Please let us know what has happened to you, and let us know if you would like to help us make buying new houses safer.
Tell us your story.
|posted 29 July 2007 09:22 CET
I purchased a Classic Century Home in February of 2005. Had a leak in the front large arched window within the year warranty period. People came to fix problem but learned that there was a problem/defect in the window in general.
Have another leak in same window and warranty people told me that routine maintainence was the problem. It needs to be "calked." Even though the company changed window designs on newly built homes, patronized me with routine maintainence solution. Is there anything I can do to have them replace my window with the newly designed one of the same style?
|posted 28 July 2007 11:53 CET
BEWARE Stoneridge Custom Homes...Long story short my family lived through the most miserable home buying experience that I can imagine. From the time we contracted with Stoneridge Custom Homes the customer service has been non existent. I was used to 'supervise' details that should have been none of my concern. Then I was told that I slowed down the construction process. A week before our scheduled closing date I informed them that I did not want to close on the scheduled date because there was no way the home would be complete. I was told "your contract says you must close or you will lose your $10k deposit". After voicing my concerns I was promised everything would be ready and the morning of closing I thought it actually was, but after closing we realized the HVAC system had not been charged or started, the septic system was not running, there were nails/screws in the garbage disposal, bath tubs were clogged with trash, hardwood floors were water damaged and the last coat of clear on the hardwood floors had never been applied. The builder doesn't return phone calls and after meeting other customers with the same experience I have realized he absolutely doesn't care about any of us. After living in the home for over 4 months we still have unfinished and water damaged hard wood floors, roof leaks, drywall damage, and a page long list of small details. I have sent email notices and a certified letter to the builder with no response. BEWARE of Stoneridge Custom Homes. Looking back I would have walked away from my $10k deposit in a second. They mainly build in the Mansfield, Arlington area. I have since learned that the builder operated under a different name about 6 years ago and with the 20 plus outraged customers recently created another name change is very likely. My home specs: 5,200 sq ft, 1.29 acres, 5 Bed, 5 Bath, Study, GM Room, Media RM, Balcony, 3 Car Grg, Paid $524k
|posted 19 July 2007 06:54 CET
About a year and half ago, I closed with Beazer Homes on a new construction condo in Jacksonville, Florida. Beazer "promised" a one year warranty on all home related issues. The first year was a mess, with a leaking bathtub that took the whole year to be fixed, one person shifting the blame to another. We also had problems with poor construction including that we could hear everything our neighbors above us did and everything our neighbors on each side of us did. The salesperson had promised that it was sound proof, but in fact I have since found out that they haven't used residental codes, but instead commerical codes for construction. Also, we have had problems with leaking in the bedroom. Which have led to mold. We had problems before with this leak and it turns out they the construction team had painted shut the dryer vent! So all the moisture from the dryer vent which runs over the bedroom was getting trapped there causing excess moisture and mold. Again, I thought this problem was fixed, but then again right after my one year warranty ended the moisture started gathering again in that same spot. Beazer said that they wouldn't come out to look at it since it was past my one year warranty even though it is a construction issue. Beazer does not know one single thing about customer service. They took every shortcut when building these condos and did not do proper installations on the bath tub, dishwasher, dryer etc. I was amazed at what a horrible job they had done.
|posted 14 July 2007 20:26 CET
I and my wife bought our house from Mainstreet Homes in 2001.
Within our 1 year warranty we complained about what seemed like mold in our windows. Mainstreet came out. They took out some sheetrock out on the windows which is most of them. and they found some moisture in most of the windows they replaced some insulation and did water checks. and said everything was ok. For the next 6 years we have been complaining about mold in the windows. Every time we call them out its the same story... condensation. This has affected our health and sanity. Can anyone tell us what we can do to get this fixed.
We appreciate any help you can give us.
|posted 13 July 2007 11:09 CET
Trendmaker has finally agreed to fix my tile if:
· I never tell anyone about Trendmaker’s outdated, watered down, spread too thin, mortar mix that was installed over building debris (sheetrock dust, paint, sawdust, mud and other trash) that caused my tile to erupt all over my house in Avalon.
· If I never discuss the terms of ”the settlement,” which is that they will fix my tile if (see above)
I would accept this agreement, except that Trendmaker also wants to buy the right to sue me, if I discuss my experience with anyone other than my attorney or my “immediate family.” That’s right, if I discuss this settlement or my experience with Trendmaker, with my cousins, my mother, and most certainly you, then Trendmaker reserves the right to sue me for breech of contract!
In this “silence settlement,” Trendmaker has also demanded that I remove all of the web entries that I have made, over the past two and a half disturbing years, concerning their defective tile work on my house, and their numerous misrepresentations. Imagine the prospects for entrapment with a silence agreement!? Trendmaker could make large sums of money, by entrapping others and me with taped phone calls, or merely inventing such accusations, as they did in their SLAPP suit against me.
In essence, Trendmaker is not offering to settle with me by replacing their poorly installed tile, they are in instead “buying my freedom of speech” for what it would cost to fix my tile. Please note that this offer to “settle” was made 2 ½ years after my tile began erupting, and after Trendmaker ran up my time and money in a SLAPP suit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLAPP. In most cases, defending a SLAPP suit costs upwards of $10,000.00. In classic SLAPP suit fashion, Trendmaker "nonsuited", one day before the court date.
If I choose to sell my free speech for what it costs to replace my tile, then as much as I, and the many others who have sold their rights to speak honestly about their experiences with Trendmaker would like to, we will not be legally able to talk with you or anyone else about our experience, and thus document a pattern of problems with Trendmaker. This is why protesting a builder is usually a lonely affair. This is also why builders who settle with silence contracts seem to have far fewer complaints against them than they actually do.
Remember, most reputable builders simply fix the problem and would never demand a “silence contract.” Ask other builders. Trendmaker settled more than 30 tile issues in Katy alone (unfortunately using a silence contract). Ironically, the settlements were made only after these neighbors protested “together.”
What you can do to protect yourself now and later.
Call, email, visit or write your congress people today,
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/ http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ http://lampson.house.gov/
and demand that they return your pre TRCC- (2003) homeowner rights, so that you can sue your builder if he has fraudulently installed defective materials, or built in an un-workmanship like manner. Your pre 2003 rights included your right to sue you builder to fix faulty workmanship and have the builder pay treble damages, as well as court costs, if the court found in your favor. Naturally under the force of these laws, builders were much more inspired to build better products, as well as to quickly repair their mistakes.
Post 2003 - TRCC, our homeowner rights, have become an expensive joke at our expense, and rest assured, our builder knows it. Homeowners must begin the complaint process by hiring a TRCC approved inspector (for even the most obvious cases) at a homeowner expense of $450. If TRCC feels like the homeowner has a case (Remember who makes up the TRCC) the "lucky" homeowner may then qualify to begin the high cost of arbitration. If a homeowner’s case requires the repair of gross negligence at a cost of less than $20,000.00, it might cost less to the homeowners if he or she pays for the repair “out of pocket.”
Explore these websites before you need them: www.hobb.org/ www.hadd.com/
Know your rights, so that the choices you make “under stress” will not complicate you rights later. The police www.sugarlandtx.gov/police/ are helpful in outlining what you can, and cannot do, in protesting against your builder. Your homework here makes it much easier for any activist, or attorney, to help you when, and if, your builder files a SLAPP suit against you.
Remember you are protesting to have your builder behave in a responsible manner. Do not threaten anyone, step onto their property, or even tell your builder what you really think of his mother. Don’t go there! Stay focused on the issues.
Participate in your government! Your builder certainly has been!
Don’t sign a silence contract. It weakens your rights, as well as the rights of others in similar circumstances.
|posted 12 July 2007 09:33 CET
Woman fighting black mold from flood in 10 Mile Flats
By Carol L. Cole
Transcript Staff Writer
The smell is something you won’t forget, sort of a stinking, rotting smell that makes your eyes blink and throat sore.
The crawl space at Chrissie Griffin’s home at 3307 48th Avenue NW is something to behold, but not in a good way. About a foot-and-a-half of putrid, stagnant water was trapped in the space — it was down to about 8 inches of water on Wednesday afternoon — and it is rapidly causing black mold to permeate her house.
“So it’s nasty,” Griffin said, her voice raspy. “I have a really bad sore throat.”
The home, which was built in the 1930s and moved to the site in the mid 1960s, has never flooded, even in wetter-than-average years in the 1970s. But this year is different.
Water crept near her house on 3.12 acres several times earlier this year. The crawl space flooded first on June 26, then June 28 and most recently Tuesday morning.
It’s meant Griffin has had to stay in a hotel.
Her barn is flooded, her hay ruined, her two horses sick. She moved them to a friend’s house but is keeping her dogs on the premises.
And the septic system is out of commission and can’t be pumped until the water is out of the crawl space. E. coli has contaminated her water well, as it has her neighbors’.
Griffin, who has lived there three years, had been tearing her carpet out herself. The single mom, who is broker/owner of Trustworthy Realty, hasn’t worked much in days.
“This is a full-time job,” she said. “Trying to deal with that stinking mold is just nasty. It stinks.”
Her insurance agent said her policy won’t pay for damage from flooding or from developments or zoning.
But now she’s getting some help. The City of Norman loaned her a pump to help her get the water out of her crawl space.
And the American Red Cross provided Griffin bottled water, food, a hotel room and have said they’ll help her replace her hay. They plan to contribute $150 toward replacement of her beds.
“They’ve been great,” she said. “I didn’t know they did some of these things.”
But until Griffin’s septic system is back up and running and the mold and E. coli taken care of, she will not be able to move back in.
The City of Norman also brought her neighbors, Darrell and Pam Jennings, a water tanker until their well is decontaminated, also from E. coli.
Griffin notes the irony of her situation.
She spoke in favor to the Norman City Council for the then-proposed, controversial Windstone Farms development, which is now called Fountainview Addition.
“I thought it would make property values go up,” Griffin said. “I had faith that they would do things responsibly.”
And she had been critical of her neighbor Pam Jennings, who vehemently opposed the development, saying it would cause drainage problems. No more.
The neighbors in the area believe the development, which is being built uphill to the east of their homes, contributes to their problem.
The developer, Sassan Moghadam of Precision Builders, brought in earth-moving equipment Wednesday afternoon to try to clear a channel and clean out tin horns for water to drain off his property just east of 48th Avenue NW and south of Griffin’s and the Jennings’ homes.
“When they say he’s timely, he was from June 26 to July 11 timely,” Griffin said, surveying the yellow bulldozers as they moved in to work.
Moghadam’s insurance agent has said he would meet with Griffin on Monday morning.
And Griffin said Moghadam made a verbal offer of $175,000 on her property, which she turned down, saying he had flooded her house and was now attempting to buy it cheap.
Moghadam on Tuesday blamed the drainage problems on record rains.
“We certainly did not create the rain,” he said. “I feel for the neighbors. … But we certainly don’t feel like it’s anything we’ve done.”
Carol L. Cole
Flooded property ignites old fight
By Carol L. Cole
Transcript Staff Writer
Northwest Norman resident Pam Jennings figures she told everyone who would listen in recent years that properties in her area would flood if an adjancent development occurred as proposed. And now she says it’s happening.
The home of Pam and Darrell Jennings at 3211 NW 48th has become “an island,” with water ranging from ankle deep up to thigh-high surrounding it. The couple’s barn and shed are flooded, their cattle are standing in “belly-deep water” and their water well is contaminated with e-coli.
“It’s not good. It’s just a mess. We can’t, of course, drink the water. We can’t shower. We can’t do laundry. We’re having to go elsewhere. We’re trying to stay here, but it’s becoming more difficult,” Pam Jennings said.
Their flooding situation has reignited a feud between the Jennings and Precision Builders developer Sassan Moghadam.
“He’s using us as his detention pond,” Pam Jennings said. “He’s draining 40 acres of property down to the bottom, which is us.”
She said the City of Norman allowed Moghadam to build his Fountainview addition, formerly known as Windstone Farms and that is causing her problems. He owns half of the development at 48th Avenue Northwest and Tecumseh Road, which was originally planned for 196 homes on 77 acres.
Jennings and Les Crabtree, who died April 23, attempted to fight Moghadam with an initiative petition garnering 2,400 signatures, through the courts and all the way up to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, losing their battle in December 2006.
Seminole County District Judge George Butner first dismissed the petitions July 28, 2005, based on an insufficient number of valid signatures and lack of the text of the relevant ordinance on the petition.
The Norman City Council voted to rezone the property Sept. 24, 2004, from agricultural use to single family dwelling in two cases concerning the property, and from residential estate dwelling and agricultural use to single family dwelling in the other.
Moghadam blames the Jennings problems on the record rainfalls.
“We certainly did not create the rain,” he said. “I feel for the neighbors. … But we certainly don’t fee like it’s anything we’ve done.”
Moghadam said the problem is that water doesn’t have anywhere to go.
He said when the initial plan for Windstone Farms was proposed, there were two detention ponds included.
Moghadam said those were later eliminated, after the neighbors protested them. The City of Norman allowed the ponds to be eliminated on a “fee in lieu of” basis.
That was vehemently denied by Pam Jennings.
“We never opposed the detention ponds,” she said.
Moghadam said the city has asked him to do some temporary drainage solutions.
“But we can’t make (water) go beyond the 10 Mile Flat Creek,” he said, noting water was backing up where it goes into the creek. “Our intent from day one was to do some improvements to the horse farm across the street.”
Pam Jennings told the Norman City Council on Tuesday night that the developer had done lots of dirt work, but had not implemented his drainage plan and still didn’t have a sewer solution, since he had planned on working with Ashton Grove.
A drainage channel created by Moghadam had silted in, she said, and the developer had been cited with several violations by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, which was confirmed by Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary.
Pam Jennings said their first flooding event occurred in mid-March, long before the downpours of May and June.
“This property has not been dry since March,” Pam Jennings said. “It’s just been this constant everyday not knowing what’s going to happen, not knowing what to expect.”
The couple is concerned that their horses that are standing in water will have hoof rot and develop black leg disease.
Properties of Chrissie Griffin and Todd Ensor also are flooding to the north of the Jenningses.
O’Leary said he believed the problems were caused more by the excessive rainfall than by drainage issues with the developer.
|posted 21 June 2007 07:04 CET
My Dominion Home that I built in 2005 is not worth what I paid for it. They sucked me in with their financing and now I don't know if I can afford it. If I sell it I could lose 10K
|posted 20 June 2007 19:56 CET
|posted 19 June 2007 21:25 CET
We signed a contract with Sheridan Homes for a house that was in the later stages of framing on Nov. 10, 2006. We were told it would be ready the last of feb., then it was march, april, may....during these months we went through many mistakes, poor workmanship, but we
stayed with them because we loved the lot and the location was good,(It was 10 minutes away from my Dad, who I was caring for) and they did make some things right.
We finally reached the completion of the house , with a few things that needed to be made right, like a large paint stain in the carpet, backsplash in the kitchen was installed wrong and the shutters were too for from the windows and not all of them were straight. The ovens were also not according to the contract.
We were told by Lewis Espinar, pres. of the San Antonio office, the city of Garden Ridge said it was finished and we had 5 days to close.
We were told by the project manager they had a C of O. Neither if those were true. We checked with the city of Garden Ridge and found out it did not pass inspection and as of June 19, 2007 there was no C of O.
Now we have been told by Lewis Espinar that He would not sell us the house. He does not return phone calls from us or the realtor. We have also called the corporate office in Plano, Tx. The president and owner of the company hung up on our mortgage broker.
These people have lied to us and have brought us thru 8 months of frustration. We are living with my son and drive to my Dad's for his care that is 30 minute away.
|Mary E. Barfield
|posted 19 June 2007 15:53 CET
Huneke Homes is not true to their word.
|posted 18 June 2007 12:29 CET
This was my letter to the Tarrant County BBB responding to a certified mail letter from Cheldan letting us know that we would be floating away on an ARK before they'd assist us.
This is to inform you that we are in receipt of your letter dated April 30, 2007 regarding items you refuse to cover under warranty. Please be informed that we have now filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at Fort Worth serving Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Wise, Parker, Erath, Somervell and Palo Pinto Counties (Case No. BF80-D0D%). We have no intention of dropping this as we were told before ever closing on the house by your contractor (Randy) that we weren’t to worry about the obvious problem with the grade of the yard and that if there were a problem, Cheldan would remedy it, even after closing. We were told that Cheldan would not leave us hanging with a soggy yard and bad grass, which we paid additional money for.
The recommendations in your letter were simply absurd. Our neighbor in the occupied home is no longer watering and the problem still exists. Perhaps if Cheldan would not profusely water the unoccupied home on the other side of us, that would remedy the standing water on that side. We have no way of knowing as it seems to be watered rain or shine. As a result, we have dead grass in need of replacement.
We also have video of rising water in our backyard, coming up onto the porch by almost two inches. We also expressed our concern before closing that the slope of our back porch seemed to be extreme and were ONCE AGAIN assured by Randy that the slope was fine and that Cheldan wouldn’t leave us hanging. Thankfully, we have video to prove that it is a problem and we have apparently been left hanging.
Now, we are being told that Cheldan has no intention of honoring these words, as we should have known at the time and not closed on the house. Needless to say, we look at this purchase as one of the worst decisions either of us has ever made and continues to be one aggravation after another. We will try to help others not make the same bad decision in any way we can.
As a result of this, we will be polling all of our neighbors in the subdivision to inquire as to whether or not they are happy with the poor quality and craftsmanship of their home. If we find they are just as dissatisfied as we are, perhaps Cheldan will listen. I’m certain the company would rather not have a lot of bad publicity since the subdivision is far from being completed.
May I suggest that in the future, you caution those working for you from making claims that Cheldan has no intention of honoring.
If you wish to communicate with us further, you may reach us through the contact information above.
Our second response is below:
This is in response to your letter to the Better Business Bureau at Fort Worth of May 18, 2007.
Your position to take no action to remedy our drainage problem is unacceptable. I am only aware of one time that your landscaper viewed our property and, at that time, he told my husband that there was a problem and he would get with the “powers that be” to have the French drains installed. If this person claims to have viewed our property without our knowledge, then I must doubt the validity of his claim.
Since our last correspondence, my husband and I have sent a letter to all the residents in our subdivision asking for similar experiences and I’m sure you’ll not be surprised by the responses we’ve received.
We were told by one resident that Kathy Stroud, the Cheldan salesperson, told his wife that the last four homes in the subdivision weren’t graded properly as the person that normally does this is no longer with the company. She pointed out our lot as being one of the last four. This same person had just received French drains in his yard to remedy his drainage problem.
We’ve also spoken to four other individuals with the same or different problems. Each claiming to have complained to the warranty department at Cheldan with no result. The ones complaining of poor drainage keep getting the same song and dance as us – we’ve received a large amount of rain this year; let’s wait and see what happens once your grass grows in – etc.
I cannot understand why Cheldan would want to compromise the integrity of our foundation as we wait “for the ground to dry and start taking in water again”. The Midlothian area is not prone to monsoons but we do occasionally get normal amounts of Spring-time rain. It is not unreasonable for us to expect our new home to drain properly. Does Cheldan expect us to live with this mess every Spring? Wouldn’t it be cheaper for Cheldan, in the long run, to install the drains rather than repair foundation problems?
We are hoping to resolve this soon without being forced to take legal action. If it goes that far, the issue of our roof having to be replaced, the fact that the home was completely open to pollutants after the carpet was installed, the backyard easement issue, the story of the “second phase” going in to raise property values, the dilapidated mobile home park being sold and moved, as well as others, will surely be brought up.
I believe we’ve been more than reasonable with our requests, especially considering the general poor workmanship of the home and the below standard customer service we’ve received.
Needless to say, we are utterly dissatisfied and I'm at my WITS' END. Please let me know if anyone out there has any suggestions. We're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I've contacted one of the local news agencies today to see if they can't assist.
|posted 18 June 2007 12:24 CET
Complaint against Cheldan Homes
|posted 18 June 2007 09:53 CET
I purchased a newly constructed condo from Missing Link, Ltd. on August 10th,
2006. Prior to closing, I paid $4740 to upgrade the master bathroom tub to a
shower. The shower was to include a 48 inch by 90 inch frameless glass door.
The door was to consist of 2 pieces of glass--one stationary and another
swinging door. Several pictures are at:
3/8 inch glass is normal for a frameless glass shower. I have contacted
numerous glass contractors and internet resources to verify this. 1/4 inch
glass was used on the door in my condo. This design flaw has caused several
Safety is the foremost concern. Both sides of the door wobble when bumped or
moved with the slightest pressure. In addition, the hinges came loose the first
week I moved in. The result was the door and stationary pieces overlapping and
banging together. A movie showing the issue is at:
Steve Forehand, the super from Pitt Building Company (PBC - http://www.pittbuilding.com/), attempted to fix it
e the week after I closed. He tightened the door but it came loose a few days
later. He told me to contact ProHome (warranty company).
Over the past 10 months, ProHome has sent Russell Glass (original installer - http://www.russellglass.com)
out 4 times to attempt to "fix" the door. All they do is tighten the hinges
and it comes loose just weeks later. Now they want to come out a 5th time to
fix the hinges again. In my opinion, this is just another attempt to bandaid
I contend the door was poorly designed from the beginning. 3/8 inch glass
should have been used. Several other glass contractors have said 1/4 inch is
unheard of. Furthermore, C.R. Laurence (manufacturer of the hinges) said 3/8
is what should be used. One guy even said the hinges would be more appropriate for a stereo cabinet door.
I have simply asked to be reimbursed $1500 for the defective door. This covers
the cost of replacing the door with a 3/8 inch glass door. Ultimately, I
believe it is Missing Link's responsiblity. They hired PBC who hired Russell
Glass. However, that doesn't excuse those parties for using materials they
have admitted are less then sufficient and certainly not the norm. NONE of the parties are taking responsibility nor being held accountable.
|posted 14 June 2007 15:39 CET
January, 2006 - Purchase of home to be built included sprinkler system, sod, and shrubs (additional cost of $2,990). In June of 2006 when construction was completed, we were advised sod must be laid to obtain cert. of occupancy. After it was laid, we were told of severe water restriction in area (we are out of state). Due to restriction, adequate watering could not be done to establish new plantings; hence landscaping died. Further, we discovered that the sod was laid in a very shoddy manner, with gaps between pieces, allowing weeds to overrun the lot.
Builder agreed to replace sod during rainy season. (We have this in writing.) After approx. 6 months, only a small amount of sod was replaced, and some of that was laid on top of old dead sod. We have received complaints from neighbors, our property management company, and notices from homeowners association threatening fines; Other landscape professionals have advised the job was not done in a satisfactory manner and that we were taken advantage of since we were not able to be on site. We had to constantly make phone calls and send emails, attempting to get the work done.
While waiting for the new sod to be laid, we had a landscape architect design a heat- and drought-resistant tree and shrub plan, and install same. In doing so, we spent an additional $2500 to replace the other dead plants.
Holiday Builders claims the installation was just fine and in keeping with professional standards. Other landscaping professionals have begged to differ.
We sought restitution through the Better Business Bureau for Holiday Builders' failure to provide a quality product installed in a professional manner. Holiday Builders, not surprisingly, LIED in their response, saying we wanted it replaced twice and that no watering was done.
Though we have their promises in writing, they continue to DENY, DENY, DENY! They are not to be trusted!
|posted 11 June 2007 09:20 CET
ADI Custom Villas/Homes LLC build my house in Bedford, TX. Builder offered in the purchase contract a 12 month builders warrantee, but has refused to fix many outstanding problems related to defects in material or workman ship. Builder will not answer any registered letters or phone calls. I have incurred many expenses having to fix some of the problems, like garage doors that would not operate and large gaps in abbutting brick walls.