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Let me start off by saying that I have been in the place where you now find yourself. I researched Gemcraft before getting my home built and read all these terrible reviews. I still decided to pull the trigger and have them build me a house despite the reviews. The house is beautiful and for that I give 5 stars all day long, however it is the Service Department that rates a big fat zero. Once you go to settlement don't even think of having an open line of communication with the builder and the service team... they play you pretty good. They act like you can call them on their personal phone anytime but you are left leaving dozens and dozens of messages that go unheard.
Here are some things as an example that you can rely on. Never being fixed (as is the example with my house): Broken sliding door, driveway repaved, water stains (where shoddy sprinklers were installed) painted, cracks in the cement, terrible landscaping (including planting of dead trees), cable outlet that was ordered installed, and those are just a few things.
Mr. ** and Mr. ** will appear to be your best friends at first but after your house is settled on you won't hear from these gentleman again as they do not pick up their cell-phones or their office phones and never return calls. I have even tried calling the Chief Operating Officer of Gemcraft and he doesn't pick up his phone either. It's unfortunate but it is going to have to come to the act of litigation in order for these people to respond and even then it's a toss up. Be forewarned. Avoid unless you are a very mechanically inclined person who can do your own repairs.
Purchased the home in 2014. The home was built in 2008 and I am the second owner. From day one, it appears that things were done hastily and not up to quality standards. The kitchen, bathroom, breakfast nook, hallway and foyer downstairs are all tile. The grout between several tiles has come loose and you can see the tiles are not laying flat in several areas. To me, that is an indication the subfloor is not level. My suspicion is they simply laid the tile right over the subfloor and not on any type of backerboard which is standard procedure. The tub faucet was protruding several inches out from the wall. This was a simple fix had the builder bothered. I had to call a plumber to cut the exposed copper water line the faucet attaches to to get the faucet to lay flush against the tub wall.
Caulking around the tub was ** as well. I have personally re-caulked the tile shower walls at least 2 times and need to do it again. Our main issue has always been the heating/ac system. From day 1, the upstairs bedrooms remain incredibly hot in the summer when the air conditioning is on and very cold in the winter. I have had two different HVAC contractors look into this and their recommendation is the unit is 1) undersized and 2) the duct work is not correct. I have also spent over $2500 total for repairs to the A/C unit for one problem or another. I will never purchase a Gemcraft home and recommend you do not either.
After saving for years I was so proud to have purchased a home to settle in so I have a place to retire and call home. I settled on a Gemcraft home which at the time was a leading builder here and despite some negative comments I had the home inspected. Of course they noticed some things needing repair, cracking on the stucco, and a some other things that were visible to the eye, but Gemcraft assured me they would back their home and ensure all would be fixed.
Once the papers were signed they disappeared never to be seen again. They filed for bankruptcy and after many attempts to speak with them I realized they were never going to back up their warranty or their word. No person has responded and till this day I have ongoing issues to the tune of $20,000 dollars. The shower area is leaking into the kitchen below and black mold is forming in the ceiling due to incorrect installation of a the shower, which I found out after having inspected by 2 companies that there was no concrete slab put behind the tiles when installed. The tiles can be punched through to the other side.
The roof leaks from the low driven nails when shingles were installed and my insurance company and an inspector stated also it was because of bad installation. The stucco front of my home is cracking all around the windows and needs to be removed because of black mold as well. I am at wit's end and waiting on a call from Bill Luther (Gemcraft CEO) to intervene so I can move on and get these things repaired as it should be by the builder. I am so sorry I chose a Gemcraft and if you are smart you won't either.
Thank you GEMCRAFT for our beautiful home second to none!! Patrick ** is wonderful and helped us through this whole process. This is our first brand new home and we are totally loving it. We have nothing negative to say about this company. I have recommended my friends to buy a GEMCRAFT home. God has bless us and we're satisfied!!! Thanks again!
Gemcraft did a superb job of constructing a well built house which we are in love with. The construction happened very quickly (just over 90 days) and we had some custom requests that were build seamlessly. Our construction manager (Dan) did a great job of keeping me informed (as much as I wanted to be) and delivering a quality product. Gemcraft really helped alleviate a lot of stress that comes with building a house!
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The staff at Gemcraft was very helpful throughout my home-buying experience. They have many floor plans and options to choose from to make your home the perfect home for you. Also, they were offering a special when I purchased so the pricing of additional features was very reasonable. I have not had any problems with my home since I purchased last year.
It is Christmas Day and I just discovered rain water dripping in through the master bathroom ceiling. I purchased my newly built Gemcraft home in April of 2014. Of course I sent the builder an email right away. I consider this an emergency. He replied: The reply he sent me was unsatisfactory. I suspect that I will need to seek legal recourse. This is not the only issue still outstanding with Gemcraft as there were issues that I did not sign off on November 11th as he stated including what appear to be 'speed bumps' in my kitchen floor, a leaky pipe going to the hot water heater, drywall issues, etc. I noticed that there is only one positive review of Gemcraft from "Judy". I bet this is the same "Judy" who sold me my home. She should have disclosed that she works for Gemcraft in Woodland Manor in Smyrna, DE.
I purchased a Gemcraft Salem Offsite Home $509,000.00 about a year and a half ago. I'm currently going through arbitration with Gemcraft for the following issues: Grading problems around the foundation (ponding water), improperly installed hardwood floors, cracked oak steps, unfinished driveway. Gemcraft will not take responsibility for any of the issues that I am currently experiencing. The supervisor Mr. Brain ** just blows you off. I'm a 20 year retired Army Vet and I would not recommend Gemcraft Homes to anyone I know.
I have recently purchased my home in Delaware and this is my first home purchase and hoped it would be my first and only for a while. It was suppose to be a 10 - 15 year plan maybe but I think it will be sooner than this. I say this because not only have I had to have cabinets replaced already because they had cracks in them and were still put up before I moved in, I have also had my counter tops replaced because of us wanting granite which is fine whatever, but when the granite company comes to install and they take the old counter tops out and there is a hole in my wall, there is a problem. Gemcraft Homes was so cheap that instead of cutting the counter tops to the right size they put a hole in my wall and shoved the extra counter into the wall and covered it with a 4'' backsplash. That is my first issue.
My second issue I have lived in my home for two months not going on month number three in a couple of days I AM STILL WAITING FOR MY MARINE BATTERY FOR MY SUMP PUMP. God forbid I lose power and my basement floods, we're gonna have a problem and Gemcraft will cover this not my insurance because I am not placing a claim for their mistake. You can call these people everyday of the week until you are blue in the face and they DO NOT RETURN PHONE CALLS. I have even tried to contact their Human Resource Department. Do they answer? No, it's just a voicemail of some lady stating please leave your name and number and I'll get back to you, does she? No, she doesn't just like the rest of the company.
The third thing I have to say is it's only three months like I stated previously of me living in my house and guess what my roof leaks and is creating a problem in my master bedroom ceiling. This is a little ridiculous. There is only one good thing that I have to say about this builder. As soon as they found out that I had an issue with my foundation leaking in the rain it was fixed right away, other than this I have gotten nowhere and don't think I ever will. In my honest opinion I will never buy a home from Gemcraft again and hope anyone who reads this can make the decision to save themselves from this crappy company.
I see reviews for Gemcraft Homes on this site. The reviews mention homes built in the NE United States, particularly MD & DE. Is this the same Gemcraft Homes that built homes in N. Texas in the mid-late 80's? If it is, very interesting that they filed for bankruptcy in Texas sometime in the late 80's/early 90's. If it is the same Gemcraft Homes they just moved their crappy organization to another state. Funny, fled like the roaches they are. My mother purchased an existing home from Gemcraft Homes in Carrollton, TX in 1987, so she was not part of the building process. This home was the next to last home completed on her street. I am wondering now since this home was already built if it failed some inspection, I wouldn't be surprised. Now, that I think about it, I vaguely remember my mom saying that she was told that the loan had fallen through and that is why no one moved into the house and it was available for her to purchase.
You may wonder why I am writing this review so many years later and the reason is because the home my mother purchased was so poorly designed. The biggest beef I have with this house is the wiring/electrical outlets. The pot light over the kitchen goes off after 15-20 min. Not very helpful when one is trying to work in the kitchen. My mom believed this light was on some sort of timer. I am not a home owner so I know nothing about this. I was a very happy apartment dweller, my mom was no longer able to care for herself and I moved into her home.
The next example of poor design/shoddy wiring is that in the garage there are only two electrical outlets, one in the ceiling where the garage door open is plugged in and the other near the kitchen door. My mother had a sprinkler system installed and the nearest outlet to the sprinkler control box was the one in the ceiling. Well, the plug for the sprinkler system is rather heavy and will not stay plugged in upside down on the ceiling. Again, if Gemcraft weren't so cheap, there would be more outlets in the garage. How can a company that files for bankruptcy be allowed to operate in another state? Gemcraft Homes, just don't do it, you will regret it in the future. Save your money, remember you get what you pay for. Gemcraft Homes are just cheap and shoddy. Why would you want to invest in the largest purchase of your life in such poor craftsmanship?
Purchased my home in 2014 from original owner. House was built in 2008. Workmanship from the get-go is really shoddy. Master bathtub had main faucet copper pipe sticking about 3" out of the wall. Had to hire a plumber to cut and fix. Caulking around shower awful. Molding around garage door installed incorrectly and leaked water into garage. Builder didn't even bother to finish plugging and sanding screw holes around outside molding. The air conditioner unit has been a real problem. Had to replace the evaporator coil last summer. Already had to have a part replaced on the outside condensing unit which caused all the refrigerant to leak out over the winter. Balancing of the unit inside is way, way off. Freezing cold in the basement (where the main unit is located) and stifling hot upstairs.
Question the size of the unit for the square footage and am certain the ductwork is faulty. I tried to speak to Gemcraft to no avail. They transferred me to some area manager who blamed everyone else for their awful workmanship. I would highly recommend you not use this builder. Heck, our street paving isn't even finished because I heard Gemcraft declared bankruptcy.
I purchased a Home from Gemcraft in 2013. During my walk through the only thing I noticed was a few pieces of siding that did not match up exactly. This was a manufacturer defect from the siding company. I pointed it out and it was taken care of very quickly by the construction supervisor. My Gemcraft Home is in perfect condition and have nothing but positive things to say about my Home and Gemcraft Homes. They went above and beyond to make my home buying experience possible and positive. Please take into consideration the good reviews, as there will always be those who can find negativity and fault in any situation. I have nothing but good things to say. I wanted to shed some light on these dark posts! :) I love my Gemcraft Home!
My home was built in 1999. I purchased it from the original owner in 2009. My home was a model home. I discovered after purchasing the home that no house wrap was used and although maybe not required was ignorant of the builder not to use. The flashing from the front porch roof to the side of house was installed poorly, not what someone who knew what they were doing would have done. There were leaks into the garage. Two of the shower threaded connections from the feed to the shower head used plumbing putty rather than Teflon tape. One leaked inside the drywall. Insulation around the window framing is poor allowing cold air intrusion. The caulk around the master tub is not silicone based and is just a poor job. The tubs were not installed with putty under the tubs for support. That is a standard practice. Great lot but there is a lot of stupid to fix. I would never buy a Gemcraft home again.
When purchasing a home from Gemcraft Homes Buyer Beware. I purchased a home in Barclay Estates, it was built by Gemcraft Homes. Who advertise they stand by their homes. This is NOT the case! The new home I purchased 6 years ago that was next to a vacancy lot at the time - after about 2 years they built a home on this lot and installed energy efficient windows. One of the windows reflect onto my vinyl siding and melted the siding not just a piece or two of the siding but half of one side of my house. See picture below a ($300,000.00 home). I called Gemcraft and was told there is nothing they can do. If I replace the siding it will just melt again.
The only thing they could suggest is to contact my neighbor and ask them if I can buy a new window that would not be energy efficient or ask my neighbor if I can purchase a shield for the window. The problem with purchasing new siding and just replacing my siding within a few months it will melt again. So now I have melted siding that I cannot replace without making arrangements with my neighbor to buy a new window for them or it will just happen again. There is nothing they will do about it. That it is an act of God.
Now, if that isn't bad enough, Barclay Estates Association will fine me for not replacing the siding. I was told by Gemcrafts building manager to contact the government. Based on Gemcraft Homes, its a requirement ALL new homes must have energy windows. Buyer beware!!!!!!!
I have chosen to write a narrative about my experience with Gemcraft Homes so that I can better describe my experience, but also utilize this format to send this review to co-workers, family members and several social media sites. At the time of writing this review, I am approximately 90 days post settlement with Gemcraft Homes and have experienced numerous issues which will be described in this narrative. If you would like to save yourself from reading the six pages, I can summarize this narrative in a few short sentences. If you ever decide to purchase from Gemcraft Homes, please reconsider. I have owned three new homes and this has been the absolute worst experience I have ever had with a new home builder.
It is imperative to stress the fact that without the efforts of sales representative Justin **, we would have never purchased a Gemcraft Home. It is unfortunate that he has decided to pursue other ventures with another competing builder because he was an asset to Gemcraft Homes. He was extremely thorough during the sales process and his professionalism was appreciated by both my wife and me.
Unfortunately our experience went extremely downhill from when he left Gemcraft Homes. Once he left the organization, we were assigned to another sales representative (and I use that term very loosely) Bob **. I am failing to find the words to properly describe our dislike and disdain for Mr. Bob **. He can only be described as arrogant and smug. From my initial telephone conversations and meetings with him, I felt that I was never receiving information that was either correct or complete. During my interactions with him throughout the construction process, I was given numerous assurances that were incorrect or directly contradicted the information provided by the production manager, Joe **.
Mr. Bob ** was not responsive via email or telephone. Most return calls/emails could take 2-3 days (not counting his regularly scheduled days off of Thursday/Friday). At one point, I had to drive 30 miles to visit the model (where he was that day and with a customer at the time) to interrupt him to obtain the name of the correct propane provider for the community. He had received several emails from myself and Sara ** who is the settlement coordinator (over a 3-day period when he was working) and had not responded to any of them. I was being pressured by Ms. ** to start a new account with the propane provider for the community so that my settlement would not be delayed, but the information provided on the Highland Hills Information Sheet provided to me by Mr. ** was incorrect. This information sheet included Comcast as the cable provider and after speaking with Comcast (they were not present in the community), they estimated it would cost $100,000.00 to bring cable services and high speed internet to our community. I do not fault Ms. ** for this incident, but it is one example of the level of service I received from Mr. ** during the sales/construction process.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was when my wife and I were sitting at settlement at Chesapeake Title Company in Forest Hill and I received an email from Mr. ** raising my sales price of my home by $1,800.00 for custom tile that was installed in our master bathroom. This cost was included in our original contract and was listed both in the itemized options that were written by Mr. ** and the selection sheet that was provided to me by Mr. **. I am not certain whether the fact that Mr. ** did not read our contract and see that we were already charged the $1800.00 in the contract or the fact that he had no idea that our loan had been approved and we were physically at the settlement table signing documents is most reprehensible.
I can guarantee you that if Mr. ** had been the sales representative that we had initially met during our first visit to Highland Hills, we would have not purchased from Gemcraft Homes. To add to that point, I have referred two other individuals to Richmond American Homes who are looking in the North East, MD area. I am fully aware of the gift cards that are offered through Gemcraft Homes for referrals, but I cannot bring myself to refer ANYONE to him. I currently have a Gemcraft stock home next to mine, and have had the pleasure to speak with numerous visitors of the home and tell them of my experience. I am certain none of them will be considering writing a contract on the home anytime soon.
I had numerous issues through the construction process and would like to break them out into sections for organizational purposes. I would like to mention that all of these issues listed and described below were brought to the attention of Joe ** by me and were not the result of regular inspections by the production manager. These items were addressed via email and telephone call with Mr. ** and the majority of them required multiple follow up conversations to resolve the issues.
The framing company did not do a thorough job on the framing of my home. They were extremely slow in the framing process and did not read the plans/selection sheet prior to performing the work. They had the main level framed when I brought it to their attention that they were missing a bay window in the front of my home. Through an addendum shortly after the contract was written, I agreed to compensate Gemcraft Homes $850.00 to glue and screw the subfloors in my home. This became a very large issue from the beginning because the framers took it upon themselves to nail the subfloor.
Joe was contacted on numerous occasions that the floors were not secured by screws and I was continually guaranteed the work would be completed. Only after the luan and laminate was laid in the home that the floor had to be torn up for the framers to come back and screw down the floors. The framers had almost 45 days from the time they completed framing to the time they actually returned to secure the subfloor with screws. At this time there are several areas of my home that were not secured properly and we have both flexing of the floor and squeaks. The screws were also driven into the floor by a pneumatic nail gun and we have several areas that we can feel the screw head through the carpet and padding due to the nail not being flush with the subfloor.
In our architectural plans, it was noted that we would receive a 24 plant shelf above our dual walk-in closets in the master bathroom. This feature was originally brought to our attention originally by Mr. ** during the process of writing our contract and we never received this feature with our home. It was explained to us by Mr. ** that there was a change in plans and we would only receive a 6 shelf. He explained that the Avondale model in Highland Hills did not have the shelf, and we would not receive one either. He was not willing to compromise with us on this matter and we were given a take it or leave it stance from him. I continually argued that it was in the architectural plans and that the framers either made a mistake or the wrong materials were ordered. Mr. ** advised us that the 6 shelf would not be functional and we proceeded to not continue arguing over the matter.
As stated in our contract, the home was to be built with the Dow 3.3 Tuff board. This board was to cover the exterior of our home and the seams were to be taped so that it would increase the overall R value of our home and heating/cooling efficiency. During the framing process, the framers ran out of Tuff board material and left the job site for another project. When the board arrived on site, it was installed, but the seams of the board were never taped. This was brought to the attention of Mr. ** via phone and email and I was assured that the board would be taped. As the siding was installed, the board was not taped by the siding company and work proceeded on the home. It was brought to the attention of Mr. ** again that this board was not taped. After a scheduled visit to the home with both Mr. ** and the siding company (who had guaranteed us that the work was completed properly), the siding was removed and the board was not taped.
During the process of the installation of the siding, the side of our bump-out near our front door was covered with vinyl siding. It was stated clearly in our plans that this was to be completed with the Bucks County Rubble stone as per our contract. This siding was required to be removed for the masons to complete their work.
The bay window of our home was originally covered with shingles (matching the roof) which was a clear contradiction to our contract/selection sheet that referred to a bay window with a metal roof. The reason I mention this is because there have been an extremely unnecessary amount of holes been placed in both the exterior panels and Dow Tuff board of our home due to the subcontractors not reading the selection sheet/contract and the production manager not being on site as often as needed to guarantee the work would be completed properly.
The trim molding ordered by Gemcraft Homes which was sent to the job site was incorrect. Our selection sheet stated that we would receive almond colored trim molding, and the product that was delivered was white. This was also brought to the attention of Mr. ** by me, and it was resolved. The unfortunate result of this mistake was that the drip molding trim near the roof line was destroyed by the team performing the trim work. We were over 45 days post settlement before the work had yet to be completed to fix the drip molding. I was recently visited by the siding foreman (on December 24th) and he assured me that the work would be completed in the next few weeks. His roofing teams are based out of New Jersey and none of them would like to travel to Maryland to fix work that was previously done incorrectly. He assured me that on his next roofing job in the area that they would visit to replace the drip molding. That was not the case. For a resolution to the issue, it took several emails and calls to Mr. ** to convince the roofing company to repair their mistake.
The issues with the electricians have been minor and have been resolved with calls directly to Benfield Electric. I have been missing numerous light bulbs throughout the home and it was explained to me by the representatives at Benfield Electric that they do not provide the bulbs, and only perform the work. One of our recessed lights in our kitchen was improperly installed with a fixture that was designed for being mounted in a bathroom over a tub. The electrician removed the rubber gasket and reinstalled the fixture so that I could install the recessed light that was missing. There is a missing bolt in the electrical panel in the basement that remains to be missing, but one can only assume that it is non-essential due to the fact that I have electricity in the home and that there are 7 other bolts holding the panel in place on the wall.
I have developed a list of items that have not been correct on my home that have either needed to be replaced or have never been provided to me at this time re procurement: (I am referring to the department that orders all of the materials for each build). Stairs: The stairs from the main level to the 2nd level were not correct and installed by the framing company. I brought it to the attention of Mr. ** that our plans clearly stated a waterfall style stair. 2. Trim molding: As described in the Siding/Roofers section of this review, the molding was ordered incorrectly and it created further issues that required repair. 3. Electrical fixtures: At approximately 40 days post settlement, the light fixture in my pantry in the kitchen was installed. It was not available during the construction process. 4. Light bulbs: I was missing approximately 11 light bulbs of different sizes/wattages throughout the home. At 30 days post settlement and no resolution, I visited the local Lowes and installed them myself. 5. Jacuzzi tub: I was provided with a Jacuzzi tub in our master bathroom that we did not request or order. We were not thrilled about this mistake due to the fact that this tub will require more preventative maintenance in the future. At the time of our pre-settlement walk through, it was discovered and I did not want to delay settlement with additional work and delays in receiving a standard soaking tub.
With the purchase of the Avondale model, the stairs were designed as a waterfall design that became wider as the stairs progressed down from the 2nd level to the foyer. The installation of the carpet on the stairs was a tuck method where it provided a very clean appearance as you walk through the front door. The remaining flight of steps going upstairs were not tucked and were waterfalled with carpet and had a different appearance than the stairs below it. This was brought up at my pre-settlement walk through and I was advised to speak to L & L.
I also have a bedroom that has carpet which is crushed by the end of the roll. Mr. ** explained to me that this was possible and that I would need to address it with L & L. I called the representatives at L & L and was forwarded to a regional manager which took 3 days to return my call. He sent me information via email on the crushed carpet and asked me to wait 6 months to see if the problem resolved itself. I do not think it will, and feel this is extremely poor customer service. I feel that Joe ** should have seen this issue during the construction process and resolved it immediately. To date, I have had no serious issues with the plumbing in my home. I had a few toilets that were not operating properly and the subcontractor was both courteous and prompt in completing the repairs. These by far are the best subcontractor Gemcraft used on my home.
At 90 days post settlement, there has been no resolution to the failed Energy Star test on my home. I have requested the results of this test from Gemcraft Homes and The Fifth Fuel with no success. All I have received up to this point (February 28th) is a certificate with absolutely no data or reference to the failed test. The Energy Star test was completed with representatives from The Fifth Fuel and All Shore Heating/AC present. After the test was completed and the house failed, one of the two HVAC systems in my home failed to work. I made a call to All Shore Heating/AC reporting the issue and was treated in an unprofessional manner by their operator/receptionist. I was accused of tampering with the system after their representatives left my home. Approximately five hours after my call, a representative from All Shore arrived at my home (from New Jersey) and verified that the personnel from his organization did not properly replace the cover on the HVAC system and it would not work due to a built in interlock system.
Mr. Joe ** cannot be described as an effective production manager. His presence on the job site (as verified by the subcontractors for Gemcraft Homes) was virtually non-existent. He travels between each job site that is within two weeks of settlement and makes all attempts to clear up loose ends so that he is not responsible for settlement being delayed. I have noticed that since their production has slowed, he is on the job sites in my community more than when my home was being constructed. I can only hope that these buyers do not have the same experience during the construction process.
At our pre-construction meeting he appeared extremely distracted. He spent the majority of the time on his mobile phone and both Mr. ** and I had to repeat ourselves on numerous occasions due to him being unable to focus on our meeting. At this point in the process, I should have known that it would have been in my best interest to leave my deposit and walk away. Our pre-settlement walk through was almost completely identical with him on his mobile phone for the majority of the time while I walked through the home looking for items that were in need of repair.
His ability to return calls/emails was extremely subpar at best. He would not provide us his mobile telephone number and we were forced to call a voicemail system at the main office. Most attempts to reach him via telephone could take a minimum of 2 days for a response. I was informed by management that he did not have access to email in the field but had seen him return emails on numerous occasions from his mobile phone during our meetings while trying to resolve issues created by his subcontractors.
From my extensive conversations with the subcontractors who performed work on my home, they did not have a strong relationship with Mr. **. Many of the subcontractors made comments referring to how they were treated by him and I have seen firsthand how we would address them during the resolution of minor issues. I represent manufacturers and we utilize many different subcontractors to complete production work. I can say with extreme confidence that I have never treated those individuals as he treated his subcontractors who built my Gemcraft Home.
I have had limited experience with the Warranty Department at Gemcraft Homes, but can say that my limited experience has been good to this point. Within 30 days of settlement, I had a leak in a downstairs window (around the Christmas holiday) and Mr. ** sent out a repairman to address the window issue within a timely fashion. He made several repairs to the home while he was here and was both polite and courteous while performing the work. Unfortunately in February 2013, the leak has reappeared and Mr. ** was extremely prompt with a return email and scheduled the sub contractor to return and evaluate the issue.
Once I sent the Warranty Department my list of issues found by the licensed home inspector I contracted to look at my home, the service level went from good to horrible. The service manager became instantly hostile when I sent him the report and attempted to convince me that home inspectors had no credibility and that most of the issues were non-issues. I was consistently reassured that the warranty manager has 25 years in the business, and he knows what he is doing. Four months later, the list is only half complete. I have numerous roofing/siding issues which have not been addressed and material has been sitting in my back yard on the ground for approximately 60 days.
I have experienced two water leaks in my basement (through the poured foundation where the septic pipe leaves the home) and have had numerous appointments at my home to complete work. Weeks often go by without responses to emails. I have to consistently resend the same email to get responses from the warranty department on repairs. I have been often told over the phone that the sub contractors have completed work, when I am physically looking at the work not even being started.
Shortly after settlement I was visited by representatives of the heating/AC subcontractor and the third party Energy Star test organization. They arrived with no prior notice and I happened to be home and allowed them to complete two required tests on the energy efficiency of my home. After the tests were complete, I was informed that one of the two tests had failed. They could not give me detailed information, but stated that it failed miserably and would need to be corrected. I have made no less than a dozen attempts to obtain this information on this failed test, and have only received a certificate from Gemcraft Homes stating my home is efficient. This certificate has no factual data and looks like something you would receive for participating in a 3rd grade spelling bee.
As explained in the section titled Management below, Gemcraft Homes has ignored my repeated attempts to rectify this failed Energy Star test. I have contacted the third party organization who performed the test and they refuse to provide me with the results/report due to the fact that I am not their customer, and Gemcraft Homes is their customer.
The service I have received from the management staff within Gemcraft Homes can only be stated in one word: Deplorable. Here is the definition I found on the internet of deplorable: Adjective: 1. Deserving strong condemnation, 2. Shockingly bad in quality. Synonyms: lamentable - sad - regrettable - miserable - pitiable
I truly feel that this word speaks volumes. I have made numerous attempts to contact management within Gemcraft Homes in regards to my failed Energy Star test and have received absolutely no response. I have never encountered an organization that goes out of their way to ignore emails like Gemcraft Homes. With each email I send, I receive no acknowledgement or response. They forward the email to someone else, and I am required to further engage in conversation with the individuals who are not providing me the information I require.
To be extremely honest, I received excellent service from management when I wanted to perform a change order and spend more money with Gemcraft Homes. Those emails were responded to in a prompt and efficient manner. It is obvious as to where their priorities are when dealing with their customers.
In closing..RUN, do not walk from Gemcraft Homes. If you ever consider purchasing a Gemcraft Home, please contact me first. I will give you an honest, non-biased opinion of how the process has been for my family. If I could do it all over again, I would have chosen another builder.
I purchased a home in 2011 from this company and the quality is nowhere near what I was told. The small details are really bad, floors are terrible (they use humidity as their excuse), drywall bad. I have a door in the basement (walkout) that has been leaking and all they do is try to patch things up. The bottom line is stay away from this company. This was my first home and I really learned a lot.
We recently purchased a Gemcraft Home in Lewes, DE. We knew there were some problems as the house had not been kept up well and thus negotiated money for repairs. We had to have the bathroom gutted. At first, we assumed we were taking on repairs, but as the job progressed, the contractor pointed out that the appropriate materials were not used in the shower and water had compromised the area. Mold had penetrated in many places; the entire floor, as well as all the tile, had to be replaced. We had two leaks around windows and when the workers took off the siding to repair the window seals, they found that the windows had never been sealed and on top of that, instead of the appropriate material wrapping the house under the siding, they found black roofing paper. To make the house watertight, all the siding had to be removed, the house re-wrapped and all the windows sealed and then the siding put back on. Of course, rotten wood was found around the windows and that had to be replaced, as well.
Several shingles were off the roof so we negotiated to have this repaired. The roofer, when he went on the roof to fix the missing shingles, found an entire area where the roof was installed incorrectly and the staples holding the roof on were exposed, rotting and presenting a potential for more lost shingles. That area need repair, too, in order to prevent future issues. When he ripped off the shingles to begin work, he found an area of about four by four of rotted wood on the roof and this needed to be replaced. He will be coming back to check the rest of the roof; we just hope we don't find more issues up there. We are also having water issues in the basement and need to fill in between the house and the yard. The yard was not properly graded and we have a large area where water collects and drips into the basement.
These are the major issues we found in this house but there are many other minor things that just indicate shoddy workmanship. Our neighbors, as they watched work here, have come over to ask what is going on. We told them and found that they, too, are having leaks around a window or two, one around her fireplace. What is sad is that these people assumed, as we did, that it is an isolated issue with a window or two, but our contractor found that not one window on our home was sealed and many already had let in water, but the effects were not yet evident. At least when this is all over, our home will have a good roof and be watertight around the doors, windows and fireplaces. I feel sorry for those in this community who had not yet gone through this process. I would never recommend a Gemcraft Home to anyone under any circumstances. It is sad because my home is beautiful in design but disastrous as far as construction goes.
I purchased my home in 2008. It seemed fine. When I got new furniture for the basement, nothing I purchased would ever fit, no matter how small it was. Then I recalled the site mgr. telling me they messed up the risers and had to take some from the bottom steps and the turn to go downstairs wasn't wide enough. Also, I was told my laundry room ended up too small, so instead of w/d being side by side, they were across from each other and they had to move the sump crock across the home under the stairs. I have several doorframes where the trim stands out an inch or so from the wall, and actually above one door, a paintbrush dropped in. It didn't seem like a big deal. After a month, I had to have the seals replaced on three toilets and two of them also needed new flappers. At around 11 months, the basement starting leaking water, so I set up an appointment for my final before the one-yr warranty was up. I asked them to give me an hour’s notice, but instead the guy called while at my front door and blocked his phone number.
I called the Gemcraft office and told them my husband was on the way home, he was about half an hour away. 2.5 hours later, they told me the guy left. He swore someone was home and wouldn't let them in. I then had to submit another request and they agree to come out. They found that the foundation was cracked in 5 places and they would start by sending someone out to roll back the carpet and take out padding and they'd clean carpet and put new pad once fixed. No one came back for three months. When we got a call back, they were sending someone out. That person cut a large door size hole in the wall and measured where the cracks were. He made a phone call, relayed that he couldn't do anything and left. After calling Gemcraft, they said they weren't obligated to fix anything since it's just past the twelve months period and fixing the issue would require moving the furnace and A/C unit. They ended up sending an inspector out who said the cracks weren't structural in nature and they weren't required to fix it.
So, I ended up with no padding in my downstairs half ruined carpet and a large hole in my wall. The guy informed me that they just filed BK and wouldn't be responsible for the repair. Right after that, I discovered in a first floor bathroom we don't use that the backside wall was drenched and had run like melting and the bedroom ceiling started leaking - all within 16 months of owning this house. It amazes me how people cannot be responsible and how any kind of warranty they provide doesn't fix anything. What’s the point in a ten-yr warranty, or one-yr for that matter? The house has been a nightmare from the beginning.
My overall experience was not horrible; however, by no means the best. In my experience, they worked with me in the beginning while I was trying to sell my home. The experience, however, was definitely not the best considering that they started construction and finished without ever having a preconstruction meeting. Honestly, I did not even know if they had sold the lot to someone else, or if it was still mine. I had to ask. I was told I would be contacted to set up this preconstruction meeting; however, it never happened. My deck was supposed to be bigger than the model, and it was not. In fact, the deck posts stick up in the middle of each of the back windows (very attractive). And when addressed, of course, they cannot fix it, nor could they move it over to keep the deck posts from sticking in both my back windows.
During the walk-through, the light above the kitchen sink was missing, and they told me they would be putting in recessed lights. After I purchased the house, I went in, and apparently, due to framing issues, they could not do the recessed lighting (how many houses of this model do they build?). Instead, they put the same bulb light that is in my master closet over my kitchen sink (in my upgraded kitchen). Of course, there is nothing they can do. They considered it an upgrade (same bulb light from my master bedroom closet is an upgrade in my kitchen?). There are small issues; however, I will not list them.
The biggest eye sore, and the most disappointing, is my front yard; it’s horrific, especially the driveway. The yard will be finished this spring. It was revisited by the county for approval, which is understood in winter months. However, my driveway is sloped so bad; it’s nothing like the lot plan. When I addressed this at first, of course, their answer was, can you guess? We can't fix it. So I went to the county to have them read me the grading for the driveway, and there is no slope according to the plans. I did email the supervisor and the Gemcraft folks expressing my concerns with the driveway. The supervisor told me that they cannot fix it but he would be willing to add 4 inches of asphalt to the slope. I have accepted their resolution to add asphalt; however, it will not be done until springtime. Until then, I have to deal with the drastic slope.
Unfortunately, everyone that sees my new home comments on the slope in my driveway. It is very embarrassing to me. I would think it would be embarrassing to Gemcraft to deliver a product like that. I actually said to the supervisor that I would think Gemcraft would want to deliver a better product and would have pride in what they delivered. When I asked why they didn't do the driveway right from the get go, I was told they didn't have dirt to bring in. I looked over at the large pile of dirt down the street, and he said that there are costs to bring the dirt in. My comment is that it cost me money to buy the house, and it should have been done right the first time. I also let him know that I started looking at other homes in case they decide to provide me with the same answer: they cannot fix it. I am not a happy Gemcraft customer.
Overall, I am definitely dissatisfied. I don't complain about the little things, but the things that I felt were important to me, and I am sure would be important to others, they would only fix a couple of them. Honestly, I started looking at other homes after they told me the first time that they were not going to fix the driveway. If they would have refused, then the sale would have fell through as I was not going to accept the driveway looking like it does and them expecting me to fix it when it should have been done right the first time. Oh, and they were so kind to leave the porta potty sitting in my front yard at settlement right where my mailbox had to be installed. I ended up pushing it across the street a week later as they never came to move it. I posted a beautiful picture on Facebook showing how Gemcraft left it just sitting there.
I own a Gemcraft Home, and have found that many simple things were missed, overlooked or not installed. Within 6 years, the roof leaked in several places. My roofer found that no flashing was installed where required, instead the OSB wall material was just caulked in the seams along the roof. The plumbing boot was nailed in one corner and not secured around the border. They forgot the front hose bib. And recently, I had the shower remodeled from the builder's grade installation. My contractor removed the tile from the shower wall and found heavy black mold, as the builder did not use green board behind the wall. The problems keep mounting the longer we live here, and they are not due to age or normal use, but neglect by the builder. I know a general contractor is only as good as the subs they use. Gemcraft should oversee all the construction and be responsible for workmanship.
During initial grading, proper drainage was not installed around our new home build. As a result, water leaked into basement and builder had to install window well drainage post settlement. During that installation, patio steps and patio pavers were disrupted/sank as a result of machine digging. Builder acknowledged patio would be in need of repair over a month ago.
Landscape contractor not associated with builder estimated damage at approximately $725. We had repeated calls and emails to builder for restitution request (corporate office) but received no response.
On 8/16/09, I signed a new construction home contract with a build time of 6-8 months. I was advised the permit would be applied for within 45 days of a ratified contract and the hole would be dug by the end of Oct. Gemcraft advised me in Sept and the beginning of Oct. we were on task with the timetable. On 10/16/09, they advised the house does not fit on the original lot I selected and I was advised to select a new home site. So with this in mind, we were not on track because no permit had been applied for. Then they advised me a hole would be dug possibly by the end of Nov. but certainly by Dec. They advised me towards the end of Oct. the permit had been applied for. I contacted the city of Hagerstown to verify this information and they advised me that no permit had been applied for.
I contacted my sales manager's boss, Jim **, who stated his sales manager must have misunderstood him but they were in the process of filing the permit. I requested proof by the end of Nov. that a permit had been applied for and they provided me a copy of the site plan that they submitted to engineering & still no permit. There was no hole in Nov. and in the beginning of Dec. they advised me the delay with the permit was because they could not pay their engineers to wet stamp the prints to submit to the city of Hagerstown.
On Jan. 3, they advised me that plans were back from engineering and they were in the process of being submitted to the city. I advised them by email on 11/30/09, 12/09 & 1/10 of my desire to terminate the contract since they could not honor the 6-8 month time frame they quoted me during the contract signing. I advised them that I wanted my deposit returned by 1/20/10 or I would be seeking legal counsel. Jim ** advised me that he had to speak with his boss and get back in contact with me. That was 1/13/10. At this point, I have not received an email, letter or call from Gemcraft Homes. This is a horrible company to work with and they lie too much to customers to get a deal.
I purchased a new home from Gemcraft Homes on 4/14/2003 in the state of MD, Harford County. I am a licensed real estate agent for the state of Maryland and represented myself in the transaction. At the time of contract I was working and everything looked like it was going to work out. Unfortunately, a month later I lost my job and was not qualified to purchase the home.
I informed my sales rep. Amy Scram this and told her that I was offered a position in the state of Maryland with another employer. But 3 days later the job fell thru and another position was offered in North Carolina. At that point I was unemployed in the state of Maryland with the possibility of a job in North Carolina. I then informed my sales rep about the situation and asked her to convey my dilemma to her boss. I was only going to be in North Carolina forth 8-12 months and I had hoped we could delay the start of the home to accommodate that. They denied my request, and I couldnt afford to purchase the home any more. I requested a release and a refund of deposit. I have been told that I will not get a refund of deposit. According to Maryland law (and their purchase agreement) I am entitled to a full refund of deposit. I was never approved for a loan and I did try earnestly and I never received a ratified contract, nor did my lender.
Gemcraft Homes has done nothing but lie and try to cover up their mistakes and say that I defaulted by not attending my pre-construction meeting when in fact my loan was denied before any meeting was scheduled. I have all documentation to support every claim I have made against this builder, yet the builder has nothing to support their actions.
I plan to notify the local news, the board of Realtors and file suit against them this
Monday. Any help from you is greatly appreciated would be greatly appreciated.
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