GC customer service

sadiectOctober 23, 2012

We are about halfway through our build, but have become extremely disappointed with the lack of responsiveness with our GC. We feel like his customer service is severely lacking. Ex: On MANY different occasions my husband or I will call, text or email and receive absolutely no response. We aren't overbearing about it either, like trying to contact him multiple times a day. We do realize he has other clients, but give me some kind of response like yeah we can discuss later, etc.

Also, he told me he would order cabinetry samples over two months ago (and said they only take 4 days to get) and I still haven't received anything. Granted he does eventually contact us when he needs something or has a question and the house is progressing nicely, but it is just so frustrating. We just feel like we are not a priority to him, even though we are paying him good money.

I just wanted to get others thoughts on what you would do if you were in my position. Would you mention anything or just bite your lip and just get through these last few months.

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If he's not responsive now, you can look forward to a lot of fun at punchlist time.

To be fair, if the job really is progressing smoothly, that is most important.

But you are customers and should be treated as such. I would have a nice, pleasant, non accusatory discussion about it. Perhaps schedule a weekly call to go over things?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:06AM
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While this may be common behavior for many small contractors, it is not good practice. I second the suggestion for a constructive discussion with the contractor and a mutually agreeable solution such as a regularly scheduled meeting or call during the construction period.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Sophie Wheeler

I would suggest planning on a time at least 2x a week when you can have a 15 minute conversation with the builder and not be interrupted. That way, you can both be sure you are on the same page without resorting to several emails a day. Many builders do not check their email but once in the day early, and last thing at night. Especially if they have several projects at once. As long as the issue isn't an emergency, write down what you want to say, and keep it for that twice a week meeting. You will both be more productive in addressing the issues if you aren't at the mercy of trying to text and drive. But, as long as the project is going well, and the only major complaint is the timeliness of the communication, thank your lucky stars!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I have lived through the last 8 months of fighting my GC to call us or email or or even text us. He delayed me for weeks and weeks to choose my cabinets and when he finally "got around to it" we couldn't go with the ones I wanted because of time restraints! We have been sooooo frustrated with our GC and only our GC. The subs he has working (except one crew) have done excellent and quick work. The problems we have had is all with our GC's lack of communication.

As an example, we were suppose to have granite installed yesterday. Monday afternoon I "ran into" my builder at our new house. He isn't down there much. Well I asked how the Granite was going to be delivered with a big trench in our front yard for the sewer (a whole different set of problems). He said, no problem, they will ride down the side of the lot and bridge the trench. I said ok and left it at that. Well Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from the OWNER of the granite place saying they cannot get anywhere close to the garage to deliver and they drove two trucks 50 miles for NOTHING. She was mad and couldn't get the builder to answer his phone. I had to call him, but had to leave a voicemail.
My question is why not, knowing they were delivering that day, be there? Granite is thousands of dollars and I thought important.

Too many details getting missed causing delays, frustration and MONEY!!!

Sorry for the vent, but I HIGHLY recommend you stressing (as we did in emails, phone calls, and in person) that you want a review each week either over the phone or in person or email. Have it stating where you are and what the next week should cover. Make certain you are making your decisions on time, ahead of time if possible and know what you need to be deciding on now for the rest of the build.

We were told 4-6 months to build a 3200sqft house. We are 9 months from breaking ground (ran into drainage issue) and 6 months from footers being put in the ground. We still have another month of work left.

I know this will be worth it in the end to be in a home I love and can enjoys for years to come. I just want it DONE!

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 2:14PM
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This is why I'm going to be the owner/contractor on our home. Hope things start going more smoothly with both of you.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I appreciate the advice and will talk to him about regular calls and/or meetings. Thankfully most things have been smooth, except we are well over budget due to items not in our control (concrete, framing, etc).

Aucorley - Sorry you are having issues as well. Good luck the rest of the way. I too am just trying to keep my eyes on the end result!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:12PM
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