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In the New House, But the Toll Brothers’ Love is Gone

I’ve been pretty quiet for a couple weeks since we were getting ready for the new house, moving into the new house, and dealing with all the fun new house issues.

The good news is the house is incredible- it’s been amazing to design and build this thing almost from scratch. Nearly everything is exactly the way we want it; it will be a long time before we have to do any kind of upgrading. The community is even better, and one of the main reasons we picked this area. Our neighbors came over this weekend to introduce their kids (to our cats, since we don’t have kids) and they brought cookies. Cookies! How often does that happen anymore?

The bad news is the builder (Toll Brothers) doesn’t quite understand that customer service is still important after someone buys their product and moves in. We had a number of things identified on our last walkthroughs that weren’t completed. Eventually, our construction manager just stopped answering his phone or returning calls. We’re now on warranty, and I’ve submitted our issues, but we’ll see how well they respond.

When I mentioned my exasperation with construction to our neighbors they gave us a knowing grin. Our experiences aren’t unique, and once Toll Brothers gets you into the house their responsiveness drops significantly. It’s too bad; our build experience was great, but last week they drove me to drink. And not in the nice way where I give them my keys. I took almost 2 weeks off work to get the house ready to go, and literally lost days of my vacation waiting around for imaginary service calls. They wasted my time for no good reason than they didn’t have the honesty to tell me they wouldn’t do the work, or would get to it later. That bothers me. A lot.

I won’t bore most of you with the details, but a blog is a good place to record certain experiences for posterity, and it’s the only public outlet I have to express my dissatisfaction with my home provider.

Build experience good. Post-build experience bad. Hopefully it will change, and maybe someone out there will be better prepared when they make the new home plunge.

For the record, from what I hear, no builder is any better.

—Rich

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By Rob Newby  on  07/02  at  12:55 AM

Congrats on getting in Rich, I hope the builders pull it together (maybe after they’‘ve read your blog?). I was on a course a couple of weeks ago where the trainer told me he had used Agile software development techniques on his builders, with a Scrum meeting every Saturday morning. They didn’‘t have a clue what he was doing, but they finished everything, ahead of schedule… perhaps I should have told you this 6 months ago.

By rmogull  on  07/11  at  11:27 PM

Looks like someone at Toll read the post- I received a call today from the VP in charge of our development. He let me know that the construction team doesn’‘t do well once someone is in the home- they’‘re used to jsut walking in and out when they need to, on their own schedule. He informed me the warranty team is much more responsive once we’‘re in.

Some of my neighbors didn’‘t seem so confident, but I’‘ll find out for myself next week when we have our first meeting with our warranty rep. I don’‘t plan on turning this into a Toll Brothers blog, but if they get things taken care of it will only be fair to post that.

Hey, maybe someday I’‘ll even get to talk about security stuff again!!

By DisgruntledTollBuyer  on  10/04  at  11:59 PM

Good luck!  I bought new construction from Toll in 1997 and am still waiting for repairs to be made—they take the money and run.  All 60 of my neighbors are in the same boat.  Do not expect to hear from them now that you have taken occupancy and they have the $$$$$.  This are the least ethical people I have ever dealt with in my life.

By TBI Not  on  03/05  at  01:00 AM

Wow—we’‘ve had a terrible experience w/ Toll, and unlike you, are quite disappointed w/ the cheapness of the materials they put in the home (despite upgrades). Space is good, but the house is definitely less luxurious than other builders’’ houses I have owned, and some things are just insulting. Every time I see the plastic toilet paper holders and the ugly acrylic light fixture, I get so angry! A realtor advised me that Toll advertises Lexuses, makes you pay for a Rolls, but sells Hondas. (Now, that presupposes that the house is mecahanically and structurally sound, like a Honda. I think it is, but we’‘re still testing it out and getting it inspected a year into living in it.)

I’‘m glad you like your house. I’‘m so disappointed w/ mine that I cannot wait to sell it…

By Teri Fainberg  on  05/26  at  05:15 AM

We live in Florida at Mizner Country Club.  We are having a terrible problem with water damage and leakage and mold.  Has anyone else had this problem with their warranty???

By AGC  on  07/10  at  01:18 AM

Same thing for the Reserve at Estero… Toll and its management team could care less about who rents, who lives and any bylaws…... We have a rooming house despite the fact that we signed on to living a year in a "lusury single family house community""

By June  on  08/07  at  11:33 AM

If anyone wants to discuss this with me for a newspaper story I’‘m writing, please contact june.fletcher@wsj.com

By J C  on  09/05  at  09:00 AM

Well, I am Toll Brothers’’ home owner of 16 years and we just sold our home.  The inspection was this week and we were shocked, disappointed, and disgusted when we received our inspection report with a copy of a notice that was physically attached to the trusses in our attic saying "permanent lateral bracing required" and low and behold there is none.  WHo knows how much this is going to cost us and although I am going to try to get in contact with Toll, I will be surprised if they will fix this 16 years later.  How the inspector missed this when we bought the house is a whole other topic.  Anyway, I am sharing with you because anyone who has a new home may want to check out their attic (trusses and braces) before you find out some part of them is missing when you go to sell your home down the road.  Just trying to find someone to speak to has been a chore and I haven’‘t had any luck yet.

By Never buying Toll again!!  on  09/25  at  07:19 PM

We moved into our Toll home in 04 and we still warranty related issues that haven’‘t been resolved, today is Sept.08. The biggest problem is a leak behind the drywall in our bay window, which was said to have been fixed. When they came out to fix it the first time we noticed the wood inside the walls had mold all over it. We asked them to take all the wood out and replace it but all they did was spray it with some chemical and closed the wall up. I have two small kids with bad allergies so I hope got rid of all the mold. We will find out if they did when they come out to repair for the second time. Does anyone know if there is anything I can do?
Toll is just like all the other builders. I am never buying a Toll home again!!!!!!!!!

By Tollsucksasemployertoo  on  09/30  at  05:11 AM

Sadly none of these comments surprise me.  They treat their employees like crap too and although there are some sincere, honest people that work for the company, many are not. There are no ethics, they do no appreciate their employees OR homeowners…it’s all about the money.  If they were really saavy they would heed the "word of mouth" concept, if you treat customers well even after they close, the referrals would be tremendous. They function on snob appeal and that you’‘re lucky to live in one of their communities and you’‘re lucky to work there.  I am so glad I now work for an employer that appreciates my hard work, honesty and abilities.

By Bella  on  04/06  at  06:49 AM

Has anyone had issues with Toll at Bella Lago in Estero? We are getting ready to close but it seems like there are more resales at large losses than normal.
Thanks

By Lisa  on  04/21  at  01:05 PM

I stumbled across this blog when I found out that TB was going to be building a new neighborhood in our town (North Grafton, MA).  Pre-construction prices seem too good to be true.  Suffice to say after I read this, I won’t look into it any further!

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