A few months ago I announced I had purchased my first home in Dallas! My plan is to post updates on the blog as we go along with the add-on, but things got a little icky. I debated sharing this, but I’m sure there are many of you out there that have dealt with similar issues regarding building new homes, remodels, add-ons and working with builders and contractors. Before I signed a contract on my house, I researched a few builders, brought them to the house, told them what I wanted (including details like marble countertops), and had them draw up initial plans with an architect, along with a quote they could do it for. The point of this song and dance was to see if I could actually afford to do the add-on I was wanting before committing to the house. All of the builders I talked to came back and gave me a quote in my price range – I was ecstatic! I chose my favorite and decided to move forward with buying the house.
I met with the builder a few times (and took my interior designer with me) and we picked out all the details. They were handling everything on the backend: the soil tests, engineering, permitting, etc. I sent my last revisions to them in the middle of April, and then it was practically radio silent for more than two months. I reached out multiple times just to follow up, to make sure everything was going on schedule and to see if they needed anything from me. I got a few responses back saying it was taking longer than expected (which is totally normal in this business), so I didn’t worry about it. In one of these emails I asked for an updated schedule/time frame since things were taking longer than planned – which is a completely reasonable request, don’t you think? Instead of the project manager just sending me an updated schedule, the actual builder called me. Instead of just apologizing that it was taking longer and explaining the situation, he made me feel like my questions were ridiculous and spoke to me like I was a five year old. He spoke around my questions instead of answering them.
When I followed up for the final time, the builder sent me back an email saying that the quote he gave me originally was not anywhere near what it would cost. He told me that this project was going to cost me more than double what he quoted me AT LEAST. I know prices fluctuate in this business, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d quoted me at $15K or even $25K more, but the amount he came back with was absurd. What’s hilarious is he said he talked to some of his “builder friends” who do mostly add-ons and remodels and they quoted him the same amount. I know for a fact this is false, because the two other builders I contacted before buying the house only do those types of projects and they actually quoted me less than he did originally. He also worked in a way that prevented me from seeing all of the costs broken out (as in to see what’s driving up the cost, how much of a chunk of money is he getting for the project) instead of a fixed cost. I expected more from a company who works primarily in Highland Park/Park Cities and apparently has a stellar reputation. If he didn’t want to do the project, or didn’t have the vaguest idea what it would actually cost to do this type of project, why even bother giving me a quote in the first place?
Because they’d already done all the permitting, I decided to go ahead and buy the plans + permit from him so that I wouldn’t lose the last several months of time/work. I’m now talking to a couple of other builders (who have the exact plans) to see what price they will come up with. They already seem like a better fit based on my conversations with them and what they’ve been willing to share with me. I hope to provide you with more exciting updates soon, so stay tuned!!!
Have any of y’all ever experienced anything like this?? Please share.