I have not seen anything about Antler homes on this site before so let me be the first to dispel the myth that they portray of being a company at the upper end of the quality marke with ‘renowned attention to detail’. See their website at Antlerhomes.co.uk for more hype.

My wife and moved into one of their ‘Gold’ standard properties in Cranleigh on 1st September. Things started to go wrong from day one when they cancelled the hand-over meeting at 2 hours notice. The estate agent met us, give us the keys, took the meter readings and left. There was no follow-up from Antler and we are still waiting for the hand-over (maybe this Friday!). The Company Sales Director is totally ineffective, ignores emails and clearly resents having to talk to mere mortals so we have stopped wasting our time on him. On one occasion the whole of the Antler team was on an NHBC course for a week making communication virtually impossible. On another occasion the sales team were allegedly all at the races for the day!

The house itself has a very high specification throughout but they have allowed complete idiots to do the work, wrecking quality fixtures and finishes and they seem incapable of putting matters right. Some examples include, externally, different colour pointing to brickwork, broken and cracked stone sills, damaged window frames and fascias. Internally, we have uneven plastering, sloping sills, badly fitting doors, botched bathroom vanity units and staircase rails that don’t line up. The list of items extends to about 6 pages of closely typed notes!

Antler’s initial response was to send back a stream of the original sub-contractors to try and put things right. They were incapable of doing so because of course they had already proved that they either couldn’t give a damn or were incompetent, or both. They actually made some problems worse, including the one-eyed painter who didn’t take his shoes off or use a dust sheet.

Throughout this, the site manager set about trying to mislead us with assurances that issues would be picked up at the ‘six month check’. We found out that there was no such check. He kept quiet about missing specification items we were entitled to or claimed they were ‘extras’ when challenged. Antler loves this guy because he appears to have a reputation for building houses quickly. Antler get their money sooner and hope that they can get away with the defects. Clearly, some people do accept botched work but we don’t. I guess that overall it is cheaper for Antler to take the chance, or am I being very cynical? His boss, the Contract Manager, seems incapable of getting to grips with the snagging problems. We get the standard “I’ll get on to itâ€? response every time but little action.

We wrote to the MD with a bundle of horrendous pictures that made me weep when I printed them off. He apologised and said he would come and see us after receiving a report from his Building Director. The report was done but the MD left the company a couple of weeks later. Turns out he had given his notice in 4 months earlier!

We now have a crack A team parachuted in to sort out the problems. This followed the arrival of 2 bricklayers who spend a week cutting out the pointing with the wrong colour mix, only to repoint it again…..with the wrong colour mix. They are now talking about staining the pointing!

Internally, they have repositioned a vanity basin and chipped a fascia panel, chipped a window frame whist replacing a sill and managed to partially re-decorate three rooms. Their approach to redecorating is basically: rub down then partially repaint, preferably in the wrong colour and proudly tell us that they have finished. They don’t worry their heads about dusting off the walls or sanding down filler they have added or even usingthe original spec paint. They spend 4 hours a day getting to us, then with lunch, tea and endless cigarettes breaks they do about three hours work. They arrive without a clue as to what they should be doing, with the wrong tools and no idea where they can get hold of materials needed. Every question we ask is met with “you’ll have to ask Rob about that”. Rob is the boss of this motley team but we can’t speak to him because they won’t give us his mobile number and he doesn’t visit the site to supervise his men. Anyway, I asked them to leave this morning because they were ruining our house. They toddled off but later came back to do work on one of the other three properties on the development…poor devils!

We have a summit meeting tomorrow to try and agree a way forward after I let rip to the Contract Manager and Director into their mobiles last night, but basically I have no confidence in Antler’s ability to sort this out at present.

I would prefer to engage a local professional builder to complete as many of the works as possible with Antler providing the materials and covering their costs. Has anyone tried this approach successfully?

We battle on, but I would strongly advise anyone against buying an Antler property at the present time. They have a new MD so perhaps it would be best to see if he can sort them out first.


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Modchild August 13, 2010 at 10:43 am

Antler seem to be consistent in their lack of professionalism irrespective of where they are operating in the country.

We bought a “Strictly limited edition home” & enjoyed the delights of our toilet emptying over our kitchen ceiling 6 days after we moved in, I contacted their emergency plumber (as directed in their owners guide) only to be told “It’s Christmas, call back next week after New Year”

Having had numerous battles with various directors we have recently discovered that our boundaries have changed to what was in the sales brochure & as was shown by the estaete agent, we have a totally unreasonable neighbour who will not negotiate with us & we are now in the position of having 3 people owning part of our front garden & side border on their deeds, Antler have now supplied me with 3 seperate final conveyance plans & stated their intention was for us to own the relevant land but are unable to do anything about.

My advice would be that Antler are best avoided unless you are prepared to incur large legal costs trying to sort out Antlers mess.

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fed up March 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm

we had similar problems with antler – here we are 2 years after buying and im still waiting for half the snaggings to be done! the other half i did myself, i have a massive list of screw ups that antler did but i think i may explode if i start re telling them

poor workmanship
rubbish customer service
“Strictly limited additions” – the only thing limited about them is the quality!

never again will i buy from antler

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Rob October 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Oh dear oh dear oh dear…
My son bought a new Antler house in Crowborough, moving in in April/May this year.
We did at least get to go around the property with the sales agent and the site manager and together we compiled a list of snags. mainly decorative but a few items that were not done as per spec.

Within a few weeks, he noticed leaking from under the kitchen sink, someone was dispatched and a nut tightened. Job done.

Over the next few months, we saw a variety of sales agents and site managers replacing the one who had just left, each one promising to ‘sort it’. Guess what…
about half way through October the weather turned chilly so my son attempted to tun on the heating -and the boiler had turned off and would not restart.Next morning I went to the site and found the latest site manager, who in all fairness found a plumber and came straight round. Apparently this all singing all dancing combi boiler needed refilling…. Anyway the plumber opened the appropriate valve, turned on the water and whoosh, the boiler fired up.
That evening however there was still no heating, next day (Saturday) the site manager was unable to find anyone until Monday…so we eventuall got the emergency plumbers out. Turns out the boiler had not been flushed through so the radiators were all full of air and the system full of debris filled liquid which may well have damaged the boiler…
Ten days on, Antler have been so helpful…not. Not a word….

As with many others NEVER AGAIN. What a shower…

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Pam Hunt June 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

We bought an Antler Home 8 years ago. All the comments that we have read on this site are sooo familiar with our development. We are in a private road and it was the responsibility of Antler Homes to maintain the communal areas until they signed the road over to us. Yes you are right – eight years on and the road has still not been signed over to us and now the communal areas looks absolutely appalling. We are supposed to be the premier road in Rochester and it looks worse than living on a social housing development. The residents have made so many calls to Antler homes about it. First of all they did send someone down to look. He made all the right noises and we waited ….. and waited …. and waited some more. When we called he had left. This has happened to everyone we speak to. No one stays. You are absolutely right Antler Homes are rubbish at customer care and workmanship. Good luck everyone and keep complaining. Our advice is never buy an Antler Home.

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Steve Aylott August 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hi Pam , I too live in an Antler home develoment and have a similar….ish issue over near Chester. I would very much like to discuss. My number is 07906877275

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Ian Wildman November 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Bought an Antler home in North Yorkshire and the problems we had are too many to mention. Suffice to say High spec houses, appalling level of workmanship. The most relevant comment on this website is “never buy an Antler home!”

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Tim March 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Oh dear the above is not good at all. My Antler Home is 7 years old and we had similar issues. Never again!!!

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Coppicedweller May 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Interesting to read Pam’s comment above. Since the workmen vacated our site two years Antler have not taken repsonsibility for the parlous state of the site which they have now had the termerity to hand over to the managing agents appointed under the terms of the contract. Dead trees and shrubs, drains blocked by fallen leaves, a drainage ditch which adjoins one boundary of the devlopment and is our responsibility to keep clear has never been cleared since the site was started. Fence post on the bit Antler retained blew down in the wind and was re-erected by worker with wonky spirit level. All this is bad enough – but we don’t even have a proper junction onto the road out side. It was part of the planning permission that a S278 agreement was reached with the local LA, the LA say it is now in the hands of Antler to get the junction finished, but two members of the Antler managment team have so far taken over a year of “action” which culminated in a date – only to find that the foreman of the gang has “hurt his back” and they will have to find another gang to carry out the work. Five months later and we are still waiting. In the meantime, the pothole in the entrance gapes ever larger, the trees and shrubs are even deader, the drainage covers more blocked, the fence post more crooked, and we are in danger of falling into the uncovered culvert which flows along the front of the development. I have to say I recognise the resemblance to Pam’s social housing development.

I note from Antler’s website that they won a prestigious award last year for one (or two) of their devlopments – I can only surmise that these are the few they managed to finish off properly! I phoned (again) today and asked to speak to the Managing Director who says on the front page of the glossy folder you get when you move in that he will respond to customer concerns personally. Guess what – I’m still waiting.

It would be interesting to know whether venting your feelings on this website has any effect. Has anyone had a positive outcome?

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Trish May 27, 2015 at 9:07 am

I haven’t coppidweller! We are having endless issues with our home and have not been able to speak with anyone regarding this. Looks great but poor quality and even worse customer service.

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Clive Bravery February 4, 2016 at 4:18 pm

We made the mistake of buying from Antler in 2000. They were as bad then as now. They lied missed appointments and when they did repair work it was sub standard. Prior to moving in I checked with the site agent that all would be ready. He assured me that there would be no problems as there was the best team on the job as we spoke. I went to the house and the two men were asleep in the front garden, there was a pub nearby. When we did move in there were left in the garage an assortment of paint all without lids and a number of bags of plaster and cement all ripped open and spilt on the floor. It got worse, within a day of moving in the whole house smelt strongly of sewage, on investigation the air admittance valves had not been fitted to the top of the stakes. It took 2 days for Antler to organize the fix. I put in a defect list of 68 items in the first week of occupation no action from Antler as they claimed not to have received it and yet one of the workmen had a photocopy of my list in his van. They proved themselves to be untrustworthy. The turnover of staff is very high, I wouldn’t like to work for such a firm.
After 2 years of trying to live in the house we moved out, I do my best to warn others about Antler when I view there new builds

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Nigel Wright April 13, 2016 at 1:39 pm

We to have purchased an Antler Home back in 2005, though the design is not bad apart from a useless sized garage. The main concern has been the very substandard work carried out by their subcontractors and a site manager that was not up to the job.
The latest problem which could have very serious consequences is a natural gas leak from under the flooring.
I had not smelt this and probably never would due to no sense of smell but luckily the two female members of our household did this preventing a possible explosion from build up of gas.
So please check your properties for gas leaks as mine is only 11 years old.
I suggest you make sure all your gas appliences are turned off then take a gas meter reading, then check again some 20 minutes later to see if the reading has changed.
I now face a large cost of replacing the pipe work from the gas meter to the various appliences in my home but safety is my main concern due to substandard insulation.

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Nicki Luton June 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm

We bought an Antler home in Surrey in 2004 and have to say it was the worst and most frustrating 2 years of our loves. There were many things wrong with our property, the front door didn’t close, the showers were all plumbed in incorrectly and the temperature could not be changed. The tiling was terrible and poor workmanship was evident everywhere.

We were tired of having the same incompetent contractors attend time and again, without actually fixing anything!

My advice to anyone reading this, is TO NEVER BUY AN ANTLER PROPERTY. If you do, agree a healthy reservation deposit that you can use to employ reputable builders to carry our the snagging works. Antler, would never agree to this, so save yourself the heartache and stress and buy from a reputable builder!

Sorry Antler, but I had hoped that you would have improved, sounds like the same old story!

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Ben Edwards January 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Horrendous workmanship and never never buy a home from Antler.

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Neelesh Gupta May 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Hi, is Antler still the same ? I thought over time they must have improved a bit at least ?? I am looking at new antler developments at mulberry , reading. Am not sure if I should go ahead considering I couldn’t find at least one single happy customer so far with these builders. Please advise.

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Santosh Tiwari June 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Hi Nilesh,

What was you final decision? Did you go with them? If yes , how has been the experience so far?

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James Daly July 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Hi All, have been reading the negative press on Antler but in my view the company have improved massively over the last couple of years. They are much more professional now and seem to have a very good team leading to better output, better subcontractors and therefore better quality of houses, just my opinion

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