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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
Defects - Latest News
Monday, 28 September 2015

Homeowner loses $1.16 million fight against homebuilder
The 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee reversed a lower court judge who had awarded the homeowner $1.16 million, plus attorneys' fees. The opinion, issued in late May, leaves homeowner Carol Ecos with a house in shambles – and no money to fix it... The result is that Ecos is living in a house with failing stucco on the outside, walls that her lawyer compares to Swiss cheese, and structural defects that could compromise the roof in as little as a 66.8 mile per hour wind... says Ecos. "We need to do something about the laws, and hold someone accountable.

Special Report Part 5 - Protecting New Homebuyers from Defects
Monday, 28 September 2015

"Outrageous": Lawmaker says secrecy hurts homebuyers
Some 122 homeowners living in Taylor Morrison homes in Bartram Springs have filed allegations in court complaining of widespread stucco failures, water intrusion, wood rot – even structural infirmities that could potentially destroy a home... McBurney told First Coast News he was concerned about the financial and emotional burdens placed on his constituents. But he noted it's also an issue of safety – particularly at one house where a structural assessment found the roof could peel off in a strong thunderstorm... Outcomes of arbitration proceedings are not disclosed, nor are the sheer number of complaints pending against home builders. The only reason the Taylor Morrison complaints are public knowledge is because the attorney representing homeowners also filed suit in civil court -- complaints that were ultimately redirected by a judge to secret arbitration...

Special Report Part 4 - Non-Compliant Stucco
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: Part 4 - What's the deal with stucco?
All this week, First Coast News has been reporting on structural defects in new homes. In every case, the root of the problem has been failing stucco... As First Coast News reported in 2003, the builder acknowledged the homes might not, strictly speaking, match state code...7/8 of an inch thick, as required by law... "They only sold ½ inch accessories or smaller in this area. You couldn't even purchase a 7/8 inch accessory. So it was clear the industry was just blatantly ignoring their obligation under the building code."... "The biggest investment that they've made is now worth half of what it should be, worth through no fault of their own.

Special Report Part 3 - No City Inspection - Taylor Morrison Hired its Own Inspector
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: Part 3 - "We don't know who built this house"
In fact, city inspectors didn't even conduct the inspections that Goldsbury codified when he signed the home's certificate of occupancy. Taylor Morrison hired its own private inspectors for the roughly 400 homes it built in Bartram Springs, as state law allows.  Trying to figure out who is responsible for the home's many flaws is complicated by the fact that the building permit is signed by somebody who never set foot there – and didn't even work for Taylor Morrison at the time.

Special Report Part 2 - No Access to Court for Almost a Decade
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: Part 2 - Living in squalor
For almost a decade, the residents of this $334,000 Bartram Springs house have lived in squalor – holes punched in hallways, insulation hanging out of walls, rooms destroyed by destructive structural testing... Access to courts seems like a fundamental right, but most homebuyers give up that right voluntarily. Virtually every new home contract requires homebuyers to waive the right to sue, and instead settle any dispute in arbitration -- a private dispute resolution process that tends to limit damage awards, and is conducted in secret.

Jacksonville Special Report Part 1 - Homebuilding Tip of the Iceberg
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: Part 1 - The tip of the iceberg
First Coast News first interviewed Walsh in March, when she was speaking against a bill that would have reduced from 10 to 7 years the period in which homeowners can sue their builder for structural defects. The decision to change the period of liability, known as "repose," would have left homeowners like her without legal recourse. (The bill died in committee after our story aired.) But what we didn't know at the time was the Walsh home is the tip of the iceberg – one of more than 100 homes in Bartram Springs built by the same builder – Taylor Morrison – and which, according to claims made in court filings, have exactly the same problem...

Defective Texas Gas Pipe installed in Ohio
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Thousands of Ohio gas customers living with defective pipes 
More than 17,000 defective gas pipes have been installed in Ohio. Now the installer -- Columbia Gas of Ohio -- is checking each location to see if there are any issues of leakage...The thickness of the pipe wall is what's in question. Texas-based Polypipe was the manufacturer, Columbia says the pipe wasn't allowed to cool thoroughly enough, leaving the wall of the pipe thinner than normal.

Vinyl Siding Meltdown - No Warranty
Thursday, 22 July 2010

Energy Efficient Windows Melt Vinyl Siding
Both the Vinyl Siding Institute and the National Association of Home Builders acknowledge the problem, but say it is not widespread and the siding and windows are not defective... "My home is ruined and at no fault of mine whatsoever," said Vincequere. Vincequere's warranty has expired and Dillon's warranty specifically excludes damage caused by heat or reflection from windows. "I was shocked," said Dillon. Both Vincequere and Dillon told Team 5 they were shocked that no one is warning homeowners melting siding can occur.

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