BBB Accredited Business since

Hess Home Builders, Inc.

Phone: (717) 569-5761 Fax: (717) 560-9165 15 Meadow Ln, Lancaster, PA 17601 http://www.hesshomes.com

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Hess Home Builders, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Hess Home Builders, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 0
Total Closed Complaints 1

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: April 14, 1976 Business started: 09/24/1965
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

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Office of the Attorney General-PA
Strawberry Square, 14th Floor, Harrisburg PA 17120
http://www.attorneygeneral.gov
Phone Number: 800-441-2555
The number is PA004357.

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Randy Hess, President/CEO Ms. Sheryl Quickel, Treasurer
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Randy Hess, President/CEO
Business Category

Home Builders

Alternate Business Names
Hess Construction Precision Wall And Truss

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Complaint Detail(s)

11/20/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Hess Home Builders built our brand new home without providing an itemized bill, then we found they cut many corners in the house. They charged us for building two full bathrooms and the first day we moved in we found the lower bathroom was and is still gurgling. The commode is very low every time when the other bathroom, kitchen or laundry room is being used at the same time. The toilet paper is pushed out through the sewage pipe vent to the front yard from time to time. Actually, only one bath is operating properly. We reported to them many times, Hess finally paid ****** *********** to inspect the plumbing problem with a camera. Unfortunately, their camera went blank for 3 in different spots. ****** didn't go up to the roof to test the venting either. So ******'s inspection is not finished, we told Hess right away the same day when ****** inspected. We asked for another inspection. We had to schedule **** ****** to come to do the thorough test that ****** didn't complete the following week. At the same time, we called Hess to come out to meet **** ****** to confirm that a further inspection was just performed and Hess must pay for it. But Hess came and found out the problem can not be located by the camera, therefore, Hess will not pay for it. We can prove with videos, pictures and documents that there is a serious plumbing problem in the house.

Desired Settlement: I. We need an itemized bill for everything Hess spent to build the house. II. A total reimbursement of the last inspection fee of $495.00 by **** ******. III. Partial payment of our water bill for the 6 intensive inspections for the plumbing. Very high volume of water was used to test each time.

Business Response:

Please find our repsonse the the complaint outlined in the attachments. We appreciate your attention and ask that you contact me with any questions you may have.

Thanks you, ***** Hess

Consumer Response: Complaint: *******

I am rejecting this response because:

First of all, we need you, BBB, to reinforce the reasons we filed this complaint.  We asked for a copy of an itemized bill for every dollar that Hess spent on building our house with all the original receipts to back up.  We had asked the agent’s partner for it before signing the contract.  But she talked us out of it. 

Secondly, the bill from the ****-****** inspection of the total reimbursement of $495.00 plus the partial water bill of $128.00.  This high water bill is only covered from June 14 – September 5, 2013.  And we didn’t live in the house from July 20—August 8, 2013.  It’s because of the 6 different inspections performed throughout this period of time.  Each time, they used a very high volume of water to test it.

In response to the two documents Hess sent to you, we utterly disagree and please read the following description page by page.  Since the document of BBB Letter 9-25-13.pdf is repeating a lot of the document of ********* File.pdf, we are combining it into one to send back to you. 

Pg. 2  --  *** ****** was sent by Hess to come check the house plumbing on June 18th after 5:00 pm but he didn’t show up till 9:00 am, June 20th.  As a plumber, he came with NO snake or camera but only used his very own eyes to check the plumbing pipes.  Who can find any problems that way?!  Nobody can.  He didn’t take the troubling toilet out to check either.  That’s what Hess believes that they had come to find what caused the problem?!  It appears to the public, yes, Hess responded to our problem BUT didn’t plan to find it.  If you will, you’ll find no description for what had been done on the work order on page 2.  All *** did was blame us for using too much soap and had the water running for a long time to test without any equipment!  We just moved in and we didn’t even unpack nor do any cleaning yet.  Everywhere we lived in the past (older house/apartment, small house or brand new town home/apartments), we used a lot more soap than living in this house for just a day and it never happened.     

Pg. 3  --  **** from Hess came to lower down the shower rod.  It was very high so we couldn’t find any of that size curtains in the store.  Hess is in business for that long, they should know what the standard height is to put on the wall the first time. 

The trim on the post out front was very dirty and still in rough condition, they left it for us to clean and paint.  That’s why we asked Hess to do it, it’s not our job.  Things like that are all over the house, Hess did a very lousy job, cutting corners wherever they can!

Pg. 4-6  --  On June 20th, after 12:00 noon, Hess called *****’s to come check the pipes outside the house with a camera.  We had another appointment to go to at 1:30 pm so *****’s wasn’t able to come in the house to check the inside plumbing pipes at all.  **** from Hess told us that he would get back to us about the outcome.  In fact, he never did! 

Pg. 7  --  On settlement day, ***** Hess made a very clear statement that any problems in the house that need attention, don’t call or email him.  But contact *** in the office, then he gave us ***’s email.  We tried to ‘obey’ him till June 25th when we still didn’t hear any word from Hess’s office.  We questioned if Hess is really going to fix this plumbing problem?!  That’s why we decided to email ***** Hess directly.

On June 26th, we finally reported to the ************* Area Sewer Authority for our plumbing problem.  They came with a camera right away.  Unfortunately, they are not allowed to come in the house to check our plumbing pipes.  They told us that there was no in-house plumbing inspection by the authority.  They are not responsible for it but Hess is.  But they ran a camera outside the house to check anyway.  No stones or blockages were found that day.  In the meantime, **** from Hess came with a bottle of vinegar to give us to dump ½ a cup per day to get rid of the suds.  What an old wives’ tale!    

Pg. 8-10  --  Our complaint letter to ***** Hess.

Pg. 11-33  --  You can see a massive of cutting corners visibly found by an inspector who we hired to inspect the whole house after the settlement.  Based on this report and the evidence of the plumbing problem in the house, we started to believe Hess is cheating us as a result.  One of the major factors found besides the plumbing problem:

We paid Hess to upgrade 2 different gas lines for dryer and stove.  Hess got the money but they only made one line for both dryer and stove to share.  It’s illegal to do it by the Federal Law but they did it anyway.  Hess is in business for that long, they should know what is legal and what’s not!  Because of the upgrade, there was NO stove in place for the final inspection when *** *** Township inspected the house.  BUT it passed the inspection by Hess’s tricks.  Please see the definitions below:

2009 International Residential Code – Chapter Definitions

DWELLING UNIT. A single unit providing complete independent

living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent

provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.

Pg. 34  --  Our correspondence to Hess we found lots of items that are not done right in the house.

Pg. 35-36  --  Hess insisted on sending their own plumber to check the pipes so they can continue to cover up the problem instead of finding the problem.  This “master plumber”, **** who was sent by Hess came with no snake or camera!  Since Hess is in business for that long, they should know how to respond to a plumbing problem and have at least a snake along to go through the entire plumbing pipe!  It appears to us numerous times that Hess is not willing to spend money to really find the problem.  Rather, circling around the problem, wasting time!  This plumber only took the troubling toilet out with no camera to see what’s inside the pipe.  Of course, NO problem is found.  You can see the description has nothing new but blaming it on the soap suds, too. 

After **** left, we consulted with a real master plumber and the ************* Water Authority.  The Authority even sent a very knowledgeable person to our property to see the trap outside the house where it is full of toilet paper.  He said the same thing like the master plumber we consulted: “There is nothing to do with the suds for a brand new house.  Somewhere is cutting corners causing the gurgling and toilet paper to push out to the front yard.  There is an air blockage.  In fact, why can the suds release properly into the waste line?  If they can’t find the problem through the camera, they have to cut the concrete open then you’ll know.”

Pg. 37-40  --  Again, Hess always responded back to us BUT has no intention to find the problem then keeps blaming on no problem is found.  That’s their trick to kill time so the 12 month warranty will be over soon then they are not responsible for this problem.

Pg. 41-42 -- Again, we keep complaining to Hess that there is a serious plumbing problem but they let the problem sit instead of moving forward.  We finally demanded on a plumbing inspection scheduled by us, not by Hess.

Pg. 43  --  Redundant to page 34.

Pg. 44-45  --  Hess didn’t come fix those areas yet.

Pg.46  --  We scheduled an appointment with ****** but for some reason, ****** kept changing the appointment time and their technicians.  Meanwhile, ***** Hess kept asking who’s coming for the inspection.  He even brought *** ****** along, the first plumber Hess sent to the house and did nothing!  Something is cooking.  We really have an integrity problem with this new leadership of Hess Home Builders!

****** first came with an older camera that couldn’t show 3 different spots but found 2 little stones in the trap outside the house.  Two little stones?  Remember, *****’s and the ************* Area Sewage Authority both came with cameras and found nothing.  But now, why 2 little stones?  Is the problem remote?   At first, the technician believed if the problem reoccurs, the concrete needs to be cut open to check how many stones are lying inside of the pipe in the trap.   We told the technician that the gurgling will definitely come back.  Why don’t you plan to cut it open today?  But ***** Hess said we must wait and see if the problem comes back.  Hours later, ****** sent another smaller camera with an older technician.  Both of ******’s cameras can’t show us the entire plumbing pipe all the way out to the trap clearly.  They have no way to prove that there is NO problem.  Yet, this older guy promised the problem will never come back again.  It’s fixed! 

We don’t believe him at all.  Indeed, the problem came back right after we started to shower and clean again.   ******’s inspection is not accurate.  ***** Hess even said in front of all of us, he didn’t believe that the 2 little stones caused the gurgling during the ****-******’s inspection on August 15th.  Still, Hess has no plan to cut the concrete open to expose the problem; instead, blaming on that no problem is located.

Pg.47  --  When we scheduled the appointment with ******, Michelle from the office told Joyce, my wife that it will cost $99.00 to use their camera and snake.  It doesn’t matter how long it will take.  And we saw the invoice that Hess signed in front of us was $99.00 before running the camera.  Of course, they cut a “T” in the pipe so we asked the younger technician about how much for the bill today?  He said that you are not paying for it so you don’t need to know about it.  We have the right to know about the bill.  This is about transparency not about covering up!  So where is the original invoice with the $99.00 in the itemized column signed by Hess?

Pg. 48-49  --  Hess responded back to us on the result of ******’s inspection.  Now both ****** and Hess are blaming it on our new high efficiency washer.  By now, you’ve probably noticed that from Joe, **** to ******, they all blamed on different things in the house.  They are back and forth, not consistent.  So Hess indicated that he would buy the house back for many reasons.

Pg. 50-51  --  After reviewing ****-******’s inspection report and the bill, Hess rejected our request for the reimbursement and buying the house back for the same reason that was blamed on, no problem is found from the very beginning.  Hess continues to defend it’s company and not willing to resolve this problem.

Pg. 52-53  --  According to the result of ******’s inspection, we wrote to Hess that the inspection is undone.  They can’t locate the problem simply because the cameras they brought along are not working right, perhaps, malfunctioning?  We can’t conclude that there is no problem till Hess allows the technician to cut the concrete open like he believed at the beginning of ******’s inspection. 

Therefore, we had ****-****** come out to inspect the house plumbing on August 15, 2013.  ****-****** first hand saw there is an unknown blockage problem and recorded it.  Please play the attached video.  Their camera is newer and we can see it through all the way except one spot.  That’s when we called Hess out to meet the technician.  ***** Hess came and insisted that many cameras had gone through and found nothing.  So he refused to do anything about it.  The bottom line is that Hess has no plan to spend money on finding the problem.  Again, he still blames on no problem is located so he can’t fix the problem.  BUT remember, ****** came and found 2 little stones in the trap after multiple cameras found nothing before.

****-****** is the only one who inspected the vents on the roof top that ****** or all the other didn’t do.  We believe that ****-******’s inspection is a further inspection that ****** was unable to perform.  Also, ****-******’s inspection confirms us that the soap suds and the new washer are not the blame, indeed.  So we are convinced that the problem is hiding and Hess needs to cut the concrete open.  That’s why we demand on Hess to buy the house back since the problem is not something we all assumed or hoped that the construction worker accidently dropped a little piece of wood or trash in the pipe.  It’s a serious problem that is not easy to find and fix.  Whether Hess cut corners on the plumbing or Hess doesn’t know how to build a 2 full bathroom house on a steep slope and deep grade lot.

Pg.54  -- ****-******’s report and invoice.  You can see the description is quite different from the Hess circle of friends, all the above mentioned plumbers.  From the outsider of Hess point of view, ****-****** didn’t believe that the soap suds or the new washer will cause the gurgling, the commode water level is very low from time to time and toilet paper is pushing outside the trap!  ****-****** is telling the fact that something needs to be done in order for the plumbing to work properly in the house.  This $495.00 inspection fee Hess must reimburse us! 

 

*** New plumbing problem development:  Since we filed the complaint with BBB, the plumbing problem was never fixed and we still live in the house.  Now it progress to effect the water pressure weakening whenever one of the water faucets are on, then flushing the toilet or turning on the shower head at the same time.  The upstairs commode water level is now getting low and gurgling from day to day also.  ***   

Regards,

**** *********








Business Response:

Regarding the additional complaint about flooded basement.

Yes, on October 11 2013 following an 8 inch rain event the customers basement took in about 23 inches of water.

We recieved a call from the local Municipality about +/- 3:00 p.m. that the cutomer was on the phone to them to alert them of the flooded basement. We immediately dispatched a crew. The basement was found to have about 23" of water, pumps were installed and the basement was drained by approximately 8:00 that evening.

We also dispatched hvac contractor who subsuquntly replaced the blower and control panel in the air handler because they had been under water. All wet material was removed and dehunidifiers were left with the customer to dry the basment. Techs were scheduled to return Monday a.m. to follow up with necessary repairs. Customer asked us to reschedule for 8:00 on Wednesday via email. Wednesday at 8:00 crew arrived to wrap service work for the flooded basement. The crew was instructed by us to complete some punch list items form previous agreed upon repairs that had previosuly been unable to be scheduled for completion,. Customer would not allow those items to be done so the crew completed what they could relating to the flooding and that was it.

On Sunday October 20 we recieved an email from Customer stating that the damaged parts form the air handler had been removed without their permision and that they wanted them to be returned. The email also stated that they felt that furnace was not functioning as it had previously and that they were planning on obtaining and private inspection to verify condition.

We returned the removed parts that day and repsonded that if there is a performance issue with the furnace to please contact our office or the hvac contractor that did installation as per warranty procedures. The flooding incident was of course unfortunate, we still stand behind the equipment and agian ask that if there is a performance issue to please alert us and we will have it taken care of.

 

Regarding the plumbing issue I beleive this was discussed at length in the original complaint and response. Any further information required by the Bureau we are happy to provide upon request.

In the interest of obtaining a resolution to the plumbing issue or re-purchase of the home to bring closure to the Cutomer we have offered to pay for a mediation process.

 

Thank you, ***** Hess

Consumer Response:


 Complaint: *******

I am rejecting this response because:
 
Hess has destroyed the value of our house and Hess must buy it back.  Please read our attached documents for more detailed information.
 
Thank you so very much for your patience!


Regards,

**** *********








Business Response:

We beleive the comments in the attached rejection ahve been addressed previously in writing and are happy to provide copies of documentation of all efforts to a requesting party. Unfortunatley Customer has repeatedly rejected our offers to remedy issues.  We have also offered to pay for local mediation frim of Customers choice in good faith attempt to remedy, Customer has failed to respond to that offer as well.

As a last resort we are offering to purchase the home back for the purchase price plus customers actual closing costs as a gesture of good faith. Customer has demanded purchase price plus 24%. Unfortuantley we feel that the Customer's request coupled with repeated rejections of offers to remedy has exposed a possible true motivation for this chain of events. Our offer stands to purchase the home back and allow all to move on. We also are accepting of any Mediation or Arbitration service that the Customer would agree to and have offered to absorb the cost of such.

 

Thank you, ***** Hess

Consumer Response: [To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]

 Complaint: *******

I am rejecting this response because:  Hess keeps trying very hard to make us to absorb the lost from their own construction defects.  Please read our attachments for why we reject Hess' meager offer.


Thank You!    


Regards,

**** *********