cniccamorales

Grout Help: To Stain or Not to Stain Grout?

Nics Morales
2 years ago

We're building a house and went to the design studio already. We picked out these tiles and a darker colored grout than the one in the picture. Initially, I had it in my head that I wanted the floors to look as close to actual woods floors as possible. Well, last week, we discovered that the tile guys made a mistake and used the wrong grout. To be honest, I didn't notice when I took the pictures! I was just excited to see that the flooring was in! I had my 9 and 7 year old boys with me, and they thought it was so cool to see everything coming together that I didn't even think twice about the floor. However, when I sent the pictures to my husband, he noticed right away. He doesn't think it looks bad per se, just that it's not what we asked for. I tried to get opinions from friends and explained the situation. One was actually really mad that they messed up and said that they needed to fix it because it looks "really weird!". After looking at the pictures, I can't say that I think it looks that "weird". i actually think it makes the room look brighter. The home builders said that they could stain it the color that we wanted; and that it would be best to go this route instead of taking everything out because it would delay the house being completed. It would be better because according to them, the basic package does not include for them to seal the grout. If we did the stain, they will seal it and it comes with a warranty. I think I'm torn because I want to see what it looks like if we made it the color we actually wanted the grout to be; but I'm worried that the room would look darker. (We have this tile in both bathrooms, hallway, and great room (minus part of the living room). Do you think it looks odd? And do you think getting a darker grout would darken the rooms? Or do you think it'll still be safe to have the grout stained without making the rooms look darker? I was actually thinking about painting the great room (minus the kitchen) SW Sea Salt or something similar. (It's currently SW Collonade Gray). Input?




Comments (52)

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'd take the builder up on his offer and have the grout stained to blend in with the floor as much as possible (going slightly darker if absolutely necessary, but never lighter, because lightness distracts the eye).

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    From what I understand, they don't seal grout for the package we got....which I think is kind of weird. I don't know why they wouldn't especially since people are paying for them to build their house. Anyway, If we went with the stain, they'd have someone seal it...and it comes with a 1 year warranty. We recently learned that you should maintain it by sealing it every couple of years...so either way, we'd still end up sealing it ourselves sooner or later. I honestly don't know which plan of action to take. From what I understand, the stain can last around 16 years. But I'm assuming that's if you seal it regularly AND don't use certain cleaning products. My mom actually has tile with grout that's different colors in various areas. I don't know if it started out a light tan or if it was lighter than that. But I don't really notice it unless I'm paying attention. And she didn't know that no one hadn't sealed her floors. She also used bleach when mopping every week. I don't know how that effects the floors but....so far, her floors look nice. lol (And they're immaculate!). BTW...how have you managed to keep your floor and grout looking clean? This will be a first for me, since we've always had carpet. Thanks for your input!

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  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Hope Davila: lol Thank you for the picture! Your floors actually LOOK like they came that way, so it doesn't look bad at all! Good to know! What does sealing grout actually mean for the homeowners, if you don't mind me asking??? Does not sealing the grout mean that the tile will come out of place? I honestly don't know, since this will be my first time having something other than carpet. And does this mean you shouldn't put water or anything on it???

  • DLM2000-GW
    2 years ago

    Yeah.... I would not be happy with that for a couple of reasons. First, it's not the color you wanted and although I wouldn't say it looks weird, I would say it's not as attractive as it could be. Second, those are substantial grout lines and look out of place for a floor that is intended to mimic wood. Notice how much tighter the grout lines are in Hope Davila's photo? It's not only a much cleaner look, it;s much cleaner, period. Tile is easy to clean - grout is not and the more grout you have the dirtier it will get. With your large grout lines and that light color you will see traffic patterns in no time - sealed or not. It will darken significantly where you walk.

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  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design
    2 years ago

    I think I would have them redo it. It's always better to take the extra time during the building stage to do something right than try a bunch of fixes hoping it works. Light grout hardly ever stays light. I think the light grout distracts from the beautiful tile too.

    Nics Morales thanked Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    One Devoted Dame: Yes, I think my husband is leaning towards the stain. It would be nice for them to re-do it and pull everything out....but we were hoping to be in the house before Christmas. Really wanted it to be a nice Christmas gift for the family. I just hope that the stain doesn't darken the tile or something. I googled it just now, and it looks promising....but I just don't want them to mess THAT up as well. Ya know? And I didn't want the room, hallway, and great room to look darker if they stained it.

  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yes, we asked for smaller grout lines. The lady at the Design Center told us she'd request it, but she couldn't guarantee it.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I've had tile flooring my entire adult life (but I'm only mid-30s, lol), and the *one* time we had sealed grout (in a rental), we hated it. In our first tract house, we asked our foreman about sealing the grout, and he said he did it in his own house and he'd never do it again.

    Will they stain it without sealing it? If not, I'd have someone come in later (or do it yourself... get some knee pads...) after closing and stain it.

    In my experience, grout naturally darkens over time. Most noticeably in the kitchen, since more action (dirtying and cleaning) happens there. Medium and dark colors age more gracefully/slowly than light colors, and I much prefer medium to medium-dark, depending on the tile. It looks cleaner longer, and is less affected by stains.

    For the future, if you build or remodel again, minimizing grout lines also helps a lot. Make them as narrow/thin as possible. :-)

    Oh, and as I understand it, staining the grout doesn't affect the tile. Excess stain is wiped off with a sponge.

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    DLM2000: So even if we got the darker stain, you think it would still look "off" because of the big grout lines? Or do you think that darkening it would make it look better?

  • andria564
    2 years ago

    I would make them redo it and use an epoxy grout and tighter grout lines. Spectralock will not need a sealer and not get the dirty grout color. Right now the grout steals the show and that's probably not what you are going for. They do make grout stains which include sealers like Mapei Grout refresh but why not get this right from the get go. Also bleach + sealed grout is not a good combo.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would make them redo it and use an epoxy grout and tighter grout lines.

    This is the ideal solution, but it sounds like the home is a tract/production house, which is why I recommended just staining what is currently installed. :-) The Design Center chick that they spoke with said there were "no guarantees" (which, translated, means, "You don't get a choice, but my job is to be super friendly and make the design experience a great one!"). This most likely means you have to take what you are given, unless you want to walk away from the contract.

    I've only built two tract houses, and both times, we were at the mercy of whatever the sub wanted to do (we just happen to get really super lucky both times with the tile guys; not so much with the exterior cladding guys).

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    you can't just demand smaller grout lines. these tiles come with a minimum due to bowing and lippage inherent in these large format ceramic/porcelain tiles. (usually 1/8 to a more common 3/8") they laid them on 1/3rd's so thats good. The sales girl didn't know squat about laying tiles so she said what said.

    Grout Renew has a lot of colors. staining it would look a lot better than this bright contrast. grab some at HD and try it out in one of the smaller areas like a closet. you may want a different color. I would get something very close to the tile color so the grout lines aren't noticeable.

    They don't want to relay the tile. they want you to go away. If I were to accept this mistake and save them the trouble of ripping it all out and starting again, you best bet I'd get this floor for next to no cost! have them refund you if it's worked into your mortgage. or have them rip it out and redo it. of course they're saying they can't guarantee it before Xmas. because they don't want to do it so they're trying to dissuade you.

    Ultimately it's up to you. if you keep it, get your money back and have them stain it. if they say no to the refund, tell them to rip it up and redo it. You'll have your check the next morning.


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  • phuninthesun
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I know you want to get into your house as soon as possible, however this will be an ongoing issue for the entire time you live in this house. You will see it every moment. I feel that if you don't have them redo it now, you will never be quite happy with it. As far as the upkeep for lighter grout again, it always seems difficult to keep up with the periodic sealing and the grout will never be the same color due to traffic patterns.

    EXCELLENT point Beth H. - make sure you get a huge discount if you don't have it redone!

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  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    If you think you can live with it with a darker color, as Beth said, make sure you also get a HUGE discount for "compromising" from what you wanted.

    Nics Morales thanked cpartist
  • just_janni
    2 years ago

    I'd have them stain it and THEN make my decision...

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  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    2 years ago

    Stain and seal.

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  • lovliny
    2 years ago
    I actually think your floors look beautiful with the present wall and grout color. So many of these wood-like installations look dull and flat with matching grout colors.
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  • PRO
    Weil Friedman Architects
    2 years ago

    Wood-look tile looks more "real" with dark grout. It would be a real improvement. I would be concerned about the longevity of the stain, so if you can get them to redo the whole thing, it will be worth it in the long run.

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  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I am afraid of them saying no to the discount or refund. I've already asked them to fix a large patch in our master wall before they painted it. We could see a lot of the insulation. They told my husband that the base board should cover it. If not, they'd patch it up. They didn't patch it up and relied on the baseboard to cover it. There was still a tiny hole left...maybe the size of a dime or smaller. Can't remember. I felt silly asking them to fix that, but I did. I'm pretty sure I've annoyed the foreman because I keep noticing things...which they have yet to fix. I'm wondering if they're waiting for the walk through for me to tape everything before they fix it, since they're under a deadline...??? Should I be worried about angering them? I mean, we ARE paying money, so that's why I feel the need to say something. But at the same time, I feel bad for asking. I hate being THAT PERSON. But I just want to get my money's worth, since we DO have 3 kids and have had to save for a long time.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'm pretty sure I've annoyed the foreman because I keep noticing things...which they have yet to fix. I'm wondering if they're waiting for the walk through for me to tape everything before they fix it, since they're under a deadline...???

    If this is a tract home, then I wouldn't worry too much about small, cosmetic things getting fixed before closing. :-) Even when you tape everything, they'll still miss things. Get as much done as you can before closing, but no worries if you have to wait until your 60-day (or 90-day or whatever) warranty period to address other minor things. You'll find other things as you live in the house, no big deal. :-)

  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Loud & clear BETH H. Thank you for the push. :)


  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    What Beth said.


    Nics Morales thanked cpartist
  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago

    Sometimes, negotiating a different aspect of a tract build is wiser than having them rip out something that's perfectly good, just cosmetically not what you want. The builder has already offered to fix it by staining and sealing the grout.

    It's not an ugly floor. It's not carpet where they should've put tile (I have that in my own tract home now, that I just submitted for the 60-day warranty). I am one of those people who are overly concerned about not making mountains out of molehills, so yeah, I probably put up with more than I should, lol.

    What I'm trying to say is, pick your battles. Be patient. And understand that *if this is a tract home* you will have to accept several compromises, because the luxury of being pickier is afforded to the custom home building crowd. You get what you pay for.

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    ONE DEVOTED DAME: my husband is part of your club then. He tends to pick his battles a lot (or rather, pick hardly any! lol). I tend to be a little feistier when I feel the need to be. At this point in time, I honestly don't know if I need to be feisty or not. But, it can't (or shouldn't) hurt to try for what Beth said, I think. Better to ask and find out what happens, then not ask and know that nothing will happen. However, I might MAKE my husband do this since I'm the one who's been checking the house and asking for repairs enough whenever I see something. Oops. I thought it was my job to, since these houses aren't exactly cheap...even if they AREN'T custom built homes. I was hoping they'd take initiative and offer some kind of compensation or discount or anything....but all they mentioned was the stain. I guess they really wouldn't ask since they don't want to lose money. But, since I've gotten several suggestions talking about a refund/discount/swap.....I think I'll pick this battle so that I know I at least tried. With that said, I can't say that I hate the way the floor looks. It's not ideal or what we wanted, but I don't think it looks horrible. If I *had to live with it, I could. But since they offered the stain, we'll definitely take them up on it since that's the only time they've offered to seal the grout. I'll talk this over with my husband and see if he can push for some kind of compensation since we ARE saving them over $5000 to not pull it all out and replace it. But we'll see. They might still try to be stingy.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago

    However, I might MAKE my husband do this since I'm the one who's been
    checking the house and asking for repairs enough whenever I see
    something.

    If I may, I would say that if you feel so strongly about an issue, it is *you* who needs to speak up, not ask your husband to do it for you. You can voice your concern yourself, while still being polite/firm, but I don't believe in "making" anyone other than a child do something. ;-)

  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    He feels the same as I do, and knows I've been the one dealing with them; so he says he's willing to do the talking. He's probably better at this than I am anyway. He's the bread winner right now, so if anything, he's probably even more concerned about getting our money's worth. Not that I'm not. But he is the one working hard. It wasn't an easy feat; and this process has been a long road. So I know he wants to make sure everything is right, as much as possible.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    as chauvinistic as it sounds, men foreman respond to dealing with men better. some home contractor/builders don't take women seriously and will often try and push their weight around with them. they won't do it as often w/men. (lol,,let them try it with me :0 )

  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ok, so my husband spoke to the builders about getting some kind of discount or compensation if we went ahead with the stain & seal. They basically said, "Well, you're getting the seal." My DH explained that he understood what they were saying, but what happens if the grout gets chipped somehow, and we end up with white spots from the lighter grout underneath? Our only options, it seems, is to either delay the progress if we want it pulled out and redone, or to stain. They're not even offering any other kind of incentive. I think we're both a bit frustrated with these home builders right now. I'm at the point where I just want to say "screw it". Just stain the damn thing already. My husband's worry is that if we ask them to pull it all out, they'll just rip it out and leave our house alone for a while just to make a point. I feel like I'm being greedy for asking for a discount or swap of some sort. I honestly am just worried about how it will look and how long it will last with the stain. And also, if it'll change the color of my tile. But really, I just don't want to deal with it anymore; and I don't want the builders pissing on us just because they're annoyed. If they could guarantee that the stain wouldn't end up being a disappointment, then I think I could deal with it. But that just might be my frustration talking.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    2 years ago

    Stain and seal. Walk away. There will be other days and other battles.

    “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    your call Nics. I don't know what the big deal is about sealing and why they keep saying it like it's a monumental procedure. you could do it all yourselves in an hour and $50.

    I understand you not wanting to press the issue. But honestly, they screwed up. is there a higher up you could talk with?

    At the least if you accept it, i'd demand a warranty. you have a valid point about the white showing through. I have no idea how long this grout stain lasts or holds up.

    there must be a general manager or a yelp review or something or someone your could speak with. even to get a warranty for the grout stain.


    Nics Morales thanked Beth H. :
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yes VIRGIL CARTER FINE ART. I think that's what we're going to do. It'll be Christmas time, and I just want my kids to be in their home; and have family visiting from out of state to have another place to stay, instead of having everyone crammed at my moms. Thanks

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My DH explained that he understood what they were saying, but what happens if the grout gets chipped somehow, and we end up with white spots from the lighter grout underneath?

    I've never heard of this (doesn't mean it doesn't happen, just that I've never heard or experienced this possibility), but if by some random fluke that it *does* happen, dab a little stain on the light spot. Problem solved. :-D

    Honestly, your *tile* is far more likely to chip, and be glaringly obvious. Since it's "wood-look" I'm not confident that the typical tile chip repair will look very good. The builder *should* leave extra tiles for you to be able to replace chipped tiles later. Get the manufacturer info for the tiles, just in case they don't leave an extra box or two.

    If y'all are sweethearts from here on out, you might find they leave a *ton* of extras for you. We received extra boxes of floor tiles, wall tiles, backsplash tiles, and exterior bricks, as well as extra 5-gallon buckets of "touch up" paint, extra rolls of carpet, leftover lengths of trim, and an extra kitchen drawer.

    Our only options, it seems, is to either delay the progress if we want it pulled out and redone, or to stain.

    I was afraid of this. :-( And if *you* are deemed responsible for the delay, there is probably something in your contract about a daily fee that you'll be charged. Ours was $500 one-time plus $250/day. Which is why it's important to pick your battles. ;-) This isn't really a hill I'd be willing to die on, especially since the fix is cosmetic and simple.

    They're not even offering any other kind of incentive.

    No surprise, because if y'all walk away, they can simply sell the house to the next person in line. Many production builders erect spec homes ahead of time, and lots of folks love the fact that they don't have to wait as long to move in, since they don't have to go through the design center process. Less stress that way, as you know, lol.

    I think we're both a bit frustrated with these home builders right now.

    I know it's rotten, but it's really best to dial your expectations back. A lot. This is not a custom home, so many, many, *many* options are closed to you. I look at tract homes as basically the same as existing homes, except I get to pick my lot (HUGE advantage), my floor plan (another huge advantage), and a few colors, lol. I still expect to be dealing with issues, and am willing to solve them myself through DIY (okay, I'll be honest, my *husband's* DIY, lol) or tradesmen that we hire ourselves.

    And also, if it'll change the color of my tile.

    If your tile was porous, like unsealed Saltillo, then I'd be worried. I honestly don't think you have *anything* to be concerned about, regarding the grout stain discoloring your tile. :-) I have had this done on expansive tile jobs in the past, and had zero issues.

    Y'all are in the home stretch. Almost done!!! Just this last little bump, and you'll be in your house soon. In the grand scheme of things, you'll look back on the stress and go, "Good grief, what a waste." Hang in there. <3

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • chispa
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I don't see why a buyer of a tract/production house has to accept incorrect work. With this type of build you get limited choices, but when you pick one of their offerings that is what they need to deliver.

    My parents have built 3 homes with large production builders ... they are polite but insistent ... like a mosquito that keeps you awake at night! They get exactly what they paid for in the contract and nothing less.

    By accepting less that the contract, you are simply enabling the builder and encouraging them to continue this kind of behaviour.

    If you request that they compensate you for accepting incorrect work and they don't, I would be erecting a nice sign on my lawn right after moving in -- Buyer beware, XYZ does not honor their contract! Or something like that. It will work really well if they are still trying to sell/build out the development!

    Nics Morales thanked chispa
  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I guess I just figure that, since the production home only takes 3 months to construct, more mistakes are inevitable; I accept this risk when I sign on the dotted line. I choose not to be a thorn in someone's side, especially the foreman, because he has enough of those. I expect perfection from myself, rarely from others.

    My floor's grout is also the wrong color (gray... and I've mentioned here before
    how I loathe the color gray; it was supposed to be medium chocolate), there are two different mortar colors on my brick (some buff, some gray), and we have to repaint every painted surface in the house (they thinned it out too much; it feels like chalk and rubs off on clothes). I just decided to not even mention them. There were more important things to worry about, like cracked windows, a broken a/c unit, and forgotten trim pieces at the fascia large enough for a cat to crawl through.

    Our home was delayed several times (builder/vendors/weather), and I had to keep bumping the 3rd-party inspector. The last time I ended up rescheduling the inspection, I sent an encouraging email to the foreman. When we met at the walk-through, he told me that he thought my email was so sweet, he showed his wife. He continued to compliment my husband on his wife and kids. I love interactions like that.

    Was I frustrated with the things that went wrong? Absolutely. And I agree that someone should be held accountable. In most cases, I just don't think it's the guy walking around in steel toe boots, jeans, and a ball cap. The guys in suits at Corporate are the ones ultimately responsible, because they make all the rules and overwork their crews.

  • chispa
    2 years ago

    ODD, you can't be a thorn in someone's side when you paid for product and they did not deliver. You were taken advantage of and you let them.

    You can still be polite and sweet, and get people to do their work. The foreman/crews would not be able to say anything bad about my parents ... they would probably describe them as a lovely polite and personable older couple who didn't miss a single detail! My mother also probably knew the names/ages of any kids/grandkids and the life history of anyone working on the house ... she is good at making everyone her best friend!

    You shouldn't have to settle for mediocre results because you didn't build a custom house. Even a custom house will have problems if you let the builder/crews get away with subpar or incorrect work.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    ODD, you can't be a thorn in someone's side when you paid for product and they did not deliver. You were taken advantage of and you let them. You shouldn't have to settle for mediocre results because you didn't build a custom house.

    My expectations for a tract home are very, very low. Maybe that means I'll be a pain in the neck with a custom. :-D

    Yes, I paid for a product, but it's like going to Wal-Mart instead of Nordstrom. Performance, customer service, and quality are higher at the latter, and people pay for that. I cannot expect the same at the former, or I will be sorely disappointed and stressed out. Not worth it to me.

    Even a custom house will have problems if you let the builder/crews get away with subpar or incorrect work.

    Which is why I plan on having my architect on hand throughout the process. Another luxury of building custom.

  • chispa
    2 years ago

    So the "less wealthy" have to settle for subpar work and work that does not meet the legal contract signed by both parties?

    Shoppers at Walmart still deserve products that work as advertised and workers that treat them politely.

    Getting the product you contracted to buy shouldn't be a luxury for only those that can pay for custom products. Yikes!

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    So the "less wealthy" have to settle for subpar work and work that does not meet the legal contract signed by both parties?

    The problem is, at least with the tract houses I've bought, that subpar work is technically done to code, so few arguments can really be made. And the legal contracts the builders used *always* gave them wiggle room for changing/modifying design selections, including changing the floor plan itself, as well as cosmetic interior things.

    But it's quite possible that I'm a doormat... Wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of that, lol.

    Shoppers at Walmart still deserve products that work as advertised and workers that treat them politely.

    I don't disagree, in an ideal world, yes, everyone should be treated the same. I have just accepted, from my below-poverty line upbringing, that this isn't the case.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    2 years ago

    There's an old military saying (known to many grunts), which says, "Is this the hill you want to die on...?"

    It's sound grisly, but to grunts (like me) it simply means pick your battles and decide whether or not you can win. Don't stake out a hill on which you can't win...

    Time to move on...

    Nics Morales thanked Virgil Carter Fine Art
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    It's okay, guys. We've decided to stain, seal, and say the Serenity Prayer. ;)

    I understand everyone's viewpoints. For me, it was a battle between whether I want to NOT be a doormat vs. just having faith that everything will turn out fine. The sales person who sold us the home and the foreman have come back saying that the stain and seal are actually the more expensive route they're taking. Our foreman says that he will personally make sure the grout guys do everything right this time AND he will also personally make a "kit" for us for future use, in case we need it. They've also asked us if we'd be available to meet the Rep from the company where the stain & seal are coming from, so that they can explain everything to us so that we're comfortable and better understand how well it works. Yes, we wish they'd offer to swap or compensate us for the mistake......but I'm just grateful that they're trying to take the time to help us feel like they're not just trying to "shoo us away". We put most of the money towards the flooring and the kitchen (flooring mostly), so that's probably why it was the most upsetting for us. My husband and I just want to make sure that they're not going to make it worse. He IS the breadwinner and I believe he deserves to see his money put to good use. YES....we aren't getting a "custom"/"luxury" home. And we should just accept minor mistakes. But what people need to realize is that for some of us...this is the CLOSEST to a luxury home we might ever get. The money for this was hard to come by, so I truly hate that we probably are being pains in the a**es. Never wanted that to be the case. Never wanted a bad relationship with our builders. We just thought we were in our right to push for what we believed was fair...especially since it's a BIG investment for US. We're not rich. We're not poor. We're just happy to be able to build a new home. No matter what, it'll still be a better house than our old 1950s house that constantly needed repairs. As for the tile....I guess we could have just let it go and not get all bent out of shape about it. But I think part of it has more to do with stress piling on. I don't know. Either way, we're moving on and hoping for the best. If anything, I've already had it in my head that if they change the look of the tile, I can always repaint the rooms or do something differently to make it look better. Overall, I don't think it looks horrible; just not what we wanted. It's fine. As long as the house doesn't fall apart on top of my children, I think we'll be golden. ;) Thank you all for your input and encouragement. I was surprised to see and hear how many people pushed for us to speak up and make sure we got refunded/discounted/compensated...on Houzz and in person. It's good to know that we weren't the only ones who felt they needed to make amends in some way. If anything, this has been a humbling experience...and a growing experience. At the end of the day, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. It's grout for crying out loud. lol! Can't complain too much, even though I feel like we had a right to bring up concerns and frustrations. Again, at the end of the day, it's better than what we had. It's not a luxury home.....but it's more "luxurious" than our old home. And yes, our expectations may have been high; but that's because we've never known of new-builds before; and since we ARE spending a lot more money than we're used to, we expected them to do everything right. Might have been foolish to think that....but we are novices. Ya live, ya learn eh?

  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    BETH H: They offered a 1 year warranty. I kind of feel like it should be longer, but when we meet with the rep and builders next week, hopefully they can give us a longer one.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    Nics,,,I'm happy for you. Really. you have a wonderful disposition and outlook on life. Your husband and children are very fortunate. You are absolutely right. it's only grout! Sounds like they're doing what they can to make up for their mistake. A year is better than nothing. Enjoy your new home w/your family.

    Nics Morales thanked Beth H. :
  • Janelle
    2 years ago

    The bones of a house are the most important thing, the superficial things are just that and can be changed later. Worry more about foundations, the roof, electrical work, plumbing, waterproofing and the general structure - these are the really important things. It is a shame that they mucked up the grout but accept their solution, they seem to have offered a fair option. Don't be frightened to bring things you aren't happy with to their attention - they have an obligation to build to an acceptable standard. Stay strong, you sound like you are almost at the end. Remember a house is just a house- it is the people living in that house that make it a home.

    Nics Morales thanked Janelle
  • chispa
    2 years ago

    Nics said:

    Quote - "YES....we aren't getting a "custom"/"luxury" home. And we should just
    accept minor mistakes. But what people need to realize is that for some
    of us...this is the CLOSEST to a luxury home we might ever get. The
    money for this was hard to come by, so I truly hate that we probably are
    being pains in the a**es." - End Quote

    NO, NO, NO! You should not just accept mistakes and you are not being a pain.

    The builder is in the wrong and they get away with it very easily with a few hours of labor and a few gallons of stain/sealer.

    I'm happy you feel ok about the solution, but you were never in the wrong.

    Nics Morales thanked chispa
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Thank you for the sweet and encouraging words BETH H and JANELLE. I know that the kids will love it no matter what WE *know about it. lol! This is the first time they'll have their own rooms, so they're excited! (I *might not be as excited to be seeing double the messes. :P )

    CHISPA: We made sure to point out issues like the framework on the roof that was broken when the fork lift placed the tiles on the roof, as well as big holes where insects and rodents would have a chance to climb through. Whether they fixed it yet or not, at least I know that THEY know that WE NOTICED. And if they are not fixed by the walk through date, I will be taping everything that I see, snapping pictures, and emailing myself as well as the sales and contractors....just to make sure I've got all my bases covered. ;) They've got about 7 days to fix everything. And if not, I will use every.single.day of the first year to call them on it, since I do not intend for my husband to be breaking his back (literally & figuratively speaking...because he actually through out his back recently!) fixing things that THEY should have taken care of. I will do my best to not be a thorn in their sides; but I also refuse to let them get away with things that could cause us trouble down the road....if that makes sense? Hopefully they don't see me an a bother; but if they do....well....at least I know I tried to be kind & patient about it initially. Like I said, I really was hoping for a good relationship with the builders...especially since one of the foreman lives across the street from my new-build!!! 0_0 I'd hate to have a neighbor that hates us already! I do appreciate you seeing and understanding how we feel though! I wish the builders could too!

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I will do my best to not be a thorn in their sides; but I also refuse to let them get away with things that could cause us trouble down the road....if that makes sense?

    In both of my experiences with tract houses, the beautiful thing about warranty work is that the foreman/superintendent is *not* responsible for getting the subs to fix anything; it's an entirely different process.

    Which is good, because I don't have to breathe down the neck of the guy who was overworked -- I get to bug the Fix It folks, since that is, in fact, their jobs (so they aren't really being "bothered.") :-) They've all been great to work with so far, and even say things like, "You paid for this, they should've done it right the first time, but don't worry, I'll fix it and I'll do it better because they didn't know what they were doing!" -- And then they give me free kitchen drawers and touch up markers, lol.

    And I totally know the feeling of, "This is the nicest house I've ever lived in my whole life." My mom, during the build, was saying things like, "But you're paying good money for this house!" And I'm like, "Well, it feels that way *to us*, but the reality is, it's not 'good money' for the area. I'd have to spend double or triple for 'good money.' I can only pick 2 of 'Cheap, Fast, and Quality'... And a tract home is by far less expensive than custom, it only takes 3 months to build, so quality will naturally suffer."

    But that's okay, because it's *still* the nicest house I've ever lived in, so far! (And I said the same thing about the first tract we built, lol.)

    OH!!!

    Did y'all have a third party inspector? Is it too late to get one??? Definitely, if you can (read your contract), hire your own inspector -- Everything our inspector noted as semi-important or critical was addressed without ANY hesitation!

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • Nics Morales
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    People keep saying it takes 3 months to build for a tract house. I there a reason why mine is taking longer....5-6 months? We signed for it in May...they started building in late June (because the plumbing guys were delayed). They estimated January or February (to be on the safe side). They're telling us now that we should have the walk-thru in December though. I didn't realize they could build a house in 3 months?! Wow...that's really fast!


    If my memory serves, I think they said there would be an inspector there; but I'll double check. On average, how much does hiring one cost? And how do I look for one? Sorry, I'm sure that's a really stupid question. I'll ask my friends who built new builds. However, I'm learning that when they purchased their new builds 9 years ago, the process was a bit different from what they do now. I'll check around and figure out. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • One Devoted Dame
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    People keep saying it takes 3 months to build for a tract house. I there a reason why mine is taking longer....5-6 months?

    Our first production house took 6 months, and I was practically begging the folks who built this one to take their time, lol. The potential for bigger/more frequent mistakes is higher when the house is tossed up in 3-4 months.
    If my memory serves, I think they said there would be an inspector there; but I'll double check.

    Not just *any* inspector... Not a county/city guy, or even one of the builder's inspectors, but one who *you* hire. :-)

    On average, how much does hiring one cost? And how do I look for one? Sorry, I'm sure that's a really stupid question.

    Not stupid at all! We didn't have an inspector with our first house... Just didn't know any better.

    In my area (central Texas), it usually costs $200-$500 for a private inspector. Ours was $400, and worth every penny. We found him on Yelp. And to make sure the builder's warranty folks do everything they're supposed to do, we're going to hire him again at the 11-month mark, to re-inspect the house.

    Nics Morales thanked One Devoted Dame
  • cpartist
    2 years ago

    No you don't want their inspector there. You want to hire your own independent inspector to go through the house with you.

    Here it costs about $250 for an inspector.

    Nics Morales thanked cpartist