Do a quick Google search for “UBuildIt,” and you may find a few unflattering reviews about our company.
We’ve been around since 1988. In that time, we’ve performed over 14,300 projects and built one billion dollars worth of homes. When you’ve been around the block as much as we have, the occasional bad review comes with the territory—no matter how high-quality you are.
You simply can’t please 100% of people 100% of the time. Ask Lexus. Or your boss. Or your in-laws.
We encourage ALL our clients to write online reviews about their experience—good or bad. Online reviews can be an invaluable tool to help people make buying decisions. And reviews let us know how we’re doing, and where we can improve.
We do, however, want to take a moment to address a few specific online reviews we have—namely, the ones that claim we’re a scam.
We believe honesty is the best policy when it comes to writing online reviews. If someone feels like we “scammed” them, then that’s just what they feel. We can’t change that; we can only address why they feel that way and how they reached that conclusion.
We analyzed our “scam” reviews and found they are the often the result of a misunderstanding of A) the services we provide and B) what we do and don’t promise.
That might sound odd. Like something Bernie Madoff or an Enron executive would say when testifying in court ("I didn't scam my clients. They just didn't understand what I did for them, Your Honor!").
But in our case, our testimony is the whole truth and nothing but. If it weren't true, we wouldn't have thousands of satisfied clients.
So let's run through the 3 allegations of which we're accused in our "scam" reviews.
Our cost estimates are just that—estimates.
Here is the exact language from our contract:
“We will meet with you to discuss the budget of your proposed construction. The purpose of this budget meeting is to help you decide whether your project is affordable. We will help you analyze costs based on your needs and wants and on the information you give us. We will discuss with you preliminary budgeting for development costs of your property. You and we will together develop a ballpark range of estimated construction costs with certain parameters that you specify.”
In other words…
If we estimate that you can build a home for $80 per square foot, that’s not a set-in-stone guarantee that you will pay $80 a square foot. You might end up paying $100 a square foot. Or $120 a square foot. Or $70 a square foot. It all depends on the size of the home, the location of the home, and the features you choose.
That estimate we provide you is based on industry standards and our decades of experience. Ninety-eight times out of 100, we can estimate the cost to build your home within 10 percent of the actual price. The other two times, we don’t. We always make sure, however, to inform all of our clients that our cost estimates may not reflect the actual cost to build your home.
A couple negative reviews claim that because we require an up-front deposit, we’re just looking to take the money and run.
Our response? That's crazy!
Yes, we do charge an up-front fee for our services. It’s $2,500 and covers the following:
The reality is that up-front payments are unavoidable when building a home.
If you choose a custom home builder, you pay them anywhere from a 10% to 50% deposit. When you hire a designer, you’ll pay him or her a deposit. When you hire subcontractors, you’ll pay them a deposit. Deposits are just the nature of the home-building beast.
About 99% of the time, this claim is the result of misunderstanding what we (UBuildIt) do versus what you (the client) do.
To be clear: We are a consulting company—not a general contractor. When you hire us, YOU are the general contractor of your home build. We act as an advisor/mentor that can step in and help you when you need it.*
We explain this in detail up front. Building a home is a HUGE task for homeowners. There are dozens of moving parts, and things can get overwhelming. As a result, the occasional client forgets that we’re a consultant, not a general contractor or home builder.
And that’s okay! Stress and home building go together like peanut butter and grape jam. We’re your shoulder to lean on when you feel you’re in over your head.
According to Merriam-Webster, a scam is a “fraudulent or deceptive act or operation.” If we’re going by that definition, UBuildIt is certainly not a scam. We’re an open book about every aspect of our business - from our estimates to our fees, as well as the kind of assistance we provide during your project.
If you want all the nitty-gritty details about UBuildIt, simply contact us for a free information kit. You’ll find out more about our processes, what we do, and how we help people like you conceptualize, design, and build a fantastic home.
*If you want us to take a more hands-on approach with your home build, we offer UBuildIt Plus. With this service, we perform duties of a Project Manager and are more directly involved in the process.