I apologize if this thread is in the wrong forum. Didn't see one for new construction, so remodeling seemed to be the best option from my choices!
I hope this is in the right place. We have what I'm assuming is a big mess on our hands. This is going to be sort of long, so please bear with me!
We're in the process of building a new home. The original builder got as far as pouring the foundation and doing the framing, then they were fired (I'm assuming for too many mistakes) and a new builder came in to take over. We were by the house a few weeks ago and noticed that all the beautiful drywall around the kitchen window had been torn out, and the window had been moved several inches to the left. We asked, and were told by the lady who works at the sales office that the original builder put it in the wrong place. Fine, whatever. Fast forward to two days ago. We stopped by and the window had been moved back to its original location, and the bay window/door (Left and center are window, and the right is a door that goes to the covered patio) had been moved. I hope this makes sense. When we asked about that, we were told that when the cabinet people came out to measure for the cabinets, they were short by 4 inches, so that would have meant we would have had to do without one 4 inch cabinet (the kind that are used for cookie sheets and other skinny items). So, instead of someone calling us and saying something like, "Hey, the first builder messed up and we can't give you this one tiny cabinet that you probably wouldn't have used anyway.", they opted to rip out this huge bay window/wall/door in the breakfast area, and move it 4 inches to the left.
I can't begin to explain what this looks like. "Complete crap" would be a good start. The bay window was originally completely covered by the roof over the patio, but now it's not--several inches of it is exposed now, it's off center, and there's a gap on the floor where more cement will have to be poured. I'm attaching a picture of the floor plan. Ours is a mirror image of this, and the larger covered patio (that we're paying through the nose for...) extends to the left.
Why would a builder opt to do this much work and spend the extra money to move this bay window when they could have made a simple phone call that I would have replied to with, "No problem. I wouldn't have used that cabinet anyway."? Does this seem odd to anyone else?
You really need to just talk to somebody in the build organization who knows what's going on. From what you have posted, you have some bad / misunderstood / confused information. There is no such thing as a 4" cabinet piece. The smallest available in stock cabinetry is 9" and yes - it is used for holding things like cookie trays.
The scenario of moving the window to fit the cabinet plan is certainly possible. Why it was ripped out, moved slightly and then rebuilt back to the original is a mystery - but could be explained with a slightly different set of plans between the two builders.
It sounds like you have purchased a spec house that is under construction, rather than having a custom build. Even so, you are the buyer and had to deal with someone. I'd go to the organization that you purchased from - look for whoever it was who had the authority to fire the original builder. Or, find out who is listed as the General Contractor (probably the same person).
Mistakes in construction happen all the time for a variety of reasons. It doesn't matter if things look bad or reworked during construction as long as the finished product is structurally sound and fits the design you paid for.
These comments are from a legal rather than construction perspective.
First, is your concern only as expressed in the last paragraph of your post, or as well as the changes which you feel are unauthorized and made without your prior knowledge?
Second, do you want to be notified whenever a change is proposed rather than discover it later?
Third, has the completion date changed, and if so, will this present a problem with your construction mortgage commitment (if you have one) or move-out plans from your current living arrangements?
Fourth, with whom is your contract? The developer? Deal with whoever has contractual authority over the projects.
Fifth, from a curiosity standpoint...is this house in a subdivision of other similar houses, and if so are similar changes being made? Do you know if the developer has a construction mortgage on the development?
I assumed you signed a purchase agreement and probably a variety of ancillary agreements. Review them to see if they require that you be notified of changes, and if so what options you have to concur or disagree. There may be a provision allowing the builder to make changes as may be appropriate depending on a variety of issues, some of which might just be general (substitution if materials specified are no longer available, etc.).
I agree that you should contact the builder, rather than someone in the office who may or may not have all the facts. If you get a run-around, start documenting and request a meeting in writing.
Raise all your issues and discuss solutions, including the method by which you want to be notified of future changes. If this is in fact a spec home, address those changes in that context.
If you truly feel the changes look like "complete crap", be sure to raise that issue in the meeting and get a resolution plan, in writing.
It's been awhile since I worked in construction financing, but it occurs to me that these changes may be raising the price not only of the house, but could affect the developer's construction mortgage limit as well.
When a developer submitted an AIA form for a construction draw, some banks/lenders would have it reviewed by their own team, and changes such as those you mentioned could be flagged if identified. You might want to address this to ensure that the changes aren't going to cause problems with the lender, especially it's a lender with a very hands-on approach to monitoring. Some of the big banks just rubber stamp construction draw requests; some lenders take a more hands-on approach.
I would attempt to get this resolved as soon as possible, and don't take no for an answer if you get the run-around from the sales staff.
Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
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