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Keystone Custom Homes, Inc.

Phone: (717) 464-9060 Fax: (717) 735-2034 227 Granite Run Dr  Ste 100, Lancaster, PA 17601 http://www.keystonecustomhome.com

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Keystone Custom Homes, 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 24 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

24 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 10 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 4
Problems with Product/Service 19
Total Closed Complaints 24

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: August 24, 1992 Business started: 06/01/1992
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Jeff Rutt, Owner Ms. Deirdre Kozma, Administrative Assistant Ms. Cindy Kreider, HR Director Ms. Sarah Young, Paralegal
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Jeff Rutt, Owner
Customer Contact: Ms. Sarah Young, Paralegal
Business Category

Home Builders


Additional Locations

  • 227 Granite Run Dr  Ste 100

    Lancaster, PA 17601

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Complaint Detail(s)

11/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service
10/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service
9/21/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues
8/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service
8/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/1/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
3/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Our current home is roughly 2 years old. The issues that we have had since we took ownership of the home and still have not be correct are as follows: 1. Cracks in the ceiling, every nail/screw is popping threw the drywall, 2. previous paint patchs are not covering any of the (incompetent keystone sub's) patch work, 3. truss uplift is separating our wall's from the ceilings, 4. all the molding in the home has shrunk leaving spacing in corners and edges, 5. shower leak under the floor created drywall damage and mold damage "pictures to prove" Keystone did nothing to fix the issue. 6. drainage issues in the back yard, setting water. 7. Keystone did not apply the correct amount of top soil, now grass will not grow " proven by *** **** Keystone had come out". 8 Fiber duct used in the basement does not meet building codes on the (R) value. 9. Concrete in the garage is chipping up cracking "other than expansion joints" currently 1'' deep. 10. Caulking around tubs have failed months after the home was built and now the sub floor is rotten, keystone did nothing when this was told to them. 11. kitchen sink leaked and warped cabinets, semi fixed but not 100%. 12. drywall chunks are under our carpet, keystone would never fix the issue. 13. HVAC unit installed incorrectly, they only have the return-air on one side of the unit and per the directions the return needs to be tied into both sides or one side and bottom of the unit. 14. Keystone had a broom in between the garage door to prop it open during construction and it bent the door, i asked this to be fixed on day one and they did nothing. 15. all windows had cracks around them due to taping was done wrong, keystone gave me trim to cover it. 16. Kitchen cabinet is becoming warped where the above shower leaked due to bad installation 'pictures to prove" may have mold behind the walls also. 17. HVAC temperature in master bedroom is 5 degrees different then other rooms on that floor 'damper is open 100% to the master bedroom - this may be due to keystone not insulation the garage 'garage door is always closed". 18. The jam to the walk out door to the garage is bowed down making you have to kick the doors to open them, "keystone tried to fix this but would have to redo the header and they never did it keeps sagging. 19. I tried to contact **** **** with keystone in the past weeks but he has ignored me. 20. the roof peaks on the home on both ends are popped up while the middle has sagged down. 21. building materials used to build the home were warped and soaked prior to installation 'pictures to prove" 22. garage step fell apart when we had company and they fell 'i had to make a temp step" 23. interior garage door to the house is rusted 'perhaps it was used prior to installing at my home". 24. keystone tried to fix floor squeaks by drilling threw the carpet and the carpet is still screwed to the sub floor. 25. all masonry around fire place is chipping and cracking. 26. the snow on the home roof has made loud crack noise's in the home and now the master bedroom has the corners of the wall's separating from the roof joists. note : this entire home has had many issues not mentioned in this complaint. When you spend over 315K on a home it should be correct! that's not including the land price.

Desired Settlement: I need keystone to fix these issues via paying me to have a competent contractor come in and fix our home. listed below are corresponding fixes with the problems me and my family are having. 1. repair all ceilings and repaint, 2. repair patch work and repaint, 3. reinforce truss's to the walls and paint and patch the ceilings, 4. remove existing molding and re-install new molding and repaint. 5. remove the shower and tare apart the floor and below ceiling and remove all damaged areas, repaint and patch. 6. regrade the yard to get positive flow away from the home, topsoil and sod yard. 7. install topsoil over the entire yard. 8. remove fiber duct and install metal duct and insulate it correctly. there is no way to insulate whats currently there. 9. saw-cut the garage floor and re- pour floor. 10 remove all sub-floor in the bathrooms and re install and install new floors. 11. install new cabinets 12. remove carpet and scrap floors clean and re install carpet and padding. 13. lift the HVAC unit and re-run the duct work per the installation drawings. 14.install a new garage door. 15. needs painted 16. remove and re install new cabinets. 17. install insulation in all garage walls with a insulated garage door. this may require removing all drywall in the garage. 18. remove siding and drywall and re build the header for the 6' door and install siding. 19. contact myself to fix issues 20. top of the roof needs to be removed and re built level. 21. i don't know how to fix this, this may be the reason we are having all the issues. 22. build new garage steps to the home. 23. install new interior garage door to the home. 24. remove carpet and trim to fix the floor and re install new carpet and padding. 25. remove the stone and re build the fire place. 26. have a structural engineer come into the home to correct this issue, when we heard the crack we thought the roof was going to fall on us while we were sleeping, then we noticed the cracks. note : this entire home has had many issues not mentioned in this complaint. When you spend over 315K on a home it should be correct! that's not including the land price.

Business Response:

I am writing in response to Complaint No. *******, filed by ******* ********, which I received on February 19, 2014.  The ********s’ home was completed in October, 2011 (the occupancy permit was issued October 26, 2011).  The ********s’ home was sold to them, subject to Keystone’s normal 1-year limited warranty and 20-year structural warranty. 

 

Keystone’s customer service department began working with the ********s shortly after the home was completed.  Keystone dealt with numerous matters through September of 2012 under warranty.  Keystone also dealt with the previous Better Business Bureau complaint filed by the ********s (No. *******), which was closed in October 2012.  The present complaint appears to be an aggregation of past complaints and a few new items.

 

I  note that **. ******** has sent numerous e-mails, copying them to such people as the Township’s engineer, State Senator ******* *****, the ******* Township manager, the ******* Township zoning officer, and an attorney (this attorney is apparently not licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, and Keystone has received no contact whatsoever from him or any notice from **.******** that he is now represented by counsel and that all contacts should be through counsel).

 

As an introduction to this response to **. ********’s complaint, I want to note that once construction is completed on a home, Keystone and the homeowner conduct a Celebration Inspection prior to the homeowner taking possession, which results in a written report signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********’s Celebration Inspection Report is attached. Keystone also conducts an 11-month walk-through inspection with the owner to determine any warranty issues (several Service Orders mentioned in this response were the result of this 11-month inspection with **. ********).  The resulting 11-Month Inspection Report is signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********s’ 11-month Inspection Report is attached. Reference to these two reports will be helpful in determining what issues were raised post-construction, but prior to possession, and what issues had been raised, but remained unresolved, at the time of the expiration of the new home warranty.

 

We will address each point made by **. ******** (I have copied his points, unedited); Keystone’s responses are in red:

 

1. Cracks in the ceiling, every nail/screw is popping threw the drywall,

 

Minor ceiling cracking and nail/screw pops are covered by the 1-year limited warranty.  The ******** home was inspected by Keystone personnel and the drywall subcontractor supervisor on October 13, 2012 (Service Order ****).  Repairs were made on November 2, 2012 (SO ****), and painting after repairs was completed by the painting subcontractor on November 2, 2012 (SO *****).  Keystone has no record of any additional complaints being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

2. previous paint patchs are not covering any of the (incompetent keystone sub's) patch work,

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

3. truss uplift is separating our wall's from the ceilings,

 

This was previously raised by **. ********.  Keystone engaged a contractor to correct this problem, and the work was completed on October 19, 2012.  Keystone has no record of any complaint regarding this matter since then.  The warranty specifications indicate that a gap of 1/8” or less requires no correction.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

4. all the molding in the home has shrunk leaving spacing in corners and edges,

 

Issue was raised by **. ******** at time of final warranty inspection.  At that time, the Keystone representative called **. ********’s attention to the following section of the appendix to the home warranty:

 

          “9-33.          Observation: Cracking will occur as part of normal settlement of the home.  Areas prone to such cracking are, but not limited to,                          1. Any area where drywall and wood trim meet.         

          2. Any inside corners where walls meet walls and where walls meet ceilings.                                                                                                     3. Where countertops and walls meet.

         

          Performance Guideline: Caulking is a homeowner maintenance issue.  Homeowner will have to caulk on a periodic basis in order to maintain surfaces in question.

         

          Corrective Measure: None”

 

**. ******** was advised at that time that this claim was not covered by the new home warranty and that Keystone would not be making any repairs.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised thereafter.  This is an ordinary homeowner maintenance issue.

 

5. shower leak under the floor created drywall damage and mold damage "pictures to prove" Keystone did nothing to fix the issue.

 

This issue was raised by **. ******** in March of 2013 (after the expiration of the warranty).  As an accommodation to the ********s, Keystone personnel addressed the matter.  Keystone involved the plumbing subcontractor which performed work on the ******** home, as **. ******** had a number of plumbing issues.  The subcontractor’s insurance adjuster visited the******** property to evaluate the potential claim. 

 

**. ******** has indicated that he will not permit anyone from Keystone or Keystone’s subcontractor to perform the work; he wants to have the work performed by a contractor of his choice.  He has made a flat demand for payment in the amount of $20,000 to settle his claim, but has provided no documentation, work estimate, etc. to justify this demand.  Keystone has not accepted liability for **. ********’s problem, but was working with him to reach an accord with Keystone/the subcontractor/the subcontractor’s insurer.  In order to make a determination of responsibility, Keystone has requested that 1) it be permitted to inspect everything before any work is done, 2) it be advised of all work and the cost thereof before work commences, and 3) it be provided with copies of all invoices, marked “paid”. 

 

The last contact in my file from **. ******** was May 22, 2013. He indicated that he had been ill, but would “will have something to you by mid next week at the latest.”  We have heard no further word since.  **. ******** is invited to contact our office to further progress on this matter.

 

 

6. drainage issues in the back yard, setting water.

 

This matter has been dealt with previously; this was the subject of the previous Better Business Bureau complaint no. *******, which was closed on October 5, 2012.  Grading, etc. was according to plan.  The appendix to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____1-2.                    Observation:  The site does not drain properly.

                        Performance Guideline: The necessary grades and swales should have been established by Builder to ensure proper drainage away from the home.  Standing or pondingwater shall not remain for extended periods in the immediate area of the house after a          rain (generally no more than 24 hours), except in swales that drain other areas or in areas where sump pumps discharge.  In these areas a longer period can be anticipated (generally no more than 48 hours).  The possibility of standing water after an unusually heavy rainfall should be anticipated by the owner.  No grading determination shall be made while frost or snow is on the ground or while            the ground is saturated.

                        Corrective Measure: Builder is responsible only for initially establishing the proper grades and swales.  The owner is responsible for maintaining such grades and swales once they             have been properly established by Builder.

 

7. Keystone did not apply the correct amount of top soil, now grass will not grow " proven by *** **** Keystone had come out".

 

This issue was raised by the ********s with Keystone personnel in an e-mail dated 3/26/12.  At that time, the ********s were advised that the fill and topsoil on their lot was completed according to applicable regulations.  This matter was raised during the warranty period. 

 

Section 5 of the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

Keystone does not warrant or guarantee the following:

 

      . . . e.  The quality or quantity of growth of grass;

 

The addendum to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____12-3.Observation: Grass seed does not germinate within 180 days of the acceptance of the project.

            Performance Guideline: Maintenance of the lawn, including watering, reseeding, erosion and washouts after settlement, is the homeowner’s sole responsibility. Builder does not guarantee the quantity or quality of growth of grass.

            Corrective Measure: None.

This item is not covered by the warranty, which, in any event, expired in October, 2012.

 

8.   Fiber duct used in the basement does not meet building codes on the (R) value.

 

All materials used were according to specifications and Code requirements.  It should be noted that the basement is “conditioned space” under the Building Code; the “R Value” requirements do not apply to “conditioned space”.

 

9. Concrete in the garage is chipping up cracking "other than expansion joints" currently 1'' deep.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  This does not appear on the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports.  This is now outside warranty.

 

10. Caulking around tubs have failed months after the home was built and now the sub floor is rotten, keystone did nothing when this was told to them.

 

Damage was caused by the homeowners’ failure to maintain calking, as required by Observation Guideline 9-33, set forth in the response to item 4 above.  Keystone will not address this issue.

 

11. kitchen sink leaked and warped cabinets, semi fixed but not 100%.

 

New cabinet skin and kickplate were installed on February 4, 2012 (SO 49545).  At **. ********’s request, Keystone reimbursed **. ******** for the expense of re-plumbing the P-trap under the sink, the work having been done by **. ********’s father, rather than by Keystone personnel or subcontractors.  This issue has been resolved, and Keystone has no further responsibility. 

 

12. drywall chunks are under our carpet, keystone would never fix the issue.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  This matter does not appear in either the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports, both of which were signed by **. ********.  Keystone is not responsible for matters raised for the first time more than 2 years after the homeowner takes possession of the home, except for structural matters.

 

13. HVAC unit installed incorrectly, they only have the return-air on one side of the unit and per the directions the return needs to be tied into both sides or one side and bottom of the unit.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 

 

14. Keystone had a broom in between the garage door to prop it open during construction and it bent the door, i asked this to be fixed on day one and they did nothing.

 

**. ******** is indicating that this claim is based on conduct by Keystone or its subcontractors during the construction phase of his home and that the problem existed at the time that he took possession of his home.  The only mention of the garage door is a notation in the 11-month Inspection Report that the door was dented at the 11-month inspection time (there is no mention of a garage door problem in the Celebration Inspection Report).  This is simply a notation of the condition, and no mention is made of the cause or of any claim against Keystone. There is no mention of broomsticks or a bent garage door in the Celebration Inspection Report, and Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  It therefore appears that any problem with the garage door at this point, more than 2 years after completion of the home, is the homeowners’ problem.

 

15. all windows had cracks around them due to taping was done wrong, keystone gave me trim to cover it.

 

**. ******** has misstated this matter in his complaint.  The areas in question were taped properly.  The cracking is due to normal settlement at caulked joints.  Although this is a non-warranty item, the previous regional manager agreed to provide **. ******** with trim as an accommodation to him.  **. ******** indicated he would install the trim, and it trim (SO 50169) and paint (SO 50179) were delivered to home on, respectively, April 26, 2012 and May 7, 2012.  As state above, caulked joints are not covered by the new home warranty, but this courtesy was extended as an accommodation to **. ********.  Keystone has no further responsibility regarding this claim.

 

16. Kitchen cabinet is becoming warped where the above shower leaked due to bad installation 'pictures to prove" may have mold behind the walls also.

 

Please see discussion of items 5 and 11 above.

 

17. HVAC temperature in master bedroom is 5 degrees different then other rooms on that floor 'damper is open 100% to the master bedroom - this may be due to keystone not insulation the garage 'garage door is always closed".

 

HVAC system was constructed according to specifications, based on square footage of the home.  All insulation required by Code and/or appearing in the specifications for the home was installed.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 

 

18. The jam to the walk out door to the garage is bowed down making you have to kick the doors to open them, "keystone tried to fix this but would have to redo the header and they never did it keeps sagging.

 

This matter was addressed on October 3, 2012 (SO 51296).  Door worked properly at time of repair.  This item is now more than a year outside warranty and will not be addressed further.

 

19. I tried to contact **** **** with keystone in the past weeks but he has ignored me.

 

Unfortunately, **. ****, as CEO of a company which is the largest residential builder in eastern Pennsylvania and is currently building homes in more than 40 different communities in 2 states, cannot personally address individual customer service issues.  The ********s have been advised to make their contacts through Keystone’s customer service department and have been assigned customer service representatives to address their concerns.  Keystone has no record of recent contact by **. ******** with the customer service department.

 

20. the roof peaks on the home on both ends are popped up while the middle has sagged down.

 

If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.  It should be noted that the ends may only appear to be elevated.  The roof ends 2’ in, and the plywood would typically run up to the peak of the truss.  In between these two points, the sheathing is left 2” low on each side of truss for ridge vent installation.  This can make it appear that  the gable ends are elevated when they are not.

 

21. building materials used to build the home were warped and soaked prior to installation 'pictures to prove"

 

In the normal course of construction of a home, some building materials will become wet, particularly materials on site prior to the home being placed “under roof”.  This is normal in construction.  All materials are permitted to dry before installation.  In the case of framing and related structures, they are allowed to air dry completely before being covered.  All materials used in this home  were new materials in new condition.  All construction was subject to periodic inspections, and all construction was accepted by the inspector.

 

22. garage step fell apart when we had company and they fell 'i had to make a temp step"

 

Referencing the Celebration and 11-month Inspection Reports which are attached, no mention of a problem with this step is mentioned.  No previous mention of this appears in Keystone’s service records.  At this point, more than 2 years after the ********s took possession of the home and more than a year beyond the warranty coverage period, Keystone has no way of gauging the cause of any problem or determining whether abuse is the source of the problem.  The step was solidly constructed and, apparently, was intact throughout the warranty period.  This is a homeowner maintenance matter.

 

23. interior garage door to the house is rusted 'perhaps it was used prior to installing at my home".

 

Only new materials were utilized in the construction of this home.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

24. keystone tried to fix floor squeaks by drilling threw the carpet and the carpet is still screwed to the sub floor.

 

Floor squeaks were repaired by Keystone personnel in October, 2012.  “Squeak-no-more: screws were used in the repair, which are installed through the backing of the carpet, but do not screw the carpet to the floor (or subfloor).  Keystone has no record of any complaint since. This matter is now outside warranty.

 

25. all masonry around fire place is chipping and cracking.

 

Masonry subcontractor used proper specified materials and installed masonry per plan.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

26. the snow on the home roof has made loud crack noise's in the home and now the master bedroom has the corners of the wall's separating from the roof joists.

 

Keystone has no record of any prior complaint regarding this item.  Under heavy snow loads such as the loads experienced in 2013, coupled with unusually low temperatures, or in heavy winds, it is normal for trusses to deflect slightly, and some flexibility is necessary to provide structural integrity.  In such circumstances, sounds may produced which are not experienced under normal conditions.  If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.

 

The ******** home has been the subject of 43 Service Orders since the ********s took possession of their home in October, 2011, and various customer service personnel have been in repeated contact with **. ******** in attempts to resolve his issues.  To date, Keystone has paid its subcontractors and vendors a total of $9,474.41 in completing these Service Orders.  Keystone strives to meet every customer’s expectations in all of its more than 40 active communities, and every effort has been made to make the ********s part of the family of satisfied customers.  Keystone has made a good faith effort to address all of the *******s’ concerns.  It is unfortunate that these efforts have apparently not satisfied them.  As stated above, Keystone has been prepared to address the plumbing issue for some time, but has not received the necessary contacts and information from the ********s (the last contact was May 22, 2013).  We look forward to resolving the issues discussed under numbers 5, 20, and 26 above in cooperation with **. ********.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
******************************

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:

 
Please see the comments under Keystone in BOLD. 

I am writing in response to Complaint No. *******, filed by ******* ********, which I received on February 19, 2014.  The ********s’ home was completed in October, 2011 (the occupancy permit was issued October 26, 2011).  The ********s’ home was sold to them, subject to Keystone’s normal 1-year limited warranty and 20-year structural warranty. Items in my response to the BBB have been ongoing from ownership of my home. These are not new issues, nor made up claims. Everything i stated has photos and you can see the issues to this day. 

 

Keystone’s customer service department began working with the ********s shortly after the home was completed.  Keystone dealt with numerous matters through September of 2012 under warranty.  Keystone also dealt with the previous Better Business Bureau complaint filed by the ********s (No. *******), which was closed in October 2012.  The present complaint appears to be an aggregation of past complaints and a few new items. 


This complaint has to due with issues never being resolved to the my satisfaction.  I just wanted a home that was new with no issues, i got a home with many issues due to Keystone's incompetent supervision and neglect on workman ship and materials while they were building my home. My home was not in a development so they didn't have the same urgency as a development lot. 

 

I  note that **. ******** has sent numerous e-mails, copying them to such people as the Township’s engineer, State Senator Michael *****, the ******* Township manager, the ******* Township zoning officer, and an attorney (this attorney is apparently not licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, and Keystone has received no contact whatsoever from him or any notice from **.******** that he is now represented by counsel and that all contacts should be through counsel).


Keystone would not respond unless i sent emails to ******* Township. ***** ******** also stated he wanted to "kick my *** " when i sent emails to the township. He was a former employee of Keystone. **** ****** with Keystone stated that is what ***** said. He also said it would be best i i would work with him rather than ***** due to how angry ***** was at myself. 

 

As an introduction to this response to **. ********’s complaint, I want to note that once construction is completed on a home, Keystone and the homeowner conduct a Celebration Inspection prior to the homeowner taking possession, which results in a written report signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********’s Celebration Inspection Report is attached. Keystone also conducts an 11-month walk-through inspection with the owner to determine any warranty issues (several Service Orders mentioned in this response were the result of this 11-month inspection with **. ********).  The resulting 11-Month Inspection Report is signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********s’ 11-month Inspection Report is attached. Reference to these two reports will be helpful in determining what issues were raised post-construction, but prior to possession, and what issues had been raised, but remained unresolved, at the time of the expiration of the new home warranty.


The issues have not been resolved and must be fixed. 

 

We will address each point made by **. ******** (I have copied his points, unedited); Keystone’s responses are in red:

 

1. Cracks in the ceiling, every nail/screw is popping threw the drywall,

 

Minor ceiling cracking and nail/screw pops are covered by the 1-year limited warranty.  The ******** home was inspected by Keystone personnel and the drywall subcontractor supervisor on October 13, 2012 (Service Order 5106).  Repairs were made on November 2, 2012 (SO ****), and painting after repairs was completed by the painting subcontractor on November 2, 2012 (SO *****).  Keystone has no record of any additional complaints being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.


The home has many cracks and half paint patches due to the wood shrinking after the installation of the lumber and drywall. the patching/painting was never completed,  Keystone has nothing stating it was completed and signed off by myself. This must be fixed. 

 

2. previous paint patchs are not covering any of the (incompetent keystone sub's) patch work,

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.


Keystone has acknowledged this issue when they came out to fix them, they just tried to fix them improperly with out care. This must be fixed. 

 

3. truss uplift is separating our wall's from the ceilings,

 

This was previously raised by **. ********.  Keystone engaged a contractor to correct this problem, and the work was completed on October 19, 2012.  Keystone has no record of any complaint regarding this matter since then.  The warranty specifications indicate that a gap of 1/8” or less requires no correction.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.


The truss uplift is hapening in the exact same places of where they tried to fix them in the first place. This is an ongoing issue that's been going on months after we moved in. This may also have to do with wet lumber and/or the incompetence of the workman ship during the installation. This must be fixed. 

 

4. all the molding in the home has shrunk leaving spacing in corners and edges,

 

Issue was raised by **. ******** at time of final warranty inspection.  At that time, the Keystone representative called **. ********’s attention to the following section of the appendix to the home warranty:

 

          “9-33.          Observation: Cracking will occur as part of normal settlement of the home.  Areas prone to such cracking are, but not limited to,                          1. Any area where drywall and wood trim meet.         

          2. Any inside corners where walls meet walls and where walls meet ceilings.                                                                                                     3. Where countertops and walls meet.

         

          Performance Guideline: Caulking is a homeowner maintenance issue.  Homeowner will have to caulk on a periodic basis in order to maintain surfaces in question.

         

          Corrective Measure: None”

 

**. ******** was advised at that time that this claim was not covered by the new home warranty and that Keystone would not be making any repairs.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised thereafter.  This is an ordinary homeowner maintenance issue.


This issue was told to **** ****** who neglected to fix. He was also an employee of Keystone.  This issue is due to the lumber shrinking and the trim staying the same size. This must be fixed. 

 

5. shower leak under the floor created drywall damage and mold damage "pictures to prove" Keystone did nothing to fix the issue.

 

This issue was raised by **. ******** in March of 2013 (after the expiration of the warranty).  As an accommodation to the ********s, Keystone personnel addressed the matter.  Keystone involved the plumbing subcontractor which performed work on the ******** home, as **. ******** had a number of plumbing issues.  The subcontractor’s insurance adjuster visited the******** property to evaluate the potential claim. 


The insurance adjuster was to issue me a check per **** ****** an employee of Keystone. I had not gotten any responce from anybody. I would think Keystone would have followed up on such a issue. 

 

**. ******** has indicated that he will not permit anyone from Keystone or Keystone’s subcontractor to perform the work; he wants to have the work performed by a contractor of his choice.  He has made a flat demand for payment in the amount of $20,000 to settle his claim, but has provided no documentation, work estimate, etc. to justify this demand.  Keystone has not accepted liability for **. ********’s problem, but was working with him to reach an accord with Keystone/the subcontractor/the subcontractor’s insurer.  In order to make a determination of responsibility, Keystone has requested that 1) it be permitted to inspect everything before any work is done, 2) it be advised of all work and the cost thereof before work commences, and 3) it be provided with copies of all invoices, marked “paid”. 


Again, Keystone was suppose to pay me when the insurance adjuster came to my home. They let the ball drop and didn't contact me. This must be fixed. 

 

The last contact in my file from **. ******** was May 22, 2013. He indicated that he had been ill, but would “will have something to you by mid next week at the latest.”  We have heard no further word since.  **. ******** is invited to contact our office to further progress on this matter.

This issue must be addressed. What did ***'s insurance company say? Why did Keystone not try to reach me to discuss? Why wait? Why let such a huge issue go unresolved. Keystone clearly didn't want to fix the issue and they don't care about there customer.  This must be fixed. 


 

 

6. drainage issues in the back yard, setting water.

 

This matter has been dealt with previously; this was the subject of the previous Better Business Bureau complaint no. *******, which was closed on October 5, 2012.  Grading, etc. was according to plan.  The appendix to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____1-2.                    Observation:  The site does not drain properly.

                        Performance Guideline: The necessary grades and swales should have been established by Builder to ensure proper drainage away from the home.  Standing or pondingwater shall not remain for extended periods in the immediate area of the house after a          rain (generally no more than 24 hours), except in swales that drain other areas or in areas where sump pumps discharge.  In these areas a longer period can be anticipated (generally no more than 48 hours).  The possibility of standing water after an unusually heavy rainfall should be anticipated by the owner.  No grading determination shall be made while frost or snow is on the ground or while            the ground is saturated.

                        Corrective Measure: Builder is responsible only for initially establishing the proper grades and swales.  The owner is responsible for maintaining such grades and swales once they             have been properly established by Builder.


Keystone had there engineer shoot grades and they came up with negitive water flow from the home. They came up with a fix to blacktop more of the yard and install a (2) drains. (1) drain was installed, thus we are still having a drainage issue. No follow up from Keystone. This must be fixed.  

 

7. Keystone did not apply the correct amount of top soil, now grass will not grow " proven by *** **** Keystone had come out".

 

This issue was raised by the ********s with Keystone personnel in an e-mail dated 3/26/12.  At that time, the ********s were advised that the fill and topsoil on their lot was completed according to applicable regulations.  This matter was raised during the warranty period. 

 

Section 5 of the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

Keystone does not warrant or guarantee the following:

 

      . . . e.  The quality or quantity of growth of grass;

 

The addendum to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____12-3.Observation: Grass seed does not germinate within 180 days of the acceptance of the project.

            Performance Guideline: Maintenance of the lawn, including watering, reseeding, erosion and washouts after settlement, is the homeowner’s sole responsibility. Builder does not guarantee the quantity or quality of growth of grass.

            Corrective Measure: None.

This item is not covered by the warranty, which, in any event, expired in October, 2012.


The home was completed in October. They put down temporary seed and left the yard a mess. They were to come back and install  4'' of top soil per the contract. They did not install 4'' of top soil. Keystone was aware of this issue and had a ******* come out to the home, the ******* also said there was only 2'' of topsoil on the ground. If keystone did not have to fix the issue why did they send out a *** ****? They assumed responsibility, and didn't correct the issue. ***** ******** was onsite with the *** **** and is aware of the issue. This must be fixed. 

 

8.   Fiber duct used in the basement does not meet building codes on the (R) value.

 

All materials used were according to specifications and Code requirements.  It should be noted that the basement is “conditioned space” under the Building Code; the “R Value” requirements do not apply to “conditioned space”.


Keystone installed vents in the basement, thus making the basement a conditioned space. This must be fixed. 


 

9. Concrete in the garage is chipping up cracking "other than expansion joints" currently 1'' deep.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  This does not appear on the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports.  This is now outside warranty.


Concrete is a structural component of construction and is part of the warranty. The floor also has hollow voids underneath. This can be proven with xray and hollow sounds when you tap the concrete. 

 

10. Caulking around tubs have failed months after the home was built and now the sub floor is rotten, keystone did nothing when this was told to them.

 

Damage was caused by the homeowners’ failure to maintain calking, as required by Observation Guideline 9-33, set forth in the response to item 4 above.  Keystone will not address this issue.


This issue was brought to **** ****** and ***** ******** who worked with Keystone. They saw the issue and failed to fix them when the warranty was in effect. 


 

11. kitchen sink leaked and warped cabinets, semi fixed but not 100%.

 

New cabinet skin and kickplate were installed on February 4, 2012 (SO 49545).  At **. ********’s request, Keystone reimbursed **. ******** for the expense of re-plumbing the P-trap under the sink, the work having been done by **. ********’s father, rather than by Keystone personnel or subcontractors.  This issue has been resolved, and Keystone has no further responsibility. 


Correct

 

12. drywall chunks are under our carpet, keystone would never fix the issue.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  This matter does not appear in either the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports, both of which were signed by **. ********.  Keystone is not responsible for matters raised for the first time more than 2 years after the homeowner takes possession of the home, except for structural matters.


This issue was brought up to **** ****** and he said the floors would need to be taken out. This never happen. Chunks are still under the floor as proof. 

 

13. HVAC unit installed incorrectly, they only have the return-air on one side of the unit and per the directions the return needs to be tied into both sides or one side and bottom of the unit.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 


This is a installation issue that should be corrected. Let it be noted if you don't catch an issue at first Keystone feels it is there right to let the incompetent installation stay, as long as the warranty period is up. This is clearly a installation issue, this will cause the unit to overload and drawing return air and make the unit fail prematurely. This item must be fixed. 

 

14. Keystone had a broom in between the garage door to prop it open during construction and it bent the door, i asked this to be fixed on day one and they did nothing.

 

**. ******** is indicating that this claim is based on conduct by Keystone or its subcontractors during the construction phase of his home and that the problem existed at the time that he took possession of his home.  The only mention of the garage door is a notation in the 11-month Inspection Report that the door was dented at the 11-month inspection time (there is no mention of a garage door problem in the Celebration Inspection Report).  This is simply a notation of the condition, and no mention is made of the cause or of any claim against Keystone. There is no mention of broomsticks or a bent garage door in the Celebration Inspection Report, and Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  It therefore appears that any problem with the garage door at this point, more than 2 years after completion of the home, is the homeowners’ problem.


This has been discussed with **** ****** and he said they wouldn't fix the issue. This must be fixed. 


 

15. all windows had cracks around them due to taping was done wrong, keystone gave me trim to cover it.

 

**. ******** has misstated this matter in his complaint.  The areas in question were taped properly.  The cracking is due to normal settlement at caulked joints.  Although this is a non-warranty item, the previous regional manager agreed to provide **. ******** with trim as an accommodation to him.  **. ******** indicated he would install the trim, and it trim (SO 50169) and paint (SO 50179) were delivered to home on, respectively, April 26, 2012 and May 7, 2012.  As state above, caulked joints are not covered by the new home warranty, but this courtesy was extended as an accommodation to **. ********.  Keystone has no further responsibility regarding this claim.


Correct

 

16. Kitchen cabinet is becoming warped where the above shower leaked due to bad installation 'pictures to prove" may have mold behind the walls also.

 

Please see discussion of items 5 and 11 above.


This item must be corrected. 

 

17. HVAC temperature in master bedroom is 5 degrees different then other rooms on that floor 'damper is open 100% to the master bedroom - this may be due to keystone not insulation the garage 'garage door is always closed".

 

HVAC system was constructed according to specifications, based on square footage of the home.  All insulation required by Code and/or appearing in the specifications for the home was installed.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 


**** ****** with Keystone stated if we have a 3 degree change they will come back to fix the inconsistency. The master bedroom is above the garage and if the garage was isolated this would be a non-issue. This needs to be fixed. 

 

18. The jam to the walk out door to the garage is bowed down making you have to kick the doors to open them, "keystone tried to fix this but would have to redo the header and they never did it keeps sagging.

 

This matter was addressed on October 3, 2012 (SO 51296).  Door worked properly at time of repair.  This item is now more than a year outside warranty and will not be addressed further.


This is an issue that was attempted to be corrected in the warranty period, but it was not done correctly. Doors must be kicked to open and closed. This must be fixed. 

 

19. I tried to contact **** **** with keystone in the past weeks but he has ignored me.

 

Unfortunately, **. ****, as CEO of a company which is the largest residential builder in eastern Pennsylvania and is currently building homes in more than 40 different communities in 2 states, cannot personally address individual customer service issues.  The ********s have been advised to make their contacts through Keystone’s customer service department and have been assigned customer service representatives to address their concerns.  Keystone has no record of recent contact by **. ******** with the customer service department.


I atempeted to contact **** ****** and ***** ******** with Keystone, both no longer work with Keystone. Keystone never advised me to contact there customer service, didn't i do that when i contacted the owner? I would think out of anybody he would be on top the company. Apparently i was incorrect. **** did not respond and never took the time to take my calls. 

 

20. the roof peaks on the home on both ends are popped up while the middle has sagged down.

 

If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.  It should be noted that the ends may only appear to be elevated.  The roof ends 2’ in, and the plywood would typically run up to the peak of the truss.  In between these two points, the sheathing is left 2” low on each side of truss for ridge vent installation.  This can make it appear that  the gable ends are elevated when they are not.


This is an issue with the soaked lumber that was used during construction. The lumber had no time to dry out nor was it attempted to be covered prior to shingling the roof. This must be fixed. 

 

21. building materials used to build the home were warped and soaked prior to installation 'pictures to prove"

 

In the normal course of construction of a home, some building materials will become wet, particularly materials on site prior to the home being placed “under roof”.  This is normal in construction.  All materials are permitted to dry before installation.  In the case of framing and related structures, they are allowed to air dry completely before being covered.  All materials used in this home  were new materials in new condition.  All construction was subject to periodic inspections, and all construction was accepted by the inspector.


The roof was on the home with over 2'' of standing water in the basement of the home. Pictures to prove this issue. The HVAC, Plumber and Electrician were working in water and mud in the basement. There is still mud on our steps to the basement and mud on the floor joists. Keystone assumes they home was dry and it was not. This is an issue due to the non management of our home. This must be fixed. 

 

22. garage step fell apart when we had company and they fell 'i had to make a temp step"

 

Referencing the Celebration and 11-month Inspection Reports which are attached, no mention of a problem with this step is mentioned.  No previous mention of this appears in Keystone’s service records.  At this point, more than 2 years after the ********s took possession of the home and more than a year beyond the warranty coverage period, Keystone has no way of gauging the cause of any problem or determining whether abuse is the source of the problem.  The step was solidly constructed and, apparently, was intact throughout the warranty period.  This is a homeowner maintenance matter.


The step was poured 1.5'' in the concrete, when it fell apart the concrete shows were it the steps popped out. This is still an issue, and steps are a structural item. This needs to be fixed. 

 

23. interior garage door to the house is rusted 'perhaps it was used prior to installing at my home".

 

Only new materials were utilized in the construction of this home.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.


Nothing i can do to prove its an old door. I dont understand how a door can rust within 2 years. The door is not in the elements. 

 

24. keystone tried to fix floor squeaks by drilling threw the carpet and the carpet is still screwed to the sub floor.

 

Floor squeaks were repaired by Keystone personnel in October, 2012.  “Squeak-no-more: screws were used in the repair, which are installed through the backing of the carpet, but do not screw the carpet to the floor (or subfloor).  Keystone has no record of any complaint since. This matter is now outside warranty.


**** ****** installed the screws and he said that's what the screws do.... I said "stick up and prick your feet" The floor needs to be fixed. 

 

25. all masonry around fire place is chipping and cracking.

 

Masonry subcontractor used proper specified materials and installed masonry per plan.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.


Masonry should not crack, unless what its attached to is wet lumber and when it shrinks the mortar will crack. This needs to be fixed. 

 

26. the snow on the home roof has made loud crack noise's in the home and now the master bedroom has the corners of the wall's separating from the roof joists.

 

Keystone has no record of any prior complaint regarding this item.  Under heavy snow loads such as the loads experienced in 2013, coupled with unusually low temperatures, or in heavy winds, it is normal for trusses to deflect slightly, and some flexibility is necessary to provide structural integrity.  In such circumstances, sounds may produced which are not experienced under normal conditions.  If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.


This item and the cracking in the walls due to this must be fixed. 

 

The ******** home has been the subject of 43 Service Orders since the ********s took possession of their home in October, 2011, and various customer service personnel have been in repeated contact with **. ******** in attempts to resolve his issues.  To date, Keystone has paid its subcontractors and vendors a total of $9,474.41 in completing these Service Orders.  Keystone strives to meet every customer’s expectations in all of its more than 40 active communities, and every effort has been made to make the ********s part of the family of satisfied customers.  Keystone has made a good faith effort to address all of the *******s’ concerns.  It is unfortunate that these efforts have apparently not satisfied them.  As stated above, Keystone has been prepared to address the plumbing issue for some time, but has not received the necessary contacts and information from the ********s (the last contact was May 22, 2013).  We look forward to resolving the issues discussed under numbers 5, 20, and 26 above in cooperation with **. ********.


Keystone has tried to get away with many items in my home. I was a construction manager for 15 years. I know whats done right and wrong. Keystone has tried to get away with there incorrect/incompetence thus far. My home cost over 300K excluding the land and utilities. These items must be fixed. John Kamin with Keystone called me over (2) weeks after my calls to **** ****. He said he was sorry for dropping the ball regarding my calls. He was unaware i contacted the BBB and asked me to send them the info on my complaint, so i did. I have pictures of all related issues in this complaint. My wife Crystal is also a witness to all conversations with Keystone. John Kamin also indicated that we didn't pay the correct price for our home and he would have to charge us more money after the loan was approved. I told John to forget about the home, he than said don't worry about it. Keystone also inflated the price of my current home to cover the cost of my old home that they bought threw (Certain Sale). I didn't know that was against the law (fraud), I would have never sold my town home to Keystone and had them inflate my current home to cover the difference. Keystone miss-lead me in my home buying experience from day 1!

 

Thanks

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 



Regards,

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








Business Response:

Regarding Complaint No. *******, filed by ******* ********, I am responding to **. ********’s reply to Keystone’s answer to his complaint, which was received by us March 4, 2014. 

 

Keystone provided an extensive response to **. ********’s complaint, addressing his issues point-by-point.  In his response, **. ******** has maintained the same point-by-point structure, and we will continue to do so in our response. 

 

Some points will not again be addressed in this response.  In those cases where no response is provided here, it is Keystone’s position that a full response has been given and that no further response is necessary.  Many of **. ********’s responses are simple statements that he does not agree with the Keystone response and that that issue must be resolved.  With no additional information being presented by **. ********, it would seem that no additional response is necessary; there is no point in getting into a back-and-forth argument which amounts to “I am right and you are not”.

 

 

The key to the responses below is as follows:

 

            Regular type-points originally made by **. ********

            Red- Keystone’s responses to the original points

            Bold-**. ********’s responses to these responses

            Blue-Keystone’s responses to these responses

 

Thank you again for your consideration.

 

****** ** ******, Esquire

227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
******************************

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

I am writing in response to Complaint No. *******, filed by ******* ********, which I received on February 19, 2014.  The ********s’ home was completed in October, 2011 (the occupancy permit was issued October 26, 2011).  The ********s’ home was sold to them, subject to Keystone’s normal 1-year limited warranty and 20-year structural warranty. 

 

Items in my response to the BBB have been ongoing from ownership of my home. These are not new issues, nor made up claims. Everything i stated has photos and you can see the issues to this day. 

 

The timing of complaints, etc., is discussed throughout this document and is not specifically addressed here.

 

Keystone’s customer service department began working with the ********s shortly after the home was completed.  Keystone dealt with numerous matters through September of 2012 under warranty.  Keystone also dealt with the previous Better Business Bureau complaint filed by the ********s (No. *******), which was closed in October 2012.  The present complaint appears to be an aggregation of past complaints and a few new items. 

 

This complaint has to due with issues never being resolved to the my satisfaction.  I just wanted a home that was new with no issues, i got a home with many issues due to Keystone's incompetent supervision and neglect on workman ship and materials while they were building my home. My home was not in a development so they didn't have the same urgency as a development lot. 

 

Whether matters have been previously resolved to **. ********’s satisfaction is discussed at various places throughout this document and is not specifically addressed here.  Keystone exercised due care in supervising the construction, materials, and workmanship in the ******* home, and customer service personnel have strived to meet the ********s’ expectations with the same diligence it pursues with homes in all of its 40+ active communities.

 

I  note that **. ******** has sent numerous e-mails, copying them to such people as the Township’s engineer, State Senator Michael *****, the ******* Township manager, the ******* Township zoning officer, and an attorney (this attorney is apparently not licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, and Keystone has received no contact whatsoever from him or any notice from **.******** that he is now represented by counsel and that all contacts should be through counsel).

 

Keystone would not respond unless i sent emails to ******* Township. ***** ******** also stated he wanted to "kick my ass " when i sent emails to the township. He was a former employee of Keystone. Evan Carter with Keystone stated that is what ***** said. He also said it would be best i i would work with him rather than ***** due to how angry ***** was at myself. 

 

Keystone has made every effort to respond to the ********s’ issues.  In situations where a particular homeowner does not immediately receive the response or solution he or she desires, the homeowner may feel that he or she is exercising some sort of pressure on Keystone by contacting government personnel.  It is Keystone’s experience that such actions may have an effect other than that intended by the homeowner. In the ********s’ case, attempts to involve others have had no effect upon the responses provided by Keystone; Keystone has made every attempt to meet the ********s’ expectations.  Keystone acknowledges that its personnel have at times been frustrated or even exasperated in dealing with **. ********. However, no employee is authorized to deal with any homeowner in an abusive manner, and, on the contrary, such unprofessional conduct is expressly prohibited.  We do not want to get into a finger-pointing contest, but from the information available to us, we must state that, to our knowledge, Keystone’s former employee did not speak abusively to **. ********.

 

As an introduction to this response to **. ********’s complaint, I want to note that once construction is completed on a home, Keystone and the homeowner conduct a Celebration Inspection prior to the homeowner taking possession, which results in a written report signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********’s Celebration Inspection Report is attached. Keystone also conducts an 11-month walk-through inspection with the owner to determine any warranty issues (several Service Orders mentioned in this response were the result of this 11-month inspection with **. ********).  The resulting 11-Month Inspection Report is signed by the homeowner.  A copy of the ********s’ 11-month Inspection Report is attached. Reference to these two reports will be helpful in determining what issues were raised post-construction, but prior to possession, and what issues had been raised, but remained unresolved, at the time of the expiration of the new home warranty.

 

The issues have not been resolved and must be fixed. 

 

Any sign-offs on work completed or on matters raised as shown on the 11-Month Inspection Report, provided as an attachment with Keystone’s previous answer to **. ********’s complaint, speak for themselves.

 

We will address each point made by **. ******** (I have copied his points, unedited); Keystone’s responses are in red:

 

1. Cracks in the ceiling, every nail/screw is popping threw the drywall,

 

Minor ceiling cracking and nail/screw pops are covered by the 1-year limited warranty.  The ******** home was inspected by Keystone personnel and the drywall subcontractor supervisor on October 13, 2012 (Service Order 5106).  Repairs were made on November 2, 2012 (SO ****), and painting after repairs was completed by the painting subcontractor on November 2, 2012 (SO *****).  Keystone has no record of any additional complaints being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

The home has many cracks and half paint patches due to the wood shrinking after the installation of the lumber and drywall. the patching/painting was never completed,  Keystone has nothing stating it was completed and signed off by myself. This must be fixed. 

 

As indicated previously, this matter was completed in November, 2012, and the Service Order was closed.  No additional correspondence has been received regarding this matter until the filing of the present complaint.  These matters are now outside warranty.

 

2. previous paint patchs are not covering any of the (incompetent keystone sub's) patch work,

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

Keystone has acknowledged this issue when they came out to fix them, they just tried to fix them improperly with out care. This must be fixed. 

 

3. truss uplift is separating our wall's from the ceilings,

 

This was previously raised by **. ********.  Keystone engaged a contractor to correct this problem, and the work was completed on October 19, 2012.  Keystone has no record of any complaint regarding this matter since then.  The warranty specifications indicate that a gap of 1/8” or less requires no correction.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

The truss uplift is hapening in the exact same places of where they tried to fix them in the first place. This is an ongoing issue that's been going on months after we moved in. This may also have to do with wet lumber and/or the incompetence of the workman ship during the installation. This must be fixed. 

 

If truss uplift has occurred in the same area as previously, Keystone will be happy to inspect the situation and, if warranted, correct it.  **. ******** should contact Keystone’s customer service department.

 

4. all the molding in the home has shrunk leaving spacing in corners and edges,

 

Issue was raised by **. ******** at time of final warranty inspection.  At that time, the Keystone representative called **. ********’s attention to the following section of the appendix to the home warranty:

 

          “9-33.          Observation: Cracking will occur as part of normal settlement of the home.  Areas prone to such cracking are, but not limited to,                          1. Any area where drywall and wood trim meet.         

          2. Any inside corners where walls meet walls and where walls meet ceilings.                                                                                                     3. Where countertops and walls meet.

         

          Performance Guideline: Caulking is a homeowner maintenance issue.  Homeowner will have to caulk on a periodic basis in order to maintain surfaces in question.

         

          Corrective Measure: None”

 

**. ******** was advised at that time that this claim was not covered by the new home warranty and that Keystone would not be making any repairs.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised thereafter.  This is an ordinary homeowner maintenance issue.

 

This issue was told to Evan Carter who neglected to fix. He was also an employee of Keystone.  This issue is due to the lumber shrinking and the trim staying the same size. This must be fixed. 

 

5. shower leak under the floor created drywall damage and mold damage "pictures to prove" Keystone did nothing to fix the issue.

 

This issue was raised by **. ******** in March of 2013 (after the expiration of the warranty).  As an accommodation to the ********s, Keystone personnel addressed the matter.  Keystone involved the plumbing subcontractor which performed work on the ******** home, as **. ******** had a number of plumbing issues.  The subcontractor’s insurance adjuster visited the ******** property to evaluate the potential claim. 

 

The insurance adjuster was to issue me a check per Evan Carter an employee of Keystone. I had not gotten any responce from anybody. I would think Keystone would have followed up on such a issue. 

 

**. ******** was not told that any insurance company would issue him a check.  As indicated below, the subcontractor’s insurer has this matter under investigation.  **. ******** has yet to provide justification for his $20,000 demand.  Regarding the plumbing matter, I am attaching a document showing an e-mail chain between **. ******** and Keystone’s Customer Service Manager. As is evident from this string, **. ******** has never provided the requested information.  In addition, Keystone has not and does not assume responsibility for this problem.  

                          

**. ******** has indicated that he will not permit anyone from Keystone or Keystone’s subcontractor to perform the work; he wants to have the work performed by a contractor of his choice.  He has made a flat demand for payment in the amount of $20,000 to settle his claim, but has provided no documentation, work estimate, etc. to justify this demand.  Keystone has not accepted liability for **. ********’s problem, but was working with him to reach an accord with Keystone/the subcontractor/the subcontractor’s insurer.  In order to make a determination of responsibility, Keystone has requested that 1) it be permitted to inspect everything before any work is done, 2) it be advised of all work and the cost thereof before work commences, and 3) it be provided with copies of all invoices, marked “paid”. 

 

Again, Keystone was suppose to pay me when the insurance adjuster came to my home. They let the ball drop and didn't contact me. This must be fixed. 

 

Please see the above response.

The last contact in my file from **. ******** was May 22, 2013. He indicated that he had been ill, but would “will have something to you by mid next week at the latest.”  We have heard no further word since.  **. ******** is invited to contact our office to further progress on this matter.

This issue must be addressed. What did B&G's insurance company say? Why did Keystone not try to reach me to discuss? Why wait? Why let such a huge issue go unresolved. Keystone clearly didn't want to fix the issue and they don't care about there customer.  This must be fixed. 

Please see the above response.

 

 

6. drainage issues in the back yard, setting water.

 

This matter has been dealt with previously; this was the subject of the previous Better Business Bureau complaint no. *******, which was closed on October 5, 2012.  Grading, etc. was according to plan.  The appendix to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____1-2.                    Observation:  The site does not drain properly.

                        Performance Guideline: The necessary grades and swales should have been established by Builder to ensure proper drainage away from the home.  Standing or pondingwater shall not remain for extended periods in the immediate area of the house after a          rain (generally no more than 24 hours), except in swales that drain other areas or in areas where sump pumps discharge.  In these areas a longer period can be anticipated (generally no more than 48 hours).  The possibility of standing water after an unusually heavy rainfall should be anticipated by the owner.  No grading determination shall be made while frost or snow is on the ground or while            the ground is saturated.

                        Corrective Measure: Builder is responsible only for initially establishing the proper grades and swales.  The owner is responsible for maintaining such grades and swales once they             have been properly established by Builder.

 

Keystone had there engineer shoot grades and they came up with negitive water flow from the home. They came up with a fix to blacktop more of the yard and install a (2) drains. (1) drain was installed, thus we are still having a drainage issue. No follow up from Keystone. This must be fixed.  

 

7. Keystone did not apply the correct amount of top soil, now grass will not grow " proven by *** **** Keystone had come out".

 

This issue was raised by the ********s with Keystone personnel in an e-mail dated 3/26/12.  At that time, the ********s were advised that the fill and topsoil on their lot was completed according to applicable regulations.  This matter was raised during the warranty period. 

 

Section 5 of the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

Keystone does not warrant or guarantee the following:

 

      . . . e.  The quality or quantity of growth of grass;

 

The addendum to the new home warranty provides, in applicable part:

 

_____12-3.Observation: Grass seed does not germinate within 180 days of the acceptance of the project.

            Performance Guideline: Maintenance of the lawn, including watering, reseeding, erosion and washouts after settlement, is the homeowner’s sole responsibility. Builder does not guarantee the quantity or quality of growth of grass.

            Corrective Measure: None.

This item is not covered by the warranty, which, in any event, expired in October, 2012.

 

The home was completed in October. They put down temporary seed and left the yard a mess. They were to come back and install  4'' of top soil per the contract. They did not install 4'' of top soil. Keystone was aware of this issue and had a ******* come out to the home, the******* also said there was only 2'' of topsoil on the ground. If keystone did not have to fix the issue why did they send out a *** ****? They assumed responsibility, and didn't correct the issue. ***** ******** was onsite with the *** **** and is aware of the issue. This must be fixed. 

 

8.   Fiber duct used in the basement does not meet building codes on the (R) value.

 

All materials used were according to specifications and Code requirements.  It should be noted that the basement is “conditioned space” under the Building Code; the “R Value” requirements do not apply to “conditioned space”.

 

Keystone installed vents in the basement, thus making the basement a conditioned space. This must be fixed. 

 

 

9. Concrete in the garage is chipping up cracking "other than expansion joints" currently 1'' deep.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  This does not appear on the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports.  This is now outside warranty.

 

Concrete is a structural component of construction and is part of the warranty. The floor also has hollow voids underneath. This can be proven with xray and hollow sounds when you tap the concrete. 

 

10. Caulking around tubs have failed months after the home was built and now the sub floor is rotten, keystone did nothing when this was told to them.

 

Damage was caused by the homeowners’ failure to maintain calking, as required by Observation Guideline 9-33, set forth in the response to item 4 above.  Keystone will not address this issue.

 

This issue was brought to Evan Carter and ***** ******** who worked with Keystone. They saw the issue and failed to fix them when the warranty was in effect. 

 

 

11. kitchen sink leaked and warped cabinets, semi fixed but not 100%.

 

New cabinet skin and kickplate were installed on February 4, 2012 (SO 49545).  At **. ********’s request, Keystone reimbursed **. ******** for the expense of re-plumbing the P-trap under the sink, the work having been done by **. ********’s father, rather than by Keystone personnel or subcontractors.  This issue has been resolved, and Keystone has no further responsibility. 

 

Correct

 

12. drywall chunks are under our carpet, keystone would never fix the issue.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  This matter does not appear in either the Celebration or 11-month Inspection Reports, both of which were signed by **. ********.  Keystone is not responsible for matters raised for the first time more than 2 years after the homeowner takes possession of the home, except for structural matters.

 

This issue was brought up to Evan Carter and he said the floors would need to be taken out. This never happen. Chunks are still under the floor as proof. 

 

Keystone has no documentation indicating that **. Carter at any time indicated that Keystone would be responsible for removing floors, etc.  To reiterate, this matter was not brought up at all in the 11-month Inspection Report; surely this problem would have been evident by then if it was caused by the builder.

 

13. HVAC unit installed incorrectly, they only have the return-air on one side of the unit and per the directions the return needs to be tied into both sides or one side and bottom of the unit.

 

Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 

 

This is a installation issue that should be corrected. Let it be noted if you don't catch an issue at first Keystone feels it is there right to let the incompetent installation stay, as long as the warranty period is up. This is clearly a installation issue, this will cause the unit to overload and drawing return air and make the unit fail prematurely. This item must be fixed. 

 

Keystone has no information that would indicate that any HVAC issue is an installation problem.  

 

14. Keystone had a broom in between the garage door to prop it open during construction and it bent the door, i asked this to be fixed on day one and they did nothing.

 

**. ******** is indicating that this claim is based on conduct by Keystone or its subcontractors during the construction phase of his home and that the problem existed at the time that he took possession of his home.  The only mention of the garage door is a notation in the 11-month Inspection Report that the door was dented at the 11-month inspection time (there is no mention of a garage door problem in the Celebration Inspection Report).  This is simply a notation of the condition, and no mention is made of the cause or of any claim against Keystone. There is no mention of broomsticks or a bent garage door in the Celebration Inspection Report, and Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period.  It therefore appears that any problem with the garage door at this point, more than 2 years after completion of the home, is the homeowners’ problem.

 

This has been discussed with Evan Carter and he said they wouldn't fix the issue. This must be fixed. 

 

 

15. all windows had cracks around them due to taping was done wrong, keystone gave me trim to cover it.

 

**. ******** has misstated this matter in his complaint.  The areas in question were taped properly.  The cracking is due to normal settlement at caulked joints.  Although this is a non-warranty item, the previous regional manager agreed to provide **. ******** with trim as an accommodation to him.  **. ******** indicated he would install the trim, and it trim (SO 50169) and paint (SO 50179) were delivered to home on, respectively, April 26, 2012 and May 7, 2012.  As state above, caulked joints are not covered by the new home warranty, but this courtesy was extended as an accommodation to **. ********.  Keystone has no further responsibility regarding this claim.

 

Correct

 

16. Kitchen cabinet is becoming warped where the above shower leaked due to bad installation 'pictures to prove" may have mold behind the walls also.

 

Please see discussion of items 5 and 11 above.

 

This item must be corrected. 

 

17. HVAC temperature in master bedroom is 5 degrees different then other rooms on that floor 'damper is open 100% to the master bedroom - this may be due to keystone not insulation the garage 'garage door is always closed".

 

HVAC system was constructed according to specifications, based on square footage of the home.  All insulation required by Code and/or appearing in the specifications for the home was installed.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised previously, either within or outside the warranty period. 

 

Evan Carter with Keystone stated if we have a 3 degree change they will come back to fix the inconsistency. The master bedroom is above the garage and if the garage was isolated this would be a non-issue. This needs to be fixed. 

 

This is incorrect.  The home warranty indicates that a 4° variance above or below the set temperature is within acceptable variances.

 

18. The jam to the walk out door to the garage is bowed down making you have to kick the doors to open them, "keystone tried to fix this but would have to redo the header and they never did it keeps sagging.

 

This matter was addressed on October 3, 2012 (SO 51296).  Door worked properly at time of repair.  This item is now more than a year outside warranty and will not be addressed further.

 

This is an issue that was attempted to be corrected in the warranty period, but it was not done correctly. Doors must be kicked to open and closed. This must be fixed. 

 

As indicated above, this matter was previously addressed.  If **. ******** will contact Keystone’s customer service department, a representative will visit to inspect the situation and determine if further service is warranted.

 

19. I tried to contact **** **** with keystone in the past weeks but he has ignored me.

 

Unfortunately, **. ****, as CEO of a company which is the largest residential builder in eastern Pennsylvania and is currently building homes in more than 40 different communities in 2 states, cannot personally address individual customer service issues.  The ********s have been advised to make their contacts through Keystone’s customer service department and have been assigned customer service representatives to address their concerns.  Keystone has no record of recent contact by **. ******** with the customer service department.

 

I atempeted to contact Evan Carter and ***** ******** with Keystone, both no longer work with Keystone. Keystone never advised me to contact there customer service, didn't i do that when i contacted the owner? I would think out of anybody he would be on top the company. Apparently i was incorrect. **** did not respond and never took the time to take my calls. 

 

Keystone has no record of **. ******** making any telephone, voicemail, e-mail, or texted attempts to contact either **. ******** or **. Carter since May 22, 2013.  As stated previously, the Chief Executive Officer of a company the size of Keystone cannot personally deal with customer complaints or respond to individual customer calls.  **. ******** had been requested to contact the customer service department to address any issues and not **. ****.

 

20. the roof peaks on the home on both ends are popped up while the middle has sagged down.

 

If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.  It should be noted that the ends may only appear to be elevated.  The roof ends 2’ in, and the plywood would typically run up to the peak of the truss.  In between these two points, the sheathing is left 2” low on each side of truss for ridge vent installation.  This can make it appear that  the gable ends are elevated when they are not.

 

This is an issue with the soaked lumber that was used during construction. The lumber had no time to dry out nor was it attempted to be covered prior to shingling the roof. This must be fixed. 

 

21. building materials used to build the home were warped and soaked prior to installation 'pictures to prove"

 

In the normal course of construction of a home, some building materials will become wet, particularly materials on site prior to the home being placed “under roof”.  This is normal in construction.  All materials are permitted to dry before installation.  In the case of framing and related structures, they are allowed to air dry completely before being covered.  All materials used in this home  were new materials in new condition.  All construction was subject to periodic inspections, and all construction was accepted by the inspector.

 

The roof was on the home with over 2'' of standing water in the basement of the home. Pictures to prove this issue. The HVAC, Plumber and Electrician were working in water and mud in the basement. There is still mud on our steps to the basement and mud on the floor joists. Keystone assumes they home was dry and it was not. This is an issue due to the non management of our home. This must be fixed. 

 

22. garage step fell apart when we had company and they fell 'i had to make a temp step"

 

Referencing the Celebration and 11-month Inspection Reports which are attached, no mention of a problem with this step is mentioned.  No previous mention of this appears in Keystone’s service records.  At this point, more than 2 years after the ********s took possession of the home and more than a year beyond the warranty coverage period, Keystone has no way of gauging the cause of any problem or determining whether abuse is the source of the problem.  The step was solidly constructed and, apparently, was intact throughout the warranty period.  This is a homeowner maintenance matter.

 

The step was poured 1.5'' in the concrete, when it fell apart the concrete shows were it the steps popped out. This is still an issue, and steps are a structural item. This needs to be fixed. 

 

23. interior garage door to the house is rusted 'perhaps it was used prior to installing at my home".

 

Only new materials were utilized in the construction of this home.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

Nothing i can do to prove its an old door. I dont understand how a door can rust within 2 years. The door is not in the elements. 

 

24. keystone tried to fix floor squeaks by drilling threw the carpet and the carpet is still screwed to the sub floor.

 

Floor squeaks were repaired by Keystone personnel in October, 2012.  “Squeak-no-more: screws were used in the repair, which are installed through the backing of the carpet, but do not screw the carpet to the floor (or subfloor).  Keystone has no record of any complaint since. This matter is now outside warranty.

 

Evan Carter installed the screws and he said that's what the screws do.... I said "stick up and prick your feet" The floor needs to be fixed. 

 

Two customer service representatives visited the ******** residence and worked on this installation.  When all work was complete, **. ******** indicated that the work had been completed to an acceptable tolerance level for him.

 

25. all masonry around fire place is chipping and cracking.

 

Masonry subcontractor used proper specified materials and installed masonry per plan.  Keystone has no record of these matters being raised within the warranty period.  After expiration of the warranty, these become ordinary homeowner maintenance issues.

 

Masonry should not crack, unless what its attached to is wet lumber and when it shrinks the mortar will crack. This needs to be fixed. 

 

26. the snow on the home roof has made loud crack noise's in the home and now the master bedroom has the corners of the wall's separating from the roof joists.

 

Keystone has no record of any prior complaint regarding this item.  Under heavy snow loads such as the loads experienced in 2013, coupled with unusually low temperatures, or in heavy winds, it is normal for trusses to deflect slightly, and some flexibility is necessary to provide structural integrity.  In such circumstances, sounds may produced which are not experienced under normal conditions.  If this is deemed to be a structural issue after inspection by Keystone personnel and it is determined that there is a defect in construction or materials, this matter can be addressed under the 20-year structural warranty.  **. ******* should contact our office to arrange an inspection.

 

This item and the cracking in the walls due to this must be fixed. 

 

The ******** home has been the subject of 43 Service Orders since the ********s took possession of their home in October, 2011, and various customer service personnel have been in repeated contact with **. ******** in attempts to resolve his issues.  To date, Keystone has paid its subcontractors and vendors a total of $9,474.41 in completing these Service Orders.  Keystone strives to meet every customer’s expectations in all of its more than 40 active communities, and every effort has been made to make the ********s part of the family of satisfied customers.  Keystone has made a good faith effort to address all of the *******s’ concerns.  It is unfortunate that these efforts have apparently not satisfied them.  As stated above, Keystone has been prepared to address the plumbing issue for some time, but has not received the necessary contacts and information from the ********s (the last contact was May 22, 2013).  We look forward to resolving the issues discussed under numbers 5, 20, and 26 above in cooperation with **. ********.

 

Keystone has tried to get away with many items in my home. I was a construction manager for 15 years. I know whats done right and wrong. Keystone has tried to get away with there incorrect/incompetence thus far. My home cost over 300K excluding the land and utilities. These items must be fixed. John Kamin with Keystone called me over (2) weeks after my calls to **** ****. He said he was sorry for dropping the ball regarding my calls. He was unaware i contacted the BBB and asked me to send them the info on my complaint, so i did. I have pictures of all related issues in this complaint. My wife Crystal is also a witness to all conversations with Keystone. John Kamin also indicated that we didn't pay the correct price for our home and he would have to charge us more money after the loan was approved. I told John to forget about the home, he thansaid don't worry about it. Keystone also inflated the price of my current home to cover the cost of my old home that they bought threw (Certain Sale). I didn't know that was against the law (fraud), I would have never sold my town home to Keystone and had them inflate my current home to cover the difference. Keystone miss-lead me in my home buying experience from day 1!

 

**. ******** is raising a new issue regarding the sale of his former home and purchase of his new home.  The ********s participated in Keystone’s Certain Sale program, which is a program, managed by an outside company not affiliated with Keystone, which provides that if the home buyer’s home is not sold by the time his or her new home is ready for closing, he or she will be allowed credit for an amount calculated to be the equity which should be available upon the sale of the home, and this credit is allowed at closing for the new home.  I will not go into the complexities of the program here, but the program does allow many homeowners to purchase their new homes without being saddled with maintenance expense/mortgage payments/taxes on their former homes during the marketing period for that home.  There is a reconciliation of accounts when the former home is sold.  **. ******** has made bald accusations of fraud in his response with no supporting documentation or evidence.  It is unfortunate that **. ******** apparently did not fully understand the Certain Sale program, although he and his wife derived substantial benefit from it.  Keystone expressly denies any wrong doing or misconduct, and I suggest that the making of unfounded and unsupported accusations of fraud or conduct which is “against the law” is neither helpful in fostering resolution of **. ********’s complaints nor in **. ********’s best interests. 

3/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I will copy and paste the email that I sent them approximately 2 weeks ago, it describes the issues. As of this date I have not heard back from them. ****, I am writing with regards to my home that your company built. I live in the ***** ****** development. I have lived at this address for almost 2 years. In that time I have been faced with several issues that are sub par. I found out last summer that my outside air conditioning unit was undersized. I have a 3 ton unit and according to the HVACC specialist I should have a minimum of 4 tons and better yet a 5 ton unit. Also, they have informed me that my HVAC duct work is undersized, and this is why there isn't adequate air flow to the second and third floors. The other issue I have is the fact that the front of my house is a huge cold zone. We have had several friends in this development that have had broken pipes due to the poor craftsmanship that your company have displayed. Fortunately my pipes have not broken because I have kept a space heater in my downstairs bathroom. My 2nd floor front bedroo** are freezing cold and unfortunately I can’t afford to place space heaters in them. We have placed extra blankets on the children’s beds, but they are still cold. I have been able to inspect the front walls in my friend’s house, whose pipes have frozen. We found there was no thermal barrier or any structural barrier between the front porch roof eve and the floor joist between the 1st and 2nd floor causing the outside air free passage into my home freezing my pipes and keeping the energy efficiency of my home very poor. There is no and I mean absolutely no insulation not even plywood. The only thing separating the area between my floor joists is a thin layer of aluminum soffit skirting. Nothing else, basically making it wide open to the outside elements; completely unacceptable by any standards. I know that my neighbor had issues with her pipes freezing 2 years after the townhome was being built and your company came out and corrected their property due to poor building structure and insulation. I would like to see someone from your company come out and assess the situation and correct any errors that have occurred in this home with being built. I also would like any documentation you have on the zoning and coding inspection and paper work of the property. Any questions please contact me directly at ###-###-#### or via email at ******************. I am aware that there are several other people from my development that are dissatisfied with the poor construction issues and they have stated that they were going to address this directly with you. If we fail to be able to come to a reasonable solution to this problem I will be contacting the BBB as well as informing the public, via social media, of all the proble** that we are being faced with. I am looking forward to hearing from you in a timely manner. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. ***** ****** ** ****** *** ******* ** *****

Desired Settlement: I would like them to supply me with the copy of the home inspection documentation. Also, I would like for them to fix the problem by insulating my house properly as well as fixing the heat/airconditioning proble**. TY

Business Response: In re:  ***** ******
          Complaint No. *******
 
Dear **. *******,
 
           I am responding to the complaint filed by ***** ****** regarding her home in the ***** ****** Community, constructed by Keystone Custom Homes 10 years ago.  After receipt of the complaint on December 17, we had a representative visit the ****** home to investigate the complaint.   **. ****** was present during the inspection conducted by the Keystone representative.
 
            Regarding the complaint that **. ****** “found there was no thermal barrier or any structural barrier between the front porch roof eve and the floor joist between the 1st and 2nd floor”, this is apparently incorrect.  The Keystone representative raised up a panel of the ceiling above the front porch and found insulation.  **. ****** observed this insulation.  I am attaching pictures taken at the time of the inspection, showing insulation.  In fact, it was found that areas of the garage ceiling which, by Code, do not require insulation (there are no living areas over these areas) were nevertheless insulated as well.  We cannot explain the discrepancy between conditions as the Keystone representative found them and conditions as described by **. ****** in her Complaint.  We do note, however, that the section of **. ******’s complaint dealing with the insulation issue is word-for-word identical to an inquiry received from a neighbor by Keystone (not through the Better Business Bureau):
 
“. . .we found there was no thermal barrier or any structural barrier between the front porch roof eve and the floor joist between the 1st and 2nd floor causing the outside air free passage into my home freezing my pipes and keeping the energy efficiency of my home very poor.  There is no and I mean absolutely no insulation not even plywood. The only thing separating the area between my floor joists is a thin layer of aluminum soffit skirting. Nothing else, basically making it wide open to the outside elements; completely unacceptable by any standards. I know that my neighbor had issues with her pipes freezing 2 years after the townhome was being built and your company came out and corrected their property due to poor building structure and insulation. . . I would like to see someone from your company come out and assess the situation and correct any errors that have occurred in this home with being built. I also would like any documentation you have on the zoning and coding inspection and paper work of the property. Any questions please contact me directly at. . .”
 
Keystone is working with that neighbor, assessing whether there is indeed an insulation problem with that home.  But there does not appear to be an insulation problem at the ****** home.
 
            Regarding the HVAC system, **. ****** has not identified the HVAC specialist she engaged, and we have seen no written report.  The HVAC unit and duct work installed in the ****** home are as prescribed at the time by the HVAC contractor, based upon square footage of coverage.  An HVAC contractor may suggest a different unit or specifications, but that does not mean that the specifications of the equipment installed are not adequate.  We believe that the system installed in the ****** home was, when installed, the appropriate equipment for the home.  This was, of course, 10 years ago.  Systems do deteriorate with age and eventually need replacement.  If a system is not properly maintained, it may fail prematurely.  **. ****** is the third owner of her home, having purchased it in 2011.  We therefore have no record of past performance or of maintenance of this system.  I will note, however, that this is the first complaint logged in our records regarding the HVAC or heating/air conditioning problems with this home.
 
            Keystone-built homes come with a comprehensive 1-year limited warranty and a 20-year structural warranty. The 20-year structural warranty is transferrable, but the 1-year warranty is voided upon the transfer of the property (again, **. ****** is the third owner of this home).
 
            The conclusion of our investigation is that the ****** home was properly constructed and properly insulated when built.  The HVAC system was adequate for its task when installed.  We have no documentation regarding maintenance of the HVAC system over its 10-year life to date, and we have had no complaints regarding the HVAC system performance or regarding insulation until now.  We conclude that any insufficiency in heating or cooling at this point is due to ordinary wear and tear on the 10-year-old system or to maintenance issues with the system.  Keystone Custom Homes is not, therefore, in a position to offer assistance at this point.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
****** *. ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
******************************

2/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: ‘"It's all about value," says ****. We have a philosophy of always giving the customer great value and great se**ice. These ideas are the foundation of our success - and everyone who works with our team knows how we do things."’ **** continues -- "We go to great lengths to make sure that our customers have an unforgettable experience when they build with us. We offer thousands of options so each home is customized to meet the specific needs of the customer, and our quality control process is incredibly detailed. We check over two thousand different items on every home and we back the whole thing up with a twenty-year warranty. We love what we do... we love making our customers happy."’ Well, you are correct with one aspect of your philosophy. You have given us an unforgettable experience. Initially, we were hesitant to build. We were content and established in our previous home. With the arrival of our new baby girl we wanted more space, a bigger yard, and neighbors with children her age. So we began our search. We looked for a few months then met our home advisor, over on the East Shore in his model home in the ***** ***** ***** community. After a wonderful meeting with him, he shared with us news of a phase opening up, here at **********. We were anxious to see this new phase as we lived only a few miles away from it. On our drive-by we fell in love with a particular lot. And thus, we decided to build with Keystone. Our initial phases of building with our Home Advisor and with our Design Coordinator at the design center were wonderful. Even the initial phases of the actual house building went smoothly. There were some delays because of weather. To us, that wasn’t anything to worry about. We were to settle on June 28th. We had our final walk through the week prior and that was the day we became extremely ne**ous. Settlement was in a week and our house was not near completion. We were hoping Keystone would ask for a few more weeks to finish the house, but instead they assured everything would be ready for move-in on June 28th. Needless to say, things were definitely rushed, as our house was finished by June 28th. From this day forward, our experience became nothing but a constant headache and daily disappointments. Issues that we have had with our house for only the first four months: Basement: 1. We had a leak through our ceiling due to water pipes. This had to be fixed three times. The dry wall had mold on it, and that needed to be replaced. 2. The steps had plaster, paint, who knows what else, caked on them. 3. The pipe that our main water line sits in was never sealed. The immense amount of rain received on October 10th, caused our basement to have water. The water literally streamed out of the wall and soaked our insulation, carpets, boxes, and other personal items. The water could not be contained and Keystone said there’s nothing they could do except try to stop the water flow as much as possible and fix it once it stops raining and dries. Meanwhile, our basement continues to have water. Family Room: 1. One baseboard wasn’t painted. 2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards. 3. Fireplace mantle was not straight. The middle was flush to the wall. The right side had a small gap, and the left side had a half-inch gap. 4. There was plaster, paint, and grout on our stones on the fireplace. Powder Room: 1. Door had water damage on the bottom. 2. Chip on one of the wood floor slats. Kitchen: 1. They forgot to place our trash can roll out cabinet in the island. When they finally did, the outlet that was there (which shouldn’t have been on that side) is causing that cabinet as well as the drawer above it to not pull out smoothly. When it was “fixed” we were told that’s the best that it can be because of the outlet. It will never pull out smoothly. 2. Another drawer was crooked. 3. There was a very noticeable gap between the refrigerator wall and the dry wall. 4. The ply wood on our last cabinet was screwed in too tightly and caused the finish to flake off. 5. Two pieces of molding (top of cabinets) had knots in it that were aesthetically displeasing because they were at the top of the molding, and it looked like they had large cracks/holes in it. 6. The screws from the door handles left large splits in the wood on the interior of two cabinets. 7. One drawer had the inside finish of the back corner completely peeling off. 8. One drawer had a screw on the inside that had damaged the front part of the drawer (interior). 9. The edge on one of the shelves was cracked and peeling apart. 10. Pantry door was not closing correctly. 11. Our oven/stove was hooked up for a natural gas line, not propane!! We found this out the hard way and had flames engulfing our pots and carbon all over our pots and then in our sink!! 12. Coat closet door had water damage on the bottom. 13. The microwave would run automatically when the door was shut. 14. The sliding door had scratches on the interior side of the glass. Dining Room: 1. There is a piece of woodwork that is cracked up the side towards the bottom. On that same piece wood there is a strange thickness on the one edge with gobs of paint covering it. 2. Small drops of paint are all over the edges of the wood floor. Living Room: 1. The carpet was installed crooked. We had two different sets of people (three different times) come out to “fix this”. It was worse. Finally new carpet had to be ordered. These installers placed it in beautifully. However, there was one place they couldn’t tuck the carpet under the woodwork because that piece of woodwork was placed flush to the floorboards. Study: 1. There was a gap between the baseboard and the carpet. Pad was too short. Stairs: 1. Someone tracked grease marks on our steps. These stains were “treated” twice, and they appeared again. They were then treated a third time 2. There was a stair that the pad was cut too short and you could feel the wood. 3. Part of the wood, on the side, that goes up the stairs has a chunk out of it. 4. There was a nail point that was protruding from one of the wood panels on the steps. 5. The railing was stained while on the wall. There was stain on our wall. The underside of the railing was never stained. 6. You can see the seams of the carpet on each step. Bedroom 1: 1. The ceiling fan hook up had a different housing fixture than all of the other ones. It was only screwed into the stud with one screw. 2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards. Bedroom 2: 1. There was a large crack (I could stick all my fingers under it) on one baseboard. I asked for it to be replaced. They tried to “fix it” and then paint over even after I asked it to be replaced! 2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards. Bedroom 3: 1. Closet doors weren’t aligned correctly. 2. Carpet near the corners of the closet was not tacked down. 3. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards. 4. One board around the window was showing its wood pattern; whereas, no other piece around the window looked similar. Hall Bathroom: 1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!! 2. The caulk around the bathtub and the floor was very sloppy. I had it repaired and it still looked terrible. 3. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first. 4. There were scratches on the edge of the tub. There were scratches on the inside of the tub as well as a slight scratch that actually cut the tub. 5. Door had water damage on the bottom. 6. The top horizontal trim around the door does not match the trim going vertically. 7. There is a chunk out of the trim on the left side of door. Laundry Room: 1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!! Master Bedroom: 1. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards. 2. Two windows had quite a bit of extra silicone all over the left vertical edge. Master Bath: 1. There was a hole in the outside of the shower. 2. There is a hole on the inside of the shower. 3. Scratch on the mirror. 4. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first. 5. The tile around the tub had mounds of grout in certain areas and also had some holes in the grout. 6. The caulk placed around the tub, either missed spots because of poor grout job, or sunk in because too large of a gap between tile and tub. Discovered that pieces of a sponge were left in parts of the caulk that caused it to split. 7. The window had a huge gap between the sill and the tile. 8. There were fine scratches on the tub. 9. Two nicks near drain and one on top. 10. One major nick in the tub near the cold water handle. 11. Horrible walls! Had to spackle an immense amount of wall space before painting. Driveway: 1. There is a part of our driveway that has a large crack in it and is collapsing around it. 2. There are five chunks out of our sidewalk. When this was corrected, the finish was so rough that we cannot walk on our sidewalk without shoes on. 3. The bump at the entrance to our driveway is ridiculous. Front Porch/door: 1. There was a hole on the top of both columns. 2. Front door step: There is paint (or something) all over the silver plate and the wood strip placed across it. A certain cleaner had to be used to get this wood strip clean, and then it stripped some of the stain off the wood. 3. There is a red sticker inside the glass on the door window. Once this was fixed, there are still two black pieces of sticker (or something) still in the window. 4. The door handles had white paint all over them. 5. The window has black marks on the white wood panels in and around it. Hard Wood Floors: 1. Had scratches on it. 2. Had a large scratch across 5 planks of wood. 3. Dents in certain boards. 4. Little specks of paint ALL over the hardwood, due to painters not placing drop cloths on the hardwood. 5. Boards with nicks. 6. Boards with splintered wood. Whole House: 1. Windowsills. They look like they were taken through a saw that had a jagged blade. They are so rough along the edges (assuming they weren't sanded). The seams have gaps in the corners. Parts were left unpainted. In the one room there is a gash in the one corner about 2 inches long. There are chunks missing on certain parts of the sills. 2. In every room that we have hard wood floors, there are thousands of tiny paint dots from the painters, obviously, not using drop cloths. 3. House was never cleaned. The wood floors were so dirty. So much dirt was accumulated between the cracks of our boards that the cracks are still showing some dirt. I had to go through with a stain marker to cover most of this. 4. You can see the seams where the baseboards meet. The corners are so rough. Some have gaps from not being cut correctly. Some are very rough, from not being sanded. 5. The quality of our dry wall/painted walls is horrendous. You can tell they were painted in a rush and not sanded efficiently. The master bath was the worst. The dry wall paint literally had little holes all over it. There are gashes in certain rooms in the dry wall that weren’t able to catch until we painted all the rooms. Now, of course, they’re all noticeable. Exterior: 1. We paid for an extra amp hot tub hook up outside. When our hot tub installer and our electrician were here to hook everything up, they discovered the installed breaker was defective. They had to race around to four different stores to find a breaker. I was informed by ****, “Unfortunately I must process this through our trade. We can't replace items without proper investigation and legally allowing them the opportunity to fix the issue before back charging. If you have your electrician replace I can’t send the check through for approval therefore keystone will not pay. If you call ** electric, their number is on the electric panel, they will fix the item for you.” Your electrician wasn’t available until the next day. We were not paying our installer and our electrician to come out the next day because the breaker you installed was defective. I took a video of them swapping out the breakers, have assigned affidavit from witnesses, a copy of the receipt for the new breaker. What is most upsetting, is that your electrician nor the inspector actually tested the breaker to make sure there was 500 amps running through it! This $111.38 was reimbursed to us. 2. Due to the “rushed” settlement date, and not allowing adequate time for settlement of the top soil (which was just poured and spread, not tamped) our yard was not able to be walked on because you would sink ankle deep for approximately a month. We had to push back the building of our deck. When the water seeped through our water line pipe, our customer se**ice representative went outside to look further and she sunk a foot into the ground. Finally someone came out and added dirt, rocks, and retamped that area. Garage: 1. There is a rebar sticking up about a foot into our garage. They had to cut around it when they placed our drywall. So now we have a hole in our drywall and a bar sticking out. They said there was nothing they could do. The length of the above listed items is absurd for a company that prides themselves on checking over 2,000 items in each new home. Our home was rushed, plain and simple. Working with our customer relations gentleman (I believe that is his title), has been nothing short of disappointing. The line of communication was not efficient. We were accused of causing some of the mistakes we found in our home. I was even laughed at in one of my conversations with him. He later apologized for his actions and tried to explain it was all miscommunicated, but I assure you his email was inferring we caused the damage. Our daily lives have been interrupted nonstop with people constantly coming in and out fixing things. Trying to figure out who could be home to let someone in and when to schedule people based on their availability and ours was a complete nightmare. In conclusion, we love our house because of our location and what we have made of it. We have spent an immense amount of our time, money, and sweat making our house a home. However, if we had the opportunity to do it all over again, we would, with a different builder.

Desired Settlement: An explanation, from Keystone, explaining how they can promise a home within a specified time period, that is completed so poorly, yet they advertise on TV and websites stating that they have a quality control process that is incredibly detailed. We truly feel with everything we have been through, and with how much work we have put into a brand new home, some sort of compensation is in order.

Business Response: Dear *** *******:

 

            I am writing in response to Complaint No. *******, filed by ***** ***** ******.  **. and ***. ****** purchased a home from *******, LLC in the ********** Farms community.  *******, LLC contracted with Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. to build the ******s’ home, and the complaint is against Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (although the ******s did not directly contract with that company).  For purposes of this response, all references to “Keystone” shall be deemed to include *******, LLC and/or Keystone Custom Homes, Inc., as may be applicable, but we wish to clarify the distinction between the two entities.

            The construction process of a new home involves many subcontractors and the coordination of many “moving parts” over a relatively short period of time.  Keystone’s builders make every attempt to make the process smooth and error-free.  Inevitably, the process is not perfect.  Keystone makes a great effort to complete thorough inspections of work as it is done and of the entire project on several occasions prior to closing with the buyers.  One of these inspections is the “Celebration”, when the buyers go through the home with Keystone personnel (it is referred to herein as the “Celebration”).  Another inspection is by Keystone Personnel only and is made 2 days before closing; this inspection is called “Q2”, and is so referred to in this document.  The goal is always to make the home buying experience a positive one for customers.

            The ******s were very exacting customers.  Keystone is pleased to work with such exacting customers to meet their expectations.  As you will see below, many of what would be considered “normal” construction problems in any home were discovered prior to or very shortly after closing with the ******s, and virtually all of the problems have been corrected prior to the filing of the ******s’ complaint with you.  Some of the problems (noted below) are in the process of resolution.  And some of the issues have been raised for the first time in the complaint, having not been previously conveyed to Keystone.

 
            In order to respond to the complaint, we have divided the matters raised by ***. ****** into easier-to-address categories.  Keystone’s responses are set forth in red below:
 
Basement:
 
1. We had a leak through our ceiling due to water pipes. This had to be fixed three times. The dry wall had mold on it, and that needed to be replaced.


When installed, the water lines in basement were reversed.  The Township did not install the water meter in the house until the day of closing, so there was no water supply available in the house to test anything until after closing.  Immediately upon discovery of the problem,  * *** * (plumbing subcontractor) swapped lines. There was a leak; ****** (drywall subcontractor) came back to fix drywall, replacing the damaged wall material. 

2. The steps had plaster, paint, who knows what else, caked on them.
 
This is normal in construction in an unfinished area.  Keystone personnel cleaned the area and had the landing painted.

3. The pipe that our main water line sits in was never sealed. The immense amount of rain received on October 10th, caused our basement to have water. The water literally streamed out of the wall and soaked our insulation, carpets, boxes, and other personal items. The water could not be contained and Keystone said there’s nothing they could do except try to stop the water flow as much as possible and fix it once it stops raining and dries. Meanwhile, our basement continues to have water.

This is correct, it was not sealed during construction on the exterior side.  October 10-11, the **** County area experienced an extraordinary rainfall, with total rainfall being 9.11” in a 24-hour period (the normal rainfall in **** County for the entire month of October is 3.26”).   Late on the night of October 10, Keystone personnel received an email stating that the water was trickling in.  About 6:00 am on October 11, the same person received a call from **. ******, who indicated that the water was now gushing in to the basement.  **. ****** was told to try to stop the water as best as he could with towels etc.  **. ****** was told that someone would be there on that date to address and fix the issue as best as possible.  **. ****** acknowledged that he realized nothing could be done until the rain stopped.  A Keystone representative called **. ****** back, and he was advised that a representative was on her way to the home.  On-site obse**ation was that water was running continuously via the water line sleeve.  Flow was stemmed to a drip through the use of water repellant foam and silicone for a temporary repair.  **** Concrete visited the home and corrected the problem by providing permanent Hydra Seal of the line on October 25.

Family Room:

1. One baseboard wasn’t painted.
 
This has been completed.

  2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.
 
This was never brought to Keystone’s attention until the complaint was made. This will be investigated.
 
3. Fireplace mantle was not straight. The middle was flush to the wall. The right side had a small gap, and the left side had a half-inch gap.
 
Wall was slightly bowed causing a slight gap on either side of the mantle.  This problem should have been discovered at Q2.  This problem was fixed by Keystone personnel when it was called to our attention.
 
4. There was plaster, paint, and grout on our stones on the fireplace.

The area was cleaned by Keystone personnel after settlement.
 
Powder Room:

  1. Door had water damage on the bottom.

At the time of “Celebration”, which takes place about the time of closing, swelling was noted on this door. The door was replaced by Keystone.

2. Chip on one of the wood floor slats.


This is normal  damage from construction/install, this was repaired
 
Kitchen:
 
1. They forgot to place our trash can roll out cabinet in the island. When they finally did, the outlet that was there (which shouldn’t have been on that side) is causing that cabinet as well as the drawer above it to not pull out smoothly. When it was “fixed” we were told that’s the best that it can be because of the outlet. It will never pull out smoothly.

Item was discovered by Keystone prior to Q2.  The item was ordered and replaced by **** ****.  After replacement the island outlet box rubbed against the drawer track.  ** Electric was on site during the pre-settlement walk-through and fixed with no complications.  Keystone was not advised that there was still a problem until the complaint was filed.  This will be investigated.

2. Another drawer was crooked.

Item was noticed at Q2 and fixed before settlement

3. There was a very noticeable gap between the refrigerator wall and the dry wall.
 
Gap between refrigerator panel and wall was within tolerance.  We offered to caulk or scribe the area. This problem was corrected with ***. ******’s approval. 

 
4. The ply wood on our last cabinet was screwed in too tightly and caused the finish to flake off.

  All cabinet items were noted by Keystone and have been repaired.

  5. Two pieces of molding (top of cabinets) had knots in it that were aesthetically displeasing because they were at the top of the molding, and it looked like they had large cracks/holes in it.

This was the design of the cabinets, not defective.  Nevertheless, at the ******s’ request, these moldings were replaced as an accommodation to the ******s. 

6. The screws from the door handles left large splits in the wood on the interior of two cabinets. 
 
This is normal from cabinet handle installs, was a very easy fix. This was repaired by Keystone prior to closing.   
 
7. One drawer had the inside finish of the back corner completely peeling off.

This was defect from manufacturer.  A replacement  drawer was ordered and delivered to the ******s.
 
8. One drawer had a screw on the inside that had damaged the front part of the drawer (interior).
 
Keystone has no record of this complaint. However, all cabinet/drawer items were noted and replaced as needed.

9. The edge on one of the shelves was cracked and peeling apart.
 
This was damage from installation.  A replacement was ordered and installed.

  10. Pantry door was not closing correctly.
 
Keystone noted this item at Q2.  A replacement was ordered and installed.
 
11. Our oven/stove was hooked up for a natural gas line, not propane!! We found this out the hard way and had flames engulfing our pots and carbon all over our pots and then in our sink!!

This was an installation  error by the subcontractor.  This problem was corrected immediately when called to Keystone’s attention. 

12. Coat closet door had water damage on the bottom.

This item was noticed during Celebration. The door was replaced.

13. The microwave would run automatically when the door was shut.

This problem was noticed by Keystone at Q2. Problem was fixed prior to closing.

14. The sliding door had scratches on the interior side of the glass.
 
Scratches were smaller than a cob web line, were difficult to see, even when they were pointed out.  These small scratches were smaller than the size requiring replacement under the new home warranty.  Nevertheless, as an accommodation to the homeowner, the sliding door was replaced. 

Dining Room:
 
1. There is a piece of woodwork that is cracked up the side towards the bottom. On that same piece wood there is a strange thickness on the one edge with gobs of paint covering it.

Keystone personnel fixed area after settlement (the original subcontractor did not properly address the problem)
 
2. Small drops of paint are all over the edges of the wood floor.
 
Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing. 
 
Living Room:
 
1. The carpet was installed crooked. We had two different sets of people (three different times) come out to “fix this”. It was worse. Finally new carpet had to be ordered. These installers placed it in beautifully. However, there was one place they couldn’t tuck the carpet under the woodwork because that piece of woodwork was placed flush to the floorboards.
 
Berber carpet installation was acceptable, but *** ****** wanted it fixed so we put it on the list to have fixed.  Took 3 times for the installer to get it within their acceptable range.  

Study:

1. There was a gap between the baseboard and the carpet.
 
Pad was too short. Berber carpet pad was cut too short, installer fixed

Stairs:
 
1. Someone tracked grease marks on our steps. These stains were “treated” twice, and they appeared again. They were then treated a third time

  Stains came after final cleaning just before Celebration.  Keystone personnel cleaned the area just before Celebration, but it took two more treatments to clean sufficiently.  Area is now clean. 

  2. There was a stair that the pad was cut too short and you could feel the wood.

  Item was noticed after closing.  Carpeting subcontractor  fixed the problem while at the house. 
 
3. Part of the wood, on the side, that goes up the stairs has a chunk out of it.
 
Stair stringer recess screws were not filled and painted by painting subcontractor.  Keystone personnel puttied and painted the area.  Problem is corrected. 

 
4. There was a nail point that was protruding from one of the wood panels on the steps.

This was not previously brought to Keystone’s attention.


5. The railing was stained while on the wall. There was stain on our wall. The underside of the railing was never stained.
 
Normal practice to stain railing for second time while on wall.  *** did not remove railing to paint underneath side at railing supports.  Keystone personnel corrected the problem.
 
6. You can see the seams of the carpet on each step.

This was not previously brought to our attention.  There are no seams on the stairs carpet.
 
Bedroom 1:

 1. The ceiling fan hook up had a different housing fixture than all of the other ones. It was only screwed into the stud with one screw.
 
Fixture came out underneath a truss, when a truss is affecting the placement of the fixture a different housing must be used.  This was never brought to our attention before this complaint.
 
2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

  This was never brought to our attention prior to this complaint.
 
Bedroom 2:

  1. There was a large crack (I could stick all my fingers under it) on one baseboard. I asked for it to be replaced. They tried to “fix it” and then paint over even after I asked it to be replaced!
 
This item was noted to be “replaced” during walk-through.  The painting subcontractor noted the problem while in the  house and tried to fix it with paint, not knowing that the trimming subcontractor had already been directed to replace it and not having been directed by Keystone to do the work.  The trimming subcontractor did replace this trim.
 
2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

This was never previously brought to our attention.  Problem was not noted during the Celebration or during the settlement day walk-through with the ******s.
 
Bedroom 3:
 
1. Closet doors weren’t aligned correctly.
 
Bifold doors needed slight adjustment.  Problem was corrected.

2. Carpet near the corners of the closet was not tacked down.

Tack strip held carpet in place.  At the ******s’ request, and as an accommodation to them, additional securing was done. Problem was resolved.
 
3. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

This was never previously brought to our attention.  Problem was not noted during the Celebration or during the settlement day walk-through with the ******s.
 
4. One board around the window was showing its wood pattern; whereas, no other piece around the window looked similar.
 
Effect due to natural grain of the wood.  This area was further hand sanded by Keystone personnel after  closing.
 
Hall Bathroom:
 
1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!!

As described above, the Hot and Cold water pipes were reversed in the basement.  The problem was fixed immediately upon discovery.
 
2. The caulk around the bathtub and the floor was very sloppy. I had it repaired and it still looked terrible.
 
This work was inspected, and it was determined that the work was within specified tolerances.  At ***. ******’s request, Keystone personnel attempted to correct the perceived problem, but ***. ****** was still not satisfied.  We believe that she fixed the perceived problem herself. Again, the work was to specifications and within standard tolerances prior to any repairs. 

3. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first.
 
Final paint was not complete before Q2.  Problem was noticed during Celebration and was fixed prior to closing. 
 
4. There were scratches on the edge of the tub. There were scratches on the inside of the tub as well as a slight scratch that actually cut the tub. 
 
Had ***** from ************ (the supplier) return to house on 3 separate occasions, these hairline scratches were not noticeable unless in exact lighting. 


5. Door had water damage on the bottom.
 
This very slight, almost unnoticeable damage was discovered, door was replaced and repainted. 

  6. The top horizontal trim around the door does not match the trim going vertically.

 
This issue was not brought to Keystone’s attention prior to this complaint.  All trim is the same design. 
 
7. There is a chunk out of the trim on the left side of door.

This was corrected. 
 
Laundry Room:
 
1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!!
 
As indicated above, when installed, the water lines in basement were reversed.  The Township did not install the water meter in the house until the day of closing, so there was no water supply available in the house to test anything until after closing.  The problem was fixed immediately upon discovery.
 
Master Bedroom:

1. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.
 
This issue was never brought to Keystone’s attention until this complaint.  Keystone personnel were, in fact, being on their hands and knees pulling on the carpet at the baseboard and this was never noticed. 

2. Two windows had quite a bit of extra silicone all over the left vertical edge.
 
This issue was never brought to our attention prior to this complaint. 
 
Master Bath:
 
1. There was a hole in the outside of the shower.
 
Problem was not a hole, but a chip. Chip was fixed prior to closing.

 2. There is a hole on the inside of the shower.
 
Problem was not a hole, but a chip. Chip was called to Keystone’s attention after closing and has been fixed. 
 
3. Scratch on the mirror.

Keystone personnel could find no scratch on the mirror; only some sort of mark was found.  Keystone personnel cleaned the glass; mirror was not replaced.
 
4. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first.

Final paint was not complete prior to Q2.  Issue was noticed during celebration and fixed before closing. 
 
5. The tile around the tub had mounds of grout in certain areas and also had some holes in the grout.
 
Tub was inspected by homeowner during Celebration, no issues were noticed.  After closing this was brought to Keystone’s  attention.  Problem was fixed. 

6. The caulk placed around the tub, either missed spots because of poor grout job, or sunk in because too large of a gap between tile and tub. Discovered that pieces of a sponge were left in parts of the caulk that caused it to split.
 
Tub was inspected by homeowner during Celebration, no issues were noticed.  After closing this was brought to Keystone’s  attention.  Problem was fixed. 

7. The window had a huge gap between the sill and the tile.

Keystone personnel made note of this problem, and the matter was resolved prior to closing.
 
8. There were fine scratches on the tub.
 
Had ***** from ************ (the supplier) return to house on 3 separate occasions, these hairline scratches were not noticeable unless in exact lighting. 

9. Two nicks near drain and one on top.

Problem noticed after closing, had ************ (subcontractor) back three times to fix all tub issues. 

10. One major nick in the tub near the cold water handle.
 
Problem noticed after closing, had ************ (subcontractor) back three times to fix all tub issues. 
 
11. Horrible walls! Had to spackle an immense amount of wall space before painting.
 
All paint items were marked and fixed

Driveway:
 
1. There is a part of our driveway that has a large crack in it and is collapsing around it.
 
This problem is due to normal settlement around the foundation.  As an accommodation to the ******s (this item is not covered by the new home warranty), Keystone agreed to replace.  ******s indicated they do not want the work done until spring, so Keystone has placed an “Info Only” request in its records for later action.

2. There are five chunks out of our sidewalk. When this was corrected, the finish was so rough that we cannot walk on our sidewalk without shoes on.
 
  ** *******(the paving subcontractor) came back and replaced lead walk, while the new concrete was curing, the mailman walked on the sidewalk.  ******* came back and refinished the top coat, it is now acceptable by the homeowner. 

3. The bump at the entrance to our driveway is ridiculous.
 
As is the normal situation in new communities, driveways often have a significant drop to the street until the final paving is done by the developer (not Keystone).  Problem should be resolved when final paving is completed by developer, which will probably be after virtually all construction is completed in the community and the streets are about to be dedicated to the municipality.  Although this is not an issue with Keystone, when ***. ****** e-mailed Keystone on October 16 on this issue, she was advised that a Keystone representative would place a 2” X 6” piece of wood at the street intersection with the driveway so that the drop would be less significant.  ***. ******’s response was:
 
“that would be great!  & thank you.”
 
Front Porch/door:
 
1. There was a hole on the top of both columns.
 
This was fixed by Keystone personnel.
 
2. Front door step: There is paint (or something) all over the silver plate and the wood strip placed across it. A certain cleaner had to be used to get this wood strip clean, and then it stripped some of the stain off the wood.
 
This problem was fixed by Keystone personnel, and we are unaware that there is still a problem. 

  3. There is a red sticker inside the glass on the door window. Once this was fixed, there are still two black pieces of sticker (or something) still in the window.

  Manufacturer left sticker on the inside of the window trim, they were called out and had to remove the door window.  After removing they didn’t clean and are still trying to work with the homeowners schedule to get this fixed properly.  *** ****** said that she is working with their tech and has his number, will call when they have a day off work.  This is the ONLY outstanding item which they confirmed via email. 

  4. The door handles had white paint all over them.

Fixed before closing.
 
5. The window has black marks on the white wood panels in and around it.
 
Window trim is not painted but was cleaned by Keystone personnel.  Issue was brought to Keystone’s attention after closing and has been resolved.
 
Hard Wood Floors:
 
1. Had scratches on it.
 
Problem corrected prior to closing.
 
2. Had a large scratch across 5 planks of wood.
 
After discussing with homeowner they did not want to replace the boards after Keystone personnel explained to them that when we replace they would face nail and putty the nails. 
 
3. Dents in certain boards.
 
After discussing with homeowner they did not want to replace the boards after Keystone personnel explained to them that when we replace they would face nail and putty the nails. 
 
4. Little specks of paint ALL over the hardwood, due to painters not placing drop cloths on the hardwood.
 
Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing. 
 
5. Boards with nicks.

Repaired prior to closing.  *** ****** was on her hands and knees during Celebration in the other rooms while I was discussing Celebration topics with ** ******. 
 
6. Boards with splintered wood.
 
Repaired prior to closing.  *** ****** was on her hands and knees during Celebration in the other rooms while I was discussing Celebration topics with ** ******. 

 Whole House:
 
1. Windowsills. They look like they were taken through a saw that had a jagged blade. They are so rough along the edges (assuming they weren't sanded). The seams have gaps in the corners. Parts were left unpainted. In the one room there is a gash in the one corner about 2 inches long. There are chunks missing on certain parts of the sills.
 
All window sills were according to specs and within acceptable tolerances.  As an accommodation to the ******s, Keystone personnel further worked on the sills to ***. ******’s specifications.

2. In every room that we have hard wood floors, there are thousands of tiny paint dots from the painters, obviously, not using drop cloths.

Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing.  We note that this complaint is mentioned 3 other times in the complaint.
 
3. House was never cleaned. The wood floors were so dirty. So much dirt was accumulated between the cracks of our boards that the cracks are still showing some dirt. I had to go through with a stain marker to cover most of this.
 
House was cleaned but should have been re-cleaned.  Keystone personnel acknowledge that the home should have been re-cleaned. 
 
4. You can see the seams where the baseboards meet. The corners are so rough. Some have gaps from not being cut correctly. Some are very rough, from not being sanded.
 
All paint items raised prior to this complaint have been corrected.  Some settling of the home is normal, and this may have caused some caulking gaps to open at trim corners.  This is normal.  Can investigate further.
 
5. The quality of our dry wall/painted walls is horrendous. You can tell they were painted in a rush and not sanded efficiently. The master bath was the worst. The dry wall paint literally had little holes all over it. There are gashes in certain rooms in the dry wall that weren’t able to catch until we painted all the rooms. Now, of course, they’re all noticeable.
 
Keystone addressed all paint issues raised by the ******s prior to this complaint, with the exception of some areas, where ******s effected “repairs” to walls and did their own painting; Keystone had no opportunity to address these items.
 
Exterior:
 
1. We paid for an extra amp hot tub hook up outside. When our hot tub installer and our electrician were here to hook everything up, they discovered the installed breaker was defective. They had to race around to four different stores to find a breaker. I was informed by ****, “Unfortunately I must process this through our trade. We can't replace items without proper investigation and legally allowing them the opportunity to fix the issue before back charging. If you have your electrician replace I can’t send the check through for approval therefore keystone will not pay. If you call ** electric, their number is on the electric panel, they will fix the item for you.” Your electrician wasn’t available until the next day. We were not paying our installer and our electrician to come out the next day because the breaker you installed was defective. I took a video of them swapping out the breakers, have assigned affidavit from witnesses, a copy of the receipt for the new breaker. What is most upsetting, is that your electrician nor the inspector actually tested the breaker to make sure there was 500 amps running through it! This $111.38 was reimbursed to us.

Under Keystone’s contracts with its subcontractors, a subcontractor must be given 24 hours notice to fix a problem.  The statements made regarding investigation, etc. are correct.  All proper procedures were followed.  The ******s did not afford Keystone the opportunity to correct the problem, as they insisted on repair the same day.  They had their electrician do the work, and, as an accommodation to the ******s, Keystone reimbursed them for the cost.
 
2. Due to the “rushed” settlement date, and not allowing adequate time for settlement of the top soil (which was just poured and spread, not tamped) our yard was not able to be walked on because you would sink ankle deep for approximately a month. We had to push back the building of our deck. When the water seeped through our water line pipe, our customer se**ice representative went outside to look further and she sunk a foot into the ground. Finally someone came out and added dirt, rocks, and retamped that area.
 
Keystone customer se**ice representative indicates that she did not step off the lead walk onto the ground and never sank into the ground.  Due to normal settlement, the ground settled at the foundation (driveway will need replaced in spring as mentioned above).  This problem was corrected at the direction of the customer se**ice representative as an accommodation to the ******s to help alleviate the water flow in the basement due to the water line not being sealed during construction. 
 
Garage:
 
1. There is a rebar sticking up about a foot into our garage. They had to cut around it when they placed our drywall. So now we have a hole in our drywall and a bar sticking out. They said there was nothing they could do.

This is an electrical grounding rod, required by and installed per the specifications of the building code adopted in the municipality.  Keystone is not permitted to change this.
  
The Keystone representative has asked to respond to the next section:
 
The length of the above listed items is absurd for a company that prides themselves on checking over 2,000 items in each new home. Our home was rushed, plain and simple. Working with our customer relations gentleman (I believe that is his title), has been nothing short of disappointing. The line of communication was not efficient. We were accused of causing some of the mistakes we found in our home.
 
"In response to ** ******s email regarding damage to her lead walk I stated that I did not know the origins of this damage or what caused the chips and that the Keystone warranty does not cover damaged items.  ** ****** would not return my phone calls or emails to allow me the opportunity to further explain my response."  

I was even laughed at in one of my conversations with him.
 
“I have never laughed at a homeowner but would be happy to discuss with her and apologize that it came across in this manner.”    
 
He later apologized for his actions and tried to explain it was all miscommunicated,

 “It is never my intention to offend anyone however mistakes do occur, I made a conscious effort that same day to apologize to ** and *** ****** with no response for weeks.  When I next visited the house I spoke with ** ****** and was able to apologize, from what I gathered during that conversation he forgave me and said it was "water under the bridge.". 

but I assure you his email was inferring we caused the damage. Our daily lives have been interrupted nonstop with people constantly coming in and out fixing things. Trying to figure out who could be home to let someone in and when to schedule people based on their availability and ours was a complete nightmare. In conclusion, we love our house because of our location and what we have made of it. We have spent an immense amount of our time, money, and sweat making our house a home. However, if we had the opportunity to do it all over again, we would, with a different builder.

A final note from the Keystone personnel handling this matter:
 
“I feel that I was kind and patient all throughout their experience and made every effort to happily se**e.  Many of these items were within Keystone's tolerances and guidelines as stated in the warranty page 2 line 8 which states ‘All cosmetic issues need to be visible six feet away under natural daylight to warrant the correction’. [emphasis supplied] Several attempts were made in order to have the house within their acceptable standards.
 
            1.         Front door window trim needs removed and cleaned by manufacturer – she is to contact the manufacturer when they have an available date (with confirmation from her that she will call them when available)
 
            2.         Water leak in basement – discussed above. Hydra Seal for the leak has been scheduled.


            3.         Keystone will be replacing the settled section of their driveway in the spring per their request.”

Although it is not clear from the complaint, it appears that ***. ****** is requesting some sort of compensation, although no basis for compensation is asserted.  As indicated above, the problems cited by ***. ****** were, for the most part, very minor and are normal in the course of building a home, though we understand that they are rightfully concerns of a new homeowner.  All of the problems cited (except the ones mentioned for the first time in the complaint) have been addressed or are being addressed; the remaining issues will be investigated.  When **. and ***. ****** purchased their new home, they received more than $70,000 in discounts and price concessions.  

The ******s have received a quality home at a very fair price, and their issues have been or are being addressed. Keystone’s goal is to go “above and beyond” to meet its customers’ expectations, and it is our hope that, when the process is completed, the ******s will agree that we have met that goal. 
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: 717-464-9060- Ext. 179 
Fax: 717-735-2034 
bobw@keystonecustomhome.com

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: *******

**. ****** or To Whom It May Concern:

 

We are rejecting this response because:

 

the premise of our complaint was received incorrectly.  We are completely aware that the majority of our issues have been “fixed” by Keystone. We have the same documentation (emails, phone conversations) that you do.  We do not accept that these numerous issues are deemed acceptable and normal for new construction.  The amount of time my husband and I had to rework our schedules to be home and available to accommodate the subcontractors who needed to come fix the issues at hand (and some issues had to be fixed multiple times) was absurd. Your responses had many discrepancies in regards to our expectations. There was false information in your responses, which is unappreciated. Also, please note, my husband and I are not “exacting” customers, we are knowledgeable. There is a huge difference.

 

Please note that we purchased approximately $65,000 in upgrades. This is essential to be aware of.

 

Please see comments below (written in different font and beginning with an asterisk).

 

Basement:

1. We had a leak through our ceiling due to water pipes. This had to be fixed three times. The dry wall had mold on it, and that needed to be replaced.

 

When installed, the water lines in basement were reversed.  The Township did not install the water meter in the house until the day of closing, so there was no water supply available in the house to test anything until after closing.  Immediately upon discovery of the problem,  * *** * (plumbing subcontractor) swapped lines. There was a leak; ****** (drywall subcontractor) came back to fix drywall, replacing the damaged wall material. 

*Then our house shouldn’t have had “closing” on that day if the water testing couldn’t be completed. The leak had to be fixed an additional two times after the water lines were corrected.  ****** came to fix the moldy drywall after.

 

2. The steps had plaster, paint, who knows what else, caked on them.

 

This is normal in construction in an unfinished area.  Keystone personnel cleaned the area and had the landing painted.

*I agree. This is normal, but it should have been cleaned prior to us moving in. It shouldn’t have been left there. The only reason it was cleaned is because we complained.

 

3. The pipe that our main water line sits in was never sealed. The immense amount of rain received on October 10th, caused our basement to have water. The water literally streamed out of the wall and soaked our insulation, carpets, boxes, and other personal items. The water could not be contained and Keystone said there’s nothing they could do except try to stop the water flow as much as possible and fix it once it stops raining and dries. Meanwhile, our basement continues to have water.

 

This is correct, it was not sealed during construction on the exterior side.  October 10-11, the York County area experienced an extraordinary rainfall, with total rainfall being 9.11” in a 24-hour period (the normal rainfall in **** County for the entire month of October is 3.26”).   Late on the night of October 10, Keystone personnel received an email stating that the water was trickling in.  About 6:00 am on October 11, the same person received a call from **. ******, who indicated that the water was now gushing in to the basement.  **. ****** was told to try to stop the water as best as he could with towels etc.  **. ****** was told that someone would be there on that date to address and fix the issue as best as possible.  **. ****** acknowledged that he realized nothing could be done until the rain stopped.  A Keystone representative called **. ****** back, and he was advised that a representative was on her way to the home.  On-site obse**ation was that water was running continuously via the water line sleeve.  Flow was stemmed to a drip through the use of water repellant foam and silicone for a temporary repair.  **** Concrete visited the home and corrected the problem by providing permanent Hydra Seal of the line on October 25.

*The abnormal amount of rain (the statistic) is not pertinent here nor is the conversation with **. ******.  It was unacceptable that Keystone did not have this sealed correctly before laying the insulation.

 

Family Room:

 

1. One baseboard wasn’t painted.

 

This has been completed.

 

2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

 

This was never brought to Keystone’s attention until the complaint was made. This will be investigated.

*This wasn’t brought to Keystone’s attention because there really isn’t anything that can be done, other than cutting the tips off of all of the affected carpet fibers.  We are not wasteful people and do not expect the carpets to be replaced because of this.  However, why Keystone paints the particle board after the carpet has been laid is not clear. Please note the carpets we installed were an upgrade.

 

3.  Fireplace mantle was not straight. The middle was flush to the wall. The right side had a small gap, and the left side had a half-inch gap.

 

Wall was slightly bowed causing a slight gap on either side of the mantle.  This problem should have been discovered at Q2.  This problem was fixed by Keystone personnel when it was called to our attention.

*Please note having a fireplace and a mantle was an upgrade.

 

4. There was plaster, paint, and grout on our stones on the fireplace.

*Please note having a fireplace was an upgrade.

 

The area was cleaned by Keystone personnel after settlement.

 

Powder Room:

 

1. Door had water damage on the bottom.

 

At the time of “Celebration”, which takes place about the time of closing, swelling was noted on this door. The door was replaced by Keystone.

 

2. Chip on one of the wood floor slats.

 

This is normal  damage from construction/install, this was repaired

*Really? It’s normal to have chips in our hard wood floor caused by construction/install? Please note, hard wood floors are an upgrade.

 

Kitchen:

*Please note, all of our kitchen cabinets were an upgrade.

 

 1. They forgot to place our trash can roll out cabinet in the island. When they finally did, the outlet that was there (which shouldn’t have been on that side) is causing that cabinet as well as the drawer above it to not pull out smoothly. When it was “fixed” we were told that’s the best that it can be because of the outlet. It will never pull out smoothly.

 

Item was discovered by Keystone prior to Q2.  The item was ordered and replaced by **** ****.  After replacement the island outlet box rubbed against the drawer track.  ** Electric was on site during the pre-settlement walk-through and fixed with no complications.  Keystone was not advised that there was still a problem until the complaint was filed.  This will be investigated.

*This is incorrect.  Since the roll out trash can was installed it has always had complications.  It was never 100% corrected. When the gentleman came out to fix this we were told this roll out will never be completely smooth because of the initial mistake of the outlet placement.  They stated, “This is as good as we can make it.”

 

2. Another drawer was crooked.

 

Item was noticed at Q2 and fixed before settlement

 

3. There was a very noticeable gap between the refrigerator wall and the dry wall.

 

Gap between refrigerator panel and wall was within tolerance.  We offered to caulk or scribe the area. This problem was corrected with ***. ******’s approval. 

 

4. The ply wood on our last cabinet was screwed in too tightly and caused the finish to flake off.

 

All cabinet items were noted by Keystone and have been repaired.

 

5. Two pieces of molding (top of cabinets) had knots in it that were aesthetically displeasing because they were at the top of the molding, and it looked like they had large cracks/holes in it.

 

This was the design of the cabinets, not defective.  Nevertheless, at the ******s’ request, these moldings were replaced as an accommodation to the ******s. 

 

6. The screws from the door handles left large splits in the wood on the interior of two cabinets. 

 

This is normal from cabinet handle installs, was a very easy fix. This was repaired by Keystone prior to closing.   

*If this is normal, then it should have been fixed when the handle installs were completed, as I am sure the person installing them noticed.  This was NOT fixed prior to closing.

 

7. One drawer had the inside finish of the back corner completely peeling off.

 

This was defect from manufacturer.  A replacement  drawer was ordered and delivered to the ******s.

 

8. One drawer had a screw on the inside that had damaged the front part of the drawer (interior).

 

Keystone has no record of this complaint. However, all cabinet/drawer items were noted and replaced as needed.

*This was listed in an email.

 

9. The edge on one of the shelves was cracked and peeling apart.

 

This was damage from installation.  A replacement was ordered and installed.

 

10. Pantry door was not closing correctly.

 

Keystone noted this item at Q2.  A replacement was ordered and installed.

 

11. Our oven/stove was hooked up for a natural gas line, not propane!! We found this out the hard way and had flames engulfing our pots and carbon all over our pots and then in our sink!!

 

This was an installation error by the subcontractor. This problem was corrected immediately when called to Keystone’s attention. 

 

12. Coat closet door had water damage on the bottom.

 

This item was noticed during Celebration. The door was replaced.

 

13. The microwave would run automatically when the door was shut.

 

This problem was noticed by Keystone at Q2. Problem was fixed prior to closing.

 

14. The sliding door had scratches on the interior side of the glass.

 

Scratches were smaller than a cob web line, were difficult to see, even when they were pointed out.  These small scratches were smaller than the size requiring replacement under the new home warranty.  Nevertheless, as an accommodation to the homeowner, the sliding door was replaced. 

*These scratches were not smaller than a cob web line. There were several of them (in a rainbow pattern).  They were approximately 2 inches in total width and 3 inches in length. You could see them very clearly from particular angles. When pointed out to our customer service represented he did say he noticed them.

 

Dining Room:

 

1. There is a piece of woodwork that is cracked up the side towards the bottom. On that same piece wood there is a strange thickness on the one edge with gobs of paint covering it.

 

Keystone personnel fixed area after settlement (the original subcontractor did not properly address the problem)

 

2. Small drops of paint are all over the edges of the wood floor.

 

Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing. 

*This is incorrect.  The wood floors were not cleaned.  There were an unbelievable amount of tiny drops of paint all over the perimeters of our wood floored rooms. They are still there. Through several cleanings (by us), some have been removed, but not all.

 

Living Room:

 

1. The carpet was installed crooked. We had two different sets of people (three different times) come out to “fix this”. It was worse. Finally new carpet had to be ordered. These installers placed it in beautifully. However, there was one place they couldn’t tuck the carpet under the woodwork because that piece of woodwork was placed flush to the floorboards.

 

Berber carpet installation was acceptable, but *** ****** wanted it fixed so we put it on the list to have fixed.  Took 3 times for the installer to get it within their acceptable range.  

*This is incorrect.  The installation was not acceptable.  The head of the company, ****, and his head installer came to the house after the first two tries to fix the problem were not successful.  They immediately noticed how crooked the carpet was and how easily of a fix it should have been. The third gentleman that came laid the  new carpet beautifully.  He took several pictures and stated they will be holding a training to show their employees how to correctly lay Berber carpet. 

 

Study:

 

1. There was a gap between the baseboard and the carpet.

 

Pad was too short. Berber carpet pad was cut too short, installer fixed

 

Stairs:

 

1. Someone tracked grease marks on our steps. These stains were “treated” twice, and they appeared again. They were then treated a third time

 

Stains came after final cleaning just before Celebration.  Keystone personnel cleaned the area just before Celebration, but it took two more treatments to clean sufficiently.  Area is now clean. 

 

2. There was a stair that the pad was cut too short and you could feel the wood.

 

Item was noticed after closing.  Carpeting subcontractor fixed the problem while at the house. 

*Initially, we were told that this was normal by a woman who came to the house from the carpet company, and there was nothing they could do.  When **** came to the house he said was it was fixable and would be fixed. Please note all carpeting and padding were upgrades.

 

3. Part of the wood, on the side, that goes up the stairs has a chunk out of it.

 

Stair stringer recess screws were not filled and painted by painting subcontractor.  Keystone personnel puttied and painted the area.  Problem is corrected. 

*This was not puttied and painted. The problem is not corrected, and this has nothing to do with screws not being filled in. This is a longer shallow chunk out of the wood panel that goes up the left side of the stairs.

 

4. There was a nail point that was protruding from one of the wood panels on the steps.

 

This was not previously brought to Keystone’s attention.

*This was brought to our builder’s attention, orally, and he fixed the problem.

 

5. The railing was stained while on the wall. There was stain on our wall. The underside of the railing was never stained.

 

 Normal practice to stain railing for second time while on wall.  *** did not remove railing to paint underneath side at railing supports.  Keystone personnel corrected the problem.

 

6. You can see the seams of the carpet on each step.

 

This was not previously brought to our attention.  There are no seams on the stairs carpet.

*If there are no seams on the stairs carpet, then my apologies. It must be the way the carpet fibers are lying.

 

Bedroom 1:

 

1. The ceiling fan hook up had a different housing fixture than all of the other ones. It was only screwed into the stud with one screw.

 

Fixture came out underneath a truss, when a truss is affecting the placement of the fixture a different housing must be used.  This was never brought to our attention before this complaint.

*This wasn’t brought to your attention before this complaint because we had someone at our house installing all of our fans. Upon installing this fan the discovery was made. We fixed the error to accommodate the person installing our fan. Please note, these were upgrades.

 

2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

 

This was never brought to our attention prior to this complaint.

*This wasn’t brought to Keystone’s attention because there really isn’t anything that can be done, other than cutting the tips off of all of the affected carpet fibers.  We are not wasteful people and do not expect the carpets to be replaced because of this.  However, why Keystone paints the particle board after the carpet has been laid is not clear. Please note the carpets we installed were an upgrade.

 

Bedroom 2:

 

1. There was a large crack (I could stick all my fingers under it) on one baseboard. I asked for it to be replaced. They tried to “fix it” and then paint over even after I asked it to be replaced!

 

This item was noted to be “replaced” during walk-through.  The painting subcontractor noted the problem while in the  house and tried to fix it with paint, not knowing that the trimming subcontractor had already been directed to replace it and not having been directed by Keystone to do the work.  The trimming subcontractor did replace this trim.

 

 

 

2. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

 

This was never previously brought to our attention.  Problem was not noted during the Celebration or during the settlement day walk-through with the ******s.

*This wasn’t brought to Keystone’s attention because there really isn’t anything that can be done, other than cutting the tips off of all of the affected carpet fibers.  We are not wasteful people and do not expect the carpets to be replaced because of this.  However, why Keystone paints the particle board after the carpet has been laid is not clear. Please note the carpets we installed were an upgrade.

 

Bedroom 3:

 

1. Closet doors weren’t aligned correctly.

 

Bifold doors needed slight adjustment.  Problem was corrected.

 

2. Carpet near the corners of the closet was not tacked down.

 

Tack strip held carpet in place.  At the ******s’ request, and as an accommodation to them, additional securing was done. Problem was resolved.

*I could pull the carpet up near the corners of the closet. 

 

3. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

 

This was never previously brought to our attention.  Problem was not noted during the Celebration or during the settlement day walk-through with the ******s.

*This wasn’t brought to Keystone’s attention because there really isn’t anything that can be done, other than cutting the tips off of all of the affected carpet fibers.  We are not wasteful people and do not expect the carpets to be replaced because of this.  However, why Keystone paints the particle board after the carpet has been laid is not clear. Please note the carpets we installed were an upgrade.

 

4. One board around the window was showing its wood pattern; whereas, no other piece around the window looked similar.

 

Effect due to natural grain of the wood.  This area was further hand sanded by Keystone personnel after  closing.


Hall Bathroom:

 

1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!!

 

As described above, the Hot and Cold water pipes were reversed in the basement.  The problem was fixed immediately upon discovery.

*I pose the question: Is this “normal” for new construction?

 

2. The caulk around the bathtub and the floor was very sloppy. I had it repaired and it still looked terrible.

 

This work was inspected, and it was determined that the work was within specified tolerances.  At ***. ******’s request, Keystone personnel attempted to correct the perceived problem, but ***. ****** was still not satisfied.  We believe that she fixed the perceived problem herself. Again, the work was to specifications and within standard tolerances prior to any repairs. 

*I did correct the problem myself. It astounds me that the initial attempt and second attempt were within Keystone’s tolerances.  It was beyond sloppy.

 

3. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first.

 

Final paint was not complete before Q2.  Problem was noticed during Celebration and was fixed prior to closing. 

*I also corrected this myself before we painted the bathroom. The caulk was cracked and it just peeled right off the top of the shower. I caulked the shower correctly.

 

4. There were scratches on the edge of the tub. There were scratches on the inside of the tub as well as a slight scratch that actually cut the tub. 

 

Had ***** from ************ (the supplier) return to house on 3 separate occasions, these hairline scratches were not noticeable unless in exact lighting. 

*But they were there... on a brand new tub.

 

5. Door had water damage on the bottom.

 

 This very slight, almost unnoticeable damage was discovered, door was replaced and repainted. 

*This damage was noted the same day the other two doors that had water damage was noted.  This was not “unnoticeable” as we noticed it immediately.

 

6. The top horizontal trim around the door does not match the trim going vertically.

 

This issue was not brought to Keystone’s attention prior to this complaint.  All trim is the same design. 

 

7. There is a chunk out of the trim on the left side of door.

 

This was corrected.  

*This was not corrected. It is still there.

 

Laundry Room:

 

1. The hot and cold water pipes were mixed up!!

 

As indicated above, when installed, the water lines in basement were reversed.  The Township did not install the water meter in the house until the day of closing, so there was no water supply available in the house to test anything until after closing.  The problem was fixed immediately upon discovery.

 

Master Bedroom:

 

1. Paint on tips of carpet all along baseboards.

 

This issue was never brought to Keystone’s attention until this complaint.  Keystone personnel were, in fact, being on their hands and knees pulling on the carpet at the baseboard and this was never noticed. 

 *This wasn’t brought to Keystone’s attention because there really isn’t anything that can be done, other than cutting the tips off of all of the affected carpet fibers.  We are not wasteful people and do not expect the carpets to be replaced because of this.  However, why Keystone paints the particle board after the carpet has been laid is not clear. Please note the carpets we installed were an upgrade.

 

2. Two windows had quite a bit of extra silicone all over the left vertical edge.

 

This issue was never brought to our attention prior to this complaint. 

*This issue was brought to your attention via an email sent to our customer service representative.  He was going to look at it and correct it himself, but the gentlemen, **, that came to the house to take care of our window sills, corrected it.

 

Master Bath:

 

1. There was a hole in the outside of the shower.

 

Problem was not a hole, but a chip. Chip was fixed prior to closing.

*Shower width was an upgrade.

 

2. There is a hole on the inside of the shower.

 

Problem was not a hole, but a chip. Chip was called to Keystone’s attention after closing and has been fixed. 

 

3. Scratch on the mirror.

 

Keystone personnel could find no scratch on the mirror; only some sort of mark was found.  Keystone personnel cleaned the glass; mirror was not replaced.

*Keystone never came to look at the scratch.  If they did, it was never brought to my attention that they did.  I made them aware of the scratch but mentioned it was not expected to be replaced as the scratch was small. Still, the mirror should have never been installed with a scratch on it.

 

4. The caulk around the top of the shower and the walls was placed over plaster that was not cleaned up first. 

 

Final paint was not complete prior to Q2.  Issue was noticed during celebration and fixed before closing. 

*This issue was never fixed. I fixed this issue myself before we painted our bathroom.  The caulk peeled off in one piece. 

 

5.  The tile around the tub had mounds of grout in certain areas and also had some holes in the grout.

 

Tub was inspected by homeowner during Celebration, no issues were noticed.  After closing this was brought to Keystone’s  attention.  Problem was fixed. 

*Tub was an upgrade (in our bathroom upgrade).

 

6. The caulk placed around the tub, either missed spots because of poor grout job, or sunk in because too large of a gap between tile and tub. Discovered that pieces of a sponge were left in parts of the caulk that caused it to split.

 

Tub was inspected by homeowner during Celebration, no issues were noticed.  After closing this was brought to Keystone’s  attention.  Problem was fixed. 

 

7. The window had a huge gap between the sill and the tile.

 

Keystone personnel made note of this problem, and the matter was resolved prior to closing.

 

8. There were fine scratches on the tub.

 

Had ***** from ************ (the supplier) return to house on 3 separate occasions, these hairline scratches were not noticeable unless in exact lighting. 

 

9. Two nicks near drain and one on top.

 

Problem noticed after closing, had ************ (subcontractor) back three times to fix all tub issues. 

 

10. One major nick in the tub near the cold water handle.

 

Problem noticed after closing, had ************ (subcontractor) back three times to fix all tub issues. 

 

11. Horrible walls! Had to spackle an immense amount of wall space before painting.

 

All paint items were marked and fixed.

*Our bathroom was the final room looked at in the interior of our house during our walk-throughs. We were exhausted after walking through our house for hours. This was not noticed initially. When we finally moved in and began using and working in our bathroom, we noticed how terrible the walls were.  These walls weren’t fixable through paint touch-ups.  They still look terrible even after we had it painted. 

 

Driveway:

 

1. There is a part of our driveway that has a large crack in it and is collapsing around it.

This problem is due to normal settlement around the foundation.  As an accommodation to the ******s (this item is not covered by the new home warranty), Keystone agreed to replace.  ******s indicated they do not want the work done until spring, so Keystone has placed an “Info Only” request in its records for later action.

*This is not due to normal settlement.  This is because our ground was not tamped correctly, hence the workers coming to lay additional stone, dirt, and mulch down and re-tamp the area. 

 

2. There are five chunks out of our sidewalk. When this was corrected, the finish was so rough that we cannot walk on our sidewalk without shoes on.

 

** ******* (the paving subcontractor) came back and replaced lead walk, while the new concrete was curing, the mailman walked on the sidewalk.  ******* came back and refinished the top coat, it is now acceptable by the homeowner. 

*The delivery man walking on the sidewalk occurred because the subcontractor never roped off the area.

 

3. The bump at the entrance to our driveway is ridiculous.

 

As is the normal situation in new communities, driveways often have a significant drop to the street until the final paving is done by the developer (not Keystone).  Problem should be resolved when final paving is completed by developer, which will probably be after virtually all construction is completed in the community and the streets are about to be dedicated to the municipality.  Although this is not an issue with Keystone, when ***. ****** e-mailed Keystone on October 16 on this issue, she was advised that a Keystone representative would place a 2” X 6” piece of wood at the street intersection with the driveway so that the drop would be less significant.  ***. ******’s response was:

“that would be great! & thank you.”

*I agree that this the developer’s issue. However, another Keystone home had this corrected through Keystone.  The same courtesy should have been offered to all of us.  The wood pieces are definitely appreciated and our new customer service representative said she will work on getting this fixed to help decrease the drop.

 

Front Porch/door:

 

1. There was a hole on the top of both columns.

 

This was fixed by Keystone personnel.

 

2. Front door step: There is paint (or something) all over the silver plate and the wood strip placed across it. A certain cleaner had to be used to get this wood strip clean, and then it stripped some of the stain off the wood.

 

This problem was fixed by Keystone personnel, and we are unaware that there is still a problem. 

 

3. There is a red sticker inside the glass on the door window. Once this was fixed, there are still two black pieces of sticker (or something) still in the window.

 

Manufacturer left sticker on the inside of the window trim, they were called out and had to remove the door window.  After removing they didn’t clean and are still trying to work with the homeowners schedule to get this fixed properly.  *** ****** said that she is working with their tech and has his number, will call when they have a day off work.  This is the ONLY outstanding item which they confirmed via email. 

*They are replacing the window.

 

4. The door handles had white paint all over them.

 

Fixed before closing.

*Hardware was an upgrade.

 

5. The window has black marks on the white wood panels in and around it.

 

Window trim is not painted but was cleaned by Keystone personnel.  Issue was brought to Keystone’s attention after closing and has been resolved.

*The marks are still there.  To my knowledge they have not been removed. The window was an upgrade.

 

Hard Wood Floors:

 

1. Had scratches on it.

Problem corrected prior to closing.

*Problem corrected by a stain marker. So, the scratches are still there, they’re just stained.  It was ridiculous how many were present.

 

2. Had a large scratch across 5 planks of wood.

 

After discussing with homeowner they did not want to replace the boards after Keystone personnel explained to them that when we replace they would face nail and putty the nails. 

*This is incorrect.  We did have these boards replaced. 

 

3. Dents in certain boards.

 

After discussing with homeowner they did not want to replace the boards after Keystone personnel explained to them that when we replace they would face nail and putty the nails.

*This is correct. Since our floor is placed together like a puzzle, we did not want to interrupt that flow too many times, especially on boards that were longer in length.   

 

4. Little specks of paint ALL over the hardwood, due to painters not placing drop cloths on the hardwood. 

 

Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing. 

*These were not removed prior to closing.

 

5. Boards with nicks.

 

Repaired prior to closing.  *** ****** was on her hands and knees during Celebration in the other rooms while I was discussing Celebration topics with ** ******. 

*I was never on my hands and knees during the Celebration and do not appreciate the inaccuracy of that comment.  I was scrunched down a few times looking more closely when I thought I noticed a dent or scratch from farther away.   I was in other rooms while my husband went ahead taking a more thorough look.

 

6. Boards with splintered wood.

 

Repaired prior to closing.  *** ****** was on her hands and knees during Celebration in the other rooms while I was discussing Celebration topics with ** ******. 

*I was never on my hands and knees during the Celebration and do not appreciate the inaccuracy of that comment.  I was scrunched down a few times looking more closely when I thought I noticed a dent or scratch from farther away.   I was in other rooms while my husband went ahead taking a more thorough look. These boards were noticed when we began walking around our house in socks and our socks would get caught on the splintered boards. 

 

Whole House:

1. Windowsills. They look like they were taken through a saw that had a jagged blade. They are so rough along the edges (assuming they weren't sanded). The seams have gaps in the corners. Parts were left unpainted. In the one room there is a gash in the one corner about 2 inches long. There are chunks missing on certain parts of the sills.

 

All window sills were according to specs and within acceptable tolerances.  As an accommodation to the ******s, Keystone personnel further worked on the sills to ***. ******’s specifications.

*Anyone that would even contemplate finding those window sills within acceptable tolerances needs to adhere to stricter guidelines. They were terribly rough and nicked. Al did come to sand and repaint the sills. I was not home during this, and my husband was working from home and was on several conference calls. They are are still not how they should be, but they are more tolerable. Note these are an upgrade.

 

2. In every room that we have hard wood floors, there are thousands of tiny paint dots from the painters, obviously, not using drop cloths.

 

Entire wood floor was cleaned and all drops (they were extremely small) were removed prior to closing.  We note that this complaint is mentioned 3 other times in the complaint.

*My rebuttal is also mentioned above in the individual categories.

 

3. House was never cleaned. The wood floors were so dirty. So much dirt was accumulated between the cracks of our boards that the cracks are still showing some dirt. I had to go through with a stain marker to cover most of this.

 

House was cleaned but should have been re-cleaned.  Keystone personnel acknowledge that the home should have been re-cleaned. 

*I would like to know who cleaned the house and when (date) it was cleaned.

 

4. You can see the seams where the baseboards meet. The corners are so rough. Some have gaps from not being cut correctly. Some are very rough, from not being sanded.

 

All paint items raised prior to this complaint have been corrected.  Some settling of the home is normal, and this may have caused some caulking gaps to open at trim corners.  This is normal.  Can investigate further.

*These gaps have been there from the beginning. They have nothing to do with the settling. They have to do with the fact that they are made from particle board, an extremely cheap and flimsy material. It should have been made known to us, and to all buyers that particle board is used as the baseboards.

 

5. The quality of our dry wall/painted walls is horrendous. You can tell they were painted in a rush and not sanded efficiently. The master bath was the worst. The dry wall paint literally had little holes all over it. There are gashes in certain rooms in the dry wall that weren’t able to catch until we painted all the rooms. Now, of course, they’re all noticeable.

 

Keystone addressed all paint issues raised by the ******s prior to this complaint, with the exception of some areas, where ******s effected “repairs” to walls and did their own painting; Keystone had no opportunity to address these items.

*When things weren’t done correctly the first time, we couldn’t put our schedules on hold any longer.  We wanted the rooms painted before our furniture was moved in.  We did not have time to wait for Keystone to come out to address these items.  These gashes should have been noticeable to the subcontractors who worked on the painting of the walls before we even settled. 

 

Exterior:

 

1. We paid for an extra amp hot tub hook up outside. When our hot tub installer and our electrician were here to hook everything up, they discovered the installed breaker was defective. They had to race around to four different stores to find a breaker. I was informed by ****, “Unfortunately I must process this through our trade. We can't replace items without proper investigation and legally allowing them the opportunity to fix the issue before back charging. If you have your electrician replace I can’t send the check through for approval therefore keystone will not pay. If you call ** electric, their number is on the electric panel, they will fix the item for you.” Your electrician wasn’t available until the next day. We were not paying our installer and our electrician to come out the next day because the breaker you installed was defective. I took a video of them swapping out the breakers, have assigned affidavit from witnesses, a copy of the receipt for the new breaker. What is most upsetting, is that your electrician nor the inspector actually tested the breaker to make sure there was 500 amps running through it! This $111.38 was reimbursed to us.

 

Under Keystone’s contracts with its subcontractors, a subcontractor must be given 24 hours notice to fix a problem.  The statements made regarding investigation, etc. are correct.  All proper procedures were followed.  The ******s did not afford Keystone the opportunity to correct the problem, as they insisted on repair the same day.  They had their electrician do the work, and, as an accommodation to the ******s, Keystone reimbursed them for the cost.

*The hot tub amp service (an upgrade) should have been inspected more carefully. It was faulty and should have been caught. We had people scheduled/paid to come out to our house for hot tub installation. We were not going to pay them to come out again the following day, because we had to wait for Keystone to come look first.  

 

2. Due to the “rushed” settlement date, and not allowing adequate time for settlement of the top soil (which was just poured and spread, not tamped) our yard was not able to be walked on because you would sink ankle deep for approximately a month. We had to push back the building of our deck. When the water seeped through our water line pipe, our customer se**ice representative went outside to look further and she sunk a foot into the ground. Finally someone came out and added dirt, rocks, and retamped that area.

 

Keystone customer service representative indicates that she did not step off the lead walk onto the ground and never sank into the ground.  Due to normal settlement, the ground settled at the foundation (driveway will need replaced in spring as mentioned above).  This problem was corrected at the direction of the customer service representative as an accommodation to the ******s to help alleviate the water flow in the basement due to the water line not being sealed during construction. 

*My husband was standing right there with her.  We are very disappointed to hear the discrepancy here.  She had workers come out to fix the area.

 

Garage:

 

1. There is a rebar sticking up about a foot into our garage. They had to cut around it when they placed our drywall. So now we have a hole in our drywall and a bar sticking out. They said there was nothing they could do.

 

This is an electrical grounding rod, required by and installed per the specifications of the building code adopted in the municipality.  Keystone is not permitted to change this.

*We are aware that Keystone cannot change the grounding rod.  We can’t understand why we have to live with a hole in our garage dry wall because Keystone didn’t plan accordingly to have this rod covered by the dry wall.

 

The Keystone representative has asked to respond to the next section:

 

The length of the above listed items is absurd for a company that prides themselves on checking over 2,000 items in each new home. Our home was rushed, plain and simple. Working with our customer relations gentleman (I believe that is his title), has been nothing short of disappointing. The line of communication was not efficient. We were accused of causing some of the mistakes we found in our home.

 

"In response to ** ******s email regarding damage to her lead walk I stated that I did not know the origins of this damage or what caused the chips and that the Keystone warranty does not cover damaged items.  ** ****** would not return my phone calls or emails to allow me the opportunity to further explain my response."  

*This was from the email that **** sent to me on August 14th:

“I was in the neighborhood today and stopped by the house for a few seconds to look at your lead walk chips.  Although I would not be able to tell you what caused this damage I do know this was neither from install nor from production as all concrete is thoroughly inspected before settlement during our final inspection of the home.  Furthermore I remember spending a decent amount of time during our final walk-through as well as the day of settlement on this lead walk area. Keystone does not warrant damaged items, I will not be having this fixed/replaced.”

Through his comment, he is insinuating we caused the damage.

 

I was even laughed at in one of my conversations with him.

 

“I have never laughed at a homeowner but would be happy to discuss with her and apologize that it came across in this manner.”

*When I told him about the strips used in our security system to secure our alarms on our sliding glass door, he laughed at me when I told him that strips cannot be bought just anywhere, they have to be specially ordered from the company. And I even said

 

He later apologized for his actions and tried to explain it was all miscommunicated,

 

“It is never my intention to offend anyone however mistakes do occur, I made a conscious effort that same day to apologize to ** and *** ****** with no response for weeks.  When I next visited the house I spoke with ** ****** and was able to apologize, from what I gathered during that conversation he forgave me and said it was "water under the bridge." 

 

but I assure you his email was inferring we caused the damage. Our daily lives have been interrupted nonstop with people constantly coming in and out fixing things. Trying to figure out who could be home to let someone in and when to schedule people based on their availability and ours was a complete nightmare. In conclusion, we love our house because of our location and what we have made of it. We have spent an immense amount of our time, money, and sweat making our house a home. However, if we had the opportunity to do it all over again, we would, with a different builder.

 

A final note from the Keystone personnel handling this matter:

 

“I feel that I was kind and patient all throughout their experience and made every effort to happily serve.  Many of these items were within Keystone's tolerances and guidelines as stated in the warranty page 2 line 8 which states ‘All cosmetic issues need to be visible six feet away under natural daylight to warrant the correction’. [emphasis supplied] Several attempts were made in order to have the house within their acceptable standards.

 

 1. Front door window trim needs removed and cleaned by manufacturer – she is to contact the manufacturer when they have an available date (with confirmation from her that she will call them when available)

 

 2. Water leak in basement – discussed above. Hydra Seal for the leak has been scheduled.

 

 3. Keystone will be replacing the settled section of their driveway in the spring per their request.”

 

*It shouldn’t matter how many discounts a person receives in new construction.  It shouldn’t matter whether you build a $100,000 home or a $1,000,000 home. When you build a new home, you expect it to be “new”. We are completely cognizant of normal new home construction issues. Our house was rushed and had issues that were preventable. We spent more time than necessary trying to coordinate schedules to have all of these items corrected.  The constant interruptions inconvenienced our family. 

 

In speaking with ****, my husband said, “It was water under the bridge” in reference to the issues with ****, not Keystone.  My husband also told **** that our house was rushed and Keystone cut corners.  **** responded by making a comment along the lines of, “Sometimes being the first house in a neighborhood is a bit of an experiment.” We apologize for not having his exact words, but that was the gist of his comment. And he is correct.

 

In conclusion, **. ******, we feel a complaint was warranted because these are not all normal new house construction issues.  We feel some of our upgrades that we paid for, especially the window sills, should be reimbursed.  Yes, we received discounts from Keystone, but so has everyone else who purchased a Keystone home because that is your sales pitch, hence your advertising signs. This should not mean that discounts equal a poorer quality home is built. We would like acknowledgment from Keystone, an apology, for causing so many continuing disruptions to our lives and and not adhering to your company’s philosophies.  

 

***** and ****** ******

 

Business Response: Dear *** *******,
 
I am writing in response to the response filed by ***. ****** (**. ****** also joined in the response, although he did not join in the original complaint).  In its response, Keystone made a sincere effort to address each of the ******s’ concerns.  It is difficult to respond to the ******s’ response to Keystone’s reply item-by-item.  The ******s seem to be agreeing with much of what is contained in Keystone’s reply, and it is quite difficult to discern what matters remain unresolved at this point.  It appears that most items have been addressed, and the ******s’ complaint now is that the problems never should have arisen, were not dealt with in the time frame expected by them, etc. 
 
Since receiving the ******s’ complaint, Keystone’s customer service representatives have been in contact with the ******s.  Three representatives are working on this matter.  A date for a home visit was requested on November 7.  The ******s response was that they wanted a list of items to be addressed, and they were sent a list which includes all items to which reference is made in the original Complaint on November 11, requesting possible meeting dates.  As of this date, no response has been received from the ******s, and  another e-mail has been sent to them this morning requesting potential meeting dates.   So the process of responding to their complaint is ongoing.
 
The ******s make repeated references to upgrades they chose for their new home.  Keystone has a detailed process for choosing upgrades, designed to provide each new home purchaser with exactly the special features he or she wants in his or her new home.  Construction of each home, including all standard features and optional upgrades, are done to the same exacting standards.  And excellence in customer service is the standard for all standard features and optional upgrades.
 
Our mention of “discounts” was never intended to imply that the ******s should expect a lesser quality home. We were merely pointing out that the ******s have already received substantial financial accommodations in purchasing their new home and that they have received an excellent value.
 
The ******s seem to have taken some offense to our reference to them as “exacting” customers.  We wish to assure the ******s and you that this was not intended as any criticism. Whether the ******s are characterized as “exacting” or “knowledgeable”, as they seem to prefer, Keystone is pleased to work with such customers to meet their expectations, as stated in our original response. 
 
It is out hope that the ******s will promptly provide Keystone’s customer service representative with dates for a visit to their home, as requested, so that any outstanding matters can be promptly addressed. 
 
 
****** *. ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
******************************

1/25/2014 Problems with Product/Service
11/15/2013 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: The customer service representative was changed between my settlement date and the 11 month warranty work timing. He did not follow through on completion of any of the work listed during the inspection except for TouchUp paint. My foundation had started to crack. Now 5 months later, there are even more cracks. I have made phone calls, sent letters to the home office with no response. Considering the interior slab in both the house and garage were cracking before settlement, I would say the concrete work is substandard. The framing of the house also began when the concrete was still wet.

Desired Settlement: To repair the foundation as well as to do Follow up on other 11 month ite** to complete the job. My house construction and completion was so under supervised by Keystone that I don't expect glaring cosmetic issues to ever get resolved.

Business Response: Dear **. *******:
 
          I am writing in response to the above complaint.  **. ******** settled for the purchase of her new home from Ridgewall, LLC on June 26, 2012.  Since that time, Keystone Custom Homes personnel have responded to various warranty claims by **. ********.  At the 11-month walk-through of the home with **. ********, Keystone personnel and **. ******** developed a punchlist of items to be addressed.  All items on the punchlist were completed, and **. ******** signed off on the work as having been completed on June 14, 2013.  Keystone’s service records and **. ********’s Customer Relations Manager indicate no contacts from **. ******** since June 26, 2013, when the last service on the home was performed. 
 
          At the time of the 11-month walk-through, a hairline foundation crack was discovered.  Hairline foundation cracks are a normal result of settling of a new home. Keystone new home warranty guidelines, developed with consideration of acceptable industry performance standards and applicable building codes, establishes objective standards for evaluating things such as foundation cracks to determine whether such ite** should be covered by the warranty.  The crack in question was not of sufficient size to be covered by the Keystone new home warranty.  Nevertheless, as an accommodation to **. ********, the crack was sealed by Keystone personnel at no expense to the homeowner.  No other cracks were noted at this service interval.
 
          Regarding the issue of framing, the home has been constructed in accordance with industry standards, the applicable building code, and local regulations.  The home was inspected by the local code enforcement officer/building inspector, and a Certificate of Use and Occupancy was issued. Keystone stands by its homes and its construction procedures; this home has been properly constructed.
 
          As an accommodation courtesy to **. ********, Keystone arrange for a representative to again visit the home and inspect any foundation issues.  Any issues found which are covered by Keystone’s new home warranty will be repaired.  Although **. ******** signed off on all repairs arising from the 11-month walk-through, any ite** that are deemed incomplete by **. ******** from the 11-month service interval punchlist will be reviewed; any items that are covered by the Keystone new home warranty will be addressed.
 
          Thank you for your consideration.

****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
rweaver@keystonecustomhome.com
 

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:

There are some definite mis-statements in the response from the business. And I surely don't want to agree that they, Keystone, are doing me some favors by re-visiting my 11 month inspection. The pre-settlement walkhrough, the 30 day punch list as well as the 11-month inspection ite** were all never completely addressed.

 For the 11-month inspection, I signed a list of items that were yet to be addressed. And I never received a copy of the the list. It was generated electronically so of course it could be modified. I had contacted the customer service manager assigned to me about some of these. Since I didn't receive responses, I sent a letter dated July 6, 2013 and had it tracked by USPS so I know it was received by Keystone. I attached those documents for your review. Other than touch-up paint, all they focussed on was the mis-positioned bracket and electrical box for my air conditioner compressor, which is probably in worse shape now than at the 11-month inspection.

For the entire construction project of my house, there was minimal Keystone oversight of the sub-contractors; they operate basically as a brokerage for sub-contractors. To allow a house to go to settlement where the plumbing system had not been tested (hot water line to kitchen sink was ruptured) and to deny such testing was skipped is unacceptable. What I had been hoping for our communications would be that Keystone Custom Homes would be less  likely to allow this to occur again because consumers would be aware of previous practices. Keystone definitely picks and chooses what they spend their time on construction and associated customer service.


Regards,

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








Business Response: Dear **. *******:
 
I am writing in response to ***. ********’s response forwarded to us on November 6, 2013.  In her response, ***. ******** raises no additional concerns, but expresses general dissatisfaction with the response filed by Keystone.
 
As promised in Keystone’s response to ***. ********’s complaint, Keystone arranged for a representative to again visit the home and inspect any foundation issues and the issues on the 11-month punch list.  This visit took place on November 12.  This visit was followed up with an e-mail to ***. ******** the same day:
 
-----Original Message-----
From: ***** *******
To: *******
Sent: November 12, 2013 11:42 AM
Subject: Meeting Summary- **. ******** 11/12/13

**. ********

It was a pleasure meeting with you this morning. Please find below, a list of items that were still considered open from your previous punchlist over the last few months.

- Front and garage door locksets/catches need adjustment.
- Flush rear hose bib siding block and seal around to prevent air infiltration.
- Level AC/bracket
- Adjust AC disconnect. Drawn tight to siding causing buckling.
- Level/adjust master shower door to even up reveals at frame.
- Garage door photocell relocation, if feasible to prevent door from malfunctioning.
- Seal gap at slab and foundation wall at left side of garage.
- Sikaflex/seal foundation hairline cracks at both sides and rear of home.
- Powerwash/acid wash public walk and apron.
- Investigate if an upgraded weatherstrip is available for kitchen slider.

Items discussed that will be monitored.   As reviewed, the warranty standard for slab on grade cracks is, 1/4" in width or 3/16" vertical displacement.  Pictures will be sent for my review of cracks prior to the vinyl install.   Per our meeting today, there were no visible warrantable  cracks observed. Secondly, the gutter/splash guard system at the front roofline over leadwalk/porch will be monitored for performance after your upgraded gutters were installed.

Exterior items noted, that were installed per plan and approved by the county/town were the driveway/front yard, and rear swale where water is holding after heavier rains. A recommendation was made at the side yard to install a homeowner supplied small yard drain that would daylight to the rear yard /wood line to handle neighbors run off.

Please confirm the above is a complete comprehensive list of action items from our meeting today. Also, please provide me a day that you will be home 2-3 weeks out so we can schedule an action day to wrap everything up.  Thank you for your continued patience and we look to bring quick resolution to the open items.

Thanks and have a great day.

Respectfully
***** *******
 
***. ******** responded to *** ******* the same day with a series of possible dates in late November and early December when she is available.  Mr. Karotko will be following through. As previously indicated, items covered by Keystone’s new home warranty will be addressed, and items raised in the 11-month walk-through, but remaining uncompleted, will be resolved.
 
As always, it is Keystone’s goal to make its customers’ homebuilding experience a gratifying one, and Keystone will strive to meet the ********s’ expectations.
 
 
****** ** ******
*** ******* *** *********** ***
********** ** *****
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
******************************

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution proposed is satisfactory to me. Of course this dependent on the work being successfully completed as described.  Thank you.

Regards,

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

9/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Hello, Our complaint is about the hardwood flooring that is through out our 1st floor. There is paint/drywall dust that is permanently stuck between the boards and on the boards themselves. We tried to remove the paint dust ourselves, but the situation only was made worse by mopping or dusting because the dust only smears around the floor. We have been complaining to our builder representative about the floor since before we moved in, and we were told that "it would come up." We have also had Keystone's own cleaning company come twice to clean the floors, which again only results in a white layer of dust smeared around our hardwood. Our last attempt at getting this out of our floors was hiring a professional cleaning company to come in, and try to get the paint dust out of the boards by hand. They tried for 10 hours and were unsuccessful, as to which there professional comment was "the contractors Keystone used have ruined the hardwood floors." We paid a lot of money for the hardwood only to not be able to enjoy it and risk the chance of our child and us getting sick from the paint/drywall dust that can't be removed. My wife is also 37 weeks pregnant, and we do not want our infant crawling around on this paint dust and risk getting sick. We are filing a complaint to have the hardwood replaced by Keystone, and in a timely manner. Thank you

Desired Settlement: To have all hardwood replaced on the first floor.

Business Response: Dear **. *******,
 
We are responding to Complaint No. *******, filed by ***** ******.  Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (“Keystone”) has been in ongoing discussions with **. and ***. ******, both prior to and since the filing of **. ******’s complaint (activity began on this matter the first week of July when the issue was first raised by the ******s), attempting to resolve the issue the ******s have with their floor.  It has been only 1 month and 6 days since the ******s settled for the purchase of their new home.  Various methods of solving the problem have been tried, without success to date.  Most recently, representatives of the flooring subcontractor visited the ****** home on August 12.  At that time, **. ****** raised another issue, again with the floor. 
 
The flooring subcontractor is presently exploring alternative solutions to the dust/paint problem and is consulting with the head of the company and, I believe, the manufacturer regarding the new issue.  Of course, Keystone intends to resolve the issues the ******s have with their flooring; Keystone will strive to provide the ******s with the quality home they expect.
 
Unfortunately, this is a new problem (as stated above, the ******s have been in the home less than 6 weeks, and resolving issues of the this magnitude routinely takes longer than that. In addition, the new issue was raised only 2 days ago).  We cannot report that the issue is resolved.  We can report that Keystone is doing all it can to resolve the situation, and **. ****** seemed satisfied with the progress on Monday, August 12, when the flooring sub-contractor representative visited the home. 
 
We will advise you as we continue to work to resolve this matter.
 
 
****** ** ******, Esquire
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

Business Response: I also have an update:
 
1.       ***** ** ***** Flooring sent a representative to the ******s’ home on August 12.  The representative discovered drywall dust/paint in the cracks between the floor boards.  It was also found that some of the finish on the boards is flaking/peeling off, probably due to the use of an incorrect type of cleaner on the board surface.  This may have been by the cleaners engaged by the ******s, as ***** ** ***** did not use any prohibited cleaners. 
 
2.       A Keystone representative spoke with ***. ****** on August 13; she indicated that ***** ** ***** was unable to clean the hardwood and that they had discovered a “film” on the floor which the technician was unable to remove. 
 
3.       The Keystone representative spoke with a ***** ** ***** representative on August 14 and was advised that whoever had attempted to clean the hardwood floor had damaged the finish.  She indicated that the finish on the entire floor is damaged.  We are awaiting receipt of photographs documenting the situation from ***** ** *****.
 
4.       The Keystone representative then tried on August 14 to reach the ******s by calling each of their cell phones twice; there was no answer.  The representative indicated that he suspected that ***. ****** was at the hospital delivering her baby.  He will follow up once he hears from the ******s.
 
If you have further questions, please advise.  Thank you for your consideration.
 
****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. *** 
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

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:

There was no resolve to the complaint yet. I am attaching photos of the hardwood floor's so that you can see the obvious paint spots and dust that are all over the floors. You can also tell that the dust and spots that are on the surface of the floors that came up from the cracks are starting to scratch and ruin the floors more than they already are. It has been a month and a half since we moved in and made these problems known and they are still here. We have taken the best possible care of the hardwood using only the recommended hardwood cleaner and soap and water to try and get the paint dust up bust as you can tell from the pictures there is so much between the cracks it just keeps coming up and ruining the floors. Again we have used professional cleaners to try and get it up and can provide their name and number if needed as they have tried for hours using soap and water and a brush to get it up with no avail. They too have told us that the paint dust has ruined the hardwood floors. We just would like our floors to be in a brand new condition as we have paid for them to be when we settled and they have not been since we moved in.


Regards,

***** ******








Business Response: Dear **. *******,
 
We are responding to **. ******’s most recent response regarding Complaint No. *******.  Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (“Keystone”) continues to work with the ******s to resolve their problem.  On August 20, the Customer Service Representative responsible for the ******s’ home visited the home to review the situation following the visit by ***** ** *****.  Although the ***** ** ***** representative expressed the opinion that the finish on the floor was damaged by someone utilizing improper cleaners on the floor, the Keystone CSR determined that the finish on the floor is not, in fact, peeling off.  Rather, it appears that whatever cleaning material was utilized on the floor left a clear film, which is now peeling off.  The CSR was able to remove this film from several boards with careful cleaning, and the finish on these boards is fine.
 
The CSR suggested that Keystone have the entire floor steam cleaned, and the ******s were agreeable, as long as the cleaning process does not involve chemical solvents.  Keystone will be going forward with this cleaning, which should remedy the “peeling” situation.
 
Keystone can then address the white material between the boards.  This material does not appear to be drywall compound, but paint, as it has a rubbery consistency.  It is yet to be determined whether this condition can be addressed without removal of the floor.
 
Keystone remains committed to “making this right” for the ******s.  We very much appreciate their patience with this process.  As noted below, I will be away for a period of time, but work will continue on the ****** situation in my absence.  We can report on progress upon my return.
 
I will note that I will be out of the office from August 23 through September 9.  Therefore, I will be unable to meet the 10-day deadline for responses to any inquiries which we receive prior to September 3.  We therefore respectfully request in advance an extension of any reply time to September 3 if the 10-day reply time expires prior to that date.  Thank you for your consideration in this.  
 
 
****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

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:

 
There has been no resolve to the case. We are still waiting for Keystone to make a decision on replacing the hardwood or not. It is still in the same condition as before. They are sending a cleaning unit over next tuesday now to see if steam cleaning it will help but at this point nothing has been resolved.


Regards,

***** ******








Business Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *** ****** <***************************>
Date: Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM
Subject: ***** ******-Complaint No. *******
To: "******************" <******************>


Re:       ***** ****** 
          Complaint No. *******
 
Dear **. *******,
 
Regarding the above matter, Keystone representatives have continued to work with **. and **. ****** in an attempt to resolve this matter.  Keystone has had professional steam cleaners in the ****** home and has made every attempt to properly clean the floor.  We very much appreciate the ******s’ cooperation and patience through this.  It has been determined that the only remedy for the problem is replacement of the hardwood floor at Keystone’s expense. This floor replacement is being scheduled for October 23 or 24.
 
The replacement of this floor should resolve this matter.  It is out hope that the ******s will now have the floor in their dream home for which they planned.  As always, thank you for your consideration as we have worked through this situation. 
 
****** ** ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

7/27/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: We have on several occasions attempted to contact Keystone Customer Service about cracking in the basement of our home constructed by this company. The warranty clearly states that any cracking that allows water to flow through and/or that is larger than 1/8 inch will be repaired. We have severe cracking in the wall that allows water to flow through and a large crack measuring larger than 1/8 inch in a few spots on the floor of our basement. The first time we called Keystone sent someone out to look at it but nothing was done. Since then Keystone will not return our calls on this issue as well as an earlier issue we had with our driveway sinking. They came out an repaired the driveway once but it sank again in the the exact same way and Keystone has refused to follow up with us or do anything else about these issues.

Desired Settlement: We want Keystone to honor its warranty and come out to properly fix the cracking in the basement. Not just "patch" the cracks but completely fix the problem so that no more water can penetrate the walls of the basement. Also, we want the driveway repaired correctly this time so that it does not sink a third time.

Business Response: Dear **. *******:


I received this complaint this morning, June 17.  We will be providing a timely response.

I want to note, however, that this complaint is labeled "SECOND NOTICE".  Today is the first that we received this complaint, and this is actually our first notice of it.

Thank you,

****** *. ******

Business Response: Dear **. *******,


After you resent the original complaint of June 6 this morning (which, as I have indicated, I never received), I had the company's SPAM filter checked. ***hough your e-mails have never been intercepted before (and your e-mails today were not intercepted), your June 6 e-mail was; I found your e-mail buried in collection of SPAM.  I have made sure that you are now a "Safe Sender" 

Sorry for the inconvenience.

*** ******

Business Response: Dear **. *******,
 
I am responding to the above complaint, which you forwarded to us.  **. and ***. **** purchased a new home April 30, 2009, more than 4 years ago.  It should first be noted that the ***** purchased their new home with a 1-year comprehensive limited warranty and a 20-year structural warranty.  For your reference, I am attaching a copy of the *****’ acknowledgement of receipt of a copy of the warranty booklet.
 
The following is an excerpt from section 5 of the limited warranty, which lists items excluded from the warranty:
 
“5.     Keystone does not warrant or guarantee the following:
 
          d.       The existence of a “dry” basement;”
 
The following are excerpts from the Keystone Custom Homes residential Warranty Criteria and Guidelines as Recommended by the National Association of Home Builders, which is part of the limited warranty:
 
“2-7.   Observation:  The basement floor is cracked.
          Performance Guideline:  Minor cracks in concrete basement floors are normal.  Cracks exceeding 1/4 inch in width or 3/16 inch in vertical                                          displacement shall be repaired.
          Corrective Measure:  Builder  will repair cracks that do not meet the performance guideline. . .
 
11-8.   Observation:  Driveway imperfections.
          Performance Guideline: Maintenance of the driveway including sealing and any repairs due to flaking, scuffing, cracks, sunken areas, or puddles is                                     the homeowner’s sole responsibility.  Builder does not guarantee the driveway.
          Corrective Measure: Please see ‘Your New Driveway’ booklet”
 
***hough the *****’ first complaint regarding the driveway was made more than one year after the date of purchase and the driveway sinking is not a warranted item, even in the warranty period, Keystone Custom Homes personnel responded to the *****’ concerns that their driveway was sinking in early summer, 2010 by having the affected section of the driveway cut out and replaced, the work having been completed October 20, 2010. Keystone’s records indicate no subsequent service complaints regarding the driveway until receipt of the Better Business Bureau complaint.
 
It has now been more than four years since the ***** made settlement for the purchase of their new home.  ***hough not covered by the *****’ warranty, the driveway was repaired more than a year after settlement at Keystone’s expense as an accommodation to the *****.  Driveways are the subject of many variables outside the control of the builder, including water flow conditions, degree of use, weight of vehicles utilizing the driveway, and homeowner maintenance, and  effects of these and other factors over a term of more than four years is beyond the builder’s control and, therefore, beyond its responsibilities.  Any maintenance or repair of the driveway at this point must be the homeowners’ responsibility.
 
Regarding the crack issue, it should be noted at the outset that the complaint came to Keystone initially in the spring of 2012, more than 3 years after settlement and 2 years after the expiration of the limited warranty.  In addition, it should be noted that such cracks are not “structural” and are not covered by the as20-year structural warranty.  In the spring of 2012, a Keystone service representative and the vice president of construction for the company visited the **** property in response to the *****’ inquiry. A small crack was found, which was less than 1/8” wide.  There was a damp spot in the area of the crack, but no standing water.  They walked the area around the home and noticed that there had been some settling of fill; it is the homeowners’ responsibility to address such settling in order to maintain storm water flow away from the home.  It was determined that no action would be taken by Keystone, and the ***** were so advised by e-mail.  Again, there were no further service calls recorded until the receipt of the BBB complaint.
 
A Keystone representative notified **. **** that he would stop in at the **** property on Saturday, June 22 to look at the crack situation.  He did so, but no one was home. Another Keystone representative scheduled an appointment with **. **** to visit the property on Tuesday, June 25, again to inspect the cracking situation.  **. **** left a voicemail some time Monday evening (June 24), canceling the appointment.  So at this point, Keystone has been unable to observe the present  conditions.
 
In conclusion, the driveway matter is one not covered by warranty, and the complaint has been  made more than 4 years after settlement and nearly 3 years after a portion of the driveway was cut out and repaired at Keystone’s expense.  The cracking situation at the time it was last observed was within performance guidelines and required no repair.  Even if the crack now exceeds performance guidelines, the home is more than 3 years out of warranty.  At this time, Keystone cannot offer any remediation for the problems concerning which the ***** have filed their complaint.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
 
****** *. ******, Esquire
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. 179 
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

Consumer Response:

CID ******* Date Filed: 6/26/2013 10:04 PM 
 
Complaint Detail
We filed a complaint (#*******) about two weeks ago. We recieved one email and two phone calls from the company but nothing has been resolved or even scheduled to be looked at. This company has terrible customer service and no initiative to satisfy its customers. We feel like we are getting the "run around". It has been over three years of avoidances from this company and now even after we have contacted BBB it has been two more weeks with no resolve!
Desired Settlement
We want the company to honor its warranty and word of delivering a quality product. We want more than just an apology email or phone call. We want someone to come out to our property and view the damage and FIX IT! We want this done within a reasonable time frame. No more excuses!
Desired Settlement: Repair

Consumer Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: **** **** **** <**********************>
Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 1:14 PM
Subject: Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (********)
To: "info@mybbb.org" <info@mybbb.org>
Cc: "************************** ***************************

We have an active complaint on your site for Keystone Custom Home.  The site states that all complaints against this company are resolved.  Our complaint is by no means resolved.  We received one phone call but no action has been taken by the company.  We would like to know why your site doesn’t reflect this.
 
Thank you,
**** & ****** ****
*************************

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

I am rejecting this response because:


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ****** **** <*************************>
Date: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Subject: Concerns
To: "info@mybbb.org" info@mybbb.org

We recently submitted a complaint against Keystone Custom Home
(#******* ) within two days of our complaint ****** ****** from
Keystone did contact us by email to set up a time to come out and
inspect the claims.  We received his request while we were on vacation
visiting our family.  We responded to his email in which he offered us
an 8am or 10am meeting with him.  We did choose the 8am meeting but
**. ****** never responded to our email back confirming our meeting on
Tuesday at 8am.  Additionally, while we were on vacation we were
contacted by **. ***** *** about 3-4 times via phone call.  Again we
were on vacation and were not able to respond.  In one of his
voicemails he left a message saying he came to our house but we were
not home.  We did not ask for him to come at that time, nor was an
appointment scheduled.  In subsequent phone conversations with **. ***
he admitted that our driveway had indeed sunk in the same spot it did
the first time and that they "were going to help us out, but he had to
turn things into his supervisor first."   He then told me to take
pictures of the cracking in the basement floor with a ruler next to
the largest cracks.  He did not ask for any pictures of the cracking
where the water is entering our basement.  We also told him that we
had active pictures and video of the water running down our wall in
the basement.  When asked if he wanted those he said it would not be
necessary.  On Monday night prior to the meeting with **. ****** that
he never confirmed with us, I contacted **. *** to ask him if he knew
if **. ****** was still meeting with us the next day at 8am.  He said
he knew nothing about the meeting and would not be able to contact **.
****** until the next morning due to the time of the evening.  At that
point we had to cancel because we already had previous commitments in
our professional lives that we were willing to cancel, if we knew 100%
that we had a meeting with **. ****** confirmed.  **. ****** did not
respond to our request to cancel the meeting, nor did he offer any
subsequent dates or times he was willing to meet with his.  It appears
as if his requests to meet with us were superficial, and only look
good on paper, especially when written by a lawyer.   In regards to
**. ***, he did not return any phone calls or emails following the
texts I sent him of our basement floor pictures with rulers in the
picture for over a week.  My wife then contacted him with no response.
 I then called him again left a message and he responded to me while
on vacation.  He said at this time he cannot do anything further
because we had filed a complaint with the BBB and the matters are out
of his hand at this time unless things are resolved through that
avenue and his supervisors tell him to do anything differently.  What
was the point of sending pictures to him?  If we filed a claim or
reported problems, why should we have to take our own pictures and
send them to Keystone?

We did receive the rebuttal letter from Keystone's lawyer, regarding
our claims.  It is disappointing to see that a lawyer does not have
accurate information, yet is representing a company such as Keystone.
We did not settle our home in April of 2009 as stated.  We closed on
our home in August of 2009.  By that fall, our driveway was already
sinking.  At time we contacted **. ***, he told us to turn our gutter
spots off of the driveway, even though they were initially placed
there by Keystone's contractors.  We had ALWAYS parked our two cars in
our garage and followed the driveway maintenance 100%.  During our 11
month walkthrough with **. ***, we were able to get in touch with his
supervisors, who initially refused to correct the driveway failing.
Additionally, during that same time I also contacted the company who
installed our drive, SQUARE-ONE PAVING.  In an email from the company
that admitted they offer a standard ONE year warranty on all driveways
they install, yet Keystone told us there is no warranty's ever, on any
driveway, from any company.  When **. ***'s supervisor learned of this
email, we were asked to forward that email to him.  After such,
Keystone agreed to only have the part of the driveway dug up and
corrected where the sinking had indeed took place.  We had other
driveway companies out to inspect this work and ALL companies informed
us that unless the whole driveway was repaired together as one
cohesive piece, we should expect sinking in the same place, if not
worse than before, which is currently happening and has taken place.
Since the driveway failed within the first year, the driveway company
who Keystone hired should have replaced the driveway 100% and at all
costs.  It failed again after the "corrective" issues were taken, and
should again - have the entire driveway replaced by the driveway
company AT THEIR COST TO KEYSTONE.  However, we have to go through
Keystone to have this action put forth, to which they seem to be
negligent on their part to participate with.

In regards to the basement foundation issues, both floor and wall.  We
did contact **. *** before our home was three years old, last August,
but also out of the "limited" home warranty.  We have constantly
contacted **. *** on several occasions throughout the first three
years of home ownership.  His response to our inquiries have been less
than acceptable.  He takes weeks at times to respond, and when he did,
he would inform us that he no longer works in our community.  However,
when asked for the new person **. *** would contact that person on our
behalf and have them contact us, and in one case, he even accompanied
this person to our property, yet no longer worked there as he
indicated to us.  We feel during our issues that this is a clear
implication of stall and delay tactics, which makes the home owner
look bad as we would have to pull out year's of phone records to show
our repeated attempts to call **. ***.  We do not have our phone
conversations' recorded either, which makes it a case of he said - he
said as to what was stated in those conversations and what the outcome
of those attempts were.  Unfortunately, we do not have the resources
available to defend ourselves and prove that we did make efforts
consistently as these events have occurred.

In the spring of 2012 we initially contacted **. *** about the
cracking in the basements.  He and **. ****** came to our house,
without any appointment, and applied a sealer only to the cracking on
the outside of the foundation wall.  Not sure of the reason for this
as this immediately failed to prevent water from entering our basement
as the foundation cracked through that sealer within a month's time.
We continued to contact **. *** but again, no response came.

Next, **. ****** contacted us in late Summer of 2012 regarding the
basement issues and did come to our house.  He indicated that the
floor cracking was not deep enough to be covered by any warranty, yet
took no measurements to disprove this.  He also said the width of the
crack was not wide enough to have anything done as well.  Yet there
are several spots where the cracking has produced one-inch plus pieces
of concrete to come off the floor, yet this cannot be covered per **.
******.  Regarding the walls, he said because the water was not
actively running down the walls or pudle(ing) on the floor, and we had
no evidence of that at the time to show him nothing could be done.
Immediately following his appointment with us, the next rainstorm
produced water running down our wall in about a length of 8 feet.
There are three separate spots where water runs down the wall - we
filmed this and took several pictures and sent them all to **. ******.
 No response was ever returned from **. ******.

It was from this point that we continued to monitor both of these
situations and explore options available to us, since we did not have
a highly-priced attorney available to us such as Keystone currently
employs at their disposal.  We figured contacting the BBB and filing a
claim would be an honest way to get their attention, since both **.
****** and **. *** over the past three plus years have been less than
stellar in their attempts to respond to our claims either through
email or phone conversations. This seemed like an honest way to get
their attention and help resolve these issues.  However, it appears as
if the Company in this case does not like that avenue, yet gives the
green light to it's employees to knowingly not respond to concerns of
their customers.  This August the 19th will begin the 4th year and
anniversary of buying our home through Keystone.  It was disappointing
to know that Keystone's lawyers feel we have already lived here for
four years and have such skewed the timeline of events to their
benefit.

It was also disappointing to see so many complaints filed with the BBB
on Keystone's behalf - exceptional customer service.  We have been
mislead by Keystone since the first day we contacted Keystone and it
has continued to ALMOST four years later.  I guess when you build a
new home for over $200,000, you do so expecting outstanding quality
and to also avoid issues that you would expect with older homes, which
is why we decided to build with Keystone.  Yet these issues, and
several others, happened immediately, and it seems like once Keystone
has your money, they want removed from the picture and to not be held
responsible for the work of their vendors who they hired.

I'm not sure that the fact that we went on our only two family
vacations of the summer should be held against us - especially when we
contacted Keystone within 12 hours of our return from vacation.  The
first time we saw the letter from the BBB containing Keystone's
rebuttal letter from their I was at work and we left the next morning
at 6am for our 2nd and final vacation of the summer.  I opened this
letter on the 27th of June and when we returned today (the 8th) I went
to respond and reject Keystone's rebuttal and then found out that it
was closed.  Because we were on vacation and did not have access to
our records we did not have time to sit down and write a response
accurately.

We apologize for missing your deadline by one day, but we are asking
that you re-open our complaint with Keystone.


**** **** ****
****** *. **** RT (R) **









Business Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *** ****** <***************************>
Date: Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Subject: **** **** **** & ****** *****-Complaint No. *******
To: "******************" <******************>





Re:     **** **** **** & ****** R ****
          Complaint No. *******
 
Dear **. *******,
 
I am responding to the *****’ request to reinstate their complaint and their rejection of our response, which was sent to us on July 9, 2013.  I was out of the office from July 8-July 15, but am now responding.
 
As set forth in the *****’ response, Keystone representatives have been trying to contact them (unknown to the representatives, the ***** were on vacation).  **. ****** was finally able to meet with the ***** on July 10 to address the three issues raised by the *****.  At that time, the ***** raised new issue:  vinyl and sub-floor.  **. ****** followed up with an e-mail on July 11.    The e-mail is copied below and thoroughly addresses the issues raised:
 
From: **** ****** 
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:43 PM
To: **********************
Cc: ***** *****
Subject: Visit Follow up
 
**. ****,
 
    Hello. I want to start by thanking you for meeting me yesterday on short notice to go over the issues of concern. The purpose of yesterday's meeting was to inspect and discuss the following reported issues:
 
   1. Driveway settlement
   2. Cracks in foundation wall that leak
   3. Cracks in basement floor
 
After careful consideration and thorough discussions between our management team and I, the following has been concluded:
 
Driveway settlement: 
 
  The section of driveway that was repaired during the warranty period has settled once again, causing water to sit for up to at least 48 hours. The patch has slightly cracked at the junction of the initial driveway and the patched area. Both conditions have caused negative water flow. We are proposing to conduct the following to mediate the situation. 
 
   1. Cut and remove a large portion of the driveway to allow for proper slope for water drainage. We will need to remove more than just the section that was patched to establish the proper slope. 
   2. Properly back fill and stabilize the area with stone. 
   3. Install new asphalt in the area that was removed. 
   4. If needed, address any areas in the landscaping that was disturbed during the service of the driveway. 
 
Foundation Cracks (4):
 
   During the visit four cracks surrounding the egress window were pointed out. All the cracks were within industry standards and within our warranty guidelines. The cracks have been reported to leak at times during heavy rains. At the time of the visit there was no visible evidence of water penetrating the basement. Upon request, you provided me with pictures and videos of water penetrating the foundation cracks during heavy rains as of recent. Due the cracks allowing water to enter, we are proposing to conduct the following to mediate the situation. 
 
   1. Drill into the four cracks and inject a two part epoxy from the interior of the basement. The cracks on the outside have been sealed by you the homeowner with a masonry caulk to prevent further water penetration.  The cracks can be sealed from the interior and do not need any further attention from the exterior.
 
Basement Floor Crack (1):
 
During the visit a crack in the basement floor was pointed out. As I had stated we do not warrant cracking of basement floors after the one year warranty period has expired. Due to the age of the home and that there is no water penetrating this particular crack, we cannot warrant this issue. There will be no further action taken to seal this crack by KCH. As stated previously, I recommend sealing the crack with a masonry sealant that can be obtained at a local hardware store. Please note that this crack is purely an aesthetic issue and is not of structural concern. 
 
  In regards to the issue that was pointed out during the visit with the vinyl and sub-floor, I will issue a service order for our service technician to schedule an appointment to inspect it. You will be contacted shortly in the next few weeks by our concrete vendor, asphalt vendor, and service technician(KCH) to schedule appointments for inspections and service. Please feel free to email me back with any further questions and or concerns. Thank you for your continued patience while we work on resolving these matters. 
 
Thank you for your time. Enjoy your evening. 
 
******* ******
Customer Relations Manager
Keystone Custom Homes
Cell: ###-###-####
Regarding the settlement date, the ***** settled for the purchase of their Lot on April 30, 2009; a copy of the deed is attached for your reference.  The construction of the home was completed in August, 2009, which is the date to which the ***** refer.  There has been no attempt to “skew the timeline” in this matter; the fact remains that the completed home has been occupied by the ***** for nearly 4 years.
 
With reference to the home warranty, the warranty is characterized as a Limited Warranty under applicable law.  A Full Warranty is defined as having no limitations at all; any warranty which has any limitations is, by law, called a Limited Warranty.  As is clear from the warranty documents, there are some limitations (most notably, time), and the warranty is, therefore, a Limited Warranty.  The ***** indicate that they raised a number of issues with **. **** over the initial 3 years of their home ownership.  I note, however, that none of the issues raised now were raised during the first year of home ownership, which was the warranty coverage period; I am attaching a copy of the 11-month review signed by **. **** for your reference.
 
We do not understand the claim that the *****’ vacations are being “held against” them.  As indicated above, a number of Keystone’s attempts to contact the ***** came during a vacation period, but no one at Keystone was aware they were on vacation.  Keystone has no control over the response schedule established by the Better Business Bureau, which apparently resulted in the initial closing of this matter, but we are pleased that the matter was reopened and that we have an opportunity to respond.
 
We have reviewed  records regarding service requests by the *****, and we cannot document the *****’ claims of not having calls returned, etc.  I will note that, from time to time, the assignments given to Keystone customer service personnel change.  Since the ***** moved into their home, **. **** was transferred to another area, and **. ****** is the customer service representative for the ***** at this point.  The ***** have been advised of this.  We certainly regret any dropped communications in this matter and are striving to help the *****.  Keystone objects to and expressly denies any implication that the ***** have been mislead by Keystone employees.  Further, Keystone strives for superior customer service and certainly does not give “the green light to it's [sic] employees to knowingly not respond to concerns of their customers”.  I note again that all issues raised by the ***** have been raised outside the warranty period, and the ***** have been so advised from the outset; although Keystone has no legal responsibility for these matters, we highly value the ***** as our customers and are extending the offers of help conveyed in **. ******’s e-mail as a customer service  accommodation to them.  It remains Keystone’s goal to provide customer satisfaction to every new homeowner, and Keystone’s record certainly reflects this.
 
It is our hope that the ***** will accept the proposals made by **. ****** and that we can go forward with addressing their concerns. 
 
****** *. ******, Esquire
Keystone Custom Homes, Inc.
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. *** 
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************
 
 
 
 

Consumer Response:

 Complaint: *******

While we do accept and are grateful that Keystone is agreeing to finally address and repair the issues we have raised we do not completely agree with the most recent correspondence letter they sent to the Better Business Bureau. 

Firstly,  Keystone never called us to say that ***** **** was coming out to the house to look at the issues.  He just showed up and we were on vacation.  In their first rebuttal letter Keystone tried to use this fact to their advantage, implying that we have been uncooperative with their attempts to contact and meet with us, which is completely untrue.  It should be noted that over the course of the almost 4 years that we have been customers of Keystone we have been blatantly ignored by ***** **** on several occasions when trying to contact him on issues with our home.  We were honestly relieved when we heard he was reassigned and our contact was changed to ******* ******.  ******* was quick to respond the first time we called him and arranged to come out to see the cracks in the basement wall.  As stated there was no active water coming through the cracks at the time of his visit (oct 2012).  We did email him pictures and videos as requested at that time.  We realized that this was outside of our 1 year "limited" warranty as **. ****** ****** explained in this letter.  However, the issue with the water penetrating and trickling down the wall is included in the 20 year warranty.  The warranty clearly states that if water is actively trickling down the wall and pooling on the floor (which our video shows) it is covered by the structural 20 year warranty.   After **. ****** left that day we never again heard from anyone at Keystone despite our numerous attempts through phone calls and emails.   In our opinion, we were being ignored because we had proof that it was an issue included in the 20 year warranty and Keystone did not want to honor it.
 
The driveway:  We realize that it was never warrantied but again as **. ****** is falsely claiming we did bring this up to **. **** during our 11 month walk through (well within our 1 year warranty) and he advised us that we should reposition our gutter downspouts from where Keystone placed them to redirect the water away from the driveway which we did that very day.  Obviously the water coming down our downspouts was not the issue it was the ground underneath the driveway.   Again, we were avoided on numerous occasions and by the time we finally had caused enough commotion on the issue we were told that "even though we were outside of our 1 year warranty" that Keystone would come and repair just the sunken section.   Even though we were told by the company doing the work, and we notified Keystone that repairing just the sunken section would be a "Band-Aid" and it would sink again Keystone chose to do it this way.  Within 6 months of repair the driveway again began to sink in the same spot but now worse.  When we tried to notify Keystone we were told to not park our cars on the driveway (which we had rarely done anyway as we have a large garage)  Again, in our opinion, Keystone's attempt to avoid responsibility.   In **. ******'s most recent letter it is stated that again the plan is to repair the sunken area and not the entire driveway.  We believe that this will again sink and become an issue.
 
The basement wall cracks:  it is purposed that Keystone will have a company come out and "Drill into the four cracks and inject a two part epoxy from the interior of the basement. The cracks on the outside have been sealed by you the homeowner with a masonry caulk to prevent further water penetration.  The cracks can be sealed from the interior and do not need any further attention from the exterior".  Again we are concerned that this will be a "Band-Aid" fix.  Obviously the cracks go entirely through the wall to the exterior.  We did seal the exterior cracks that are above the ground as instructed by Keystone but what about the exterior cracks that are underneath the ground?  Those will still allow water to penetrate.  Injecting an epoxy from the interior will not seal the exterior and will allow water to penetrate behind the epoxy which will cause erosion and issues overtime. 
 
The vinyl and sub-floor:  we recently discovered this issue when our vinyl began separating in our kitchen/hallway.   When **. ****** was out and looked this over he agreed that the deviation in the subfloor was enough that it would fall into the 20 structural warranty.  We expect that this too will be addressed and repaired properly.  It appears that Keystone is going to inspect this.
 
**. ****** states in his letter " I note again that all issues raised by the ***** have been raised outside the warranty period, and the ***** have been so advised from the outset; although Keystone has no legal responsibility for these matters".  This is completely untrue.  We brought up the driveway sinking during our 11 month walkthrough with ***** ****.  The water coming through the basement cracks and the sinking sub-floor is well within the 20 year warranty and confirmed to be structural by **. ****** when he was out to inspect these issues.  Again we feel that this is an attempt by Keystone to avoid responsibility but appear that they are "doing us a favor" by repairing these issues.  This just confirms our frustration and dissatisfaction with this company.  It was not until the BBB was contacted that Keystone is even attempting to hold up to their own warranties. 


Regards,

**** & ****** ****








Business Response: Dear **. *******, 

I am responding to the most recent (the third) correspondence from **** **** regarding the **** home, sent to us on June 17,2013.  

I will first address **. ****’s repeated complaints regarding the Customer Service Representative assigned to them.  Although **. **** acknowledges that **. ****** has been assigned to the project for some time, there are continued complaints regarding **. ****. I believe that the record in this matter clearly establishes that Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (“Keystone”) has made every attempt to address the *****’ needs. It is unfortunate that some of the matters raised have been raised outside the warranty period.  But all of Keystone’s homeowners go into their homes with the same warranties, and they are advised of these warranties prior to their settling for their homes. 

Addressing **. ****’s first point, **. ******’s proposal to resolve the wall cracks it the method prescribed by Keystone’s concrete wall vendor. The vendor has reaffirmed that exterior sealing is not required to complete a quality repair to industry standards. This is the recommended warranty repair for this problem. 

Regarding the driveway, we have addressed this previously.  The new home limited warranty which the ***** received provides in part as follows:

 “11-8. Observation:  Driveway imperfections.           

Performance Guideline: Maintenance of the driveway including sealing and any repairs due to flaking, scuffing, cracks, sunken areas, or puddles is the homeowner’s sole responsibility. Builder does not guarantee the driveway.           

Corrective Measure: Please see “Your New Driveway” booklet” 

As a courtesy and accommodation to the *****, Keystone did provide for repair of the driveway one time. As a further accommodation, Keystone offered in the e-mail to **. **** dated July 11, 2013 to make a further repair, although this is not covered by any warranty: 

From: **** ****** 
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:43 PM
To: **********************
Cc: ***** *****
Subject: Visit Follow up **. ****,    

Hello. I want to start by thanking you for meeting me yesterday on short notice to go over the issues of concern. The purpose of yesterday's meeting was to inspect and discuss the following reported issues:    

1. Driveway settlement   
2. Cracks in foundation wall that leak   
3. Cracks in basement floor 

After careful consideration and thorough discussions between our management team and I, the following has been concluded: 

Driveway settlement:    The section of driveway that was repaired during the warranty period has settled once again, causing water to sit for up to at least 48 hours. The patch has slightly cracked at the junction of the initial driveway and the patched area. Both conditions have caused negative water flow. We are proposing to conduct the following to mediate the situation.     

1. Cut and remove a large portion of the driveway to allow for proper slope for water drainage. We will need to remove more than just the section that was patched to establish the proper slope.    
2. Properly back fill and stabilize the area with stone.    
3. Install new asphalt in the area that was removed.    
4. If needed, address any areas in the landscaping that was disturbed during the service of the driveway. . .

That is the extent of the repairs to which Keystone will agree. 

Regarding the subfloor, as I indicated in my previous response, this matter was first raised by **. **** when **. ******* visited the home recently.  As indicated in my last response, this matter is being addressed; Keystone is having the situation inspected and will determine a course of action, if any, after the inspection is complete. 

Finally, I believe that Keystone’s course of conduct in this matter refutes **. ****’s statement that “It was not until the BBB was contacted that Keystone is even attempting to hold up to their own warranties.”  Keystone has constructed quality homes for its thousands of customers over the years, fully honors its warranties, and makes every attempt to make each homeowner’s new home building/buying experience a good one.  Keystone will continue to go above and beyond to meet its customers’ expectations. 

As you can see, **. **** has really raised no issues in his third submission.  Keystone is always pleased to be able to respond to customer concerns, including any inquiries processed through the Better Business Bureau. But we believe that there is really nothing to be gained by anyone by repeatedly requesting a rehash of the same issues once a full and thoughtful response has been filed.  It is therefore our hope that, unless some new issue arises, Keystone will not be asked to again respond to these same matters. 

Thank you very much for your consideration and for your efforts in attempting to resolve this matter. 


****** *. ******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ###-###-####- Ext. ***
Fax: ###-###-#### 
***************************

Consumer Response:
Better Business Bureau:

We have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution thus far is acceptable.  However, we are still awaiting the outcome from the subfloor inspection and expect correspondence from Keystone as to what will be done about this issue.  We want to Thank the BBB for their assistance in mediating this situation.  

Regards,

**** & ****** ****

6/28/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: We built a home through Keystone Custom Home in ************* and we identified the following issues before the settlement on 5/7/2013, but the builder told they will resolve all the following issues by 5/31/2013 but still not resolved. I contacted the Builder, ******** ****** at ********************************, the Assistant Builder, **** ******* at **************************** (Phone: ************) and then the Senior Builder and Regional Customer Manager, ***** ***** at *****************************] and Customer Manager, ***** **** at ***************************** and then the Administation Deparment, **** **** at **************************** and nothing happened as of today. (6/8/2013). We request you to talk to the builder and help us resolve the issues as soon as possible please. I spoke to all the neighbours and they also had lot of issues with this builder. 1) The kitchen tiles has cracks in three places. 2) The tile near Master Bath Vent has cracks. 3) We still didn't get the three elongated toilets for which we paid the money before construction. 4) The lawn was not installed properly and only a little grass came with lot of weeds. Because of there is no grass in the clayey soil, the driveway gets clay during the rain and caused the stains in the asphalt driveway. 5) Also the driveway has concrete and need to be cleaned. 6) The driveway stones are not properly put and stones are chipping up and need to be re-paved. 7) We didn't get the 10th plant and the 4 trees yet which we paid the money before construction. 8) The hardwood flooring has several scrachtes and the ***************** contractor came and took pictures, but still the floors are not fixed. 9) Also the builder didn't mow the lawn/grass in the water easement, which has lot of weeds with thorns. 10) The Second Bathroon Vent is not working. I don't see any cold or hot air coming out of it. The builder address is as below: Keystone Custom Homes *** ******* *** ***** ***** *** ********** ** ***** Phone: ************** ************

Desired Settlement: We request you to talk to the builder and help us resolve all the ten above mentioned issues as soon as possible please.

Business Response: ---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *** ****** *****************************
Date: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 8:19 AM
Subject: Complaint ******-*** ***** *******
To: "******************" <******************>


*******

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

 

Dear *** *******,

 

I must again apologize.  I received the above complaint this morning, labeled “Second Notice”.  Today was the first I received this complaint.  I immediately went to our SPAM filter, and there was the complaint, which was sent to you the same day that a message was sent by *** ******* directly to me, with exactly the same language (he apparently just cut-and-pasted the two messages).  Our team has been working on this since we received *** *******’s notice on June 11.  Some of the items are ongoing matters, according to or service records, while others are raised for the first time here (we were apparently given no opportunity to respond to these items before *** ******* filed his complaint with you).  

 

As I indicated previously, the SPAM filter has been adjusted so that BBB correspondence is not filtered out, but that did not help this complaint, which had been captured before the adjustment.

 

We will be responding to this complaint.  Thank you again for your patience with our electronic systems.

 

****** ** ******
*** ******* *** *********** *** ********** ** *****
Office: ************* **** ***
Fax: ************
***************************

 

Business Response: Dear *** *******,
 
First, we find it very odd that *** ******* filed his complaint with the BBB on June 8, 2013.  *** *** **** ******* settled for their home on May 10, 2013, less than a month before filing the complaint.  As is Keystone’s standard procedure, a “Zero Defects Meeting” was held with the *******s and a Keystone Customer Service Representative on May 10, 2013, to develop a “punch list” of items which needed addressing after settlement.  A copy of the report prepared at that meeting (and signed by *** *******) is attached for your reference.  Only items 1, 3, 4, and 8 listed on *** *******’s complaint are listed on this report (they are, respectively, items 9, 1, 4, and 7 on the “Zero Defects” report.  As you can see from the report, all 4 of these items are scheduled for correction.
 
On June 11, 2013 (3 days after he filed the complaint with the BBB), *** ******* raised the issues set forth in the complaint for the first time in an e-mail, which was apparently cut-and-pasted from the complaint with identical wording.  They builder in charge of the project contacted *** ******* by e-mail on June 12 (of course, at that point Keystone was not yet aware of the filing of the BBB complaint; this contact was in the regular course of service to Keystone’s new homeowner in the regular service process) and arranged a meeting with him for June 18.  The June 18 meeting was held as scheduled and resulted in minutes of the meeting being sent to *** ******* by e-mail the same day, outlining steps to be taken on the additional issues raised.  A copy of those minutes is attached for your reference.
 
At this point, the *******s’ concerns are being addressed.  We do not believe that the filing of a BBB complaint is appropriate when filed less than a month following settlement, during Keystone’s regular customer service process, containing issues not raised with Keystone prior to the filing of the complaint.  Keystone’s normal customer service process is an ongoing undertaking, and Keystone has acted promptly to address the*******s’ concerns (please  note that *** ******* was contacted the day after he e-mailed an itemized list of his concerns, and the meeting with *** ******* was held 3 days before Keystone received your e-mail transmitting the BBB complaint).  Once Keystone has addressed the matters in question, we can provide you with information on the results.
 
I should note that the *******s did complete a customer survey, which Keystone requests after 30 days of home ownership.  This is to provide feedback to Keystone and to enable Keystone to improve customer service.  We regret that the survey filed by the*******s was quite unfavorable and showed a great deal of dissatisfaction.  In the comment area, they wrote:
 
“I hate the home after so much defects and nothing corrected. I contacted the PA Attorney General's Office, BBB, State Senators, National Association of Home Builders and and Federal Trade Commission, HUD. I have an attorney and planning to file civil suit against keystone custom home”
 
This survey and these comments were filed just 7 days after settlement, several weeks before the 30-day punchlist was developed.  It is most unfortunate that the *******s have determined that, rather than work with the builder to correct any problems, the appropriate way to deal with their situation is to bring as much difficulty to Keystone as they possibly can.  Keystone strives to make every home buyer’s experience a positive one, and Keystone has thousands of satisfied homeowners in its family of communities. Keystone  will continue to make every effort to make the *******s’ home owning experience a positive one.
 
One issue which can be addressed here is issue 9 on *** *******’s complaint:
 
 “9) Also the builder didn't mow the lawn/grass in the water easement, which has lot of weeds with thorns.”
 
An examination of the plan for the ******* community will show that the stormwater easement to which *** ******* refers is just that:  an easement over Lot **, which is the ******* property.  Each homeowner who purchases a Lot which is subject to a stormwater easement has the responsibility to 1)  not alter the grade of the easement, 2) not plant plants, trees, or bushes which could impede water flow in the easement, 3) not place any structures in the easement, and 4) maintain the easement, i.e. keep it properly seeded, mowed, etc.  I note that *** **** ****** ******** ******* ***********, with whom the *******s contracted for the purchase of their home (Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. is a home building contractor, with whom *** **** ****** ******** ******* *********** contracted to build the *******s’ home; the *******s have no contractual relationship with Keystone Custom Homes, Inc., and all service performed by Keystone is performed at the request of *** **** ****** ******** ******* ***********) is not the developer of the ******* community and has no responsibility for maintenance of swales or other stormwater facilities in the community. The developer of the community is:
 
****** ***** ************ ****
**** ** *******
**** ** *******
**** ****** ******
*********** ** *****
 
If the *******s have any complaints regarding maintenance of swales or common areas not within the lot limits of Lot **, these complaints should be addressed to the developer, not to Keystone.
 
I trust that this addresses the issues for the present.  We will report regarding the addressing of the issues as the customer service process progresses in the ordinary course.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
****** ** ******, Esquire
 

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 

Regards,

*** *******

5/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: My fiancée and I settled on our brand new home in December 2012. We took before and after pictures of our lot. This builder left a very large "mountain" of rocks and dirt, just off of our property line. My fiancée **** **** has tried numerous times in speaking to **** and has been unsuccessful in a resolution. **** is trying to say it is the responsibility of the property owner, ***** ********** to remove this large pile of rocks, who is refusing to. **** and I are being lied to by ****, and we have photographs to prove that the contractor themselves left these rocks!! We have neighbors who have even brought the issue up to me, and stated they watched he builder create and leave this large pile. There is also another home with the same issue, and we have photos of that lot because it was also considered when deciding where to place our home. THERE ARE OTHER HOMES on our community starting to break ground by keystone and there is no reason they can not remove these rocks, as they already have equipment on site!!

Desired Settlement: Remove or bury the rocks in a trench now before my children are hurt.

Business Response: Dear *** *******:
 
I am writing in response to a complaint filed by ******* ******, Complaint #*******. The complaint was filed against Keystone Custom Homes, Inc. (“Keystone”). Although *** ****** has not purchased a home from ********** *** ************), the equitable owner of the lots in the community in which the address given by *** ****** is located, we do have a file on a home at this address, purchased by ******* ****, and I assume that he is the fiancée to whom *** ****** makes reference in here complaint.  The rock/dirt pile to which *** ****** refers (picture attached for your reference) is located on property adjacent to the home purchased by *** ****.
 
********** *** is party to a contract to purchase lots in the ****** ******* community from ********** ***** ******* **** **, and ********** ***** ******* **** *** owners of the property (collectively “**********”).  ********** is developing the community in phases.  Although the **** lot is located in a phase of the community which has received final plan approval and has been improved, the lot adjacent to the **** lot lies in a phase of the community for which no plan approval has yet been obtained and which has not been fully improved. 
 
Part of **********’s obligation under its agreement with ********* is to blast and excavate rock from foundations on lots to be purchased by *********.  This blasting in the phase of the community in which the **** lot is located was accomplished some time ago.  ********** moved some of the rock debris to a pile located on the area of the community which is not yet an approved phase and which has not yet been developed:  the area adjacent to the **** lot.
 
*** **** purchased a lot in a community which is under development.  We understand that ********** contemplates obtaining approval of the phase of the community on which the pile is located in the future.  When that phase is being developed—graded, blasted, etc.—we understand that the pile will be removed.
 
Neither ********* nor Keystone has moved the material or excavated the material which is on the pile in question; ********** is responsible for this material.  In fact, neither ********* nor Keystone (the construction contractor engaged by ********* to build the **** home) has any access to the area on which the pile is located; it is owned and controlled by ********** and is not the subject of an agreement to sell lots to ********* at this point.  
 
*** **** has purchased a home located in a community which is under development.  As is the case in any community which is under development, evidence of construction activity, including the presence of storage piles for rock, fill, and topsoil, will be present in undeveloped areas of the community until development is completed.  *** ****’s home is located on the edge of an approved/improved area, adjacent to an unapproved/unimproved area, and this evidence of construction activity will remain in the unapproved/unimproved area until the area is developed by **********, over which neither ********* nor Keystone has any control.
 
We are pleased to have *** **** and *** ****** as part of the ****** ******* community, and we hope that we can make their home ownership experience a rewarding one.  We regret, however, that we cannot address the problem of which *** ****** complains, as it is clearly the obligation of **********.  *** ****** expresses concern that the rock/dirt pile may present a safety hazard.  I again note that such piles are common in areas of construction, and although some hazards may, in some cases, be inherent in construction sites, the site is on private property over which neither ********* nor Keystone has any control.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
****** ** ******* *******
227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ************* **** ***
Fax: 717-735-2034 
***************************

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:

Your statements are incorrect. You are giving me the run around.  This pile is not just rock, but is also dirt, tarp, and other construction related material. Keystone's contractor’s deliberately put this right off of our property while digging the foundation, obviously to have it ran with the boulders which already existed. Pictures are attached of the progress of our home and this issue I have also reported this to the ***** County Government. Stop treating us like this, as we have invested everything into this home, to have it ruined by something like this. I have several friends and a coworker in the process of purchasing a home with Keystone, and have stated they will not continue if this matter is not resolved. A ******** home 2 houses down from us had the same issue, and ******** buried their rocks in a trench, in the same area our rocks are. Check out another home built this fall by Keystone in our development. Same issue mixed with dirt. I have included pictures of the stages and the pile becoming bigger. There was already a pile of huge "boulders" off of the lot, which I do not mind staying there, as they would look nice. From where the well pipe is and to the left of the photograph is what Keystone has left. This needs to be removed or addressed immediately. This pile continues across my entire backyard. Since it is so obvious this was put on the "********** ********" property by Keystone while digging our foundation, why is it so difficult to just remove it? I shouldn’t even have to be resorting to this. There is an entrance by the playground that a truck/equipment could driive up and easily have access to this issue without destroying any homeowners property. A lot in which the foundation has just been poured backs to this area also. Perhaps it was too much money for the company to just remove this mess while they dug out the foundation, just as it was leaving the unstable tree on our lot, which hovers over my house, instead of cutting it down.

Regards,

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







Business Response:

Dear *** *******:

 

I am writing in response to ******* ******’s response to our answer to her complaint, Complaint #*******.  I apologize for the delay in responding.  *** ******’s response arrived only a few days before I was scheduled to be out of the office for an extended period of time, and our team did not have adequate time to review the situation before I left.  Thank you for your patience.  For ease of understanding, any terms used in this response which are defined terms under my original response to the complaint shall have the same meaning here as in the original response.

 

The pictures to which *** ****** refers in her response were not forwarded to us, so I am unable to respond to them.  Our representatives have again visited the site to confirm conditions there.  The builder has confirmed that all excess material excavated by ********* from the **** site was hauled away and not deposited on the pile to which *** ****** refers.  As previously noted, ********** has responsibility for blasting of the lots in the developed area of the community, of which the **** lot is one.  We understand that ********** did move some of the blasted material excavated from the **** lot to the pile. But this is not *********’s responsibility.  As I indicated previously, this pile is located on property not owned by ********* and to which ********* does not have authorized access.  This area is an undeveloped area which is not the subject of an approved subdivision and land development plan.  ********* is prohibited from depositing excess material on this pile, and it has not done so. 

 

We have been in touch with **********, and they have advised us that when a final subdivision and land development plan is approved for the undeveloped area in which the pile is located, and when ********** has completed blasting and grading there, they will relocate the pile. 

 

As stated previously, *** **** has purchased a home located in a community which is under development.  As is the case in any community which is under development, evidence of construction activity, including the presence of storage piles for rock, fill, and topsoil, will be present in undeveloped areas of the community until development is completed.  **. ****’s home is located on the edge of an approved/improved area, adjacent to an unapproved/unimproved area, and this evidence of construction activity will remain in the unapproved/unimproved area until the area is developed by **********, over which neither ********* nor Keystone has any control.

 

It is unfortunate that *** ****** is apparently misrepresenting the situation to other potential buyers for the community.  It is our hope that she understands that improper interference in potential contractual relations with these potential buyers is a serious situation.

 

I trust that we have clarified this matter. Thank you again for your patience and for your consideration.

 

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

227 Granite Run Drive-Suite 100 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Office: ************* **** ***
Fax: 717-735-2034 
***************************

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me at this time, and will reevaluate the issue closer to completion of our development. Thank you.

Regards,

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

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