves problems).
Again, here is the series of events on the bead board in the Kitchen:
a) Either on the day of closing or shortly thereafter (at that time we had no idea we would need to document with high precision when problems were identified in the home) Therese Schafer (the former sales manager for NSB) said that the bead board under the kitchen island did not look correct and needed to be replaced. (This was early October 2013 at the latest). NSB took the beadboard and painted a gray "glaze" in the beadboard to make it look more like the other beadboard in the kitchen. It was also cut incorrectly, with a large "gap" where it was not cut straight and, clearly, not the same material as the other beadboard.
b) It was agreed upon by several NSB employees that the beadboard was not esthetically pleasing and needed to be replaced. And so, a new bead board was ordered. Again, the wrong material was ordered. The new material ordered, in our opinion, looked exactly like the old beadboard, and had the same "gap", which was slightly smaller as it was cut slightly straighter. Mr. ******** implies that the wood was very similar or simply a different grain. This is definitely not the case. The beadboard in the kitchen that we have been trying to match is clearly of much better quality and completely different color, texture and material.
c) **** ******** (the former superintendent for NSB) noticed immediately that this was incorrect and told us the correct material would be ordered and installed. Further, he had a representative from Merillat (the cabinet company) come and look at it. He agreed that it was not right and even acted surprised at how different it was from the other beadboard. Him and Cory both said that they would be fabricating a new beadboard.
d) NSB indicated that the new bead board had arrived, but that it was again the wrong material and would once again have to be reordered. It was at this point that NSB started to change it's tone to sounding more like we are the ones who are being overly "picky" about the beadboard. We can assure you that this is not the case. NSB's own contractors have even use words such as "******" to describe the island beadboard. It is clear that NSB does not plan to resolve this issue and is content to leave the island beadboard as-is. We would be more than happy to provide photos of the beadboard.
7) In point 6. Mr. ****** claims that all punchlist on the 60 day list have been completed. This is simply not true. Several items remain incomplete and when Cory Anderson attempted to get us to "sign off" on the list earlier this year (not 60 days after close, but well after) many of the items were still incomplete, and so we refused to do so.
8) In point 7. Mr. ****** does acknowledge that NSB again deviated from the contract signed without informing their clients. The "upgraded" back patio is smaller than specified in the contract (because NSB moved the air conditioner on top of it) and the amount of concrete walkways are also smaller than specified in the contract, NSB also over charged for $400 worth of floor outlets. Mr. ****** rationalizes these actions and suggests that NSB should not reimburse the ****'s for overcharges because NSB provided other upgrades (which were never mentioned to the ****'s at any point in time) that were worth more than the upgrades NSB had agreed to, but did not provide, so NSB is are willing to call this even. The ****'s did not ask for the blue stone upgrade at any point, nor were they told that it was an upgrade at any point in time. If had been mentioned, it would have been removed from the list. In fact, this blue stone upgrade was actually never fully installed. It was on the 60 day punchlist that the stone be properly adhered to the homeit remains pressed up against the home with some sand and hence still on the 60 day punchlistcontrary to Mr. ****** claim above. If it were up to NSB to pick and choose the upgrades without asking of informing their clients, until a certain dollar value was reached, then what is the point of the pricing matrix which we had to update and sign every time a change was made (except for the ones we were not informed of).
Here is just a small subset of the problems with the home and the ****'s have had to spend considerable time and effort in attempts to resolve (some have been resolved, some have not):
1) Two leaks from the upstairs master bathroom into the kitchen ceiling, resulting in significant water damage and the ceiling having to be re-drywalled and re-painted twice. After we insisted that they don't close the ceiling again until they have identified the exact cause of the leak, they finally discovered that it was due to improper sealing in the plumbing.
2) There is a leaking pipe in the basement that is still leaking and eroding (NSB made an attempt to correct this, but it has not been done).
3) Ice inside of the home during the winter in the upstairs ensuite because of improper insulation (The ****'s were told this was impossiblei.e just the ****'s complaining again because the home was "sealed", but when the drywall was opened up there was cold air blowing right into the home).
4) Water leaking in through the HVAC system into the mechanical room.
5) Fuses would blow every time the vacuum was used or if a standard printer was plugged in
6) The "upgraded" back patio was not installed correctly and was, and remains, riddled with chips in the patterned concreteNSB refuses to fix this
7) Leaking in the basement through the sump pumps
8) Many areas where superficial siliconing and caulking were simply not done or partially done both inside and outside of the house (again, we would be happy to provide photo documentation).
9) A sliding door that has never closed properly
10) Cracked cabinets
11) Appliances not installed properly
12) Paint which was either not allowed to dry properly or not suitable for the area in which it was used. For example, our mudroom and breakfast bar were "tacky" for several months and therefore much dirt and food particles have become imbedded and they **** have to be repainted shortly. The front door has handprints on it that cannot be removed, so it **** also have to be repainted shortly with a better quality paint.
13) Every piece of granite in all 4 of the bathrooms was cut inadequately. Each vanity had at least a 1/2 inch gap on one side or the other, or the back. We settled on allowing them to do a "patch job" on all of them, by adding a small piece of granite to the deficient side, rather than insisting that they redo the entire vanity top.
We have not sought any reimbursement, or even acknowledgement for the time we have had to spend on issues that would not have existed in the first place if NSB would simply have put the care into our home that one would expect from a "custom" builder. Between the obvious deficiencies and those which we discovered through air and water leaks, our confidence in the quality of our home is, unfortunately, very low. We really do wish that our relationship with NSB could have been much different. This is our home and we would have loved nothing more than to feel comfortable in it and confident with those who built it. We are not spending all of this time because we are malicious and want to see anyone reprimanded. Rather, we feel that a home builder should show some care and concern for their final product, as it is someone's home. Further, we would like to have some piece of mind that we are not going to continue to experience issues with our home in the future.