UBuildItFraud and cheating

1
Review updated:

We hired and signed a contract with Ubuildit Bethesda to help us with building our dream home in Arlington Va. Ubuildit started out strong and very helpful. But as time went on the owner decided to layoff his staff that was experienced in home building, once that happened many things began to go wrong, deadlines were missed, site visits weren’t happening, and construction mistakes started to pile up which were very costly.

We tried to discuss the matter with the owner, Chad, even paid him money ahead of schedule due to his bad financial situation, but he wouldn’t discuss the situation’s real issue, that the services we purchased weren't being provided. He invoiced us for the next draw due to him ahead of the planned/contractual time frame and 3 weeks later put a lien on our home.

We are now forced into costly law suits and him attempting to destroy our dreams. I have met with him to try and discuss the situation but he simply wont budge. stay away from all Ubuildit Bethesda, this guy is a scam artists. Feel free to contact me for details if you are considering using Chad for your project.

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Responses

  • Al
    Alyssa Oct 14, 2008

    We too had a horrible experience with UBuildIt in Charleston, South Carolina. Here are some details that were submitted to the better business bureau.

    We hired U BuildIt as a consultant to build our home in October of 2006. The fee was cost plus 7% During our initial conversations with, they stated that the last 10% was to be paid when we were 100% satisfied with the services provided by UBuildIt. UBuildIt mis-represented its services. We were sold that a contractor would be on our site daily. There were several personnel changes after we signed our contract. the original site manager was replaced before our building process started. The new contact did not have any experience or skills in building. As well, he made at most 10 site visits. Our contract stated at least 27 site visits. He is not a licensed contractor. He was unable to determine structural mistakes in the early phases of our project. It took our qualified subcontractors to find and correct these errors. UBuildIt did not have a licensed contractor readily available. The only licensed contractor, was several hours away in Beaufort. There were several instances when we needed a contractor immediately to help us make structural decisions, and we were left to do that on our own.Many of the subs recommended produced less than quality work when we went to see their work. our engineer made multiple errors on our plans that cost us time and money. One of the subs had work that did not meet our quality expectations. UBuildIt mis-interpreted our block foundation quote. The firm miss-calculated this quote and left out the cost for the actual block. This error cost us $10, 000. We received a bill from UBuildIt on 3/14/08 (sent to our previous address). We followed up with a letter asking for an explanation of the fees due (dated 3/15). Instead of a response, the account was sent to collection (letter dated 3/20/08.. UBuildIt mis-represented it's services.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    Fizzy Jun 17, 2009

    Sounds one sided in this complaint.

    -5 Votes
  • Kn
    knoxbury Oct 01, 2009

    I also had a terrible experience with UBuildIt in Greenville, South Carolina. I simply wanted an information packet with a DVD. I completed a request on the ubuildit.com website for this InfoKit in early July. Robert Raditz, the local owner called and talked with me on July 13 and sent a follow up email. He wasn't overly friendly, but I thought he would send an info packet. On September 9, I emailed Robert and told him I had not yet received the packet. He neither replied to my email or sent the packet, so I followed up at the end of September. He told me, "I'm NOT required to send out anything I deem not useful" and he also said he doesn't want to waste his time and money on info packets.

    So I called corporate UBuildIt. They appeared friendly and helpful, but they weren't. Robert told them that I was ignoring his calls and emails and corporate is believing him (even though I have documented electronic proof that it's the opposite). So now, Marianne at corporate will not return my calls or email and she will not give me contact info for her boss (Chuck Warrender, the founder of UBuildIt).

    Now, after doing a search online, I see poor BBB ratings and many complaints. As I told UBuildIt in this case, "If you're not willing to help by sending out an InfoKit that you advertise, how in the world could I trust you to help me build my house?" STAY AWAY FROM UBUILDIT!

    1 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Bartman Mar 08, 2018

    @knoxbury I had a similar experience. Robert Raditz of Ubuildit in Greenville in SC is a scammer. Incompetent, dishonest, and never shows up. Massively underestimated cost of building house. Don't hire Ubuildit. Kevin 8036340535

    0 Votes
  • Va
    vankiu11 Dec 11, 2009

    Hi
    I was given the opportunity to open a UBuilD franchise, am researching how are they doing and what the people think. So far I haven't heard any good comments.
    That is interesting because on the interview with them I was shown only good testimonials, so I asked them Where are the BAD ones. No answer was given to me. Do you think it is a god opportunity or a way to loose money?

    1 Votes
  • Tr
    TravelGal2273 Feb 15, 2010

    I would proceed very, very slowly and carefully with this particular office. To hit the highlights of my personal experience with them...

    1. Bethesda had way too much contact with the bank. At one point I told the bank not to talk to U Build It unless they spoke to me first. Bethesda kept communicating with the bank to inquire into the status of my loan. This is when I had told Bethesda I was not ready to move forward until I had pertinent information.

    2. The bank accidentally put me on a chain of emails where Bethesda was inquiring into the financial health of potential customers. I assume that's legal but the contents of the chain just didn't seem right.

    3. Bethesda kept pushing me to get a loan and move forward with Phase II without having an accurate cost to build estimate. Bethesda came up with some ROUGH, ROUGH numbers and said it would cost this to build. I explained time and time again that I wasn't moving forward until I had a cost estimate for each item in the house.

    Long and short...don't let Bethesda push you into anything and make sure to double check everything before moving forward. I liked the ubuildit concept so I went to the Annapolis office but they went out of business. Didn't even tell me really and gave my contract to the Westminster office. So far Westminster has been fantastic.

    I kept the email the bank copied me on and I have a long email I sent to Bethesda detailing why I was not moving forward with them. If you anyone would like copies, please let me know and I'll forward.

    0 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBethesda Feb 25, 2010

    UBuildIt-Bethesda and client settled their dispute and the lien for non-payment was released on October 15, 2008 when payment was received. This experience was very unfortunate and in no way indicative of the typical client experience. There is no more transparent system in the world for building or remodeling your home. All UBuildIt franchises are independently owned and operated and like all small business could not stay in business without many, many happy clients. Before working with any organization like this I would encourage you to bring up concerns such as these, talk to their current clients and do the good research you are doing now to get the full picture.

    -1 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBrand Feb 17, 2011

    We want to share some real and recent UBuildIt client testimonials. With a system that has been around for over 20 years, and helped over 11, 000 families, we think we are doing pretty good.

    Our experience with UBuildIt has been fantastic. Our questions and concerns were addressed promptly. Recommended subcontractors have been professional, timely, dependable, and of excellent quality. We entered into the idea of building our own home with much trepidation, and are close to completing construction confidently, and with significant equity. Equipped with no building experience and a small amount of working construction knowledge, it would have been next to impossible to complete our project within budget and in a timely fashion without Dave and Beth’s knowledge, patience, professionalism, and most importantly friendship. We are more than satisfied with our relationship with UBuildIt and the entire process.

    For some video testimonials, visit http://www.ubuildit.com/resource-center/informational-video.html

    As you should when you are going to spend any amount of money and especially on something as important as your home, meet the people who will help you, ask alot of questions including the big one "Is UBuildIt a Fit for You?" and decide for yourself. We encourage people who have issues to contact the UBuildIt they are working with or the Home Office at 1.866.828.4534. One of the ways we keep our excellent service is to hear from you.

    Thank you!

    -1 Votes
  • Kn
    knoxbury Feb 17, 2011

    propaganda, propaganda, propaganda

    0 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBrand Feb 20, 2011

    Here is what one UBuildIt Greenville client had to say about their experience and they were actually clients! "Thanks Robert ! We both are so glad we went with UBuildIt - one of the big reasons we went with you was we really liked you after meeting with you, we felt
    comfortable and trusted you and knowing that we could really be involved every step of the way
    and communicate with the subs and learn things through the process, which we did! we loved
    it ! I loved working with you and every contractor ! They are all professionals ! Truly! You've got a great group of people and I feel like I made a lot of good friends building this house!" Cindy H.

    -2 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Bartman May 15, 2018

    @UBuildItBrand What a joke and BS review.

    2 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBrand Feb 20, 2011

    UBuildIt Greenville has another Big Fan! "Dear Robert, Michael and Hart, I am very blessed to have your company assist me with the building of my new house. Your professionalism and knowledge during the construction was invaluable. You personalized with dedication; the detailed building of my Dream Home like it was your own house. I want to tell you how much I appreciate your hard work and your friendships." Sincerely, Robert T. ONE VERY SATISFIYED UBUILDIT HOME CUSTOMER

    -1 Votes
  • Di
    disaster1 Jun 08, 2011

    Just doing some research on UBUILDIT and have ran across these negative comments.I found it intresting that in several forums there are the same 3 complaints that are voiced over and over, I would have to say with more than 11, 000 completed projects and only 3 ###s complaining that they werent acting like a G.C. when they only hired a consultant, is pretty dam good! These people need to grow up and take resposibility for their own screwups, If they wanted a G.C. they should have hired one(I AM SURE THEY WOULD HAVE MADE HIS LIFE HELL ALSO!AND PAID 30% MORE) instead of a consultant, you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink! I have no affiliation with this company, I have never even talked with anyone with this company, I dont even know if they have an office in tulsa, So what i am saying is this must be a great company to have completed so many projects IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY with so few complaints.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Bartman May 15, 2018

    @disaster1 This is obviously from a Ubuildit representative - the issue is that

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Bartman May 15, 2018

    @Kevin Bartman Obviously from a Ubuildtit representative and probably from Robert Raditz. There are probably some good, honest, hardworking Ubuildit representatives - Robert Raditz is not one of them. You pay them a lot of money for an honest estimate and expect some presence on site and responsiveness to your calls. Robert provided none of that an was obviously in it for his own sake to maximize his commission. His estimate was massively short, with no presence onsite and little responsiveness to communication. At one point I called, Emailed, and texted and got no response for four days - at which time he obviously had still not been to the site. He was unfamiliar with the plans and barely looked at construction as it progressed. If you look at their contract its front end loaded to get about 75% of their commission when the framing is done. That way when you get in a financial jam later - you are screwed and they will pretty much abandon the project since they already got paid. If this is what you want - while paying about $500 to $1000 a week (!) for "consulting" work - go for it. I welcome anyone to email me at [email protected] to get the lowdown on this scammer. Luckily, I saw where this was going during the construction process. I fired Robert Raditz after paying him about $10, 000 for virtually nothing. I wasn't about to let the framing progress, and owe him another $8000 when he was doing almost nothing.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kevin Bartman May 15, 2018

    @Kevin Bartman U also welcome you to email me disaster if you would like to "talk" about this.

    0 Votes
  • Ge
    Gerald Craig Jan 05, 2019

    @disaster1 I have been selling new home construction for 16 years, in Arkansas. I totally agree with the comment, that the number of complaints are very low for 11, 000 homes built. The goal is to have all satisfied customers and the highest positive rating possible. Fortunately their are rating companies for builders and the number are pretty accurate. Much has improved since 2011 regarding builder/customer relationships and rating.

    0 Votes
  • Kn
    knoxbury Jun 08, 2011

    Oh right, no affiliation with the company. SURE. Now about that swamp land.

    0 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBrand Apr 23, 2012

    The UBuildIt office in Bethesda Maryland closed last year. We hope that if you have any complaints about a UBuildit office that you first contact that office and work towards resolution first. You can always call the UBuildIt Home Office at 1.866.828.4534

    1 Votes
  • Ub
    UBuildItBrand Apr 23, 2012

    We at the UBuildIt Home Office can provide you with a toll free number to call us if you and your local UBuildIt can not come to resolution - 1.866.828.4534. Many of the offices listed on this website are now closed - Charleston SC, Bethesda MD/Arlington VA As always, we hope that you and the local UBuildIt work towards resolution. In most cases this has been the best way to work out any issues. Thank You!

    0 Votes
  • Kn
    knoxbury Apr 23, 2012

    These follow up "positives" are so phony! No homeowner is going to scour the web looking for complaints to add on to. And as the person who started this complaint, I now have land and am ready to build . . . without UBuildit! Gee Robert, don't you think an info packet would have been worth it?!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Charity21 Mar 13, 2013

    U Build IT should change there name to U Build ###. The Oklahoma City branch is a total fraudulent scam. BOB BRAUDRICK IS A FLAT OUT LIAR.

    2 Votes
  • Pi
    Pi$$ed off guy Apr 30, 2013

    Where they screw you is on your budget. They lure you in to signing a house you think you can afford by lowballing and eliminating items. You even go through a planning stage where you plan everything out including your budget on some spread sheet you might as well blow your nose on. Next you get your construction manual and you notice things are simply left out of it that you did not agree to. You ask them about it and they lie through their teeth saying "you said you would do it". they are things that most ordinary people cant or dont have the equipment to do it with. So you end up hiring it out and guess who gets stuck with the bill? YOU! These people do not care how many small children you have, or who you are. If you plan on building with them it would be worth the time to find a G.C. pay him something to look at you budget and see what he thinks before you even break ground and start making draws from the bank. If not your project will be doomed from the beginning. Their out is that YOU are the general contractor. they are only consultants. So YOU handle all overages. Most people can schedule tradesman and do some of the duties of a G.C. with some guidance. However, THEY handle the budget in the beginning and thats where it happens. It would also be a good idea to have about 40% of the cost of THEIR budget stashed away when this all happens.

    2 Votes
  • Wo
    worried090 Apr 30, 2013

    I just forward all the negative comments to Ubuildit Bethesda and when they respond and at that time they will post the persons personal information that is attempting to sue them. It is a shame the person that is posting negative remarks do not have the guts to give their info so everyone can verify.

    1 Votes
  • Pi
    Pi$$ed off guy Apr 30, 2013

    You might send it to Bob Fraudrick in Edmond Ok as well, because it was his group that gave me the worst experience of my life.

    1 Votes
  • Bo
    Boomer20 Apr 30, 2013

    Yes, Bob and Mark Abel in Edmond, Ok have made ours a horrible experience as well. They lie with the budget. never got Multiple quotes, 12, 000 off on lumber alone when they had plans in front of them, then when we were already over 40000.00 before interior had ever started so we had to finish the whole inside out ourselves. if we would have had to hire that work done as well we would have been over 75, 000. From 100.00 sq. ft. has jumped to 125.00 per sq. ft. with us doing most the work. how does that happen. Initial budget is a joke. They will not admit to any wrong doings. Don't fall into the same trap we did.

    • Mark Abel helped me resolve my issues.

    2 Votes
  • Pi
    Pi$$ed off guy Apr 30, 2013

    What a bunch of ### Clowns... I know how you feel Boomer20. The worst part about it is there's not much you can do about it. You can complain to the BBB or the AG and if they get enough complaints they'll check them out. But thats still not a guarantee anything will happen. These guys are affecting people's financial well being as well as their sanity. Be ware people!

    0 Votes
  • Tu
    Tulsa Builder Aug 04, 2013

    I am a GC. I've never understood the U Build It proposition. Maybe existing customers can expand. I operate in the Tulsa, OK market. Our average mark up is 10%. I'm not quite sure where all these claims of saving up to 30% come from. Man oh man, if I could get 30% life would be great, but that's simply not reality. For my 10% I spend 6 months and visit the jobsite everyday, sometimes 3 times a day. I draw the homes. I carry the financing. I not only consult, by run the jobs, and I go with the customer to every vendor selection meeting to assist not only in design but budget control by helping them find creative ways to stretch their budgets further with my experience in doing the same. My company has won awards every year in our local Parade of Homes, so we offer a confidence in our ability to bring creativity of design to the table. Also, we've spent years identifying and working through the details of training our contractors in our methods, as we are green builders who specialize in homes that are more than 50% better on energy efficiency. We do all this for 10%, and in our market we compete against others doing the same. On top of all of this we warranty the house, which is a big, big time eater. No house is perfect, so to maintain a solid reputation you must follow up quickly and handle issues timely, which is a large resource strain on any builder. It seems to me that the U Build It method is a wonderful business model for U Build It, as the responsibility for mistakes, warranty issues, and general remorse with a decision is all on the home owner. What a great model! It's these areas that I spend most of my time. It's easy to build when it all goes right and people love their decisions, but that's not reality on a one off custom home. There are constant challenges and it's experience, creativity and daily management that mitigates and overcomes the challenges. So, I guess I don't get it. In our market the local U Build It franchise advertise projects where there was 30% instant equity. That's nuts to think that was what a builder would have made. I've had several homes that appraised for nearly $100, 000 more than we built it for, but that's not because I worked for free. No I charged my 10% and it just worked out that the way we designed and built was efficient, and the comparables pushed us up. Great for the homeowner! But, it had nothing to do with the builder fees. It's just the way it worked out. As I understand it, U Build It charges around 6% for what they do and you get 20-30 visits for that...about 1 each week over 6 months. They charge for plans too...I include that. Warranty? not sure how that works but if you are the builder, it's likely on you to work with vendors to get them out and fix your problems. Hopefully, U Build It helps with this, because I know how difficult it is to get any contractor back out when they see no future opportunities. Our greatest leverage is no future work. If you've only built one home, what's their incentive? It would have to be a threat from U Build It to be removed from their vendor list to compel compliance. Hopefully they do a good job of that. In the end though I've come to realize that in this business it's not what goes to plan that takes time. 80 percent is spent on challenges, and the creativity, time and experience overcomes this. And, even more importantly is how many challenges can be avoided by experience in anticipation of problems. It's what keeps my mind churning each night as I try to sleep. I build less than 10 homes a year, and it's a full time job for me to think and plan all of this, and I still miss stuff. I can't imagine having any effectiveness if I'm running 100 projects. So, I guess I'm just wondering why this is the way people go. I get the idea of building your own home, afterall I did it on my first. But, I also spent much more than I would have today because I know so much more and anticipate opportunities to save and stretch. And, I've sifted through the contractors so I know where their specific weaknesses are and what to watch for. My framer just called me and said U Build It wants to add him to their contractor list. I think it's great for him to get more business, but he's far from perfect. He's got about 8 areas that I have to ride him on, and his guys will fall back into the same "old ways" of doing things, which will be building code compliant but far from best practices. The building code is a minimum standard and that's it. If you watch enough HGTV, you know there are allot better ways of doing things and better products that will make your house stronger, more efficient and longer lasting with less maintenance and issues. So, I watch for these things and I also know where I will get up charges if the plans aren't clearly marked for an arched opening, etc. I know where all the little areas exist that the framer will hit me because the plans don't clearly identify the desired intent (which plans never get it all on paper). So I go through the plans and make sure with each contractor I cover those areas where they are likely to increase their fees, and I get commitments ahead of time to include those items within their bid. There's no way U Build It is going to know this when they start recommending my framer to customers. There's definitely no way the customers will know, so the price will simply be higher for the same job he'd do for me. This is going to happen everywhere, or the quality and desired result is going to suffer. Knowledge is power when negotiating prices with contactors, and you have to know how they work to get the most for the least. How can you do that when you don't know anything about them, and I'm not sure how U Build It can know that either if they are recommending more than one contractor for each area, which they'd have to given their volume. So, in the end, for those claiming 30% savings, it just doesn't add up. I don't make that much and with all that I do for each customer from plan design to warranty support and everything in between, I can't see the value. The 4% you'd save would seemingly be eaten up on contractor upcharges, mistakes, warranty and disappointment from lack of experience. To me that last one (disappointment) is the biggie. To look at a choice everyday that you are disappointed in if frustrating. These often have nothing to do with whether it's build right, but is it pretty? When that happens to me, I typically redo it at my cost to make the customer happy. I'm guessing if U Build It then You Build It! So, if it's ugly it's on you.

    1 Votes
  • In
    Insideguy Jun 10, 2014

    The main role players of UBI have one thing in common. All went Bankrupt building houses.(OKC BRANCH) These guys designed a system that works great for them. The have 0 risk or obligation in the construction process and still come out making the same amount of money as if they GC the job, I have worked on the inside so I know some major secrets. Secret 1- Have subcontractors kick you back money. this is why most customers are over budget. The company gets money back from subs. Secret 2 - Have customers sign gag orders. Every UBI customer signs a paper saying they won't talk bad about UBI. And If so UBI may pursue Legal recourse against them, Secret 3 - Get most your money up front before customer goes broke. UBI requires customers to pay UBI fees largely upfront. Secret 4 - Do as litlle as u can and you can't blamed for anything. This is what they tell their consultants. Consultants job is just smoke and mirrors. They do nothing. This formula has made these guy rich.

    0 Votes
  • Ot
    other side of the fence Jul 06, 2014

    I am employed by a former vendor of UBI and last report they (UBI) were on credit hold. A few months back our company had to file liens on three separate jobs to force them to get them caught up on bills. I am sure we are not the only company they are slow paying and this complicates the process of building a house since they can no longer honor the estimates they give the customer.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Alum Creek Jan 15, 2015

    We were recently interested in UBI and was already feeling uneasy...will need to do a lot more homework before we move any further
    with them. Thanks to all who put honest reviews out there, very much appreciated.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jackson4 Jan 19, 2015

    The Wichita Office was not like this. I had a great experience. We actually finished under budget and had $69K in equity. My husband and I met with Jessica and Nate all the time. The planning phase took about 3 months, and construction only took 5 months. We did have issues with the first framer, but after we fired him, Nate recommended another one and he was great. We went over the budget in all our phase meetings and knew where we were at and what we needed to change. It was not perfect, and sometimes it was stressful. But the money we saved, I would do it again. I don't know why that vendor is saying that UBI was on credit hold, because I paid all my own bills. UBI didn't pay for anything on my house. I liked the control we had of the project. And Nate was always a phone call away. He was always there for us. We got great discounts. And we did some of the work to save money. I painted and my husband and kids laid the flooring. I would recommend the Wichita Office, at least. I don't know about the other ones.

    0 Votes
  • Hu
    Hunter48 May 06, 2015

    I absolutely agree, I had two acquaintances that had agreements with UBuilldit and after the agreement UBuildit went up on the prices, both cancelled --- one literally before construction was to start the next day, they were lucky they had guarantees and out closes in their agreements. UBuildit terminated both of those employees (or they quit) and several months later, I contacted them about 2-3 projects --- was stood up on five different appointments, two of the reps had been terminated or left, don't know the story on #3. I talked to Rick Herron who claims to be a partner and part owner of OKC UBuildit, mentioned my concerns about the missed appointments and bad reviews, he said everyone has a few bad reviews and he claimed only on one web site and 3-4 complaints, he also claimed they had over 200 houses under construction which is an absolute joke. They have numerous web sites with bad review after bad review and apparently are not listed at all with BBB. I thought Bob Brauderick, President might want to know his castle seemed to be coming down around him, it took 4 messages over 4 weeks to get a call back, he had an attitude from hell and asked what I wanted, I told him that I had 2 probably 3 projects I wanted to talk to him about and was concerned that they had been no shows, 5 appointments with 3 different reps, had left 4 messages for him and was a little concerned and thought he might like to know about it. His response was "he didn't need any help running his business". I was very concerned about the company before I talked to the president --- now, you could not pay me to work with them --- everything I sensed and heard seems understandable now and even worse than I thought..

    0 Votes
  • Be
    BewareOfUBuildIt Oct 07, 2015

    Can you post the names of the employees that were "terminated . . . (or they quit)"? I am asking to dispose them.

    0 Votes
  • Fu
    Futurebuilder Apr 28, 2017

    Did anyone try changing the contract language? The contract I saw had 4 installment payments. It appears from reading these complaints that certain areas seem prone to problems over others. I have attended a few seminars and I am concerned that I need to know more than they are telling me. Spec sheets don't specify applicable codes and have very much detail. Material selection is generally described and when I asked for something different, they thought I was going for premium brands. The budget will be typical run of the mill windows / doors/ flooring/ etc. I did find that I would save roughly 15/sqf when compared to having it built. FWIW

    0 Votes
  • Fu
    Futurebuilder Apr 28, 2017

    @Futurebuilder should read don't have very much detial

    0 Votes

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