Manitou Group LTD / Neglect and mis-management of project
SAVE YOURSELF A LOT OF GRIEF!! DO NOT BUY A LINDAL CEDAR HOME!!!
To make this narrative more readable, I will just state the pertinent facts of our experience.
1. We went to a Manitou Group LTD (www.manitou.net) seminar to learn more about Lindal Cedar Homes. That was our first mistake.
2. We were up front with the turnkey cost we were looking for and was assured we would be able to do that. After going through several contacts at Manitou (employee's seemed to be regularly terminated) we ended up dealing with the President of the company, Kenneth (Ken) Whipple.
3. For the next few months we made started making changes to the interior of the Greenbriar plan and not the footprint as that would incur more costs.
4. The first set of plans looked exactly like the detailed square foot specific rendition WE sent them without any of the modifications notated in several previous emails. We got an appology and was told to sign the preliminary anyway since the corrections can be made for the next set.
5. We kept asking for updated prices, kept lowering our wants (Asphalt roof instead of a metal one, Hardi-plank instead of Cedar, using cheaper cabinets and floors since they can be later updated, we would paint ourselves, etc.) but we were always told it was still being calculated.
6. At every stage we found other requested changes were not made (a bedroom closet still facing a hallway instead of the bedroom) but we were still asked to sign the plans anyway as he assured us the "next" set of plans would reflect the changes. Each time only some of the changes were actually made.
7. At the final stage when we needed to go for financing did we finally see what the total numbers were! We were thinking $300, 000 for the completed house but the actual cost was over $400, 000!! The appraisal came in at $375, 000 which would reflect the cost we were expecting plus the $75, 000 value of the land.
8. We found an independant builder to look at the plans and give us an estimate (no package items...just building costs for the whole house). We did not mention to him what per square footage cost we were looking for nor for the turn-key cost. He asked us "interior finishing" questions and after a couple of weeks, let us know that the turn-key cost would be...you guessed it...at the high end would be $300, 000. He even apologized that it would be so much but that it was the best he could do.
9. It is the Lindal package that is the culprit in most of the high cost. Read the specification List...you will notice that a lot of items have (NIC) in the column. That means Lindal isn't supplying it! The building cost is what looks amazingly high at first because you get the house from Lindal right? Nope.
10. Trying to get out of the contract is even more frustrating! They employ delay tactics, they "want to work" with you and even apply "discounts" to your order to get it to complete. We have even caught them in several lies!
Now they want to keep not only the required downpayment but additional funds!
All I can say is RUN RUN RUN whenever you hear Lindal Cedar Homes or Manitou Group LTD, Manitou.Net or whatever they are calling themselves lately.