Friday, 18 December 2009

OFT (Office of Fair Trading) Review on House Builders

OFT started a review in 2007 into the home builds, and the UK building industry. However, here we are in 2009, about to start the new year (2010) and I don't see what's change. The new home owner still has the same limited rights. The new home purchase stills FAILS to come under the sale of goods act.

In a Telegraph Article, in 2007 - Questions were also raised about the merit of the inquiry by John White, chairman of Britain's largest housebuilder Persimmon, who said: "I don't understand why this is an OFT matter."

Perhaps the reported news regarding a Persimmon Homes property and the death of a four year old boy would be reason enough, details available from the Telegraph Article - A four-year-old boy was crushed to death when a stone mantelpiece collapsed in his parents' living room, an inquest has heard. A simple 'google' search on Persimmon Homes Complaints and/or Reviews will bring up what I consider to be worrying results.

For me, it's about time legislation was brought in to resolve the issues that new home owners face. The industry code of conduct (which NHBC has been failing to use) was alreay in place on a voluntary scheme by the NHBC, but with no knowledge within the NHBC. Complaints we failing to be addressed by the NHBC. Now they are implementing a compulsory code of conduct, I wonder whether it will have the same issues incorporated, that the NHBC and new builders (we bought from Charles Church, part of the Persimmon Group plc, that includes Persimmon Homes) already utilise to gain an unfair advantage over customers, and to delay and frustrate the home owner regarding the fixing of faults in new homes.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Come on Persimmon Group, Maybe You Can Persuade Charles Church to Honour Warranty

Charles Church still won't fix our leaks, or other reported problems. It's coming up to 4 years soon, and these are faults reported in the first year, many in the first few days of occupation, including the sub standard floor (a common fault with Charles Church Homes).

If your thinking of buying a new or second hand Charles Church home, try to check the upstairs flooring, and be cautious if they use JJI Joists, the semi-engineered type.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Persimmon Homes - What Qualifications Do Staff Need?

Attention to detail does not seem a strong point of Persimmon Homes, nor for that matter Charles Church staff/operatives.

A simple spelling mistake can have big consequences for Persimmon Homes amongst local residents and companies.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Still we await a fix to the many many faults, come on Persimmon Homes

It's about time Persimmon Homes and Charles Church took quality and customer service seriously. The articles one reads describe an unacceptable experience for too many customers. It's about time Charles Church started to honour their warranties without the stress and anxiety we have (and continue) to be made to feel, maybe even try to live up to their bold marketing claims . . . ultimately we feel the customer is the looser, and we have lost more from deciding to purchase a New Home from the Persimmon Group plc than we ever thought possible.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Charles Church & Persimmon Homes, Noisy, Bouncy, Unlevel Floors

Home owner still battling for floor joist fix with Charles Church - home owner talks of cracking sound from floor joists and vibration of flooring (furniture rattles - bouncy floor).

Three and a half years, and even leaks are unresolved in the property . . . one can relate to how unpleasant an experience a new home from Charles Church (part of Persimmon Group) can be.

Of interest is the advice regarding upstairs floor problems, particularly flooring issues when a person is walking on the upstairs floor, and a crack or cracking sounds can be heard by someone underneath. This is usually a very expensive problem to fix, and thus be prepared for a difficult time getting the builder to admit to a problem, and then to actually agree on a proper fix that might solve the problem. Extra nails or screws are unlikely to resolve serious cases, and even extra rows of noggins are not going to fix strength issues with the floor. Look to cross bracing (herringbone bracing struts) as a minimum and or joist sistering/plating to solve the issues properly.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Persimmon Homes and Charles Church Customer Service and Quality

We are still waiting, after many years for the faults to be fixed.

Charles Church customer service keeps making unjustified excuses for unacceptable delays and poor workmanship.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Damp and Mould Can be a Serious Health Issue in a New Home

We suffered from Damp and Mould in our new home, and since realising the cause was a leak, we have stopped using the bathroom. That was over 2 years ago that we realised the connection, but the original mould was discovered over 3 years ago.

The builder in our home, Charles Church, claimed just wiping the mould away would suffice. However, it kept returning. It turned out the leak from a bathroom upstairs, was running on a sloped ceiling (unlevel floors) and then down a wall, which on the far side, was in an under stairs closet. This is where the worst of the mould was found. Less was on the near side of the wall, where the dining room was located. Still the mould should have been dealt with in a professional manner by the builder. We still await the leak to be fixed, then hopefully they might repair the ceilings and walls, and then make sure the mould is properly cleared up.

Come on Charles Church, how hard can it be to build a house in a competent manner.

Persimmon Homes also has press and publicity regarding damp and mould. Other news articles on Persimmon Homes and Mould. Lastly a post asking for advice on damp and mould. On our estate, and other estates I've visited, neighbours & residents were suffering silimalar issues, with similar unsatisfactory consequences.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Wasting More & More Customer Time, That's Charles Church Customer Service

Many years have passed since we moved into our new Charles Church home, but one thing stays constant, the poor customer service, the substandard construction, the quality issues with our home.

Delay after delay, excuse after excuse, Charles Church are fine if you don't spot the faults, but complain and try to get issues resolved and expect to see the other side to Charles Church.

I would never advise any one to purchase a home from Charles Church, nor any other company in the Persimmon Group, which includes Persimmon Homes.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Ewan Mackay, a Regional Director for Persimmon Homes. You Make Me Laugh

Regional director for Persimmon Homes East Scotland, Ewan Mackay, said: "It is normal for a development of this scale to generate comments from the local community and we are more than happy to work with the council and local planners to address these issues."

“As a responsible house builder we are committed to working closely with the communities in which we operate to ensure all issues are addressed and we will continue to do so at our Easter Langlee development.”

But Charles Church (part of Persimmon) won't fix our home, from the leaky plumbing to the faulty flooring, after many years . . . maybe Persimmon and Charles Church directors should try being a customer complaining for a fix, and see if it's rose tinted marketing they want to hear.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Could a £200 spend on a proper specification floor have saved £50k in repair costs

It seems likely, more news to follow, on the Charles Church blunder that could cost £1000's to put right.

£50k is just one estimate, taking labour and material and estimating temporary accomodation at 3 months . . . but Charles Church is known to take years over these matters just to finally get to a fix that might work, and then might move you out for a year whilst they try to implement it.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Charles Church Noisy & Bouncy Floors

Forget cowboys, is a knight in shinning armour trying to persuade you to rush into a questionable fix for noisy & bouncy floors (not spelt noisey), including deflection, springyness, springiness, bouncing, vibration, flex, damaged floor joists, floors not fit for purpose, unlevel floors, green brick work, dropped brick.
Don't take the short cut fix, make sure the Knight gives you a proper fix to the problem, not a minimum line of noggins across your joists. Read up on benefits of bridging using solid blocking rather than noggins (or herringbone cross bracing).

My Reasons for Not Recommending a Charles Church Home

From ones own experience of living in a new Charles Church home.

1. Poor Customer Service, over and over again - the worst I've ever experienced.
2. Poor Quality and Workmanship - original construction, snagging work, planning.
3. Poor Specification, particularly the things you can't see or don't notice initially (floor joists).
4. Dangersous faults - electrics, central heating (gas), security.
5. Misleading Sales & Marketing - what happened to property misdescriptions act?
6. Stress & illness from trying to fix points 1 to 5.
7. Extraordinary amount of time wasted trying to fix points 1 to 5 - measured in years.

Having talked to numerous owners, I would also not recommend buying a new home from Persimmon Homes or Charles Church.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Persimmon Homes Forums, Customer Complaints

We still wait for the house we paid for to be supplied to us, granted Persimmon Group plc gave us a house, just not in the condition we expected.

Many years on, and the simplist faults remain unfixed. Unfortunately the serious expensive to fix faults also remain unfixed.

Visit the internet web forum for home owners opinions and views on Charles Church and Persimmon Homes. But be aware, home owners are worried about the consequences of complaining - something Charles Church staff (inc Director level) are only too keen to remind customers when they are trying to get faults fixed.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Persimmon Homes Reviews & Customer Complaints

Are Persimmon Homes Good or Bad? Ones own experience of customers homes and conversations is that a Persimmon Homes buying experience is an unhappy one.

You can read reviews on Persimmon Homes and Customer Complaints at the dooyoo website.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Will Persimmon Homes be Featured on New Watchdog Series

I would welcome the opportunity to see Anne Robinson questioning John White (Persimmon Group, Chairman) or Brian Thomson (Charles Church, Chairman) about the quality of the homes they build, and the standard of customer service they provide.

I'd welcome Anne Robinson giving them tough questioning as to the approach the Persimmon Companies have to customer service and dealing with customer complaints, snagging and construction issues.

On a lighter note, it could be a fun race, to see which home owner might get featured first - we could call it the Persimmon Cup, and place bets on who's featured first?

Persimmon Homes has a history with Wathdog, and other builders have been on TV before, for their customer service.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Good Old Charles Church, More Unhappy Customers

Yet again, another news story of an unhappy customer experience with Charles Church, the 'luxury' builder owned by Persimmon Group pld - who also owns Persimmon Homes.

We made the mistake to purchase a Charles Church property over 3 years ago, and we are still awaiting the snagging to be finished, and for some major faults and leaks to even start being fixed or investigated. The builder appears to have bent over backwards to AVOID doing anything to properly redress the issues they caused with poor construction and a lack of quality control. Something which we appear not to be alone in reporting, whether one looks to houses built before or after ours. Even in 2009, the customers one talks to, across Charles Church and Persimmon Homes devlopments are still reporting problems of a similar nature.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Better Quality Specification Without a Premium Price, checkout Explore Homes Guillemont Parc

If you want to avoid lowest specification floor joists in a new Charles Church Home (or Persimmon Homes), it could be better to look to other new builders using concrete floors at low prices, for example; Explore Living with its two beautiful new show homes and the sales and marketing suite at Guillemont Parc, Cove. Explore Living says, all the homes at Guillemont Parc benefit from solid concrete upper floors that reduce sound transmission and eliminate squeaky floorboards.

So why do Charles Church sell homes in the region of £600k, with upper floors that have a floor joist system with a Serviceability Index as low as possible, resulting in upto 12mm of deflection on the floor joists? Yet they claim in marketing material to build new homes to 'highest specification'. Search for information on; Charles Church (or Persimmon Homes) Floor Joists, specifically 'minimum Floor Joist Serviceability Index 1.0'.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Persimmon Home Owners formed a residents' association to resolve complaints

Problems with a Persimmon Homes Estate have to get fairly serious before home owners risk complaining (in the public domain for the public interest). Persimmon Homes had yet another estate that felt the need to go public to best serve a public interest of the estate.

The article says - A Persimmon Homes spokesman said it was aware of various snagging issues - some how I wonder how many days before they might then claim they lost the snagging lists, and now have no record of any issues? This is a pattern Persimmon Group has repeated with us on a number of occasions.

The residents comments regarding the snagging, finish and standards of the estate are damming - but not untypical of those heard from other customers.

In talking to home owners we found for Persimmon Homes and Charles Church Noisy Floors (or noisey) also known as Squeaky Floors (or squeeky) and Floor Boards (or floorboards), were the most common complaint. It's also one of the most expensive to repair properly if the original fault is with the design and/or installation of the floor joists themselves, which can include problems with the joists fastenings, the brickwork they rest on, or the floor joists not being adequately protected from rain (weather elements) prior to being installed.

If buying a new home from Charles Church or Persimmon Homes, one should check or ask about the upstairs floor specification, specifically the Serviceability Index (SI). This is a measure of the joist performance (stiffness) relative to the minimum performance (12mm deflection). The minimum Floor Joist Serviceability Index is 1.0 for the UK, and with the higher specification builders this can be between SI 5 and 9 or even higher.

In homes we checked built by Persimmon Group plc, we generally found 245mm depth by 45mm width wooden composite semi-engineered joists across upto 4m span. Which when joists are spaced at 600mm as we found with Charles Church, the SI is 1.07. giving manufacturers joist deflection guide of over 10.73mm (over a cm). We could not find a lower specification they could have fitted, so beleive for this span, the SI of 1.07 is the lowest specification they could have used.

We understand the cost for all the floor joists (SI 1.07) were less than a thousand pounds for a 5 bedroom home, and that a significant increase in the SI could be acheived by spending only 40% more on those joists. The house type sold for around £600k. Yet on the marketing brochures, and company web site they talk of 'highest specification', which I don't see myself. To fix the problem now has been estimated at over £47k for a 'simple' fix (2-4 months work, ceilings down), and over £102k for a proper fix. Every home we checked, across every Charles Church or Persimmon Homes development has similar problems, providing you know how to spot the early signs.

For interest an SI of 6.19 gives a floor joist deflection of only 1.87mm in the above example (by using thicker joists closer together), a substantial reduction in floor joist deflection and resolving bouncy floor concerns for us.

Added a site description to the 'Persimmon Blog' today

Our Charles Church New Homes - A nightmare that began with the purchase of a brand new home from Charles Church (part of the Persimmon Group, which includes Persimmon Homes, Westbury Partnership).
The experience Charles Church gave us has been one we regret every day, we wish we had never seen the house, let alone bought it.
Several years on and we are still fighting for the home to be fixed and finished to a reasonable standard. We are not alone, the problems we have occur across estates, whether one looks in 2009, goes back 5 years or 10 years, same problems, same builder.
We are unable to sell our home, unless we take a substantial loss (to compensate a new owner for the cost of fixing the structural and other issues).

The builder continues to avoid investigating the faults, acknowledging the faults, or fixing the faults. They have shown great endeavour in hiding the faults, laying blame elsewhere, intimidating the customer, playing games and wasting time, trying to push a substandard fix on the home owner.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Persimmon Homes Customer Complaints

Has M&S been used to try and get a little of the M&S quality brand to rub off on Persimmon Homes ?

Search on Google or Yahoo, for Persimmon Home Complaints. Also check out the website forums, and look for Charles Church and Westbury Partnership, other brands within the Persimmon Group.

Customer complaints are across all three.

Also check news stories, with reputable news papers such as the Telegraph and Times - all have searchable archives on line.

The complaints we found go back 10 years, and appear not to have improved. If anything our own experience feels far worse than anything reported, as the reported stories seem to be watered down so as not to effect the resales too much or upset neighbours on those developments - but talk privately to customers of Persimmon or Charles Church and the complaints come to the surface very quickly.

Buying a New Build from Persimmon Homes or Charles Church

Consider getting a Retention built into the contract. Others builders agree to this, some do it as standard. With Persimmon Homes, one found out the hard way, it's essential we concluded.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Reasons I Would Not Buy a Persimmon Home

Specifically from ones experience with Charles Church, and then following that up with visits to talk to other Charles Church and Persimmon Home owners, and to view the issue they have with their properties and the customer service.

My Reasons for Not Recommending Persimmon & Charles Church Homes
1. Poor Customer Service
2. Poor Quality and Workmanship
3. Poor Specification, particularly the things you can't see or don't notice initially (floor joists).
4. Dangersous faults.
5. Misleading Sales & Marketing
6. Stress caused trying to fix points 1 to 5.
7. Time spent trying to fix points 1 to 5 - measured in years.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

More on Persimmon Homes, Westbury Partnership and Charles Church New Homes

We are intending to have a complete list of other customer experiences with the Persimmon Group of companies in the UK New House Building Industry. We need the equivalent of the JD Power Survey.

But it has to be done in such a way that those customers that have invested in a new home from the Persimmon Homes Group, do not (either in perception or reality) devalue their investment.

To that end ones focus will be on Customer Satisfaction Surveys regarding Customer Service, and not focussing on the quality or structural issue (which have greatest impact on resale, if a Persimmon Estate gets a bad name)

Some of The Nicer Things in Life, Things to Enjoy and Look Forward To

For a lovely dining experience, and at very reasonable prices, try Sophia's Cafe in Penzance. Voted on trip advisor as number 1 in the area, we've had many lovely meals their.

Having recently been looking at a Wedding Venue, we've particularly liked the following; Pentillie Weddings Cornwall, Ballyhannon Castle Ireland.

And we've been looking at our other favorite short list of wedding suppliers as well, for our big day, including the following . . .

For other suppliers, again continue from Wedding Venues, to Wedding Photography, Bridal Ware, and Wedding & Celebration Cakes. For Wedding Dresses; Maggie Sottero and Nicki Hill. For Wedding Photography; Jeff Ascough and Lovegrove Weddings. For Wedding Cakes; Cakes by Sarah Louise and Maisie Fantaisie.

We'll add more suppliers as we like them. Please add comments as to your own favorite wedding companies.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Couple’s new home nightmare

Read original article on couple's experience with Persimmon Homes and learn more about their views on quality and service from Persimmon Homes.

Couple's Persimmon Homes Nightmare

Another example of customer complaints regarding Persimmon Homes, the UK new homes builder. One presumes this was another NHBC controlled site, but would be interested to hear if this is the case or not, comments welcome please?

Also interested in home owners views on Persimmon and Charles Church new homes, exspecially if you are nervous of complaining, then we would like to hear your reasons why.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Office of Fair Trading (OFT), ASA, Trading Standards

All need to know about problems with your new home builder - tell them, and change can happen to make the industry better. - page 92 start

When the showhome is just about the show . . .

Makes me laugh, even Charles Church internal company newletters highlight the 'perception' of quality that they put into their show homes, marketing and sales presentation.

But Charles Church (part of Persimmon Group plc, which also trades as Persimmon Homes in the UK) also uses Show Homes (executive homes, NHBC Site Manager Award) effectively to present one impression of the quality of a new build, which we found very different to the 'quality' of the finished home they actually sold.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Explain difference between a 1980's and year 2000's Charles Church New Home

I have no problem with the quality and customer service related to Charles Church Homes built in the 1980's under the prior control and ownership of Charles and Sussana Church, the company they founded in 1965- and the same goes for any current or prior owner I have spoken to or read about with an older Charles Church Property.

It's the Charles Church homes built under Persimmon or Beazer Homes that I find the problems and bad press relates to. For owners of these newer (10 years) Charles Church homes, the news has not been so good.

But then the news on Persimmon Homes and Westbury Parnerships New Homes, and the experience one can expect from buying a new Persimmon Home or a new Westbury Parnerships Home is not something I'd want to experience either. Articles like this paint (in my opinion) a rosie view of the reality of buying a Charles Church property. Our own experience has been the worst of our lives, nothing comes close to the upset and distress caused by the Persimmon Group staff and operatives.

Notes: Persimmon Homes bought Westbury PLC in November 2005 after a £643,000,000 bid and Beazer Homes in 2001 for £537,500,000.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Nothing new about this . . .

Catalogue of faults, customers pressurised into exhanging contracts - we know how this feels.

This really does sum up our experiences with Charles Church, part of Persimmon Group, except we never got the apology. We had dangerous unsafe electrics, substandard upstairs floor (unlevel, noisy, creaky, bouncy, deflecting), and a fire risk on a electric heat exchanger (gas central heating) which took the best part of 9 months to even check, let alone rectify, after the Charles Church representative (The Count as workmen referred to him) was present and we were first informed.

In researching flooring issues with JJI Joists, Persimmon Homes & Charles Church, one found mis-spellings a common issue. E.g. bouncey instead of bouncy, noisey instead of noisy.

Persimmon Homes, yet more bad news about the UK house builder

It never ceases to amaze me how long the bad news on Persimmon Homes has been going for, let alone for how much longer it will continue.

Best advice for those who've bought a new Persimmon Home (or Charles Church, part of Persimmon Group) is to get everything in writing and documented, then complain complain complain. If it's early on in your developments sales process then publicity signs detailing your plight will be highly effective, as Persimmon cares greatly about sales.

By complaining about the customer servie, rather than the quality of build, you are less likely to upset the value of your home, but will still be able to effect change.

Serious contruction faults, such as noisey floors due to the joist design and or installation are best dscussed privately with those on your estate, as issues like this can be very expensive to repair after construction according to the NHBC. By the way, don't expect much help from the NHBC, they talk a good talk in the first instance, but when you actually start the ball rolling with the NHBC resolution service we found the honesty and transparency quickly vanished, to be replaced with excuse after excuse, and delay after delay. We're well outside the initial 2 year warranty and still have serious issues with the original build of our home.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Persimmon Homes, £10 million bonus package

John White is suggested as the largest share of the package.

When so many unhappy customers tell me of the problems they have with Persimmon Homes, and then the sad death of a young boy in a Persimmon Homes, makes me question what the directors are doing to prevent the problems customers of Persimmon Homes are having to face.

Persimmon Homes - one of the more trajic customer stories

The most shocking of all the sad customer stories I've heard, was the death of a little boy in a Persimmon Home. The judges findings were of an inadequate set of standards regarding the installation of fire places. I question why the judge stop at criticising the standards for fire places when so many other areas in a Persimmon Group plc home also appear to have a lack of standards.

The coroner’s report said "The lack of national industry standards and regulation for the fitting of fire surrounds, including training, installation, quality inspection, secondary review and audit paper trails, were also a contributory factor," yet I see the electrics, the plumbing and heating installation, the floor joists, the brick works, etc etc to also have a lack of national industry standards in new homes. And with Charles Church (Persimmon) the training, installation, quality inspections and paper trails all seem inadequate in many areas, along with customer service and fault rectification by the builder.

Kind of sad that John White should comment on the Office of Fair Trading investigation (OFT investigation into house building in the UK) - Questions were also raised about the merit of the inquiry by John White, chairman of Britain's largest housebuilder Persimmon, who said: "I don't understand why this is an OFT matter." - Does John White earn his money? I'd like to know how this could have been justified?

Friday, 14 August 2009

Persimmon plc is a quality housebuilder with 30 years experience. Nationwide the group incorporates 26 regional companies and the luxury home builder

The title above is a statement made by Persimmon plc, in a 56 page documented intened for schools.
As the unfortunate customer suffering in a Charles Church home, and having spoken to many Persimmon and Charles Church Home owners, I would strongly disagree with the use of the word 'quality', and also question if 'luxury' means an even higher standard in which case I would also disagree on that point.

My First Post on Persimmon Homes Blog

The first post. This blog will cover Charles Church as well, and a customers experience with the Persimmon Group, and the trading companys such as Persimmon Homes, Charles Church, Westbury Partnerships etc.

Having battled for many years to try to get serious home faults fixed by the company, one now has felt it's in the public interest to raise the matter. The OFT, trading standards, ASA all need to know and acknowledge the extent of the problems, problems the NHBC and Persimmon Group still seem to be in denial about.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Not the First Time, blogging on Persimmon Homes

The next post on the Charles Church Persimmon Home owners complaints blog. Let's hope the OFT can enforce and protect consumer rights where the builders and the NHBC have failed.

But is a voluntary code of practise going to acheive that, customer opinions will soon be made available.