As I’m sure everybody knows, we just closed on our home after nearly 14 months of nonstop incompetence, deception, nonexistent communication, cut corners, negligence, and shady business practices. And who, you ask, was the builder that inflicted such a terrible situation upon us. Fischer Homes, of course!
Here are a few key highlights from our experience:
- We were among the first to sign our contract and go to the design center, and yet we were among the last homes to get started, and one of the very last homes to close.
- The builder allowed months to go by without sending any updates or responding to any of our questions and concerns. Any contact from them was vague and dodgy.
- We were blatantly lied to multiple times about the status of our permits, the progress they made on our home, corrections they were going to make, and the cause of major issues.
- The builder can not do a single thing right on the first attempt, and consistently made the most boneheaded, incompetent, easily preventable mistakes. Then rarely fixed said mistakes.
- They refused to take accountability for their numerous mistakes, blaming covid or the county instead. They provided zero customer service, and no compensation to help offset the horrible experience.
Think I’m being dramatic? See for yourself (you can also check out my previous Fischer posts for slightly more in-depth information and details).
Our Build Timeline (447 Days From Start To Finish)
2/2/2021 – We signed the purchase agreement, and were quoted an early April break ground with Aug/Sept closing. We got the earliest available design center appointment so we would be among the first homes to start.
2/8/2021 – Went to selections and were assured we were on track and would be among the first built. First to sign, first to build, that’s how they do it!
3/29/2021 – I emailed asking if there was any update on the home.
3/30/2021 – Sales rep emailed back that they were waiting for permits to come back from the county.
4/8/2021 – I checked the county website, and permits weren’t even submitted to the county until this day.
5/11/2021 – Permits came back from the county.
6/1/2021 – We were guaranteed we would break ground no later than this day. Neighbors texted that we did not break ground.
6/3/2021 – We were guaranteed updates on our property no later than this day. We did not receive any updates.
6/10/2021 – Still no updates so I reached out.
6/11/2021 – The project manager emails once to schedule a call, but never provides any contact information or availability. I reply asking for both. Spoiler alert: the project manager never responded to any of my emails.
6/17/2021 – Our house breaks ground. There is absolutely no communication from Fischer from this date to late October. We only got information from helpful neighbors that kept an eye out for us.
7/6/2021 – Our house has the foundation started.
7/30/2021 – Our house has basement floors poured.
8/25/2021 – Our house starts framing. Backyard neighbor with an identical floorplan breaks ground.
9/12/2021 – Our interior framing is almost done, the roof is on. Backyard neighbor has a foundation.
10/27/2021 – We finally met with the project manager (the first time we have met/heard from him since June, over four months of radio silence). They forgot to plumb the basement so the foundation had to be drilled up, and that mistake set our timeline back substantially.
10/31/2021 – Our exterior brick started. Backyard neighbor is fully framed, roofed, and has a driveway.
11/5/2021 – We have finished exterior brick, gas inspection, and plumbing inspection.
11/10/2021 – Our house has a driveway and exterior paint.
11/12/2021 – We get a call that the project manager is no longer with Fischer, there is a new PM.
11/18/2021 – The lender tells us Fischer has bumped our closing to possibly February. So five or six months later than their worst-case scenario projection.
12/2/2021 – Our house fails the first framing inspection because Fischer submitted the wrong permits, on top of fire-blocking and framing issues.
12/7/2021 – Fischer doesn’t bother to send the corrected permits until this day.
12/14/2021 – The county responds that Fischer had sent incomplete corrections and needs to submit AGAIN.
12/16/2021 – Dave emailed asking for Fischer to assume payments for our household good storage since their negligence and incompetence had delayed the build so dramatically. He was told he would hear back from a corporate manager the next day. I’ll save you the curiosity: nobody from corporate ever called, and we received no compensation or assistance for the major inconvenience.
12/20/2021 – The house behind us has passed framing and been drywalled.
12/23/2021 – Spoke with the project manager and he said he’d request the next framing inspection for 12/27.
12/30/2021 – The project manager requests the framing inspection for 1/3 – a week later than he told us he would.
1/3/2022 – The second framing inspection fails because none of the previously documented issues were fixed.
1/3/2022 – We have another new project manager, he is going to request the third framing inspection for 1/6.
1/5/2022 – The third framing inspection happens a day earlier than planned. It failed because yet again none of the documented issues were resolved. Reached out to the new PM but he did not respond.
1/7/2022 – A Fischer rep finally called back and said they were fixing the issues and would reschedule the inspection for Monday the tenth. They sent a follow-up email saying Tuesday the eleventh.
1/8/2022 – No inspection was ever scheduled for Monday or Tuesday.
1/11/2022 – The fourth framing inspection is scheduled for Thursday the thirteenth.
1/13/2022 – It looks like the fourth try is the charm because we finally passed the framing inspection. We were told insulation will be installed 1/14, then drywall immediately after that. Drywall is expected to take ten business days.
1/15/2022 – I walked through the build and there isn’t a scrap of insulation anywhere.
1/17/2022 – Our neighbor texted that installation is being installed.
1/19/2022 – A friend took a peek through the house and said most of the ceilings had been drywalled.
1/21/2022 – Our PM emailed that they expect our home orientation to occur between March 11 and March 18, with closing a week after — assuming no delays.
1/29/2022 – Another new PM emailed that the drywallers would be wrapping up in a day or two, and then they would begin the paint, trim, floors, and lights.
1/30/2022 – I went over the house and saw that drywall was completely hung and mudded and just needed to be sanded. I noticed a few potential issues, like a closet missing drywall, the island was crooked/warped, and there was no hole for the kitchen vent. I emailed the super about it the same day.
2/2/2022 – Happy one-year anniversary of “you’ll be moved into your home no later than August or September!” In true Fischer form, we still haven’t gotten a response to our concerns.
2/6/2022 – We took a peek and walls were painted, cabinets were in, bathroom counters were installed, hard flooring was down, and trim was starting to go up. The closet was still missing drywall.
2/11/2022 – Our super emailed that trim was done and lights were hung. He said the next week’s goal was painting the trim and the second layer of wall paint, kitchen counters, and backsplash.
2/14/2022 – I walked through to test out the lights and noticed the closet was drywalled. Nothing else has been done, and trim was still missing in several areas.
2/16/2022 – I walked over and there was nobody working on the house — however the neighbor to the left (who broke ground well after us) was having their garage door painted and landscaping put in. We still have no garage door. I walked through and very little had changed. The protective paper was removed from the hard flooring, and the master shower stall was in. Besides that, nothing was changed and the trim was still unfinished.
2/18/2022 – No update from Fischer this week. I walked over to see for myself, and it was locked up tight.
2/25/2022 – We have a new project manager. I think this is number 4? or 5? Maybe 6? I’ve lost track. He said that the carpet was installed and appliances were delivered. We scheduled our home orientation for March 18, with closing 7-10 days after.
2/28/2022 – A few neighbors texted that landscaping is going in. So far just the front yard tree and the bushes around the foundation. They are going to lay sod at all the houses at the same time so we will not close with full landscaping. They forgot to paint the front porch pillar so they need to have the painters back out for that. The garage door is supposed to be installed this week, and I am hoping they fix the post lamp since it is resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
3/4/2022 – The PM sent an email that basically amounted to “We got some stuff done inside the house this week! We hope to get to more things next week!” Not exactly informational. They have exactly two weeks from today to get everything done for our walkthrough.
3/4/2022 – They installed the wrong garage door. We had paid to upgrade to a nicer door with windows, but I walked by and the one currently on our house is a typical cheapo garage door with no windows. I emailed the PM, but of course, received no response. Other houses are having garage doors put in with windows, so I have no idea why we are once again getting saddled with all the mistakes.
3/7/2022 – We got a closing date! I’m not going to share it though, because, let’s be honest, it will probably get delayed.
3/8/2022 – The private inspector went through and was extremely thorough. He did not check for county-specific code-related items, just safety and habitability. Fortunately, he only found three issues that really need to be fixed prior to closing. Some missing insulation, the range hood fan wasn’t properly vented outside (which we had notified Fischer about on 1/30), and there was some really bizarre stuff going on with the basement toilet. There were some other issues, but those can wait for the 90-day punchout.
3/9/2022 – The house failed the final county inspection. Code issues with a window, the handrail going upstairs, exterior dryer exhaust, and the plans had to change for the loft space. The plans are the most concerning because they could take a long time held up at county approval.
3/10/2022 – Our realtor called and left a message with the project manager asking for clarification on the plan change. Neither of us expects him to call back, so she will likely end up calling the county directly.
3/15/2022 – I checked the county page and the plan change was approved!
3/16/2022 – The second final inspection is scheduled for 3/17.
3/17/2022 – WE PASSED FINAL INSPECTION. The certificate of occupancy will be issued any day now, and that means there are no more hurdles to closing (besides Fischer itself).
3/18/2022 – Final walkthrough day. We still have the wrong garage door (they seem clueless as to what happened with our upgrade), and they never got around to venting the kitchen fan outside. And there is some really bizarre caulking on the basement bathroom toilet…it looks like the frosting on a birthday cake. But besides that, it looks like we will be able to close. And Joe, one of the new PMs, said he would hook us up with getting the exterior trim painted before we close.
3/25/2022 – We closed! Everything went smoothly, much to our shock. Closing might actually be the only thing that went properly in this entire nightmare process. The exterior trim is painted and there is a plumber un-frosting the basement toilet. The garage door remains a mystery, but whatever. After almost 14 months of torture, we just want to move in. Maybe that was Fischer’s plan all along.
We are moved in now, and I am exactly 0% surprised to report that the experience does not improve after closing. You can read a bit about it here: “Living In A Fischer Home.” We are anxiously looking forward to the day when we can wash our hands of Fischer Homes for good.