Before you do, take a minute to read what happened to my daughter. She’s married to an officer currently on active duty in the military—people that all too often fall prey to individuals like Mr. Bryan Hicks. Unfortunately, the state of Texas makes it all too easy for builders to skirt their responsibility to consumers.
Builder Complaint: Bryan Hicks DBA Bryan Hicks Custom Homes, Tuscola, TX
We wish to communicate the issues that my family has had with this local builder for the past three years. The problems center around warranty issues of the new home we purchased our home in Abilene, Texas from Bryan Hicks in July 2006. The conflict has not come to a resolution despite an exhausting and frustrating number of attempts to communicate and follow the necessary steps to reach a resolution.
The first hint that there was a problem with the customer service with this builder was evident when he refused to pay the property taxes owed on the home according to the real estate contract. After failing to discuss the matter through the Better Business Bureau we were forced to take this matter to small claims court. When we won the judgment he finally paid the taxes and penalties owed us.
From this time forward any warranty issues we had on our new home, which were numerous; we were told by letter to contact all individual contractors directly. Some contractors were helpful; others refused to do the repairs or wouldn’t return calls. We tried to get the work done through the contractors for months. All the while keeping Bryan Hicks up to date on the status of the repairs via fax, email, and certified mail we communicated regularly to Bryan Hicks about the repairs that were not getting done. We never had any communications back from Bryan Hicks about how we should proceed. At no point did Bryan Hicks dispute that any of the indicated issues needing repairs were warranty issues, he just failed to get the work on them completed.
Trying to be nice and not bring the State into the problem, we did not contact the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) (turns out to be a big mistake). Instead WE contacted Better Business Bureau, this time he failed to respond to their inquiry on the matter. Our last resort was to seek legal counsel who told us to go ahead and have the repairs done by other contractors at our cost and ask for reimbursement from the builder Bryan Hicks. We had all repairs done at our cost. Including replacing tile in our kitchen and eating area that was cracking and buckling after less than a year of being installed, repairing a faulty mailbox, painting a garage door, replacing carpet that was originally installed with a manufacturer’s flaw, and repairs to the sheetrock and furniture damaged by a severely leaking roof. Contact was made to the builder in January of 2008 to request the amount we were out for the repairs. There was, yet again, no response from Bryan Hicks.
After many more attempts to contact Bryan Hicks, we brought our case, with the aid of our lawyer, to Small Claims court and won judgment for the full amount. Bryan Hicks appeared and at no point disputed that the items we had repaired by other contractors were warranty items on the home. After the judgment he failed to pay us the amount, instead he hired legal counsel that told him about the TRCC laws that protect builders and require complaints to be filed within 30 days of the warranty expiring in order to have a case against a builder. In our situation within 30 days of the 1 year warranty we were still communicating via letters with the builder’s contractors to get the work done. So in essence, we are being punished for giving the builder the benefit of the doubt that he will live up to his contractual requirements to uphold the warranty on the new home that he built and sold to our family.
We have been very careful to keep to the facts in this case so as to spell out our story accurately for others to beware of this man and his business. The home that we purchased from him was not the quality that it appeared to be at first and his promises to uphold the state-required warranties and his own company’s warranty on the home are empty. We are still out the thousands of dollars in repairs to our new home and even more in legal costs, in these hard economic times this has really hurt our family. In our opinion, don’t have Bryan Hicks of Bryan Hicks Custom Homes build you a home.