Author Topic: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?  (Read 1867 times)

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GC1976

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Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:21:29 pm »
Hi everyone

I've only just stumbled across this site and wish I'd found it sooner. Lots of useful information which I've never considered before.

We're due to have our inspection on our new Walker home in the coming weeks. Now, I appreciate that the following is nothing more than speculation until I know for certain ...

I took a drive by earlier today. Our home looks good, and looks more or less complete. From what I could see from the inside, the kitchen appears to be an entirely different colour scheme from what we ordered. I came home and checked our paperwork (signed by Walkers) and this confirmed my thoughts.

I'm keen to consider a worst case scenario to ensure I'm as well informed as I can be on inspection day. Does anyone understand what kind of recourse I have with the builder in the event that our agreed specification has not been adhered to?

I'm now considering employing a body to perform a professional inspection on my behalf, as this would seem like a good thing to do regardless.

Many thanks for any informed you views you can provide based on experience!


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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 10:22:36 am »
First of all, you bought a new home on the basis and expectation  of a certain kitchen being fitted.
If Walker Homes can't even get that right I would be worried.

You can insist on the kitchen being changed before you move in and I would advise you notify them right away to get it on order.

It is always a good idea to have any new home professionally snagged and inspected before you move in.  I would recommend giving Tim Fee a call on 07768 900200 at Snagging Inspections.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.


GC1976

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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 10:04:46 pm »
Thanks for the reply - very much appreciated.

I called the sales office today. Their paperwork matches ours in terms of the kitchen type, colour and finish. I see this as a good start should any recourse be necessary.

We have the inspection next week and I plan to visit the site over the weekend to see if I can either confirm or allay my suspicions at the earliest possible opportunity.

Whilst the sales team at Walkers have been helpful throughout, their communication process throughout has been exceptionally weak.

Ultimately, they impressed us to the point that we felt that the quality, layout and finish of the house far exceeded other developments by the likes of Cala and Barratt at a similar price point in the surrounding area, so we remain hopeful that this will continue throughout the handover and completion process.

Now in the process of firming up a snagging inspection. I'll update in the coming days.

Thanks


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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 06:38:28 am »
Did you ask the site staff to check you have the right kitchen fitted?
As its all clearly in writing and it is their mistake, they will have to change your kitchen.
This could well delay your completion date as it will have to be ordered (unless of course it's fitted in another house!)

I had this happen once (sales wrote down the wrong kitchen on the form the buyer signed.  However, it was easy as just the doors needed changing and an unsold house on the site had the right doors so we just swapped them over. No side panels or worktops to worry about.

Just because sales make all the right noises re quality, specification and finish doesn't mean it is. They job is to sell you a new home regardless of what it is really like.
I hear the same bulls*** sales patter on every development go to!

The thing with Barratt 5 star and Cala 4 star are both highly-rated by their own customers.
Walker Homes isn't an HBF member so no rating.

Make sure you have an NHBC warranty and please do get Tim to inspect and snag your house before you move in.

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GC1976

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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 06:05:47 pm »
Thanks again for your reply.

The inspection is tomorrow (Monday 10th) and I've visited the site today. I've been able to visually confirm (albeit from outside) that the incorrect kitchen has been installed. This extends to the finish / colour of all units, doors and work surfaces in both the kitchen and utility room. I spoke to the sales office on site and they have confirmed that their paperwork both electronic and hard copy matches ours. We specified (and paid extra for) a breakfast bar. This has been installed but everything else is incorrect.

My fear now is that these discrepancies extend to all other areas where we have made specific requests. It looks like the outside tap we specified has also not been installed.
At worst, there appears to be a break in the communication between the sales office and site manager that may mean that our bathroom, ensuite etc specifications are also incorrect.
Again, all our paperwork matches the sales office but we will only know the full extent of the issue when we perform the inspection with the site manager tomorrow.

The sales office have assured us (only verbally at the moment) that this will be rectified in full but they do not yet understand how the problem has arisen. There was a point earlier in the year (January/February) where we were told that a number of extras we requested could not be provided. Apparently these had to paid for in full much earlier in the process, which we were not aware of (downlighters, outside tap, breakfast bar). In the end we were told that it would only be the downstairs downlighters that we would miss out on and out paperwork reflects this.
Our kitchen spec / colour (other than breakfast bar) were not extras.

We've not arranged a snagging inspection as yet, but hopefully get this arranged asap.
The number you kindly provided - does this also cover Scotland?

Challenging times. We have an entry date of 5th May agreed via solicitors. My wife is also heavily pregnant with our 2nd child. I'm hoping that Walker hold good on the paperwork we have and ensure this is rectified asap.

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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 07:47:02 am »
Tim Fee carries out snagging inspections nationally as far as I know.  Give him a call as soon as possible.

I hope you don't have a battle on your hands to get he home you and kitchen you agreed and paid for.
AS far as I can see, Walker have no other options but to change everything they have got wrong through their own management incompetence at their cost.
But any delay in completion may well be very stressful for you and your wife!

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GC1976

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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 03:59:16 pm »
I thought it would be useful to provide an update on our situation, should anyone else be at a similar stage in the home buying process.

Our worst fears were confirmed during our walk round of the property on the 10th April. Every single item that we specified at the point of securing the plot via a deposit is incorrect. This extends to kitchen unit style / colour, work surfaces in both the kitchen and utility room and tiles in all bathrooms / en-suite. Items that we specified AFTER this point - i.e. breakfast bar in the kitchen - HAVE been included, albeit in kitchen units of the incorrect style / colour.

Walker Group Ltd have admitted this is a problem entirely of their own making.
The errors appear to have occurred due to a breakdown in process somewhere between the sales office / site office. The specifications applied are the default applied by Walker Group Ltd, should a plot remain unreserved at a point in the build process.
All of our signed paperwork reflects the specification that we requested. On a positive note, this has not been questioned by Walker Group Ltd who have effectively put their hands up and said they have got it wrong.

10 days have now passed (5 working days if you take account of the Bank Holiday weekend) and we are unfortunately no further forward. During the intervening period, we have received vague verbal assurances from Walker Group Ltd that our agreed entry date of 5th May would remain feasible. On Tuesday 18th April however, I received an email from my solicitor who had been contacted by the solicitor appointed by Walker Group Ltd advising of a revised entry date of 19th May, in recognition of what their solicitor described as a 'mix up with the kitchen'.

My solicitor has responded formally advising this is not acceptable. Principally, as these dates now clash with the due date of our as yet unborn child.
I spoke to the Sales Manager for our development yesterday in order to understand what options are available to us (effectively we become homeless on Friday 5th May) as no options had been forthcoming from Walker Group Ltd (who I may add, are fully cognisant of my wife being heavily pregnant). I was assured of a call back today, and having heard nothing by 3pm, I took the opportunity to place a polite chaser call to Walker Ltd.

In summary, we are no further forward.
Thus far, Walker Group Ltd have only been able to tell me that a) An entry date of 19th May is now being proposed and b) They are in receipt of the email from my solicitor to their own, which is now being circulated within Walker Group with various directors. The nature of the discussions within Walker Group Ltd is unclear. It is also unclear as to whether 'Director' in this instance relates to either of the respective Mr Walkers who hold directorships with Walker Group (Scotland) Limited.

At the time of writing (20th April), following our walk round of the property on the 10th April, we have no options available to us and as such, a very ominous looking gap in our housing situation between 5th May and 19th May.

I continue to approach this as calmly and as diligently as possible and on 2 fronts - 1) via my solicitor and the legal process and 2) directly with Walker Group Ltd in order to ensure that our requirements and expectations (not to mention the direness of the situation) are explicitly understood by those in Walker Group Ltd who have the power to accelerate a solution.

The sales manager has committed to come back to me as soon as possible. My fear is this is nothing more than sales chatter. I've been very clear that my next action will be to seek direct intervention from the appointed directors of the limited company.

All things considered, I do believe that Walker Group Ltd build good homes. I remain confident that this will be resolved to our satisfaction, however the communication process as things stand is entirely lacking, evident by both the mistakes that have been made and the lack of any pro-active communication from the individuals whom I would expect to be empowered to resolve.


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Re: Walkers Homes - incorrect kitchen?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 11:33:21 am »
My advice is to get your solicitor to inform Walker that you will be booking a five star hotel for the period of 5th to 19 May 2017 and all expenses incurred, including breakfast, evening meals and laundry are expected to be reimbursed by Walker as this situation is recognised (by Walker) as being entirely of their own making.

You should keep written records of everything e mail is fine and avoid using just the telephone. If you do make sure you and Walker confirm everything in writing.  You will need this concrete evidence if you later make a claim using the Consumer Code for Home Builders such as it is.  Requirement 3.2:  Completion date - has been breached in my opinion.

You may well believe that "Walker build good homes"  but from what other buyers have told me, I have my serious doubts you are right. You are in the hands of the site manager and between him and the idiot in the sales office, they have connived to make one hell of a blunder.

As I suggested when you first posted, you brought this to Walker's attention on 7 April and any completion delay should have been minimised if they had bothered to check the actual kitchen fitted matched the paperwork. I doubt the sales person responsible, will be working there much longer!

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