Q. Hi, I received your contact information from Charles Rinek. I understand he recently completed your new home build. We are currently considering using Charles to construct our home in Flagler Beach. Would you be so kind as to provide me with a reference? Specifically, I am wondering if you can tell me if he met your expectations. Also, how smooth was the process? If you had any issues, were you satisfied with how they were handled? I appreciate any feedback you can provide. This is a daunting process for us and I am trying my best to research our options. If you have any advice, please feel free to share! Thanks in advance for your help.
A: Hello Wendy,
Our home is actually still in the construction stage, about 2-3 weeks from completion. We are very pleased with the work done by Charles Rinek and would recommend him without reservation. With respect to your specific questions:
Expectations – Yes, he has met and/or exceeded expectations. Our three principal criteria in a builder were: a) experience/expertise b) trustworthiness, and c) adaptability.
Experience/Expertise – Charles has been in the business here in Palm Coast for many years and is highly regarded locally. In both our initial and subsequent conversations with him, we have been impressed with his expertise and felt that he would be able to deliver a quality product. We have not been disappointed.
Trustworthiness – Charles has consistently demonstrated to us total honesty and integrity, and we have always felt absolutely confident that he has given us truthful information.
Adaptability – We are originally from the Mid-Atlantic and did not want a typical Florida look. We were concerned that some builders focused too much on a single look/design and would not be able to readily adapt to stylistic differences. In their past work, Charles and his wife Jeanne demonstrated an ability to accommodate different design tastes, and they have done a fine job with us. They have volunteered a number of very valuable suggestions which we think enhance the value of our home. At the same time, they do not take it personally if we do not follow every suggestion.
Process – By and large, the process has been as smooth as can be expected when building a completely custom home. Complications can arise when the owners are residing in a different states for a large segment of the process. HOA requirements can create some frustrations. Competing demands on sub-contractors can create some unanticipated delays. But our job is essentially on schedule.
Issues – Thus far, the issues have been relatively minor and are very promptly addressed. Examples: the wrong color of base paint in a room, an incorrect faucet model, closet shelf configurations reversed. All were addressed immediately.
In short, we do not think you would be disappointed with Charles Rinek.
Other Advice – Other steps that you may wish to consider in your research:
Neighbors – If you are able to do so, we suggest speaking to neighbors in your development who have completed their homes. Some of their advice you may need to take with a grain of salt, but it can be very valuable. We spoke to about a dozen, and eventually a pattern emerged.
Local Attorney – We also spoke to the local attorney who handles our wills/estate. As a lifetime local resident who also has a real estate practice, he is in a position to have some insight as to who are the reputable (and not so reputable) builders.
Builder Websites – While not wanting to place too much emphasis here, we think the builder websites are useful. They highlight what each builder considers to be its representative work.
Builder Interviews – We conducted only a handful, but they are certainly critical.
Houzz – This is a home design website that has listings of local builders.
House Tours – Take advantage of any home tours (model home or otherwise) offered by builders on your list. Seeing live samples of completed work is very useful.
Regarding the last item, it may not be our place to make this offer, but we would certainly have no objections to your touring our construction site if you are currently in the area. We would obviously need to defer to Charles on this, given that the site is technically still in his care, custody, and control. And he would have a better idea as to whether our project is in any way applicable to your objectives.
Good luck in your building process!!
Jill and Steven