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-   -   Did you buy a Tamarack in Kingston? How do you like it? (http://www.buildinghomes.ca/community/forums/showthread.php?t=17466)

TheGrudge 2011-07-22 08:39 AM

Did you buy a Tamarack in Kingston? How do you like it?
 
My wife and I just purchased our second new home. Our first was purchased through a relatively small builder in Kingston and it was great. Aside from one weird paint spot on the wall that they never came back to fix, the house was perfect. Having said that, we started to outgrow it over the years.

We have recently purchased a Tamarack home and the experience has been a little different. While there have been no major problems to speak of, there are several signs of, lets say, speedy workmanship.

Just curious to compare some experiences with other, longer term Tamarack buyers. Did they fix everything to your satisfaction, did you have any issues? What would you change? Did anything blow you away?

I know the Ottawa boards are lively but I think it's time to get this Kingston board up and running with more than a handful of posts!

Kingston 2011-07-25 08:44 PM

I am so happy someone finally posted here!

We JUST purchased a Tamarack home. Our closing isn't until early spring, so I can't give any insight into how their product turns out. But would love to hear other opinions.

We built our first home as well - it is a Braebury. While we have had no problems, we have heard many horror stories. That being said, touring Tamarck homes and seeing the quality compared to ours we can see a real difference.

Did you buy in Greenwood Park or Woodhaven?

TheGrudge 2011-07-26 10:07 PM

We're in the west end

Kingston 2011-07-27 09:20 PM

We are (or will be) in Woodhaven as well. They haven't broken ground for us yet - that will happen in the fall.

As I said, I've only heard positive things about Tamarack, so if nothing else, I'd assume they have good customer service.

TheGrudge 2011-08-02 07:03 PM

The sales staff are excellent and so are the follow-up service people. If you do have any issues they take them seriously and fix them within a reasonable amount of time.

Having said that I have a few tips if you're interested. If you are able to keep an eye on your house during the construction phase, make sure that they do a good job bringing the main water line into your house. We have a pretty shoddy display in our basement of a blue pex pipe coming out of the floor on an angle and then the water meter just hanging there from it with no support. Luckily I know a few tradesmen and a friend has agreed to help me tidy it up a bit and put a proper ball valve on the connection.

Also, during your framing walkthrough check that all walls are square. We have the "Bristol" model and in our front entrance there is a wall that is badly out of square. I didn't notice it during the walkthrough but once they put the ceramic tile down - wow, pretty bad. Same issue on a small jut out near our main tub. Just look for plumb and square everywhere.

Also, pay close attention to your sub floor. Make sure there aren't huge bumps or ruts because you will feel them even after the carpet goes on.

Good luck!

newf73 2011-08-02 08:46 PM

Just moved into a Bristol in Greenwood Park. Generally satisfied. But have had some problems. If you are building a Bristol I can give you some suggestions.

TheGrudge 2011-08-03 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newf73 (Post 198042)
Just moved into a Bristol in Greenwood Park. Generally satisfied. But have had some problems. If you are building a Bristol I can give you some suggestions.

Same here :rolleyes:

Kingston 2011-08-05 10:07 AM

Not building a Bristol, but a friend of mine is and I am sure she'd love some tips.

I know she has read through many of the threads here about them and has picked up on a few things (the fridge being moved a bit for one so she can open the door completely).

Please let me know what other tips you have!

TheGrudge 2011-08-08 07:29 AM

We have a Bristol and here are a few tips I can think of. At least, things we'd do over if we had the chance.

1) In the office the light switch is located immediately to the right when you walk in - at least in our plans. This is great, but there are double doors in the office. If you open both of them, the door on the right completely covers the light switch. I'd put the switch on the left-hand side beyond where the open door will cover it.

2) Reinforce the laundry room floor. For whatever reason, the engineered beams are really "springy". Reinforcing the floor will help prevent vibrations. Might be a good idea to use some sound proof insulation around the room too. Noise wise we've found it to be okay, but I've never been in the adjoining bedroom while the washer is spinning so it may be something worth looking into.

3) In the master bedroom there are two lights: one in the centre of the room and one in the little hall between the master and ensuite and they're both controlled by one switch. If you have any intention of adding a ceiling fan later on it may be a good idea to have a dedicated switch for each light - otherwise, as I found out, you have to choose between the fan running at night or the use of the extra light. We just took the bulb out of the hall light. no big deal but...

Otherwise, I'd have to say they did a pretty good job with switch placement.

4) If she is going with a microwave/range hood, have Tamarack put a proper cabinet above the stove. The cabinet they install by default is not as deep as the other cabinets as the vent for the fan runs behind the cabinet rather than through the cabinet. This leaves very little structure for the microwave to grab on to. Our installer said he's done installing these units in Tamarack homes until they put proper cabinets up there.

NewInKingston 2011-08-08 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrudge (Post 198604)
2) Reinforce the laundry room floor. For whatever reason, the engineered beams are really "springy". Reinforcing the floor will help prevent vibrations. Might be a good idea to use some sound proof insulation around the room too. Noise wise we've found it to be okay, but I've never been in the adjoining bedroom while the washer is spinning so it may be something worth looking into.

I like Tamarack homes and Bristol model particular. But now thinking about basement laundry.

Alta_Danny 2011-08-08 03:54 PM

WE have one in JT in Stittsville...closing in Oct

if you plan on having a french door fridge or even a fridge with hinge side to great room .. shorten the wall to the fridge (minus doors) plus whatever rear allowance your fridge requires and bring the upper cabinet to match up and add a "gable" to the other side.

consider making the study (move garage door to study) into a mud room if you have kids

since it is open concept with all hard surfaces on the main floor and if you have granite or stone.. you will hear a glass being put down on the counter .. while you are in the MBR with door closed never mind a the tv on... so sound proof the walls upstairs .. all of them and install safe n sound doors. With regards to the floors the only way to stop the washer noise is to properly balance the washer and buy the most silent ones that you can afford and use it when it is "noise convenient" like when you goto work .. turn it on. to stop that kind of vibration to the point where it really dont hear it is quite pricey.

If you have a walk out -- get 9' ceilings

brick up front looks really great!

french doors at entrance delineate entrance/hall/great room areas

BrianT 2011-08-08 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInKingston (Post 198674)
I like Tamarack homes and Bristol model particular. But now thinking about basement laundry.

Keep the laundry room upstairs as is and add all the laundry connections in the basement as well. This would give you greater flexibilty in choosing your laundry room location.

NewInKingston 2011-08-10 02:11 PM

Hey guys. Tamarack recently increase prices for houses in Kingston. I think all model goes up for 5K.
I hear that house prices in Canada overpriced and some guys predict price decrease. Is any ideas how Real Estate market going in Kingston? Should I buy now or wait?

Alta_Danny 2011-08-10 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInKingston (Post 198986)
Hey guys. Tamarack recently increase prices for houses in Kingston. I think all model goes up for 5K.
I hear that house prices in Canada overpriced and some guys predict price decrease. Is any ideas how Real Estate market going in Kingston? Should I buy now or wait?

Ask yourself this: Did the housing market go through a "correction" like many areas in the country did a few years ago? If so by how much in comparison. New home pricing changes differently compared to re-sale.

In Ottawa the housing market bucks all trends. New home prices go up and never go down here. Re-sale here is mostly affected by area or home type demand. Homes built in the late 80s to mid 90s in urban areas have stagnated price wise if not decreased in value due to their "feature list" not being close to what is available new.

BrianT 2011-08-10 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInKingston (Post 198986)
Hey guys. Tamarack recently increase prices for houses in Kingston. I think all model goes up for 5K.
I hear that house prices in Canada overpriced and some guys predict price decrease. Is any ideas how Real Estate market going in Kingston? Should I buy now or wait?

Did you check with Tamarack to see how much longer they will continue to build in their current Kingston communities? If you wait, say for two years, will they still be around?

TheGrudge 2011-08-12 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianT (Post 198995)
Did you check with Tamarack to see how much longer they will continue to build in their current Kingston communities? If you wait, say for two years, will they still be around?

They'll be here a while. They just started their newest subdivision and opened their model homes 6 months ago. The plan for this area is enormous. I'd say Tamarack is here for good - this area and beyond.

As for the market, I think those "corrections" you always hear about are highly dependent on WHERE you live. After speaking with several agents in the area (and living here most of my life), I can say that the city is made up primarily of public sector workers. Prisons, hospitals, universities - it's about as stable a place your going to find. There is also an army base here in town so there are constantly people coming and going.

That's my 02 anyway.

BrianT 2011-08-13 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrudge (Post 199278)
They'll be here a while. They just started their newest subdivision and opened their model homes 6 months ago. The plan for this area is enormous. I'd say Tamarack is here for good - this area and beyond.

As for the market, I think those "corrections" you always hear about are highly dependent on WHERE you live. After speaking with several agents in the area (and living here most of my life), I can say that the city is made up primarily of public sector workers. Prisons, hospitals, universities - it's about as stable a place your going to find. There is also an army base here in town so there are constantly people coming and going.

That's my 02 anyway.

I would have to agree with you. :)

I posted this in another thread but my place has gone up $70,000 since March 2009. I put in an extra $20,000 in upgrades so that would have been almost $100,000 more. For me, if I were to buy today, I'm not sure if I would have been able to afford it.

k-town-man 2011-10-18 02:12 PM

Won't buy again
 
Hi

I am quite late to this thread, but I wouldn't buy again from Tamarack. We like our house, and we are first-time buyers, but I don't think with what we learned along the process if we would buy from them again.

We cannot complain about sales or how they assessed some of the problems we found after the 30-day inspection. Along the way we learned that they weren't very clear with us with a lot of details with the house (internal and external). Especially their head-office support is far from reliable and the decisions they make are not always clear.

I know we must be newbies, maybe they aren't much different than the other builders, but we cannot say we had a good experience.

Just my 0.02$.

TheGrudge 2011-10-18 08:55 PM

What kind of things weren't they clear on, just so I can relate my experience also.

k-town-man 2011-10-19 07:18 AM

We had some issues with interior selection mostly, but also some external things that no one told us (I cannot give a lot of details on external things, as they are very specific to our house).

Internally, we picked most of the bathroom fixtures in a certain finish, and we were never told that we could (or should) specify standard items in the same finish. In the end we have two bathrooms with things in two different finishes (eg. chromed shower door and nickel taps). Also, second paint colours, we specified the rooms that should be painted in one colour, but we didn't specified the rooms that shouldn't, and no one told us we had to.

I understand these are quite minor (I might have other examples that escape me at the moment), but every little thing adds up. So, be careful in the interior selection and specify everything the way you want, otherwise they will tell you it is not warrantable and that's it.

TheGrudge 2011-10-19 08:18 AM

That sounds out of character for the sales office. We changed our kitchen tap and upon doing so they immediately told us that the tap on our island sink (we had the extra sink put in) would not match.

Perhaps we purchased the home just after you though :)

The only thing they never told us about was the fact the house came sans eavestroughs. When I emailed them about it they said that yes, they weren't included, but they can be added easily for about $800. Not sure where they got their quotes from but they were a little light on their figure.

Not including eavestroughs on a house is like not including door handles on a car in my opinion. The fact the model homes at least have troughs at the front is even more puzzling. If eaves "cause issues with ice and water", then why do you put them on your model homes?

BrianT 2011-10-19 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrudge (Post 206471)
Not including eavestroughs on a house is like not including door handles on a car in my opinion. The fact the model homes at least have troughs at the front is even more puzzling. If eaves "cause issues with ice and water", then why do you put them on your model homes?

So potential buyers don't get drenched while visiting their model homes.

k-town-man, are you young? I find that younger people get treated differently sometimes. I know from first hand experience with Richcraft, I was completely ignored or looked down on. Needless to say, I would never buy a house from them.

TheGrudge 2011-10-19 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianT (Post 206487)
So potential buyers don't get drenched while visiting their model homes.

k-town-man, are you young? I find that younger people get treated differently sometimes. I know from first hand experience with Richcraft, I was completely ignored or looked down on. Needless to say, I would never buy a house from them.

That's the WORST. My wife and I were in our mid twenties when we purchased our first home. During our tour of model homes/open houses we often encountered agents who wouldn't even talk to us.

We have since moved into a Tamarack home but last week my wife (now early 30's) just went to another builder's model home in the area. We live in the Bristol but this builder immediately handed her a brochure for the area that is all semis. Making assumptions in the Real Estate business is not good practice!

k-town-man 2011-10-28 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianT (Post 206487)
So potential buyers don't get drenched while visiting their model homes.

k-town-man, are you young? I find that younger people get treated differently sometimes. I know from first hand experience with Richcraft, I was completely ignored or looked down on. Needless to say, I would never buy a house from them.

Not that young, I guess. We are in the late 30's, but this is our first purchased home. They're nice, I can't complain about that, but their full attention was not there.

I haven't heard anything about the possibility of adding eavestrough through Tamarack, and some other things that neighbours have were never mentioned to us too.

Also, another aspect to consider is that we have pending items from our 30 day inspection that still haven't been corrected. Also, most of the times when you have an item to be completed, the contractors will never do things correctly the first time, what adds, sometimes, weeks waiting for them to come back. I guess this is one of the downsides of Tamarack, that seems not to have enough employees to take care of all of the houses and problems they have.

We're planning to move to Ottawa sometime in the future and I wouldn't buy another Tamarack there.

BrianT 2011-10-28 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k-town-man (Post 207463)
Not that young, I guess. We are in the late 30's, but this is our first purchased home. They're nice, I can't complain about that, but their full attention was not there.

I haven't heard anything about the possibility of adding eavestrough through Tamarack, and some other things that neighbours have were never mentioned to us too.

Also, another aspect to consider is that we have pending items from our 30 day inspection that still haven't been corrected. Also, most of the times when you have an item to be completed, the contractors will never do things correctly the first time, what adds, sometimes, weeks waiting for them to come back. I guess this is one of the downsides of Tamarack, that seems not to have enough employees to take care of all of the houses and problems they have.

We're planning to move to Ottawa sometime in the future and I wouldn't buy another Tamarack there.

I would double check with the site office for your pending items. I found that a lot of the times they marked an item as completed but it was not. Then the trade would come back saying that they "must have given the wrong lot number to whoever".

newf73 2012-01-15 08:34 PM

Agree with k-town man. Would not buy again with Tamarack. Custom price tag without the custom quality.

TheGrudge 2012-01-16 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newf73 (Post 213785)
Agree with k-town man. Would not buy again with Tamarack. Custom price tag without the custom quality.

Just curious - are you in Greenwood Park or Woodhaven?

newf73 2012-01-16 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrudge (Post 213804)
Just curious - are you in Greenwood Park or Woodhaven?

Greenwood Park.

hardworker 2012-03-05 04:16 PM

Cautionary Tale
 
Hi,

we have been in our Tamarack now for three years. Unfortunately it has been one documented problem after another. Some small and some massive. The worst is probably the on-going water trouble that we've been having. The very first day that we owned the house, the plumbing leaked and water poured through the finished basement ceiling. It's been non stop leaking since then. Tamarack's only half hearted attempt to find the source of the leaking was to replace the O ring on one of the toilets, but they ended up cracking the water tank causing flooding on all levels and thousand's of dollars of additional damage. We were told that the replaced toilet hopefully solved the original problem and that if not they would be back to investigate further. As they practiced their approach of avoidance, the warranty clock continued. The leaking continues and we are now outside of the warranty. Although the original problem was never fixed and we were working with them in good faith as they tried half-heartedly to eliminate the problem, they are now saying that the same leaking is not covered by warranty.

This is my second new build and I have experience working with contractors on renovations. Never have I run into such a situation. You need a builder who steps up to big mistakes and not just the little ones. You need a builder who stands behind its work no matter how big the problem and the solution. Not everything goes smoothly in house construction, so the last thing you want is to build with a builder who doesn't stand behind big mistakes. A new house should not have leaky plumbing and only an unethichal builder would run down the warranty clock. I for one could think of better things to be doing with my life than having to fight in court with a builder. My mistake, I guess for choosing this builder.

k-town-man 2012-03-06 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newf73 (Post 213785)
Agree with k-town man. Would not buy again with Tamarack. Custom price tag without the custom quality.


Newf73, what type of "problems" did you have with Tamarack? If I list the major one here, definitely people will know who I am.


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