Building A New House
Re: Porter Davis homes101
Mar 23, 2007 2:40 pm
I'm new to this forum and looks like I've been missin' out on some key advice on how to deal with PD. I've been having problems with design on my block for the past 2 months now. Wonder if i need to change sales consultants. Are they all the same everywhere or did I just bit into a bad apple? The frustration is killing me. I can't even get into the tender presentation.
Re: Porter Davis homes102
Mar 23, 2007 2:58 pm
Various people here are in various stages of build with PD. I'm very early on - haven't been to the tender appointment yet.
If you'd care to outline your story, I'm sure people here will be able to provide some advice.
Re: Porter Davis homes103
Mar 23, 2007 3:45 pm
I'm sure that I will get lots of support and advice from this discussion group. It's definitely more comforting to know others in a similar situation so that we can share stories and get new ideas.
I suppose my problems started when I decided to buy a block of land on an estate. Estates as we all know have convenants and this one is no different. The design guidelines are even more stringent to put it mildly. Due to this fact, I decided to go with "the most professional builder" in Victoria. I was sure that their reputation and professionalism will get me through the build without too much dramas. I paid the upfront $600 for the soil test. Didn't get the soil test report despite PD saying that they've done it. (Apparently it's a standard class M waffle slab) This was all done in January. That was the only procedure that went smoothly.
After the soil test, the standard floor plans were submitted to the developer. The developer gave some comments and PD refused to make any changes to the design so I had to scrap my plans for that design.
I went back to the drawing board, chose a slightly smaller house that so that PD wouldn't have to make any design changes. Things went well and I was waiting to make my appointment for the tender presentation.
Everything went wrong from that stage onwards. There was a disagreement between the PD design team and the developer. Now, neither party is willing to compromise. I have called the PD sales manager numerous times who promised to look into the situation and I am still waiting for an answer. My PD sales consultant told me frankly that because of this, PD is considering cancelling my job because the design guidelines are too strict and developer is not willing to compromise on certain issues.
I feel better after getting all of that out in the open but the problem remains that i still can't get a straight answer from PD on this issue. Any advice on this?
Re: Porter Davis homes104
Mar 23, 2007 5:45 pm
Windsor...what a nuisence.
Which branch of PD are you building with? I'm sort of surprised...the PD branch we're using seems to have a good rapport with most of the developers around here & seem to be quite willing to meet their requirements. We had to make some changes due to building covenants as well but it all went quite smoothly.
Firstly, they should have given you a copy of your soil test. No excuses. I'd be asking for a copy if it were me. You've paid for it, after all. And, whilst I'm sure it's what they say it is, I'd be wanting to sight the test myself to make sure everything is ok.
Do you have a customer service rep (not just the sales consultant who sits in the showhomes but someone from the office who looks after your file)? If so, I'd also be getting on to them & demanding some action. They're supposed to be your main point of contact & should be "working for you" as it were. The sales consultants don't have quite the vested interest in your file that the customer reps do & any dealings I've had with Management has left me feeling like they're a wee bit inflexible & impersonal.
Maybe also talk to the developer themselves to find out what's going on...it's amazing what you hear from different sides of the situation (as we found out when we had to redo our soil test).
Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.
***edited to add***
Just had a thought - why is the developer suddenly throwing a wobbly now? Presumably they've already approved the plans if you're going for tender?
Re: Porter Davis homes105
Mar 24, 2007 12:33 pm
PD was supposed to kick me up a gear to the CSR after all the prelim drawings were approved. When one week past and the CSR didn't call me, I got suspicious and enquired. That was when they told me the developer was not accomodating and PD designers didn't like to be given the run around; everyone's time was being wasted, etc. Mind you, the developer that I bought my block from is one of the biggest residential and commercial developer in Australia. I doubt they would be that much of a pain to work with. Anyway, in this case you never know who's telling the truth and who's not. Everyone was pointing fingers at this stage and I was so stressed up about it that I stopped calling the sales rep and started to hassle the area sales manager. I'm building in the Eastern suburbs, by the way.
My first contact with him was very pleasant. He promised to go over to the sales centre and have a look at my file. That was my last time talking to him. I tried calling him over and over again and he wouldn't answer my calls. I left messages on his voicemail and even with the reception at the his office but I have yet to get a call. My mates have been telling me to give them the ultimatum by next week. It is either they want to build for me or I go somewhere else. The worse things is that when I booked with PD, they gave me June sitestart which would allow me get my house by Christmas. If I went over to another builder, that would certainly delay my plans by another 6 months. The other options I've been looking at are M E T R I C O N or H E N L E Y. Any takes opinions on those builders?
Of course, before I switch over to another builder, I'm going to have a word with someone higher than the sales manager. Last ditch effort to save my plans. Any ideas who to talk to? Some higher up director perhaps?
Re: Porter Davis homes106
Mar 24, 2007 4:16 pm
What a shame you are allegedly having such dire communication issues with your builder.
It must be some small consolation , according to the company, allegedly you are in a very small minority :
Re: Porter Davis homes107
Mar 24, 2007 8:28 pm
Windsor - might be worth finding out who the other builder are that are building a few homes in your development, and checking out what they have to offer.
Perhaps it will be an easier road to take. Best of luck with the project!
Re: Porter Davis homes108
Mar 24, 2007 8:42 pm
Agreed with perryr.
If PD have already built in your estate through other people then they (or at least someone in that office) will know what the design guidelines are and how to accommodate them. If this is the case, then your situation might simply be a case of the wrong people handling your job. And I'm a testament to that. We've kicked up a fuss with our supposed 'regional manager' but still to this day have no answer/followup from him. Don't even get me started on on my CSR.
As for the developers try to (if you already haven't) get as far up the chain as possible when trying to get answers. This would also apply to the builders. Managers have managers,too! When we were purchasing our block the sales person we were dealing with was hopeless. When I wasn't getting the right answers from her I was on the phone straight away to her manager and the managers of the development.
In regards to your switching builders, well, that's entirely your decision. But don't let them push you arothe und. LIke I always say, it's going to be your house so you should be calling shots. It's actually amazing what can happen when you start talking to the right people.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Re: Porter Davis homes109
Mar 24, 2007 11:56 pm
I called the developer two days ago and their customer relations told me to get another sales consultant. According to the developer, PD has built a few houses in that estate since it was launched. Those houses have since been completed, proof that PD has gone through the whole design, submission and on till the completion of the project. I am now considering taking the developer's advice. How do I go about requesting a new sales consultant?
It would seem that I am indeed in an isolated situation. My mates told me that PD would normally be quite responsive to the client's demands. Looks like I picked the short straw this time round. *sigh* What about the other builders? Any suggestions for a backup plan? I won't be home for Christmas anyway.
Re: Porter Davis homes110
Mar 25, 2007 4:50 pm
Ok, I'm still slightly confused about your situation. You have said that you have paid the $600 deposit and that soil tests have been ordered and performed. At this point in time (after you've had your walk-through with your chosen PD house) that you would've already been appointed a Customer Service Representative/Consultant who should be handling your job. You wouldn't, therefore, need to deal with the Sales Consultants anymore.
Either way, I would speak to the regional manager of the office you are dealing with. Demand for some other person to handle your job. They shouldn't have a problem with that as you haven't gone too far in the process. When we asked to switch CSRs apparently we were too far into the process to do so.
Re: Porter Davis homes111
Mar 25, 2007 7:53 pm
You are right about the CSR. The sales consultant thanked my after the sales quotation was signed and told me that a CSR will get in touch with me within a week. As I mentioned earlier, I waited a week for the CSR to call me but didn't get the call. So I called up the Sales Consultant to enquire. That's when they told me that there are some hiccups in the design approval process and PD wanted to get a written confirmation from the developer's design committee before they proceed. That was fair enough. So I called the developer to ask about the design and although they verbally confirmed (to me) that it was okay, they still have to get the detailed design submission (drawings, etc) from PD, have a look at it before confirming anything in writing. At that point, the PD sales consultant told me that it was a lot of work to do to prepare the detailed design drawings prior to tender. (could be a sign that they wanted a downpayment at this stage, although there was no mention of it)
PD also mentioned that their design manager thought that the developer's design committee were being too inflexible. That incident happened in the last week. So, I am still trying to get in touch with someone over there to see if my quotation is still active, and if so, how are they going to proceed with it.
Re: Porter Davis homes112
Mar 26, 2007 6:13 pm
Sounds to me like you may be caught in the middle here. The Developer wants design drawings, but PD are reluctant to provide them - due to the cost. If PD produce the drawings, and they haven't locked you in, then they are out of pocket.
At the Tender appointment is when they get the next payment, and this covers them for the design drawings. Depending on how serious you are about the house and land, perhaps there's a way you can talk to PD and suggest that you share the risk with producing whatever the developer wants? In other words, you put in some of the money, which is then put towards your next payment. Not ideal, I realise that, but it may get you moving.
As you said previously, PD have built in that estate before, so a simple question would be "How was it done last time?"
If that fails, then the other thing I'd be trying to do is to perhaps get into a room with the Developer and PD, and try and nut out a solution. People behave quite differently when you can see them in person.
Best of luck. Let us know how you go.
Re: Porter Davis homes113
Mar 26, 2007 11:56 pm
The next option would be to pay PD for the designs and get it submitted like perryr said. But how would that guarantee anything for me. PD could disagree on any of the changes the developer wants and I would end up back where I started. If I go down that path I would definitely want PD to commit on certain things. Even then, it would leave them with a lot of room to say no to me and get more money out of it.
I would love to get the developer and PD into a room together. I don't know how I am going to arrange that. I can't even get hold of anyone in PD with authority to talk to me. The area sales manager sent me a message saying that he will call me back and that was it. I tried call their head office in Hallam but my call got blocked at the reception cos they said that the sales manager has to refer me there to his superior officer. I am really getting nowhere here. Like I said, any suggestions on other builders that could possibly do the job? I'm looking at Me-tr-coN and maybe simonds or henley. Don't really have a thread on this forum for the first two eh? pM me if anyone got any suggestions
My First Home114
Mar 30, 2007 3:43 pm
Firstly thank you all for sharing all these information; it is certainly great for the starters like me.
I had a look at few options from different builders, but I think so far I have liked the PDs Stanford 23 design, my biggest problem is I have a very wide frontage in the house 27 meters and with my budget; Stanford is the largest one I can build.
I have been only in touch with Jason from Lyndhurst office and have my first face-to-face appointment to see him this Saturday (31-03), do anyone dealt with him previously, and is he trusts worthy? I am sales person myself, and I cannot trust all the sales people, HAHA
I will certainly keep looking at this discussion room, as it will help me a lot in the future.
Re: Porter Davis homes115
Mar 30, 2007 11:08 pm
I don't think that anyone here should be saying anything which could be considered defamatory.
I will say that in my recent experience I've dealt with two Sales Reps from PD, and both have proven to be reliable and very up front with everything I've asked of them. In the end, it comes down to whether you feel comfortable dealing with the Sales Rep you've met. If you do, then you should expect and get good service. Sometimes, however , there can be a personality clash - and if there is, find another sales rep with whom you are happy to work with. Remember - it's your money!
Re: Porter Davis homes117
Mar 31, 2007 12:49 pm
How exciting epiphany! Where abouts did you build? Must be such a good feeling for it to almost be finally over. =)
Well said, Perry
On another note...we get our certificate of occupancy in less than a week.
Re: Porter Davis homes119
Apr 02, 2007 9:59 am
Here we go; I was surprised how confident the two sales guys were on display house.
They promised they would start in October and finish by next Feb, a little longer waiting time before they start, but at this stage, it is as I am not in such a hurry to move into the new house. So I ended up signining the first quotation and put the downpayment.
So from now on, I guess I keep a closer eye on this forum.
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