2/11/2016 Fortunately, we didn't get involved in actually building a house with EarthCraft, we just lost most of our initial deposit for the architectural work. Our design request was a little unusual even for a straw bale home but he was very confident that he could handle it and ASSURED us that yes, he could do it within our budget! We took the bait and moved forward, expecting (per ****** lead) construction to begin within a few months. Part of our confidence was based upon our impression from **** that he had built several straw bale homes and knew the process and best practices inside and out. It later became apparent that he had actually built only two straw bale homes, and had just assisted on one of those two. As **** started creating the plans, the price kept jumping up and every time we tried to pin him down to give us a firm estimate per our budget he would say "well, it's just going to be what it's going to be!" He also assured us that he had been building all over the foothills for years, but he was totally surprised to discover that the design he had come up with for our sloping lot at the base of the foothills was impinging on the foothills ordinance zone. (When we purchased the lot we had no experience with home building and the realtor of course either didn't know or didn't tell us about things like overlays and zoning ordinances, so how were we supposed to know?) The net result was that **** had to scrap the design he had come up with because he and we together decided that it wasn't worth going through the length, nasty, expensive review process required by the foothills commission. Of course we were extremely disappointed and irritated that everything now had to go back to the drawing board. We didn't understand why a builder who builds in the foothills didn't know about the land use codes before he started working on the design? Anyway, progress from there went in fits and spurts. Eventually we started to question how good ****'s work really was because when he finally showed us his "second" straw bale home, my husband spotted a rather large crack in the home's outer wall. **** kind of joked about that and tried to fob it off as a fairly unimportant cosmetic issue that we shouldn't worry too much about because "it just happens". Some of the interior work in that house also looked like it was perhaps not crafted with the greatest attention to detail. My husband and I finally decided to pull the plug on our project because we could never get **** to make a firm commitment to anything including time frame and pricing. He didn't want to return our deposit for the architectural work and permitting process even though he never finished the design and certainly never got to the point of taking the design to the county for approval. However, he eventually agreed to a partial refund after suggesting that we take the case to arbitration. My husband and I agreed to that and and then **** changed his mind and said yes to the partial refund. He did give us the refund back without going to arbitration, although the second of the two payments he was to make to us, per the contract that he created, was late and I had to ask for it a month after the deadline had passed. We've since moved on, and are seeking nothing further on this issue, but in fairness to others who may be thinking of asking **** to build for them, I wanted to air our story. In our opinion, **** is a good fit for customers who are comfortable with a very open-ended, unclear process that may be full of surprises, and who don't want a lot of fuss over standards and detail.
This customer had a NEUTRAL experience with this business.
This customer WOULD NOT recommend the business to a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague.
by unhappy camper on 2/11/2016 | Submit a Customer Review
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