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Organizing your community to bring public attention to builder’s bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

"I hate my Beazer"
Sunday, 08 October 2006

Homeowners complain builders did shoddy work
Pinal County resident Etta Estes wrote "I hate my Beazer. Ask me why" on her truck. Citing her opinion of her Beazer Homes USA house isn't limited to her vehicle - it's also displayed on her Beazer-built home, her son's car and her 3-year-old's Big Wheel. In Gilbert's Trilogy at Power Ranch, two homeowners, Craig Chernoff and Jim Daniels, handed out pamphlets and made signs that stated, "Awareness - Residents of Trilogy," which Chernoff held on neighborhood streets to inform people about the issues they had with Shea Homes.

Homeowners complain builders did shoddy work
October 8, 2006
By Sarah Boggan
Tribune

Pinal County resident Etta Estes wrote "I hate my Beazer. Ask me why" on her truck. Citing her opinion of her Beazer Homes USA house isn't limited to her vehicle - it's also displayed on her Beazer-built home, her son's car and her 3-year-old's Big Wheel. In Gilbert's Trilogy at Power Ranch, two homeowners, Craig Chernoff and Jim Daniels, handed out pamphlets and made signs that stated, "Awareness - Residents of Trilogy," which Chernoff held on neighborhood streets to inform people about the issues they had with Shea Homes.

Fueled by frustration, a desire to raise awareness and a need for action from the homebuilders, the homeowners went beyond some more conventional ways to voice dissatisfaction with their homes, such as filing a complaint with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

Cynthia Dunham, executive director of The Leadership Centre, a Chandler-based organization dealing with community and neighborhood issues, said frustration is the driver for homeowners who resort to publicizing their bad experiences.

"Their reality is not what their expectations were," she said. "I appreciate that they're trying to communicate with neighbors, that's a positive thing. By organizing with neighbors, they can affect change."

Dunham said information put out by homeowners also can be a double-edged sword in that it can also draw negative attention to the neighborhood and possibly affect home values.

Estes, who lives among homes under construction in the Morning Suns Farm development just outside Queen Creek, said she wanted to warn recent and potential buyers to look closely at their homes or think twice before they buy one.

"I wanted to give them a clear understanding of how fed up and frustrated I was," she said. "I really enjoyed the fact that every day they were out there, they had to look at how I hated the home they built for me."

Estes said she is achieving her goal with people knocking on her door and sharing their stories.

She filed a complaint with the Registrar of Contractors and has been scheduling repairs with the builder's warranty department. In the complaint, Estes listed numerous issues including plumbing, leaks, broken tile, mold and flooding. Beazer Homes officials said they could not comment.

Chernoff and Daniels moved to homes in Trilogy at Power Ranch about two years ago. Both said they bought homes there because of the highly rated reputation of Shea Homes, but both houses needed repairs following move-in.

Both men filed complaints against the developer with the Registrar of Contractors. Shea made repairs, but the homeowners claim other repairs need to be made. And, they said, they're concerned to learn that homes sold by Shea were actually built by UDC Homes Construction "doing business as" Shea Homes.

In an e-mailed response to the Tribune, Shea Homes officials said they completed all repairs adequately, and that all homeowners were made aware in their contracts as to who built the homes.

In June, Chernoff held his homemade sign along neighborhood roads seeking to make prospective buyers aware of who built the homes, and problems he had trying to get repairs, such as for cracks in walls. An illness prevented Daniels from helping hold his sign. A sign also was displayed in Chernoff's open garage, until Shea Homes mailed a letter threatening a lawsuit only days later.

"It's just an awareness sign," Daniels said. "It's not a condemnation of Shea. I hope people get more backbone and will not be afraid to file against them."

Dunham suggests that homeowners work through the process with their homebuilders by following contract and warranty guidelines. She said mediation is another low-cost suggestion for resolving issues.

"The fact that people have concerns with their homebuilder, that is unfortunately not something new," Dunham said.

Brian Livingston, an assistant director with the Registrar of Contractors, said homeowners can expect minor problems on any new home, even if the developer is considered one of the best.

Any time within two years, homeowners who have purchased new or old homes can have a free inspection through the Registrar of Contractors, he said. And if developers aren't making fixes, they can contact the agency or file a complaint.
 
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