We’re Into the Third Year of Our Florida Custom Home Build. It’s a Complete Dumpster Fire.

Build a custom home in Northeast Florida, they said.  It will be fun, they said.  

Last June, I wrote about how my new home construction was going.  And in case you didn’t have a chance to read it, it wasn’t going well.  It wasn’t going at all.  Literally nothing had been built and we were 14 months into the process. 

Fast forward a year.  We’re well into year three of this marathon of a build.  How’s it going?  It’s a Hot Mess.  Here goes… 

Pictured above are our kids on the property we bought back in April of 2021.  This was taken the week our contract with Pinnacle Homes was signed.  The two on the right were 9-year-old elementary schoolers.  They smiled in pictures. They had never heard of TikTok.  It was a glorious time.

Now?  Theyre moody pre-teens who call me “bruh” and beg me to roll up the windows when I drop them off… at middle school.  We were supposed to be settled into the home of their youth by now, while the metaphorical door that is their childhood is rapidly closing.  Oh, and speaking of closing doors…  

Pinnacle Homes, the company with whom I signed the biggest contract of my life, is apparently closed.  Google says this is “permanent.”  Their Facebook page no longer exists.  Their website?  Check it out: 

“IT Issues”

I asked the builder about this and was assured that Pinnacle is on the up-and-up and that they were just experiencing some “temporary IT issues.”  That was in October.  

Coincidentally, the exact same points of contact at Pinnacle Homes have started a company called Gold Key Custom Homes LLC. President? Same guy – Tim Quinn. Gold Key Custom Homes has a Facebook page and a website that look *suspiciously* like Pinnacle’s did.

And wouldn’t you know it, this new company is currently advertising our exact model, with the exact same model name, “Aubrey.”  Here she is: 

Aubrey’s Tinder Profile
Aubrey in Tagged Photos

So here’s what’s going on: embattled Pinnacle Homes has magically become Gold Key Custom Homes.  There.  Problem solved.  

Let me translate for the meme-only crowd: 

Here’s where it really gets weird.  The build has progressed far more with Pinnacle Homes closed than it did when it was open.  

In August of last year, representatives from the company told me that the owner was being taken off the project.  They apologized profusely for delays.  They offered up a new timeline to get everything on track and have the house completed by February of 2023.  More on this in a moment…

Spoiler alert: the house was not completed in February of 2023.    

That said, things did start happening last winter.  They started building.  It was shocking to see people at the property.  Actually working. 

December 2022

Problem is, the pace of work was and remains slow.  REEEALLLYY slow.  It follows a pattern: 

  1. Something happens at the property
  2. Weeks pass with no progress 
  3. We decide we cant do this anymore 
  4. Repeat.

So.  Here’s where we are with the “sorry we’re over a year behind schedule” timeline:

Fortunately, we have a contract that has rules.  After four months for permits, it gave them 245 days to build the house.  That was gonna have us in the house in March of 2022.  It also says that “time is of the essence.”  Those were a few of the rules. 

We’re at day 749 of this build.  Seven Hundred and Forty Freaking Nine. And counting. Here’s all that’s left to be completed: floors, a driveway, doors, the AC units, landscaping, a kitchen, and all the bathrooms.   Just that.  And some other stuff.  

So evidently the rules outlined in this contract are akin to the code of the pirates: they’re more like guidelines than actual rules.  

Meanwhile, back on the Gold Key Custom Homes website, this company invites you to tour the “dream kitchens and baths of our existing, happy clients.” 

Existing? Sure

Happy? You decide.

Since my last post, I’ve had many people reach out with similar survival stories. One says it’s a “complete nightmare going on three years now.” Another says “18 months for a planned 8 months build. A battle the entire time.” Another states “misery has company I see.”

But aside from what all these existing clients have to say, EVERYONE is happy.  Everything is just fine.  Trust the Government.  

Delays breed excuses, and we have seen some classics.  We’re often told that the owner “did not have cell service” for days/weeks on end.  I had the audacity to question weeks of inactivity and was guilt-tripped about a death in the owner’s wife’s family.  And during Spring Break, we got this gem:    

How to say you’re on vacation without saying you’re on vacation

The communications with these people would be comical if they weren’t so tragic.  I don’t have time to dive into thousands of texts, but they tend to fall into one of four categories:  

  1. Provide a vague assurance that some task is “scheduled” and/or progress will occur “ASAP”

2. Provide an assurance that I’m at the “top of his list” and/or his “number one priority”

Boy, do I sure feel special.

3. Provide a self-pitying, non-apology 

Oh, so sorry.

4. And when all else fails, blame the subcontractors.

Here’s a recent photo of our “dried in” home.  Like most issues with the house, we sent it to the builder because they are pretty much never at the property.  It got fixed. We think. But again, kinda sus’ that I’m having to raise these issues when I hired a contractor for all this.

The latest saga: they didn’t engineer the HVAC ducts properly and placed them right in my son’s very small closet.  Easy enough to fix… right? 

Nah.  Rather than re-route the ducts their solution is to just cover over them with drywall under the premise that we didn’t really need that closet anyway.  Sound like a dream come true?  Well then you too can become one of their “existing, happy clients.”  

Bottom line: the build is a complete dumpster fire with no clear end in sight.  Here’s a live look at our property: 

From here on out, I’ll be posting a weekly update.  Why?  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a CrossFit guy: I believe people can be motivated to perform at their best when they know they’re being watched.  

Additionally, I’d hate for these people to forget two important things. First, that we do indeed exist…

And second. Bruh, we are not happy clients.  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s