I waited 90 days to write my review to see if my frustration would subside. It has not.
My experience with Drees was without a doubt the most frustrating and painful experience I’ve ever had as a consumer. We did a semi-custom build on our own lot and I came as close as possible to walking away from my initial $50k down payment because of how bad the experience was. I could write a novel on how bad the experience was, but will give some of the highlights for brevity: 1. We built on our own land and their estimate for the sewer was DOUBLE what they quoted for the entire land prep and TRIPLE what they quoted specifically for the sewer.
This was after making us wait a month to close on the land in order to investigate the feasibility of building there in the first place. 2. As we neared the close, I noticed they hadn’t finished the driveway. A week before close, I asked why and the builder told me the other neighbor had asked that they not finish it because he was thinking of connecting the sewer.
A week before close and this was the first I had heard they weren’t planning to finish paving my driveway (I had paid and extra $10k for a paved driveway). They ended up paving it was very narrow at the end. I ended up having to pay to widen it and build a retention wall after closing. 3.
We also asked for 8-foot ceilings (versus the standard 9-foot) because it heats the house more evenly and it’s easier to change lightbulbs. They made the change, but didn’t explain the impacts. Now, half the ceilings are 8-foot and the other half are still 9-foot or greater (the foyer is 12-foot I think). Also, the change in framing meant that an upstairs closet has a 15 inch step-up rather than being flush with the floor.
4. We have a propane fireplace and they didn’t install the line until a couple days before close. However, they forgot to include a key so that it can be turned on from the inside and the cap on the outside to hook-up the propane is sealed shut. I’m still working with their warranty department to get the necessary installation done so we can use our fireplace.
5. When we closed, there were 2 broken windows and a broken window frame in the house (It took a couple of weeks to get them repaired). The broken window frame had been like that for months prior to the close. 6.
On average they say their projects take 7 months to close, ours took 15 months. This in and of itself wasn’t all their fault, but our account manager repeatedly made me feel that they were doing me a favor to build my house. He complained to me more than once about the cost they were carrying while waiting to get started. 7.
Despite the time it took to build, they demanded we have all of our light fixtures picked out months before they ever broke ground or even cleared trees. They also made us pick were the hose bibs would go which is really frustrating now because they’re in bad locations relative to the lay of the land, but we didn’t know that until they broke ground and then were so consumed with all the other issues that we never addressed this. 8. One issue related to the delay that was their fault though was that they didn’t tell the next door neighbor they were going to tear up his driveway to run the sewer line.
The neighbor understandably got upset and the sewer company refused to move. I ended up having to broker a conversation between the sewer company and the neighbor to smooth everything out. 9. Before they started clearing trees, they asked me what I wanted to do with them.
Wanting to save money and not being super familiar with how much needed to be cleared, I suggested they just push them to the back of the lot (its 4 acres and only 1 acre was cleared). This resulted in a 15 foot tall stack of trees and debris. I wished they had explained that to me before, as I ended up having to pay more for them to turn-around a burn it. 10.
We were trying to keep the top of the driveway and the walkway to the house flat so my disabled mother-in-law (she wear’s braces) could walk on it. I discussed this several times with the builder that it needed to be flat, but it ended up being slanted. I also needed a ramp built for her. They’re deck builder was never able to meet with me at the property, so I had it built by professionals after we closed.
We DID end up closing and I rated them with 1s on many areas in the closing survey. Not 15 minutes after we left the closing, our Drees account manager called my wife (not me whom he had dealt with throughout the process) to complain about the score we gave him. At no point did he apologize or even try to understand why we rated them as we had, he simply complained that our score was unfair. It was very unprofessional but not really surprising.
I hear they do neighborhood homes nice, but their service on the custom homes is complete and utter rubbish. I would never recommend them to anyone.
Product or Service Mentioned: Drees Homes House Construction.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $20000.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Drees Homes Pros: That we finally closed.
Drees Homes Cons: Poor account management and customer service.