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My husband & I purchased a Lindal Cedar Home package. We thought we were getting a fantastic deal at the time. We ran into two major difficulties: Early delivery of home package & less-than-qualified builder. I will address the builder: Our contractor was recommended by the local Lindal dealer. We found out after we had signed the papers and made our payment for the Lindal package that the contractor, due to financial problems, did not own his own equipment, he did not have a crew, and he had no credit. Space does not allow me to relate how many problems we ran into. I will generally say that expensive mistakes were made & a lot of the quality of construction was below average. The bottom line is do not depend on the Lindal dealer to recommend your builder.
Early delivery: Although we asked the Lindal dealer to delay delivery of the home package because our contractor was not getting the site prepared in a timely manner, he insisted on getting it shipped. The result was that material sat on the construction site for months before they were needed. We ended up with damaged material. So, if you decide to go with a Lindal home, no matter what you are told, you need covered space for your product away from the main construction site. Otherwise, even though it is covered, it will get abused. Cedar is a soft wood that does not hold up well to repeated moving, especially when done without much regard for the product.
We are living in our home now. Whether it is due to poor workmanship or the product itself, I have noted that the house emits loud pops when the temperature changes. If I had it to do over again, I would be careful about who I contract with to build a house & I would definitely not go with Lindal. In the end what looks like a good deal isn't so good after all. Check references, ask around about the product.
23 years ago I designed, ordered and built my Lindal dream home. I was 47 years old at the time, and was going to live in my beautiful home with my wife the rest of our lives. With my Lindal order I specified their Low -E, Argon gas filled premium windows 45 of them. About 8 years ago, my windows started failing. Fogging up so bad I couldn't see out. I had an initial 10 year warranty on the house and I thought the house & windows would last longer than 15 years. Maybe 25 to 40 years. But I guess I was Wrong. When I called Lindal 7 years ago, they told me to expect the rest of the windows to fail, and sent me new quarter rounds at no charge to place around the new window glass that I would be replacing (Very generous of them).
So far I have replaced 6 windows that I couldn't see out of for about $2,000. that averages about $333. per window. 39 to go about $13,000. more. I'm 70 years old now and Live on a fixed income. I replace the windows not as they fail. (They have all failed.) But when I can't see out of them any more. I have cleaned and stained the house 5 times, repairing rotted Deck boards, and replacing the windows myself. Bottom line is if you don't want to work on your house the rest of your life, Don't Buy A Lindal Cedar Home. If you do buy a Lindal home, don't let them talk you into their junk windows. It's winter now and I can see the frost between the glass growing.
I purchased a home out of foreclosure. My husband and I have our primary residence in Michigan. My local home inspector in TN suggested that I have someone take a look at two of the doors to make sure the weather-stripping was sealing. Because Lindal Homes had built the house originally, I called Lindal Homes in Seattle for assistance. Lindal Homes gave me the name of Mike ** as the local dealer. When we spoke, Mr. ** volunteered that his deceased father, Ray **, built the home and indicated that he would like to see it. Mr. ** visited the home with my realtor and later called me saying I needed two (2) new doors and I needed to wire $4,000 immediately because he had located 2 on sale. I wired the money to an account that Mr. ** provided to me (USAA Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio, TX).
My husband and I later met Mr. ** at the house when we were there for closing with my realtor. While there with Mr. **, it was obvious that the sliding door did NOT need to be replaced; it was only in need of washing. Moreover, the bedroom door which Mr. ** said needed to be replaced only needed a lock fixed. There was never a need for 2 new doors or the $4,000 payment! Mr. ** did say he would fix weather-stripping inserted in the windows slots and he would need to buy a tool to fix this. However, Mr. ** did NOT fix any weather stripping nor did we see any tool. When asked to return the $4,000, Mr. ** only returned $2,500 of the wired funds and kept $1,500. Despite numerous requests and letters from my attorney, he has refused to provide any documentation or explanation as to his alleged right to retain the $1,500. Mr. ** did not do any work or provide any documentation supporting his keeping my money. He needs to return my $1,500.
The problem with Lindal begins and ends with its business model. Each dealer, with the exception of the Seattle office, is an independent dealer (Not Lindal), which eventually leads to the "Blame Circle", i.e.: problem arises, the Lindal Dealer blames Lindal; call Lindal for answers... they blame the dealer. Customer either gets frustrated and walks away without their initial deposit, or gets a lawyer and sues the dealer. This has been going on for decades with Lindal. They do not seem to have any interest in making all their customers satisfied. SOLUTION: Do not spend your hard-earned money with this company!
I bought a Lindal house which I later learned was built in 1970. It is roughly chalet style. The house is okay, but has turned out to be very hard to modify to make it better insulated or stronger. Unlike conventional houses, you can not simply gut them and rebuild. Every part, especially the roof, is related to other parts to support the whole, so nothing can be changed. Maybe new ones are different. I have tried to get suggestions from Lindal and they give a little advice, but nothing solid. Meanwhile, in winter, the house costs a lot to heat. We cannot find any local contractors who are qualified to work on this house. Lindal could help by offering advice on how to modify these houses, even if they charge for it.
We purchased a Lindal home already built. We loved it so much and we were going to build a smaller home on our property for my folks. We used a preexisting plan Lindal had, had the down payment, and then, my father unexpectedly passed away. They said we could use our $15k deposit toward an addition on the existing home, which my father asked me to do when he got sick.
Lindal (via their website of authorized dealers) referred us to Frank, who was supposedly the Hawaii dealer. I talked with Frank and sent him pictures of our existing house. I even accurately drew out our existing home for him, converted it to AutoCAD which was more convenient for him, and the proposed addition, shot elevations for him, basically handed everything for him to help us produce a plan for Lindal and a materials list.
A year and a half later, I was so frustrated when Frank stopped responding to me. I called Lindal headquarters and was routed to Rob at Lindal headquarters. He told me that we could use our $15k for materials and to find a contractor to help us with the plans. Frank supposedly was getting our original house plans from Lindal to help us with the addition. But after asking for references over and over, I finally got the message by the non-response that we were on our own.
I contacted Lindal myself several times to find out that our 18-year-old plans were tossed; yet someone else within Lindal told me that they have them in a warehouse. Someone was just lazy and didn't want to find them. Which is it? We went back to the (now retired) architect that had reviewed our Lindal home which we were going to build for my parents. He felt so sorry on our journey with Lindal. He put together the plans and he clearly called out Lindal specs on the plans (I could even figure it out and I have had a stroke!).
I had been given Hugh's name by Rob to contact for material pricing. When I sent the plans to him, I was told that I needed to either hire a Lindal dealer to produce plans which would use up most of what was left of our deposit, or a contractor to give him a list of Lindal materials needed so he could make a price list of my monies left of $7,877.50.
Where did the rest of our monies go? How are we supposed to know what Lindal material has to offer? This was what I have asked Lindal for three years and never got an answer, and yet, here we are at the crossroads. We did everything they asked, and they are leaving us out in the cold again. For three years, they have given us the runaround, have not given us any direction, in fact, avoided it, and hidden the lack of a dealer on Maui or any of the islands (by the way, there is no one here). And now, we have to guess what type of materials we need from Lindal, and we have less than half of our deposit to work with and no explanation.
I have never ever worked with a company that has truly made me feel the concept of big corporation, and I don't matter because they can do what they want. I clearly explained to Lindal that we needed help, my husband is permanently disabled from a brain injury and me with my disabilities, but instead, I feel that empowered them to not help us. If anyone asked me, I would strongly caution any business dealings with Lindal.
I was told by Ken ** that if I sent payment for Lindal Cedar Home parts and supplies that I would get them delivered via Fed Ex the following week. I needed to re-do my Lindal Cedar sunroom (as the cedar had lots of wet-rot after 18 years and bug infestation) and my builder has a specific time frame to be able to finish the job. Over a full week later, no sign of delivery.
My biggest worry though is I went through months of waiting last year for my initial order of parts, after many e-mails and phone calls and no action, I waited and wondered if parts would ever come. Now I am waiting and wondering all over again. Another nightmare, but I hope not! I sent full payment via wired funds to Manitou almost 2 weeks ago. I even told Ken my builder could get the same kind of tape product through a local construction company (Grainger), but he said that my order was already put in and being packaged and that was over a week ago. My builder is ready to walk as there are no supplies to get my job done in a timely manner.
Lindal Cedar Homes, Manitou Custom Homes and Ken ** have taken responsibility for problems related to our attempt to purchase Lindal Cedar Home building materials, and they have resolved the matter to our satisfaction.
We bought a Lindal Cedar Homes plan book from Manitou Group LTD. In that book we found a house we wanted to build: the Greenbriar model. We used Microsoft Excel to frame out the dimensions with each cell representing a .5 foot scale that we used to rearrange the inner walls, understanding that changing the "footprint" would cause additional cost.
After we modified the plans to what we wanted, we sent them off to The Manitou Group and asked our second Home Selection Expert, Anthony, if the turn-key cost would be around $300,000 as that is what we were looking for (our assigned Home Selection Expert kept changing). Anthony sent us several emails asking other finishing questions which we answered. We also made some modifications of the Excel drafted plans and conveyed them to Anthony. Through the conversation, we were told that Cedar siding was more expensive than Hardi-Plank, so to keep our cost down we needed to make that change. Of course we opted for the Hardi-Plank. We also agreed to downgrade to shingles vs. a metal roof, again to keep the cost down.
Since our constant concern was the turn-key price we asked again, in writing this time, what the turn-key price was for building the home and that we would rather put off the project than continue if the price was too high. We were assured that the turn-key cost would be around $300,000. A few days before our first formal meeting with Anthony to discuss and review the recent changes, we were notified that Anthony was no longer employed there but we were assured that the CEO, Mr. Kenneth W., was "brought up to speed".
When we arrived at the Manitou Group LTD model home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, we were surprised that the plans were an exact replica of the Excel worksheet and none of the subsequent conversations (except for the use Hardi-plank) made it into the design. Ken assured us that they had the changes and they would be reflected in the next set of plans but that we should go ahead and sign the preliminary plans and the Purchase and Sale agreement for the Greenbriar model. Up to that point we did all the design work! But wanting to believe we were now in good hands with the "president" of the company, we signed.
Not being construction savvy, we thought the specification listing was all the parts we were buying and all we'd have to do is find someone to assemble it. Wrong! The list has several parts marked as NIC (not in contract). We found out after we got toward the end of the plans stage that what we were actually buying was only a part of the shell of the house, interior doors, trim and posts. No plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling or walls! The builder would have to supply the rest! Oh, and Ken would be nice enough to recommend a builder with "experience with Lindal packages".
With each step we were shown faulty plans, but were assured in the next step they would be fixed. When the "final" construction plans were shown we noticed instead of removing the pantry to make the kitchen bigger, they just extended the loft and kitchen into the dining room! We were at an open house party, so we politely pulled Ken aside and explained the "final" plans were still wrong. Not only the pantry, loft and kitchen, but also the walkout lower level changes were still not made! He assured us that he would get Seattle to fix it but that we should go ahead and sign them.
He then pulled out an "authorization to ship" form which he wanted us to sign so that when the plans were corrected and we could proceed to permit plans, etc. We were concerned they would now charge us for the plan changes and felt uncomfortable signing the form, so Ken wrote the word "corrected" to assure us we were only agreeing to proceed if the plans were corrected. These plans, having structural beams in the dining room, would not be the plans the construction drawings would be based on!
This is now the first time he introduced us to a Lindal experienced builder (Kevin). At this point he gave us two builder bids, one was astronomical in price and Kevin's, although high, was much lower. So we agreed to use Kevin as the builder being assured that his pricing included allowances for "over-runs". In a phone conversation later, he told us an extra $10,000 would be needed now to move things along and that it would show up as part of our financing down payment later.
Well, by the time the project got to the financing stage (now at the end of the contractual Lindal part), we finally found out the total cost of the project was not "around $300,000" but $475,000 ($75,000 was our land cost)! The final issue was that the "Post and Beam" Lindal Cedar Home was really a "Stick Home" with decorative support beams vs. normal enclosed beams and the value of the home came in at $375,000 (including the value of the land). Ken told us that his other clients get financing as a "convenience" but agreed to apply a discount which came out to $10,000.
The builder reduced his contractor fee but couldn't reduce the other costs since the majority of the house was missing from Lindal's "package". We never were given corrected plans that had the pantry, kitchen, and loft to sign off on; instead we received a PDF that had the structural changes made but still did not have the continuously repeated lower level changes! We met with him a total of 4 times. We were pushed through the Lindal stages but neglected to follow up with the bank or us in a timely manner, which caused us to have to resubmit our asset documentation repeatedly.
This whole project was a nightmare and because we were too afraid to take legal action sooner, we ended up in a worse mess. Now that we are terminating the contract, Lindal and Manitou are playing games by ignoring our desire to terminate, threatening that the "package" was already being assembled (but could not provide detail to prove it) and could now accumulate costs for being on "hold". They accused us of making a phone call we didn't make, nor would they consider giving a portion of our deposit back. And the extra $10,000 to be applied to our down payment? It apparently went to toward all the hard work Ken did for us.
Run away from Manitou Group LTD, Ken W. and Lindal Cedar Homes! Although the contract states we would lose the initial payment of 15% of the package price ($134,000), which would be $20,100. We paid them $30,400.00 with $10,000 of that amount to be applied to our financing down payment, not the package. We have tried to terminate since November 2009 and have incurred ongoing legal fees and stress. This matter is still not resolved.
Because of the direct result of our general contractor not being on the job site.. instead taking multiple vacations and sending us 50K over budget. our house finished 2 months behind schedule and our home burned down 4 days after we moved in. It burned down on 12-19-07. 2 weeks later while the insurance company was trying to figure out the total dollar amount of the loss Frank Hurlbutt took a 2 week vacation to Mexico. He promised to have a bid turned in before he left on vacation and took off without a word, delaying the start of the rebuild by approx. 6 weeks. I'm looking for any former Lindal clients who have taken Lindal Cedar Concepts to court in the last year or two. also anyone who has had business dealings with Frank Hurlbutt with simular results. Thx Kevin
Lindal Cedar Homes Company Information
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- Lindal Cedar Homes
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