Author Topic: Meet the Site Manager  (Read 29645 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Meet the Site Manager
« on: March 05, 2014, 04:14:48 pm »
Hello Friends,

We have booked a property at Loddon Park, Woodley by Taylor Wimpey and have our first site visit this Friday. What do you think are the best questions that could be asked of him in the one precious hour that he is gifting us?

Warm Regards,
Vineet


TaylorWimpeyDidThis

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 06:57:28 pm »
Hi Vineet

Welcome to the forums  :) you will find a wealth of info here, take time to search through the threads and gain plenty from the experience of others.

I've sent you a direct message in response to your email. Suffice to say, you can ask whatever you want but take the response with a pinch of salt. We met our "builder" 3 times - twice with the award winning site manager Richard Crawford and then had a tour of the build with the assistant site manager David Barker, who's no longer on the development. We asked loads of questions and were advised that we were the first buyers to come to a 'meet the builder' appointment with a printed list of questions and several of the questions had never been asked before. We got the distinct impression that the "meet the builder" is a tick box exercise to make the customers feel valued - ultimately our aim was to find out about the site manager's confidence in the build schedule, his teams quality standards and his view on customer care. He said "quality is my top priority, I'm not happy until you are 100% satisfied with your home" - several weeks later he told us that we only needed one day of touching up to be done when we completed - 28 days of work and still counting and having now dealt directly with 13 different sub-contracting companies....it tells a very different story.

If you get a good site manager, with a well-resourced and stable team, with a contracts manager that cares about quality you are probably onto a good start - perhaps you could ask how many are in their team, how long they've been on the development, what the staff turnover is like, what sorts of problems have arisen to date and what actions has the site manager taken to rectify them. Taylor Wimpey do not stipulate that their site teams are experienced builders, and as we have found, with the assistant site managers, they are not all that knowledgeable when it comes to the intricacies of your new home - if they start to squirm at your questions, hesitate to answer or you get any sense they are overly confident, take your money and walk away - if they confidently recount several issues that have been resolved - dig a little deeper and ask who else you can speak to, which residents can you approach to ask about their experiences.....Treat it like a job interview - you are handing over a shed load of cash for this person to project manage the build of your new home and to date you probably know absolutely nothing about them apart from the name of their employer. Forget the nice cosy sales team, it is the site manager that determines how good your house will be - get his mobile number and email address, send him lots of questions about construction methods, frequency of inspections, their relationship with the NHBC inspector, what other sites they've managed, how long they've been in the business, how long they've been with Taylor Wimpey etc etc. Be sure to ask if it is them who will be overseeing / inspecting your plot - it often won't be! So get the name of the assistant who will be and their contact details.

Is there a residents Facebook page or a community group that you can get in touch with to confirm anything the site manager tells you. Alternatively ask the sales team to pass on your details to new residents who have just moved in and others who have been in for a few weeks (this should minimise their chances of cherry picking who they ask) to ask if they'd be happy for you to contact them and get the sales team to get back to you  - make them work harder for their bonus. You could always hang about the sales office on a saturday morning, if there are already a few residents on the estate, chances are they'll be in and out of the sales office over the weekend.

Make sure you get some "sit down" time with the site manager and that it's not all looking around a building site - take notes of the answers they give you and ask if you can make further appointments with them if you decide to go through with the purchase. Take photographs of everything, the site, the build, pipework, drains, timbers, brickwork etc etc.

Above all else, remember that you have not committed in full until you have completed - the site manager's bonus will be affected by your purchase so don't be afraid to remind him that you need to be convinced that he is going to treat the build of your house like it was his own. You may also wish to tell them that you are aware of several issues at nearby Taylor Wimpey sites and what assurances will they give you that you won't have similar experiences....write down their answer

Good luck  :)


New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 08:45:59 am »
Quite a few housebuilders have a "meet the site manager" procedure.
It can work well if the site manager is conscientious and cares about his employer's customers.
If he doesn't, it is a tick box exercise and a complete waste of everyone's time.

It is an opportunity for buyers to ask questions like when each stage is to be completed getting realistic answers not PR or a Head office builder's best guess!  You can also discuss minor changes like different paint colours and perhaps even get some small "extras" for free.  
It is certainly a good idea to keep on his side so you can ask for 'favours' once moved in like free materials for DIY projects.

From the builder's/site managers point of view, it is an opportunity to flush out who the awkward buyers are likely to be at the outset.  If resources and time are limited, the site manager will prioritise and concentrate on these buyers first, to hopefully limit the inevitable complaints cause when they move in.

With regard to the "one precious hour he is gifting us"  you should be aware that if he is giving you an hour, he will likely be giving up two, as he will have to ensure he is available, so will be unable to commit his valuable time to anything beforehand.  
He will also, no doubt be expected to fit the "meet and greet" in with buyer, perhaps at lunchtime or after hours - many site managers start on site at 7am and travel for an hour or more each way, each day too.

Be mindful that whilst you may meet a site manger, he may not be the person that manages the build of your home. He may be moved, promoted or more likely leave, long before your house is finished.  You may even meet an agency or relief site manager deputising for the permanent site manager who may be ill or on holiday.

Don't bother asking Taylor Wimpey about existing buyers to contact, just go and knock at a few doors on your development after 10am on a Saturday morning at random. Most people will be happy to recount their experiences.

It is always a good idea to RECORD all conversations with house builder's staff as you cannot trust anyone these days and it is better to have proof just in case of dispute. Most mobile phones can do this.  

Finally read all the information on our main website, not just this forum, before you exchange contracts.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 12:09:11 pm »
Hi,

I wanted to mention the 'Meet the Site Manager' visit to Taylor Wimpey site at Loddon Park was quite good. The Site Manager was very positive and did the best that he could for an hour. We have our options meeting coming up so looking forward to it. The Options part is going to be very challenging as we are having to pay for most of the stuff.

However, so far so good. I know we only find things once we move in but just thinking positive.

Warm Regards,
Vineet

New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 12:34:00 pm »
Watch out for the optional extras.  
They are never good value.
It is nearly always cheaper and better to get them done privately after you move in.
See our guide on builders optional extras here

You would also be well advised to have your new home professionally snagged and inspected before you legally complete.
I can recommend Martyn Maxwell at www.Brickkickers.co.uk
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

246980uk

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 09:41:31 am »
Hi Vineet,

How did your Options meeting go and have you moved in yet? I was wondering if you could share your experiences of Loddon Park here as we are considering purchasing one of the plots there!
Thanks.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 02:25:30 pm »
Apologies for the late response but unfortunately we still haven't moved in while the promise was made around June 2014. We are now being promised a date of Oct 24th 2014. So, please plan these delays in advance. I am not sure how we are going to be compensated for this. I had instructed them that we would rather wait than getting a house that is finished just for meeting a timeline. All the discussions I have had on these forums including with the Site Admin have been helpful and I have used their comments in my discussions throughout.

The options meetings went well. The sales/front-office staff at Loddon Park have been very helpful, yes their attitude will change slightly when you have confirmed the deal as they generally get busy with sales but it's a tough job they do as well. The real pain is with the several sub-contractors they employ who while constructing the house cause damage as we have noticed in our own house. These however will be caught as part of snag check.

Neighbours have reported several snags but all of these are being looked at by Taylor Wimpey, none denied so far.

VP


New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 08:19:15 am »
It really comes to something when, despite having an agreed building programme, the site and regional offices cannot forecast a completion date to the nearest month, or as in your case three months!  I would be very concerned about their ability to organise anything!

This is a clear breach of the requirements in the Consumer Code for Home Builders:

"Requirement
The Home Buyer must be given reliable and realistic information about when construction of the Home may be finished, the date of Legal Completion, and the date for handover of the Home.


Guidance
a) Information given to the Home Buyer before Exchange of Contracts
You should warn Home Buyers that weather and other matters beyond your reasonable control make the time needed to construct a Home difficult to predict.
It is unreasonable to give or expect to be given a definite date months in advance; however, certainty should increase as the Home nears completion.
What you tell the Home Buyer about when the Home is likely to be ready will depend on what stage it is at when you provide the information.
3.2 Timing of construction, completion and handover.
You may follow your own process and methods. However, you may wish to use the following approach:
* Before completing the foundations and ground floor - give the calendar quarter when the Home is likely to be ready.
* When the roof is completed and the building weatherproof - give the month when the Home is likely to be ready.
* When the Home is decorated and main services are connected - say what week the Home is likely to be ready.
The construction stages and time periods will vary according to the type of development; for example, whether you are building flats or houses."


All the house builders signed up for this and most don't follow their own rules and requirements.
Make a claim to the CCHB using the adjudication scheme, especially if you have lost out financially.

As for sales, of course they will be "helpful"  they are selling to you and will get commission on anything you buy, the home, the extras, the mortgage, carpets, curtains etc etc.
It is not a tough job!  A monkey could sell a new home at the moment. People are queuing up to buy because of "Help to Buy"
The site manager (if done properly) is a tough job!  They can work from 7am to 5pm not 11am to 6pm like sales! 
most drive for an hour or more each way too.

Finally all new homes should be snag and defect free. 
Clearly, from what you have said no care is being taken by the trades on site to protect their work and the work of others. 
But.......Taylor Wimpey selected these companies and the site manager should be properly managing them and if they cause damage they need to be charged.  It soon stops when the individuals have to pay!
It is because this is not being monitored, and homes are not being properly snagged (at every stage) that those buying Taylor Wimpey find no end of issues once they move in, defects that should never occur.

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 12:07:51 pm »
Thanks a lot NHE for analysing my experience. I will raise these issues in my next meeting with them. I am sure you have given me a contact for a professional snagging expert!

I guess sometimes our patience and softness is taken for granted.


New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 09:11:21 am »
Yes I did!
Professional Snagging Inspector
Martyn Maxwell of Brickkickers
Mobile: 07711 381939
Telephone: 0845 226 6036
E mail: martyn@brickkickers.co.uk
Website: www.brickkickers.co.uk
Please remind him I recommended him to you!

Good luck with the new home and remember to be firm and stick to your guns.
"The squeaky wheel gets the oil"
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 11:17:17 am »
Thanks again NHE. Will do.
We have the second 'Meet the Site manager' visit coming up. This will include the Site Manager taking us through to completion. I am being told we will get the house now by Oct 24th subject to NHBC certifying it. No official letters issued yet.

I was surprised we were not allowed to go in and measure room dimensions as all suppliers are queuing up for it.
On pleading with the sales executive we are now being asked to come on a Sunday to do it. The house looks completely safe as per me to walk in, I am not an expert though. I had to give an assurance that while we go in we should not be giving them a snagging list as house hasn't been completely handed over.

New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 03:25:21 pm »
There is no need to wait until the house is "completely handed over" to you before making a through snagging list.
Whilst it is true that if the house is not 100% finished, the outstanding items cannot be snagged, but you could still mention anything you are not happy about, especially if it is likely to be time consuming to sort our like bulges in walls or deflecting floors for example.
Have you got in touch with Martyn Maxwell as he is getting quite busy I believe.

The visit you are talking about is the 'pre-occupation visit' where the site manager shows you where everything is and how to work the heating etc.
It is not your one and only opportunity to snag whatever he tells you.

During the familiarisation visit, be sure to tell them that you are using a snagging inspector and that he will need access before legal completion.  If they (site manager) don't agree to this let me know. 
I have the ear of CEO Peter Redfern at the moment and he is keen to "understanding and empathy of what customers truly want" so you could also quote that to the Site Manager too.

Use this visit to see for yourself  IF the home will be 100% ready on the day.
If any part of it won't be such as an un-built garage, tell them you will refuse to legally complete. 
You will get an impression of how helpful the Site Manager will be after you move in. 
Make sure the site manager shows you how everything works like the heating and where the stop cocks are. 
Ask him about after sales procedures if you have any problems.  Don't be taken in with the "28 days to do the snagging"  where they tell you that you make a list and after you've been in 28 days days they will come and attend to it.  You have a full 2-year warranty and house builders are liable for any defects during  that period. 
Be sure the snagging inspector's list is attended to before you move in so there shouldn't  be any oustanding  "snagging"  but that's not to say that other problems or issues won't also arise.   
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

Ray89

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 05:05:32 pm »
I have found this very interesting and useful.
I have also brought a property in Loddon Park, also with an original date in either Sept/Oct but now we have been told a completion date of 21st November.

Very excited to move in and out of rented, but want to make sure I am not being naive about anything.

Vineet, if you have now moved in, please let me know about your experience?

Thanks

Ray

New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 05:22:48 pm »
You should get your new home professionally and independently snagged before you legally complete and move in. 
It is always money well spent.
I only recommend Martyn Maxwell of www.brickkickers.co.uk
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

vineetpanicker

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Meet the Site Manager
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2014, 11:12:56 am »
Hello Everyone and warm welcome to Ray at Loddon Park,

We got the keys on Oct 24th what was earlier promised Jun/July time-frame. I guess when you get the keys it all makes up for it although I am still not sure how I could get compensated as all the regulations seem to be in favour of the builders. I thought rather than they rush everything and deliver poor quality it's better to wait. Although the Snagging list proves the wait was not worth.

This is how the things are now:

1. Oct 24th keys delivered
2. Oct 25th morning snagging inspectors came from Brickkickers.
(Thanks to our Admin on this forum here for recommending.)
3. 160 snagging issues reported so far.
The inspector's view was our interiors quality looked as if it was rushed but exterior quality was good. I asked to give him a rating and he gave it a 7/10 which he suggested was a pretty good rating. Our neighbours also had the snagging done through Brickkickers and to my surprise their exterior has been little poor but interiors well done. So, two houses next to each other inconsistent which were finished the same day!
4. The Assistant Site Manager went through the list with us. His name is Paul and is a gentleman. Not one issue he denied but did mention on few of them that these were acceptable to Taylor Wimpey standards and each builder has some tolerance. I have yet to talk to Brickkickers about Taylor Wimpey's  response. So far Taylor Wimpey have been really good at acknowledging issues.
5. Our other neighbour has had a bad experience with snagging issues and he has taken it to the Taylor Wimpey Managing Director
6. I have been sent an email by Taylor Wimpey confirming work has been started on the exteriors to address the issues we mentioned and considering the fact that site manager has worked with Brickkickers before they value the suggestions made

We only move in by end of November so will keep you all posted on how the response to snagging report has been.