Wanted to build with Alternate Dwellings but...

by Eden
(Frankston Sth)

after reading these complaints I wont be building with this company when I really like their designs; common themes throughout that are frightening

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Do not use

Slow and in fact refused to complete the job

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be aware of what your getting into, nice houses but thats where the pleasureble experience stops

by graham
(Malmsbury Victoria)

Gypslander and extension on side

Gypslander and extension on side

Im an owner builder and as i wanted two houses (one in Victoria and another in Western Australia)i wanted to save the time making the frames, so i chose this concept to have a kitset house, so i ordered two houses of the same model but different sizes (Gypslander 10 and 13) at the same time so i asked for a discount in added features. when the salesman did the quotes they were 20% higher than the brochure prices. he informend me that there was a price rise ( but suprisingly three years later the price is the same) and he included a Dormer window and sliding door to each house at no extra cost, so to reduce the quited prices i deleted the exterior doors, exterior weathboards and floor/ stumps etc, then after i gave them the deposit, then a few days later i got a quote for AD from Another state and his quote was $3000 lower and included the weatherboards, flooring including floor insulation and doors, but i had commited to the original quote.
It seemed to me that the Salesman and receptionist in Victoria pocketed the extra money as they Never let me speak to the manager/owner, like they didnt want him to know whats going on .

The salesman was so agressing and demanding and even that was a bad experience but presumed that wouldnt be the same after i got the two houses, how wrong i was.

During building its been very frustrating as there was no support, they rarely retuned phone calls or replied to emails. just last week i rang them and no one has come back with a reply.

Both houses frames were missing or the wrong size. with one house they delivered a whole pack of timber that i didnt need so i built a side room almost for free. With one house a frame was missing and not enough insulation and screws , and that was the rare time that they did organise me to buy from the local hardware store, but i had to make the frame, They even supplied the wrong starcase and i didnt get what i ordered but had to accept it as it would have been too hard to change.
There were no instructions for the roofing and i installed the roofing with the wrong size in the wrong place consequently i had to buy new roofing to fit. and there are numeruous other problems i had building the houses
i would have thought that delivering one to WA 3500ks away they would have got it right, how wrong was i.
They have nice houses and im really happy with both of my houses but its because its my effort thats gone into them.

if you expect good communication and quality homes steer clear from Alternate Dwellings as they wont give it to you.

You will note in in thier advertising they dont advertise After sales service unlike thier competitors.
Its been such an awfull experience im glad to put away the house plans in a place i never want to see them again and it upsets me when i see thier advertising in the media, whereas it could and should have been so different.

my comments arent sour grapes or justa gripe theyre all fact because i expected better as all good businesses strive to be the best to stay in business

Comments for be aware of what your getting into, nice houses but thats where the pleasureble experience stops

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Mar 27, 2014
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Alternate Dwellings-pack of idiots
by: Anonymous

Used to work for these idiots would not recommend getting a house through them, They treat their workers like s##t and in the 2 years it was there saw s##t loads of people work there.

Jun 22, 2013
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Sydney Downsizer
by: Geoff (Sydney)

I really liked the design of the Carrington houses, having seen the shonky of an unrelated aluminium shutter and louvre roof supplier, decided to check out the blogs before I went further.
If you are having problems with Alternate Homes, you should make a formal complaint to the Department of Fair Trading (or equivalent in your state) and they will deal with the shonks at no cost to you. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY WITH LAWYERS.
There are too many of these useless parasites who promise to deliver, but have no intention of doing so. Con Artists! All they're interested in is taking your money and frustrating your attempts to get what you paid for or to get a refund. REMEMBER Dept. of Fair Trading or equivalent in your state will fix them, get your money back and fine them at no cost to you and with minimal effort from you.


Mar 17, 2013
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Same experience with this builder
by: rallygroupie

"He informed me that there was a price rise (surprisingly three years later the price is the same) and he included a Dormer window and sliding door to each house at no extra cost"

Interesting - we had the exact same sales tactic. We didn't sign and are now being harrassed for a $1400 'consultancy' bill.

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AVOID AT ALL COSTS

We had a horrible and stressfull experience with Alternate Dwellings. Dont get suckered by the sales pitch.

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Think twice about Alternate Dwellings

by John
(Victoria)

Shocking construction work!

Two separate friends have had a nightmare with their house and aggressive site managers who cover up dodgy work. One said to my friend " it may look bad but it's safe you can cover it up with a plant" he was referring to one of the house stumps that was bent!!!!

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Feb 21, 2013
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Bullied and Abused by Alternate Dwellings
by: John

Total nightmare, when I was lied to about the price and was trying to back out of signing the rep took me into the specially designed dungeon under the office and just abused me. He said 'if I don't sign I will be back in the dungeon for good'. Long story short I love my house now but I'm still afraid of them.

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Don't go with this mob

by Really Annoyed Home Owner
(South Gippsland, Vic)

Unless you enjoy dealing with:

1. leaking roof - still leaks with every easterly, despite an AD rep having supposedly fixed it twice
2. cheap, drafty, rattling/banging/screeching, leaking windows - the walls and carpet under my windows are all ruined. The wood window casing is now warped, the paint is all peeling and exposing the wood, the carpet under the windows is mildewed, and I am pretty sure I have mould growing in the wall around the windows (can smell a mouldy smell when you're near the windows)....plus the paint is peeling off the wall under the window.....not to mention that they're noisier than a freight train going over the house
3. Bad tiling - unevenly laid tiles, unevenly grouted tiles, tiles on tiles with no grout between them (laid a bead of grout in front of the join.....which is now flaking away revealing tiles on tiles)- this goes for floor, wall, and tub/shower surround tiles
4. doors that aren't hung square in the frames
5. pocket doors that don't close properly because the tracks are crooked
6. door hardware that just comes apart when you open doors
7. external doors that have gaps on all sides.
8. bench tops that aren't fitted flush to the wall
9. electrical outlets that aren't in the right spots
10. rooms with no light switches in the room. we have one main room where the light switch for that room is actually in the foyer - we missed that one on the walk through
11. bathroom tap fittings that are falling apart - both soap holders have broken in the showers

There's more but I'm so furious over having to replace the bath towels on the window sills for the third time TODAY that I can't think straight......damn leaking windows......

If you can't be there to supervised every single stage of building, or if you can only afford the stock standard fittings, do not bother with this mob. You will get what you pay for - which is a cheaply thrown together kit home. My personal opinion? If your only choice of building a new home is through AD, then you should forget it buy something already built and do renovations.

I will give credit where credit is due - the footings and frames were done excellently. From memory they were subcontractors like the rest, so they were good ones. we live in an extremely high wind area and aside from the cheap nasty windows, we've had no problems with the actual house. AD also worked with us to get the house built in the time frame we had, which admittedly was less than a year. perhaps the time crunch led them to go with subcontractors that left a lot to be desired, but they shouldn't have.

I think they saw a naïve couple who had no idea what they were doing, who lived out of state so couldn't be there often, who put their trust and faith into Alternate Dwellings without hesitation.....and saw a way to use cheap labour to get the job done. We were so excited when our brand new house was done......it wasn't until several months after the final inspection that we started to see thing that just weren't right. And of course it was far too late to have AD do anything about it. The one thing they did do was come out and "fix" the roof twice, where it leaked during an easterly, and so far it seems to be holding......fingers crossed that it hasn't just found a way to run down the inside frame instead of dripping in the floor (the rain supposedly came in between the flashing at the join of the veranda and the main part of the house, running along the interior frame and dripping through the middle of a set of pocket doors in the foyer).

fool us once, shame on us. fool us twice? well there won't be a twice.



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Apr 13, 2015
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Are we living in the same Alternative Dwellings house?
by: K

Because it sounds like it! We've had nearly all the same problems, save for the bench tops. Ours are fitted flush to the wall, but the tiler didn't caulk or seal properly. There is a large gap between the bottom tile and the bench top. I can fix that, but I shouldn't have to.(in fact he didn't do a good tiling job ANY where - have the same problem all through the house with floor and wall tiles just sitting on each other with grout piped in front of the join. Nearly all gone now so you can see what the go was. We've been in it now for nearly 4 years. The windows are my biggest complaint. They are absolute garbage, the cheapest pieces of crap I've ever seen - and I used to work for a company that made windows, so I know cheap when I see it. Leak at the first hint of rain. They're drafty, they rattle like buggery, the rain just pours in. I'm forever putting and replacing towels. Can't wait to replace them and I just hope the plastering and frame hold up until then. Same problem with wrecked carpet and peeling paint from the leaking. Haven't smelled mould/mildew yet, but reckon it's only a matter of time.
The guys who did the footings and structural framework did a great job, but the rest? Piss poor, and I'm being kind when I say that.
We got our home built in good time, but there were constant increases to costs, every week it was something else, and we definitely DID NOT get what we paid for. The fittings we agreed on were constantly "no longer available" so we had to go with their suggested replacements (we were FIFO at the time so couldn't just pop in a have a look). The replacements were meant to be same quality as chosen items - THEY WERE NOT, but we still paid for the good stuff. Same stuff they used you could probably get at $2 shop. very disappointing. If we ever build again, I can tell you we will go with a different builder, simply because they hire the cheapest, most incompetent tradies they can find and use the cheapest, junk fittings available. What could have been a beautiful showcase home is very "meh" and I'm mortified every time a guest uses the bathroom and gets locked in because the door knob comes off, or the pocket doors come off their tracks at the slightest touch. It's just embarrassing to tell people it's virtually brand new. We're not in a position to do any renovations at the moment, but as soon as we do......I say, keep shopping for a builder unless your desperate.

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Nightmare with Alternate Dwellings


(Melbourne)

I am currently living a nightmare having a home build by Alternate Dwellings. Beware, Beware, Beware. If you use these people get your own inspector the workmanship is poor and the communication is so bad! Overall I would have to say they are the WORST Builders you could possibly choose. Wish I had of seen these posts before we committed.

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Alternate Dwellings: youneedtosupervisethesupervisor

by Angela
(NSW )

Buy the kit and get someone else to build it for you, preferably your local builder or carpenter.

Alternate Dwellings built my home and it is beautiful and more importantly well built. But unless you have an independent building inspector to supervise their work then I suggest you walk away from this mob.

I had problems with Alternate Dwellings simply because they lied about build time, tried to charge me for additional work to footings claiming my local council over-rode the engineers specifications. I never paid the extra three thousand they wanted and they resumed work the next day after I threatened them with legal action.

The managers and site supervisor were aggressive and refused to connect me to the managing director when I wanted to sort out problems quickly. The building project dragged on and on and in the end it all became very stressful trying to work with them and trying to keep them honest. They demanded payment prior to a stage being finished. Luckily I lived close by and I could see each stage being built.

Making alterations was difficult and often declined. The best they could do was increase size of windows or replace windows with sliding or French open doors.

Would I do it all again with them? No!! I did get the quality and the great looking house in the end but I don't think the battle was worth it. Building with them was way too stressful and I spent too much time supervising them and negotiating for the quality workmanship I paid for

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Upset and deeply disappointed

by Burnt
(Victoria)

My wife and I had Alternate Dwellings build a modified Old Mill to lockup stage. We had seen some unfavourable reviews of their finishings, but it sounded like the structures were OK, and we thought that we might avoid shoddy finishings by just getting them to build to lockup. The quotes we got from other builders for a lockup build were too high, so a modified kit home seemed our only option.

(These unfavourable reviews have subsequently been removed from the internet, which makes me think Alernate Dwellings has threatened the websites that allow these reviews with legal action. One moderator did tell me in 2010 that he'd had to remove reviews of AD since they were potentially defamatory, and I know AD Dwellings has lawyers--I've talked to them on the phone! I guess it's up to those of us who have been burnt to keep re-posting our opinions wherever we can, whenever we notice they have been taken down, in order to warn people.)

Our logic was 'you get what you pay for' and we couldn't afford a more expensive builder, so we thought we'd get something rough enough. After all, there is a system of building inspection and a building code to comply with. I got a lawyer to read their contract, which gives them far more money for the early stages than is usual in a contract based on the HIA one. We wrangled over this and I got some concessions from AD, but ultimately had to live with them getting too much money too early on.

I wish we'd avoided Alternate Dwellings entirely. 'Trust your misgivings' is my new motto. The structure itself is shoddy. The frame is not square in important places and is out of plumb in others. The ceiling rafters on the ground floor slope significantly, though they should be level. A number of door frames have been bent into crooked shapes, a large sliding door opens the wrong way and they wouldn't fix it. Most gutters don't drain properly. The upstairs window frames sit in place but have not been properly fixed. Triple grips were used to hold rafters upstairs but in most places they were only nailed to the rafter and not to the wall!

We threatened to take AD to the VTAC tribunal, which handles building disputes in Victoria, to get them to follow the plans after they built the front, back and side gutter of the house according to the unmodified Old Mill design. After all, we'd paid them a lot of money for the modifications. The threat of VTAC was enough to get them to fix those things (which were largely cosmetic), but they fixed some of them shoddily.

The frame is more of a concern, though it does not seem unsafe at this stage. The building inspectors, who were from the same Gippsland district as Alternate Dwellings, signed off on each stage as complete, and we were bullied by the construction manager into making payments for the footings before completion. We accepted the building inspector's certificate of completion for the frame even though it later became clear that parts of the frame are not square and parts are not plumb. We did have our suspicions, but didn't have the time to make them do it properly--renting in Melbourne is too expensive when you're also paying off a mortgage.

I actually walked around with the building inspector on his final inspection before lockup stage, and he told me everything that would need to be fixed before the certificate of completion to lockup build could be issued by his employer. A couple of hours later I received an emailed certificate of completion, issued by the building inspection firm who employed him to Alternate Dwellings. There were no builders on site that day; none of the things on the inspector's list had been fixed.

Post-build, we've sent Alternate Dwellings a list of the things that need fixing, in accordance with the terms of our HIA contract, but have had no response in over 6 months. We've done our best to fix these things ourselves.

I'd be very skeptical about the origin of these (few) positive reviews of Alternate Dwellings you read, since the construction manager and managers (in Victoria at least) seem to follow a certain pattern of aggressive behaviour, judging by the negative reviews on this site, and on other sites (subsequently removed), and I find it hard to believe that anyone found them pleasant and helpful.

Get independent building inspections, whoever you build with, especially at the footings and frame stage.

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Aug 26, 2016
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To Leanne
by: Friend of Spotted

Fair Trading. VCAT or NCAT depending if you live Vic or NSW. It takes time but it's the only way to go. Make sure you understand your contract. A solicitor can check your contract but use them for the initial advice. Dont get them to write letters on your behalf. It will cost you a fortune. Check out the Fairtrading website then talk to them on the info Line. If AD has broken your contract - be prepared to take them to court. They will string you along with lies for years. Start with Fair Trading. Also. I have recently discovered a Facebook site called Alternate Dealings with Alternate Dwellings. People are only just realising that they are not alone. That Helps. I have a friend who has had an incredibly bad experience with them.

Aug 19, 2016
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Right there with you
by: Leanne

Wish we had of seen these before signing a contract with AD, is there anyone who you can talk to or do we just hire a lawyer?

Sep 08, 2015
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Dealing With Alternate Dwellings Nearly Sent Me Bankrupt. Be Wary!
by: Anonymous

Dealing with Alternate Dwellings nearly sent me bankrupt.
I purchased a kit home from AD in 2011 (Westerner 16)and it is still sitting in containers. The salesman sent me quotations to construct the house and arranged finance roping into a contract that you are unable to get out of. After signing this contract my build price increased from the quoted value of $200,000.00 built price to $370,000.00, rendering the project unviable.

Be extremely wary of the terms and conditions in the Alternate Dwellings contract.
I would highly recommend not dealing with Alternate Dwellings.

May 02, 2015
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Update on Lock Up
by: spotted

I posted the previous comment about alternative dwellings 7 months ago.

My house is still only at lock up stage!

It continued in exactly the same pattern after I wrote this. AD Not giving the required information & answers to questions, only partially updating plans despite clear corrections and generally passing the buck.
I thought 2 weeks was bad... But now it's a total of almost 8 months since they put the bogus "hold" on the build! And it was after they put the hold on that they sent me the finish sheets. I hadn't even seen a finish sheet till I'd paid for lock up. They weight the lock up progress payment in their favour. About 85% of total payment. But less than a third of the the finished product. So beware! It gives them the power to do what they like. They are used to getting their way. They become aggressive if you challenge them.
They take pride in how many houses they are building, not good customer service. They have some good carpenters, some lousy. I got a very good carpenter for my build to lock up. But Who knows if I'll ever get a completed house. And quality? It will be luck of the draw. I know it will be good if the previous carpenter returns. I signed with them in Sept 2013.
What a nightmare!

Oct 02, 2014
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Lock up
by: Spotted

I agree with many things here. Salesman lovely, polite and friendly. Construction manager a bully. Uses threats and stand over tactics. They ask for money before stages are complete.
But carpenter on site wonderful and I seem to have a quality house at lock up stage with good timber and tie downs.
Most frustration is not getting answers to questions, passing the buck. I suspect they are building too many houses at once. I was not asked to confirm my finishes until lock up was almost complete.
Here I am again awake at 3 am wondering why they do not answer my emails. Angry at the bullying tactics by their construction manager.
I have met a couple who had problems with the same construction manager but in the end they were very happy with the finished house.
I had great faith in them but I worry, worry whether they will get past lock up and return to do a decent job finishing the the house. There has been no one on site for 2 weeks. They say it is on "hold" til I have completed my finishes sheet but there were so many things in correct and so may issues and questions still not answered that I strongly suspect that it is a delaying tactic.
I think this could be a wonderful company. They have great designs and flexibility. But Communication is often poor. The process is incredibly frustrating. I so wanted to be able to say how good they are but now I'm just left wondering what is actually going on...

Sep 17, 2013
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Avoid Alternate Dwelling if you want a professsional job.
by: How disappointing

I chose them as I wanted a country type home. What a mistake. The supersivor is just a big bully lieing to save his own face. Rude and the most unprofessional man I have ever dealt with. I called the boss who wouldn't even come to the phone and his staff just cover for him. The only one I have any time for is actually the sales guy who is always courteous and accommodating. You can't get a thing fixed and I've had to call a plumber out to fix taps that fall off in the shower. I have smoke alarms going off during the night and twice they have changed them but it still happens. It's now a year and still not fixed. It needs to be moved or disconnected to stop it going off but no I just have to leave it hanging down. The house is on the market as I hate living in it now due to the shoddy treatment. Think twice before you go anywhere near them.

May 31, 2013
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You're not the only one who is disappointed
by: Anonymous

You're not the only one that's deeply disappointed.

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Alternate Dwellings Review: "Absolutely terrible"

by Anonymous

I've had constant problems with my Alternate Dwellings build, mainly with water damage, ruined doors and leaky windows. The general workmanship is absolutely appalling, e.g. missing weatherboards!

The building supervisor, is rude, aggressive and totally unhelpful. Phone calls and emails go unanswered, and they have absolutely no interest in fixing major issues after months of me chasing them up.

it's amazing that they still get customers!

Don't even consider going with these guys. You'll end up with a soggy, mouldy house and a bad taste in your mouth.

Ed
Perhaps you could send some pics to describe your experience?

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Do not use Alternate Dwellings

by integrity matters
(nsw)

My husband, a small business owner did investigative and repair work on plumbing the Alternate Dwellings contractors damaged in the first quarter of this year. The amount owed to my husbands business is less than two thousand dollars but it is now September and he still hasn't been paid. Alternate Dwelling, a company, refuse to answer calls and emails. My husband has multiple sclerosis and a family to feed. Do not deal with Alternate Dwellings as they have absolutely no integrity and rip off small business.

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Traumatised

by Hurt
(The Dog House)

Let's hope Home Warranty Insurance will save us

Let's hope Home Warranty Insurance will save us

This company is in liquidation. The term is "Under external administration." as of Friday 21st Oct.
I'd be interested to know how many other people are now left with unfinished houses. The longest house build I've heard of with this disgusting company is 3 Years - and still not yet complete.
These people at Alternate Dwellings are are Expert liars and thieves. They treat their clients badly and they treat their tradesmen poorly. So many of their tradesmen have been promised payment and lost large amounts of money. The previous construction Manager at Alternate Dwelling continually asked the tradesmen working on sites to lie to the clients about completion of work so that progress payments were made earlier than legally required. Were they promised payment in return for these lies? I don't know but it seems likely. It didn't help because there would be so many hard working tradespeople owed thousands of dollars by this nasty, dishonest company.
Once they have gone through liquidation and possible bankruptcy - will they pop up again under a new name?
BEWARE!
Their Designs are distinctive - potentially a good product but if it's a re- engineered ALTERNATE DWELLINGS with a new NAME 😭 Wach Out !!
WARNING ,

Remember: Home Warranty Insurace only pays up to 20% of your full contract price. If you are only at Lock up stage and have already paid about 80% of your build price - you are in trouble.
Good Luck.
There will be many tears over the coming weeks - families, businesses, retirees, tradesmen.... This company has already caused ill health and financial strain to hundreds of people throughout Victoria and NSW... And QLD?
People need to know about this company...

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Nov 09, 2016
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Gutted
by: ADAD

If you haven't already, please take a look at the Facebook page' Alternative Dealings with Alternate Dwellings Pty Ltd'. Then you will see how far and wide this company's treachery has stretched, and maybe not feel so alone!

Nov 01, 2016
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JUSTICE
by: Anonymous

I signed a contract and payed my deposit in January 2016. A couple of days before the site was due to be cut, I met the earth mover and the owner of AD, on site, just to ensure that the site would be cut correctly. I had never met, let alone spoken with him prior to this and was surprised that he was there.

At this meeting hesuggested that the cut and fill site that I had always spoken of and agreed to, had NEVER been discussed and that what I was expecting would cost an extra $25-30K. He was a tyrannical bully!

I felt sick at the fact that they were proposing I build in a pit in the ground and that the views I had anticipated would just be of sloping dirt walls. In the lead up to this stage, I was also becoming increasingly concerned with the fact that the salesman was virtually saying "YES" to whatever I wanted, just to ensure that I signed the contract and payed my deposit.

I decided to exercise the 5 day "cooling off" option and end the contract. AD then tried to bully and intimidate me by having their equally unscrupulous lawyers send me a spreadsheet of previously undisclosed (and never agreed to) costs that exceeded my deposit. They also suggested that they would be prepared for both parties to "walk away" from the contract, with no costs owed by either party!! I found the HIA provided absolutely NO support.

I sort independent legal advice and it took almost seven months and an arduous process via the Builders' Practitioner's Board before I got the bulk of my deposit back.

Whilst I'm not surprised (and even glad) to learn that AD have finally been forced into liquidation, I do feel so sorry for those clients and contractors who are now out of pocket.

They are appalling operators. I initially dealt with Andrew Gilbert, who I thought was wonderful. I don't know if he is as unethical as the rest of them but I do know that he left the business a couple of years ago. I like to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that he left because he ultimately had some integrity and could no longer condone or abide by the how this "family business" operated and the emotional and financial grief they inflicted on so many people.

I sincerely hope that all of the AD "victims" get adequate compensation!!

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BE WARNED - BEWARE!

by Derek
(Victoria)

Very accommodating up until signing a contract and then you're at risk of disaster! And then they become aggressive, deceitful and bullies. Use the cooling off clause if you have any reservations at all. They will then try and intimidate you with outlandish, undisclosed costs and potential litigation. CALL THEIR BLUFF and seek advice from the Building Practitioners Board and then head straight to the VCAT. Too many past horror stories and complaints for them to risk further litigation against them.

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BULLIES - STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!

These people in particular their unprofessional construction Manager A...B.... is nothing but a bully. Stay Away - Bullies & nothing but poor workmanship

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We have had the same awful experience


(Victoria)

We have had a very similar experience with alternative dwellings as others. To quote Gerard's review - "the salesman was wonderful but that's where it ended. Aggressive and bullying Construction manager, even the Owner/Director was rude to the point where we wouldn't answer the phone. It's such a shame as their product is lovely but our whole experience was ruined and became very very stressful."

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Bad Experience

by Out of pocket

Like many of the other Alternate Dwellings reviews, I also had a bad experience with poor project management, aggressive treatment, specs and legal requirements for the build ignored,elements that were not completed properly, ever increasing costs to the build and the need to bring in external suppliers to rectify at additional expense. Consider this builder VERY carefully.

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Wish I'd seen this site before!

by Gerald
(Kilmore)

Very similer experience with alternative dwellings to others on this site, the salesman was wonderful but thats where it ended. Aggressive and bullying Construction managers, rude office staff even the Owner/Director was rude to the point where we wouldn't answer the phone. It's such a shame as their product is lovely but our whole experience was ruined and became very very stressfull. We can't recommend any other builders but will certainly tell everyone we know to avoid these people!

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Frustrated and Disappointed

by Peter
(East Gippsland)

I notice from previous commentary that some comments are removed following pressure from the company - what a surprise.
We decided not to use AD as we were not happy with the quote. Monies we had paid to have our own design drawn up (which never eventuated) was kept and not refunded. Attempts to reason with the Owner / Manager futile.
Do not go anywhere near this mob.

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Please do not build with this builder

by david vice
(vic)

Very disappointed with the construction quality of alternate dwellings. The end result was a nightmare, now we have to fix it all.. pls do not build with this company, they destroyed our dream.

Hi David
Do you have any advice for those already involved in a build? Also a couple of pictures of obvious mistakes or poor workmanship would assist readers.
Regards
Michael (Ed)

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Relatively smooth build from Alternate Dwellings

by gotacarrington
(Gippsland)

We built with Alternate Dwellings. They were good overall. The lock-up stage went really fast. Finish was slower and required more direct input. But we like our house and found the people good to deal with. The prices were fair too.

Ed. Nice to hear some good feedback about this outfit. Hasn't been good so far.
Michael

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Sep 18, 2013
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Geat feedback - thankyou
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your comment, helps a lot :)

Sep 13, 2013
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totally agree!
by: Anonymous

I have heard that for every 1 negative there's 100 positives, I'm glad I fall in the positive bracket!
My experience was truly wonderful, better than I expected. Everything I wanted was accommodated and the workmanship is 100%
I suppose every company has its downfall, but I didn't see it in Alternate Dwellings, very professional.

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Please Avoid

by Steve
(Victoria)

One of many examples I have

One of many examples I have

Reading all these other reviews that sound so much like the nightmare experience we had with Alternate Dwellings I thought I would tell a little bit of my story.

As others have said the salesmen were great to deal with (no surprises there). We designed the interior of our house completely and they accepted most of the changes so that all went smoothly.

Then when it came to the final price they kept increasing it even after the total was agreed upon. After several arguments I got them to stick with the initial quote, probably early signs I should have got out.

Once building began we didn’t have a site supervisor and so we had no one other than the sales guys to contact. 4 months in we ended up with a guy called Adam Brown, most unprofessional guy you will ever come across. Trying to meet him onsite to discuss problems was almost impossible, in fact it was. As others have said we were bullied for payments before certain stages were meet and of course the bank won’t hand over money until those stages are complete.

Around 6 months in we had heaps of water damage. Before the plaster went in we expressed concerns about huge water leaks in the house but they just said that’s normal and they will be fixed before the plaster goes in.

Once the plaster went in the leaks kept appearing. Thankfully we were doing all the flooring otherwise they would have just put down the floor boards right over the puddles. Months later we get to hand off and they want the final payment, but the house keeps filling with water.

In an e-mail Adam told me that because the area we live in suffers from extreme weather conditions we cannot expect to keep the water out. I was shocked by that.

In the end after months of delay and AD failing to fix the leaks and paying a mortgage on a house we don’t live in, we gave up and made the hand over (Risky I know but we had little choice and I am sure they count on that). After a few weeks we fixed all the problems. Many of the windows didn’t feature caulking and there were several other lazy errors.

The leaks aside the quality of their service was appalling. The shower bases we left lathered in plaster and glue. The mirrors weren’t fitted, the stairs were trashed, the plaster was damaged, vents were missing and power points were never installed and some of the light switches didn’t even work.

It’s a shame really because for them to make the process smooth and enjoyable wouldn’t have been that difficult, they are just very incompetent, lazy and rude.

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Mar 21, 2017
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lesson learnt the hard way
by: Vaughan Williams

i am so glad that AD have gone into liquidation. they saw me and everyone else as easy money. Over inflated stage payments. Although i in a way was lucky enough that i only got to Frame stage with them, that was enough. My new builder stated that if i did complete the build through AD, that i would have claims of cracking walls and dropped roof within 2 years. i believe AD never had the intention to finish my house.
I feel sorry for the people that have lost a lot of money and are unable to continue their build.
i really wish i did my home work on these pricks before i signed the bottom line.

May 03, 2015
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AD Nightmare
by: Steve

So sorry to hear your troubles with AD are still ongoing :(

They are the worst company and deserve to be out of business!

Speaking of which a friend of a friend is also building with them and before Christmas they took payment of the next stage and bailed. Apparently AD is out of money though I don’t know if this is true or not but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

May 02, 2015
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The nightmare continues
by: Spotted

Hi Steve,
It's worse now. They put a bogus hold on the build and its now been over 7 months since the carpenters left.

After a long period where they 1) withheld the information I needed before I could sign, 2) would not answer my phone calls and ignored my emails, the information finally arrived in Feb. I signed the finishes & variation 2 immediately.

Suddenly, the construction manager turned up unannounced late Feb.
He looked at all the unfinished work and said cheerily that they were going to send a plumber, carpenter and roofer to finish the outside of the house & do the pre-plastering. And that he'd get a painter in to complete the outside "before winter set in". That was 2 months ago! He said it would take him 3 weeks to go through the plans in detail. He suggested that I choose my paint colours.

Interior paint selections too despite there being no interior walls yet!

My hopes rose. Big mistake. ...

Oct 02, 2014
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Hey Spotted
by: Steve

Sorry to hear about that Spotted :( All I can say is I feel your pain. I tried everything, they are bloody useless. Not much you can do other than keep trying to give them a hard time.

Oct 02, 2014
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Construction manager nightmares
by: Spotted

Very interesting. I am dealing with the same construction manager. He is a nightmare. A bully and makes me feel I am dealing with a thug. The designs are great. The carpenters for my house were excellent but as soon as I paid for lock up the politics and threats to "hold" construction began. Emails not answered properly, and finishes sheet still waiting clarification.
I'm awake at 3 am wondering what is going on.

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DON'T USE 'ALTERNATE DWELLINGS'

by Joe
(NSW)

Lost ALOT of money with using this company. I wish I never built with them given the money lost. I was told to pay deposits before builders would start, which later found out the builders never existed. Never got the money back and when you try to enquire with the company about it, they take no notice and do nothing to fix the situation that they created. Rang the office 19 times, as they wouldn't put me through to anyone and said someone will call me back...........19 times

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Built with Alternate Dwellings 10 years ago

We bought a home through them about 10 years ago. We opted for a 3 bedroom place, western red cedar, with open plan kitchen/lounge for a holiday home. We chose off the plan, including kitchen & bathroom fittings, type of doors and windows, etc. We chose to have them build it for us and the house was complete, including plumbing (water was from a tank though - not mains, as it was not available there), sewerage and all electrical work to the house. We bought our own white goods. All that was required on our part was to have the electricity connected to the house. Because it was on a rural property, we had to pay to have an electricity pole put on the property. Overall we were happy with their work and the house was excellent standard. I hope this helps :)

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Lovely Staff!

by Jan & Geoff
(Leongatha VIC)

I just want to mention the staff!!! They were so professional and understanding. Lovely to deal with. My partner and I felt so looked after... not just during our initial dealings with the sales team, but throughout the whole build. The head of construction made sure the build was carried out as smoothly as humanly possible, without any major hiccups or nightmares you so often hear. None of our requests, big or small were overlooked. We honestly felt like one of the team!:)

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DO NOT TOUCH THIS COMPANY

by VERY ANGRY :-(
(Bungendore, NSW)

This company is a nightmare to deal with. They do not respond to emails or return phone calls. They started work over three months ago, did 2 weeks work and then disappeared. We have paid according to the stage payment requirements on our contract and have now over invested in what we have on site. We have no idea if or when they will return to site.
We are trying to pay rent and a mortgage and we will not be able to do so indefinitely. Very worried.

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Avoid at all costs

by If only I knew
(Vic)

Whilst the product looks good it gets thrown together on site, we had access to the site until we pointed out faults and errors (like power points in the wrong position and dodgy workmanship) at which point we were told we were not allowed on site.. We were bullied constantly by the constuction manager for payments and threatened with fines.Why was the constuction manager harrassing us for money and not the accounts dept? ! When they know full well the bank will not pay until the occupancy certificate is received. Demanded a bank cheque for the final payment before final inspection. They knew full well that we would soon be homeless and took great pleasure in reminded us of that fact! In the end we would only converse via email as the constant harassment via the phone became to much. Horrible nasty people. Nice until contract was signed. All down hill from that point. AVOID AVOID AVOID cowboys!

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May 31, 2013
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Give Alternate Dwellings a miss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Tillie

You are so right. I have been dealing with a big bullying supervisor, but stood my ground and will not allow him on site. Go to the big builders. Do not use these cowboys. The sales guys were lovely but it stops there. Definitely give them a miss.

May 28, 2013
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Alternate Dwellings Nightmare !
by: Ann

I agree. Bad news, sales staff are brilliant and I believe very sincere but their big bully boy supervisor is a nightmare. Avoid avoid avoid alright. It's going to bring the company to it's knees. Sit back and wait.

Mar 15, 2013
Rating
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Nightmare builder
by: Anonymous

We had a house built to finished, the salesman was lovely and very helpful, but this is were the enjoyment finished. Once the contracts were signed everything changed the building supervisor was a horrible and rude bully who hated it if we pointed out any poor construction. OH&S was non existent. We would suggest that anybody considering Alternate Dwellings go elsewhere for your own peace of mind.

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Deeply disappointed with alternate dwellings

by Mick O'Leary
(Rosebud, vic)

We love our house but had an awful time with the builders. The building manager was a big bully who seemed to take great pleasure in restricting our access to the house and threatening us with extra costs.
The building inspector never actually visited the site but issued the certificates anyway. Since moving in we have had to get electricians and plumbers to put right the errors. The hot water service was wired incorrectly which we didn't realise until we received a huge electric bill and an electrician found the hot water srrvice was on 24 hrs a day.
We have to concur with other reviews on this site, the sales person was wonderful but that's where the positive experience ended. Horrible bullies who seem to enjoy squeezing every last penny out of their customers whilst providing poorly built houses.

Very suspicious of the new positive reviews on this site!

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Overt deception and bullying

by Shocked
(Victoria)

Having previously used a different builder we were shocked at the continuous incorrect plans and bullying behavior over payments before agreed stages. Quasi legal letters, the works. Pretty much as bad as it gets. P.s if you haven't agreed to pay it. Don't. Go to VCAT or the ombudsman.

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Alternative Dwellings at Rosebud Victoria

by Emily

I built with Alternate dwellings in Rosebud, VIC. Found them very flexible and very accommodating. I am surprised to see these other reports because my experience has been totally opposite. They were very happy to to go out of there way to help me achieve the look and home that i wanted. And yes i did build to finish with them

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Sep 18, 2013
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I Agree
by: John

I agree with you Emily, I have no hesitation building with Alternate Dwellings again, great mob.

Sep 13, 2013
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Spot on!
by: Anonymous

Well said Emily, I totally agree with you! I am also shocked to read these negative comments, as I also had the complete opposite experience. I also built to finish stage and I was so appreciative of the entire Alternate Dwellings team, there was no request to big or small and I ended up with my dream home :) Thank you Alternate dwellings.

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