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Does anyone else think Van Meter's Quality is Poor?

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by joerig, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. joerig

    joerig New Member

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    Ok..first off, we love our house in Southern Walk...been in it for about a year and a half...but after seeing my friend's Centex home that was built about the same time, I'm totally disappointed in Van Meter's quality...

    - I've got nail pops still popping up...(oh yeah, they use screws for drywall)
    - The stuff they fixed at my one year walk through (cracks, more nail pops, craks) have miraculously resurfaced
    - The mini windows in the basement let air in (after all, Van Meter said they aren't considered real windows...)
    - I've got bumps underneath the carpet in the basement (they said it's my fault for not upgrading more than one level...)
    - My steps have the measels (no way to match up the color of the concrete, yet they did for my neighbors...)
    - the temp from front to back is like an 8 degree difference because they put the thermostat in the office...

    The Centex house...not one issue...Just totally disappointed in their quality, even more so now and wanted to vent...thank god it's just me nit picking and nothing major! (although I swaer my foundation was poured wrong and my house is higher, lol...)
     
  2. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    We had many of the same issues you do. VM also said similar things to us.

    1. They only use screws for drywall on metal studs. Nails for wood.

    2. All the nail pops that they fixed in my house at our 1 year are the same way. They did not fix them properly. They should remove the nails and put screws in then fix the drywall but they just bang the nails back in and fix the drywall. It's an easy fix to do yourself though.

    If you are talking about the cracks in the caulk on the stairs and stuff like that then that is just normal wear. All of the caulk including the caulk on the stairs needs to be redone almost every year. We do have a few cracks in the drywall. There is really only 1 good way to fix it and that is to sand it down, tape the crack with drywall tape, then remud it but the builder is just not going to take that time. They just spread spackle over it and then paint it which of course means it will come back eventually.

    3. That's not right about the windows. They should seal properly. If it is coming from around the sides it's an easy fix with some clear caulk. If it's coming from the window seals then I'd complain to VM again about it and hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

    4. I have some of these as well. I think it mainly comes from plaster that was dropped on the ground during the drywall that they didn't bother to clean off when they carpeted. Sure upgrading the padding would have made it a little less noticable but it would still be there. When I replace the carpet down there I'm going to fix it then. All the builders carpets were not worth upgrading so I took the cheapest and have been expecting I'd have to start replacing carpet within a 5 years or so. Far more cost effective anyway...

    5. I'm not sure what that means.

    6. We have the same issue. It would have been better if they had put our thermostat over near the garage entrance but I can see why they put it where they did. With the way the duct work is laid out it's the easiest place but not the best place for keeping the house temps level. I've now seen places sell those remote thermostats to help with this issue. It has a base station that plugs in where the existing thermostat is and then a remote temp guage that you put where you want. Another thing to try is light flitering blinds in the room that the thermostat is in.

    I know exactly what you mean about these little things. I get so annoyed when I find a creek in my floors or in the stairs. Overall the quality in our home was by far higher than the homes of some of my friends. I have one friend who bought a Ryan home around the same time we did. Now you wanna talk about horrible construction quality. Argh.

    At least the items are rather minor.
     
  3. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    One thing that can help fine tune the air flow to various rooms from the furnace are the air duct levers.

    You should see 2 or 3 levers on the duct work immediately after the main output duct on the furnace. These levers can block or permit airflow to certain ducts.

    You have to do a little detective work to find the locations of all the levers. For the longest time I thought there was only 1 of these levers in my basement. By chance I was down there doing some cabling and stumbled across 2 more.

    By adjusting these levers you can really impact the comfort and efficiency of how your house is heated and cooled.
     
  4. rharse

    rharse New Member

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    I truly believe that the quality is severly lacking. We are the second owners but the first people to live in the house (the original owner flipped it and never set foot in it and, man, did he make some good cash!). We moved in about 2 months after it was completed.

    I complained about similar issues plus others like:
    1. Carpet on and around stairs has not been tacked down properly and is coming up in several places
    2. Racks in closets were attached without a stud finder. It appears that the installer used a nail (and left many nail holes) to find the stud.
    3. Sod is poorly laid down
    4. Drywall nail pops

    Van Meter told me I have no rights even though you don't get the book telling you that until after you move in. I did get a visit at the 11 month point but only to look at some potential structural issues such as water coming into the house around some windows. They supposedly did some caulking but I was not here when the did it (I'm skeptical to say the least).

    Now I've noticed that in two bedroom, the floorboards are separating such that one can feel the joint where the two pieces of plywood meet. Obviously, they missed nailing the plywood into the floor joists (similar to my note above also).

    Two weeks ago I noticed that where the steel I-beam in the basement meets the foundation, I could see daylight. Basically, a good potion of the cement had broken away. I filled the space with "Great Stuff" and plan on calling VM on the. On the outside I could see where they "patched" the cement.

    I've been in the house for about 14 months so I'm toast but it burns me that VM can get away with such poor quality.
     
  5. mdr227

    mdr227 Member

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    I think so many builders in this area have poorly constructed homes, especially compared to other areas of the country. We have had a Ryan home newly built and now a Winchester home newly built. The Ryan home was of fairly good quality, but the Winchester home has been one thing after another from the drywall to electrical work to carpeting all over the house to stair railings to air conditioning issues to cement cracking and the list can go on and on and on. For the amount of money homes cost in this area it's amazing how poor the quality is. However, as long as we keep buying them (me included here) at these prices for new construction there is no incentive for the builders to improve quality.
     
  6. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    FWIW ... take a look at how they're being made. Everything is subcontracted out, and the contractors hire day laborers because its cheap labor, and there are just too many construction sites for too few lifelong tradesmen.
     
  7. Twriter

    Twriter Get a Mac!

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    It isn't just Van Meter. I have a Washington Homes house and I've had numerous issues with it and their lack of effort to fix anything. Washington Homes now has a new name. My bet is that they had to change it because of their bad reputation.

    At a party a few years back I heard a guy telling the story of how he tried to sue his builder (Van Meter I think) because of defective siding. The crux of the issue is that the builder refused to acknowldge that they built his house. In his closing documents, he discovered that his house was built by some company like "XYZ, Inc." His lawyer tried to track down that company but it was out of business. It took months, but they finally linked the "real builder" back to the main company. From there, the case proceeded as expected and he got a settlement.

    Supposedly this practice is widespread. Big name builders create shadow companies to do the actual building, then they close the shadow company to shield themselves from lawsuits.

    I've learned a lot about builders and their shortcuts. If I ever buy a hew construction house, I have a bunch of requirements that I'm going to put in the contract. They'll want to charge me more, but the amount we can negotiate.

    --- John B.
     
  8. joerig

    joerig New Member

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    Well, glad it's not just me...well not glad, but, you know what I mean, lol...I guess when I buy things new, I like them all shiny and pristine and perfect...

    now, VM not telling me about lights and a retaining wall going up behind my house and not landscaping has me ticked...it's like daylight 24/7 now with these new lights...
     
  9. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Twriter: Washington Homes was bought up by another big home builder, that's why the new name.

    Joerig: As far as VM telling you about the lights and all that in back of your house. In Virginia, they're allowed to sell a house 'as is', that is, Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware.

    They don't have to tell you anything at all. Even if you live in the flight path of an airport, they don't have to tell you that.

    A good buyer, is a well informed buyer. Unless you ask the questions, and do the research about what is going in that big open area, they don't have to tell you.
     
  10. joerig

    joerig New Member

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    Gotcha Neil....We did as much research as we could...they did not have the full plans for Claiborne when we bought, and we were told it would be landscaped similar to the way it was...If you look at the older areas, all the lights typically have trees either next to them or behind them to help shade the light.

    The retaining wall was never shown on any plans, this was changed after we had moved in. They said they would investigate landscaping, especially since there's a road that shines into our house that was again not any of the plans they showed us, but have not heard from Mark or Roy and will next go to Robin if I don't hear back soon.

    There's also common area prior to the wetlands behind my house that gets full of debris, which I know you guys have no time to clean. How can I request permission to landscape and maintain that area myself?
     
  11. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Where are you located on Claiborne ?? As far as landscaping wetlands, that is strictly forbidden. The land is required to stay in its natural state. I have part of the Stream Valley Park in back of my house. Each spring I just go in there and pick up the paper that accumulated over the winter.

    Thats all I am permitted to do. If you want to clean up the wetlands, that's ok, but you cannot do any landscaping or 'brush clearing' in that area.

    FWIW .. some areas of Claiborne have not yet been turned over to the HOA, which is why I'm asking where you're at.
     
  12. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster New Member

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    It looks like joerig was not talking about wetlands, but common area prior to wetlands.
     
  13. joerig

    joerig New Member

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    yep...thanks cookie...sent Neil an email....i've got my property, common area, wetlands, common area, claiborne...
     

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