How to Effectively Complain to Your Builder

Rarely does someone move into a new home without any issues, Most would be shocked if you did! New homeowners always find something wrong with the house - paint spot that needs to be fixed, a corner of a tile is chipped, the bathtub has a nick or something no matter how small. How do you complain to your home builder to get those problems fixed?

Talk is Cheap

Getting a promise from your home builder over the phone won't be sufficient to get your problem fixed. Builders are just as busy as you are and make promises on the fly - which they later don't always remember. If you are serious about getting your house ready for move-in, make sure to ask for service promises in writing. This ensures that you can always go back to your builder and say, "Hey, you said you'd fix this, but never did."

A Picture is Worth ... a Lot of Money

Do yourself a favor and invest in a digital camera, or use the camera available on your cellular phone. When you notice a flaw in your new house, take a picture that can later be sent to your home builder. This is proof that the flaw actually exists and will give the builder an actual image of the problem you've uncovered. Plus, this documents proof that the flaw was there if you ever have to take legal action.

Make No Mistake

In many cases, your home builder will go to the house on his time with a contractor or construction worker to address any problems you might have. If you aren't home, he will take his best guess on what you need to be fixed, and might miss the major issue you've been hounding him about. Small things like chips in ceramic tile or paint can be marked with blue painter's tape. For larger or less obvious problems, bend a note card in half and write a description on both sides, then set it over or next to the problem.

Find your way to the top

If your home builder isn't responding to your complaints, you might have to ascend the chain of command. Call his boss to make sure the problem is resolved, or go visit him in his offices. As mentioned above, home builders are notoriously busy, and they often have more projects in the works than they can count. If you are persistent, your complaint will eventually be answered.

Kindness goes a long way

The most important thing for you to remember when you file a complaint with your home builder is that politeness and courtesy will take you much farther than threats and angry letters. Your frustration is completely understandable, but the goal is to get your problems fixed as quickly as possible. For this reason, try to remain as civil as possible unless you believe that you've been intentionally blown off