My Purchase So Far....

Discussion in 'Barratt Homes' started by Cmoo, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    Ok so I purchased a Barratt home in the northeast recently. We reserved back in June and got them to throw in appliances and flooring throughout. We were initially told that our home would be ready in November. This was pushed back to December and as the end of November approached we were told December 20th at the latest. Not ideal but ok at least we knew where we stood. We were given a completion date of the 18th but on the day were told that the carpets weren't finished so it was pushed back to the 19th. On the 19th we got our home tour and at first glance we were happy, the house looked good and the site manager seemed keen to do a good job.

    After the tour we went back to the site office and were told that money had come through and the house was ours...yay! We went back for a proper inspection and did notice some issues with the finish and also that the light and power in the loft that we'd paid for hadn't been fitted. We reported this and as it was one of the last days before Christmas accepted it wouldn't be in til the new year. We then decided to try the dishwasher...lucky we did as it promptly poured water all over the floor and the sink cupboard. We reported this and in credit to them it was sorted within the hour as was the hot water which we found hadn't been switched on properly by the plumber.

    On the advice of this site we then got in a snagger having been unable to do so before as the house wasn't finished til literally the day we completed. His verdict was that structurally and externally the house was good but inside has been rushed and it shows! He used stickers to show areas where the finish is poor and our house now looks like it has a bad case of measles, sigh! Two big problems were that the downstairs floors are completely uneven and go up and down like a dog's hind leg and in the downstairs loo they seem to have run out of matching basin and pedestals and have grafted two non matching ones together with mastic. The overall report is some 20 pages long but i haven't had a chance to go over it with site management yet as they're not back til the 6th. I will keep you all updated on how i get on and how willing Barratt homes are to put things right.
     
  2. abbottswalk

    abbottswalk New Member

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    Cmoo

    Congratulations on your new home and well done for managing to move so close to Christmas (must have been manic!).

    Hope you get things sorted. The other useful thing to do is set up a website/blog and twitter account. Most of these large companies hire specialist Brand watch consultants that monitor the news and internet wherever their name appears. It's amazing how fast news travels back up the chain when it's public for anyone to see. You might be able to get the developmentname.com which then appears when other customers happen to be searching for the development.

    You do have to be fair, factual and even handed (mention good customer service when you come across it) otherwise you may find they try to get it taken down. You can also use it as a general information site or grow it in to a residents site.

    Might seem excessive, but the only person going to protect your interests is yourself.
     
  3. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    The postponement of your moving in date at this time of year does not surprise me, even though it is for Barratt, just a, end-of-half-year home, it has still been rushed so the main board directors can collect their big fat bonuses and you end up with a badly finished new home.

    Professional snagging inspectors should be making a proper thorough snaglist not just sticking post-it note strips on easy to find cosmetic decoration defects! From your description, was it New Home Advisor?

    Barratt will give you a bit of customer service, especially until after you have sent back the HBF customer satisfaction questionnaire. No doubt they will nag you to death about giving them a 5 star feedback and sending it off.
    My advice is DON'T complete it and send it off until you are 100% happy with your rushed badly finished home.
    Certainly, leave it for at least six months as you never know what problem may crop up in the meantime.

    Good point about setting up website, but what would be the point if it was to say good things as well as the bad. After all you want your house fixed to a standard it should have been before you ever set foot in it, not several weeks afterwards.

    Barratt, I repeat, calling Barratt are you watching? Is ther anybody there? Do you care?
    NO thought not.
    Its your website, if you say the truth they cannot legally force you to take it down - but they could pay you to!

    Go on Cmoo fill yer boots!
     
  4. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    Thank you both for your replies. Abbottswalk a website is a good idea but one i'll hold in reserve until I see what they're actually going to do to sort out my issues. In terms of moving before Christmas it wasn't fun and I can promise i'll never do it again!

    NHE yes the house was rushed and it does show. The site manager was looking fairly fraught by the last day as head office seemed to keep adding in properties to be completed by Christmas. The fact that he and his guys didn't have time and certainly wouldn't be able to finish it to a high standard was irrelevant to the powers that be i guess. The snagger did give me a full report he just used stickers to mark where the things he referred to were, as I say it was 20 pages long :-/ I will be going through this with site manager on his return although me and my OH intend to go through it first and privately "traffic light" it in red, amber and green for priorities of the order we want things sorted in. As I say i'll keep you all updated on how I get on.
     
  5. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    It is true that at end of year figures time (and half year to an extent) site managers and the trades are expected (ordered!) to finish homes or at least get them to a condition where they can be legally completed. The directors and board directors huge bonuses depend on this, so they always keep the pressure on.
    Greed is a great motivator.
    I can remember one director saying to me (in 1993) "stuff the quality just get it finished!"

    I can also remember in 1997 when we were up against it at Christmas. So I vowed it would not happen the following year.
    My site target was 68 units (homes) in the year Jan to Dec. So I divided it up and planned the site so that we had built them all by the end of October.
    At the beginning of August, the regional construction director said he also needed the five houses under the site offices and compound finished for the year-end too, as another region was not going to hit its target so the Southern region had to make up the shortfall!

    To make matters worse, my assistant was promoted and moved to another site and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was also given a site to manage down the road as well, that had 13 flats to be completed for year-end too, all of which were dreadful quality with leaks and lots of making good required.

    I asked for some help, I said it was too much for one man, but all I was told was that I would be "the man to know when it was bonus time" in the New Year.

    On 24 December the last house was handed over. I got to site at 5am to touch up the last bits of snagging, I had to warn the cleaners when they arrived at 7.30am and the buyers at 11am where all the wet paint was as they tried to move in.

    In the New Year I received a smaller bonus than the year before, and the chap who had managed the site with the 13 flats got more than I did and he hadn't finished and handed over a single new home all year. Go figure!

    When I complained I was told "we don't expect our site managers to dictate how much bonus we should pay them"

    Nontheless, despite all this, the majority of homes were still built to a good standard and were properly snagged, even if it meant I was working on site until 9pm doing the snaglists!

    A "contracts manager" at Barratt told me last year;
    "we never believe it can't be done. Even if the roof is just going on and there is only two weeks left to finish it, we never give in or stop believing it will be done. We will work until 9pm, work Saturdays and Sundays and even the Construction director will be on site too, buying the fish and chips"

    Madness!
    No wonder site managers look put upon they are and always have been.
     
  6. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    None of that surprises me in the slightest NHE but it's pretty horrendous isn't it? I guess it's not only the bankers who only care about bonuses and money! I did find pout from the sales staff that it was the contract manager who decided move in dates and i did find it a little odd. I thought to myself surely the site manager would be better placed to know when something could be finished. I see now I was just being naive.

    The site manager came over today and we went through the worst of the issues and gave him to full report. There'll be someone over on Thursday to start putting things right. Stay tuned for further details
     
  7. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    The contracts manager is the director's link between the office and the sites.
    He is TOLD what the directors want.
    If he stands up and says it cant be done he is accused of being "negative."
    If it isn't achieved, he is the director's fall guy for not meeting the figures and he is regularly on the sites to "make it happen"
    Not that this always safeguards the director's job!

    Everyone is greedy in this world not just bankers.
    If people are offered vast sums of money, they will do whatever they can to get it.
    Principals, honesty and integrity are as rare as rocking horse sh*t in the house building industry.

    The older a site manager is, the better he is likely to be.
    He will be more inclined to stand up to contracts managers and directors as he won't "need" either his job, or the extra bonus money thrown at him. He will have his own reputation and wont want to "put his name" to a rubbish built rushed new home.
    If a site manager is under 40 they will be scared of getting the sack and will rush your new home.

    Site managers are best placed to know what is and what is not possible in a given time-frame on their sites.
    The trouble is, no one is prepared to listen to them even if they are brave enough to stand their ground and speak out.

    By the way Barratt site manager was back on Monday but no one dealing with your issues until Thursday - hardly a good sign!
     
  8. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    Actually the reason it's Thursday is we wanted to be there to point out everything to the builder and we were working til then. He did offer to send someone the same day so it's not as bad as it seems.
     
  9. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    Ok so i've had builders in the last 2 days and they are getting our issues rectified. There were issues with the front, back and patio doors which have all been fixed as has our blocked downstairs toilet. We also had an issue with a pipe we paid to have fitted between the under stairs cupboard and the living room for running network cabling and as we only paid £50 I expected Barratts to refund this and say there was nothing they could do but no they actually fixed it the way we wanted which took three guys most of the day. They're coming back on Monday to re-level the kitchen diner floor and put the power and lighting they missed in the loft so overall I'm happy. I know that ideally none of these issues should have existed in the first place but i do place a fair portion of blame on the big bosses pushing to have more and more houses done by half year that the guys just didn't have time to do it properly. They genuinely seem to care about our happiness and us getting everything the way we want it and to me that's the main thing.
     
  10. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    They care because they want you to give them a five star mark in the HBF Customer Satisfaction Survey you will be sent within 6 to 8 weeks of moving in. They need their 5 star grade and everyone gets a monthly bonus which is partly based on these scores and also on customer care that is rectifying the defects.

    £50 for a piece of electrical conduit seems a bit on the steep side - especially as you had issues with this too!
    "Overall I'm happy" with blocked drains, out of level floors, missing extras and problems with all your external doors?
    Let's face facts, if they did care, none of this would have happened.
    If this is all it takes for "overall I'm happy" no wonder nearly every house builder is rated five stars!
    I wouldn't have been "happy" having various trades coming back in my HOME to put work right that could have and should have been right before I first got my keys!
     
  11. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    No NHE obviously i'm not happy that there were things that weren't done correctly that should have been. I am happy however that they're putting it right quickly and that i'm not having to fight them about it as some posters have reported.
     
  12. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    You did say "overall I'm happy" giving the impression that you are happy overall!
    Which would also infer that all these defects have not made you unhappy.
     
  13. Cmoo

    Cmoo New Member

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    That's a very fair point NHE. I guess what i'm trying to say is while by rights all new homes should be finished perfectly the reality is they aren't in the majority of cases. On this site and others i've read about people having far more serious faults than I have and also it being a nightmare trying to get the builder to put it right. In this case it's all being sorted quickly with no arguments and i haven't had any additional issues since moving in and so based on the experiences of others I think it's all gone about as well as it can go buying a new home.
     
  14. NewHomeExpert

    NewHomeExpert Well-Known Member

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    I think that as long as people's expectations are as low as they appear to be, nothing will be done by the builders to improve quality. No one would accept similar defects in every new car so why in any new home?
    I accept that your house is, by all accounts not as bad as many others, but being not as bad is not a success by any means.

    I am also at a loss that people still buy a new home when they are doing so in the full and certain knowledge they will have problems, expecting poor quality and a stream of tradesmen for several days putting things right, if as in your case, they are lucky enough to have a builder that is even prepared to do so!

    If this is "as good as it gets" it is nothing to be proud of Mark Clare!!!
    Not everything is about profit!
     

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