Okay, then! What house builders do you recommend?

This kind of continues my earlier thread about a Channel 4 programme, House Trapped. My feeling is that buying a new house could be a risky business. What houses have you purchased (recently?) that you are completely happy with? You know, quality of work, after-sales service, and value for money? I am looking to buy in East Anglia or Lincolnshire. (This is question is open to any and all who've bought new properties in GB over the past couple of years.)
MM
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We bought a brand new David Wilson house 3 years ago. With the aid of my chippy BIL, I put together a 6 page snagging list - I didn't notice or understand a lot of what he put down[1]. 99% was minor cosmetic stuff.
They fixed all of it. They've been back in the last 12 months to fix new stuff that's appeared. Yes, we had to chase them once or twice a couple of times, but overall I'm extremely pleased with our purchase - I've haven't had to do any DIY since we arrived, which was one of the main reason I decided to buy a new build.
Factors that may have influenced the standard of service include the fact we bought from phase 1 of the development - the final phase still has about 12 months to go to completion. From looking at the later phases, it looks like they started off with high standards and then worked out where they could economise - hollow internal doors instead of solid, 600mm cookers instead of ranges, plastic sinks instead of stainless etc. The standard of workmanship on coving, skirting boards etc. also looks worse on the later phases. A couple of prospective purchasers came round and asked us what we thought of the houses and the builders, so I guess that's another reason to keep the early adopters sweet.
Also, I think the fact that the development was a showcase for the builder and at the top end of their price range also helped ensure that they did everything right and put a lot of effort into aftersale customer care.
OTOH, at the same time we looked at a newly opened 6 bed Wimpy showhouse. Wonky staircase, dodgy sockets, botched kitchen - it felt like it would fall down inside a year.
HTH.
[1] e.g. poorly skunked hinges, angle bead grinning through, maching marks on architrave.
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"Grant Mason" wrote | Factors that may have influenced the standard of service include the fact | we bought from phase 1 of the development - the final phase still has | about 12 months to go to completion. From looking at the later phases, | it looks like they started off with high standards and then worked out | where they could economise - hollow internal doors instead of solid, | 600mm cookers instead of ranges, plastic sinks instead of stainless etc. | The standard of workmanship on coving, skirting boards etc. also looks | worse on the later phases.
On a small bungalow development which I knew. it was easy to see which houses were built first and which were built later. The story is that the builders went bankrupt about 3 times during the project and were reduced to buying individual bags of cement from PDT LLoyd.
The houses built first had cement in their mortar mix. The later houses had breezeblocks laid with sand and water, hidden by "terylean" rendering, and were a bit short on the old floor joists too.
And the interior decor was battleship grey and radiation orange, more likely military surplus than Farrow & Ball.
Owain
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wrote:

My parents bought a 'Wilcon' (as was) about 2.5 years ago...

Same with my parents. They found that speaking to the site manager began to get instant results after they complained to the regional manager...

Ditto. In my parents' development all the houses were supposed to be timber framed, but they found that it was too expensive to train the men to do this so they took too long to put up. As a result they've reverted to tradition block'n'brick for some of the build and have cut back on features to compensate. One family is taking issue with 2 missing windows (!)

They bought the show house and it's certainly better finished than standard. Also they got a free landscpaed garden with full irrigation system installed. Perhaps investigate this option, but you'll probably need to get on the right side of the sales manager - show houses are highly sought after for this reason, apparrently.

(and this probably applies to most aspects of life) take any 'promises' about future plans with a pinch af salt. In the development I'm referring to the Chapel was supposedly going to become the village hall - turned out to be too expensive for the builder so they went back to the council and got planning permission to convert to flats. A water tower was supposedly going to be converted into a feature house - turned out to be too expensive so the builder went back to the council and got planning permission to demolish and build an apartment block in its place. There were going to be several shops and a doctor's surgery - turned out etc etc etc.
Regards
Neil
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I bought a new Bloor house last year and whilst we have been lucky (1) with only having minor problems our nieghbours can't say the same (2). We have all found that the site manager is useless and the finishing foreman even worse. However if you got to the area manager (or even his boss) things actually start to happen. Otherwise you are just fobbed off with pathetic excuses (3).

>

This is also happening on our estate which is built on the remains of the old South Yorkshire Asylum. One set of old wards have been listed and turned into flats (actually quite well I thought) and the old Clock tower and Admin block (which looks like something out of a Hammer Horror film) has just been left to decay. Apparently there is a petrified wood somewhere on site but I fear it's been trashed by now. Everything is made worse by the site being sold off by Bloor's in penny packets to other builders. I think there are about 5 on the site at the moment (4).
Cheers
Mark Spice
(1) I hate saying that we are lucky not to have much other than cosmetic faults as I think I should really be p*ssed off that everything isn't right. But that would be too much to hope for...
(2) One nieghbour had to have the tiler in for about 2 months before things even started to look right, others have had damp proof courses missing, boilers allegedly sabotaged by casual workers, dodgy electrics etc etc
(3) Usually along the lines of "We're too busy trying to get these other houses finished before we can fix your problems". My favourite was being told ,by both the finishing foreman and the site manager, that grey slabs would weather to match the existing buff ones when extra slabs had to be laid at the rear. This was without anyone coming to look at the slabs when I complained that they were two different colours.
(4) Bloor, Redrow, Harron, P J Livesy and Wimpey at last count
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Mark Spice wrote:

Are you serious? What about the BCO's inspections?
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"parish" <parish_AT_ntlworld.com> wrote in message

This was affecting one side of a pair of semi-detatched houses with a difference in elevation between the two. This meant that the normal DPC of the upper side was about four feet above the DPC of the lower side (I hope this makes sense). Apparently there wasn't any vertical DPC between the two. Bloors have recently spent a couple of weeks trying to fix this. They wanted to do this whilst the owners were on holiday but for some reason the owners didn't trust them to do the job right unless there were watched verrrrrrry carefully.
How this got by BCO I wouldn't like to speculate on....
Cheers
Mark Spice
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 22:20:28 +0100, Mike Mitchell

I think that the lenders are also at fault,when a builder as complaints against the quality etc of his work then the lenders should step in and take some kind of action.
But as we all already know the lenders couldn't give a s--t as long as they get their money.
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