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Lennar Defective Homes and Expansive Soil get Attention
Sunday, 30 September 2007

Homeowners rally against defects in Hutto Parke
Some motorists honked Saturday afternoon people held signs that read, “Lennar lies! HUD form 92541,” “Lennar everything included except resale value,” “Lennar everything included even expansive soil,” and “Lennar lied to me.” Hutto Parke resident Renee Crenshaw told city council that she does not want to see people move out of the neighborhood and Hutto in large numbers. She serves as a trustee for the Hutto Independent School District.
“I don't want the citizens to move out,” she said, explaining that there are certain things home builders can do to the soil before houses are built, as the builders of the new turf at Hippo Stadium did.

Some of the houses in Hutto Parke have excessive drywall cracking, said Dan McDowell, chief building official for the City of Hutto. He recommended a committee be formed to address this issue.

“Residents would like to see the City of Hutto examine the designs to see if anything can be done to prevent this from happening,” he said.

Hutto Parke homeowner Sylvia Jacobson said her house's foundation lifts up around the perimeter when it rains and settles back when the soil dries.

“I have poor land grading and drainage. The water is pulling my house apart,” she said. “... I don't appreciate Lennar's deception or being taken advantage of,” she read from a statement during the meeting.


According to a statement from Lennar's Division President Galen Whisnand, some homeowners are not allowing the company or its representatives to make repairs to houses. He is based in Lennar's Austin office on Research Boulevard. The company is headquartered in Miami, Fla. and builds homes in 18 states.

“Unfortunately, a very small number of homeowners have refused to allow Lennar to make the necessary ceiling repairs,” he said. “They have persisted in attracting public attention to their concerns while making unreasonable demands of Lennar.”

Some of the most common complaints are nails popping out of walls and unstable soil.

“We are experiencing numerous problems... that are ultimately stemming from highly expansive soil, which Lennar certified to us, HUD and our mortgage company that the soil isn't expansive,” according to Hutto Parke resident Natalie Crump.

Whisnand wrote that nails popping out of walls and ceiling cracks are being addressed.

“Early this year, Lennar Homes began receiving customer care requests from homeowners who reported ceiling cracks and nail pops in the Hutto Parke and Legends of Hutto communities. Lennar determined that some of the drywall was not installed per the recommendations of the American Gypsum Association and the Truss Council of America,” he explained.

Whisnand wrote that the nailing pattern is not a code requirement, but it is recommended to help minimize the recurrence of drywall cracks and nail pops. The company has told those affected by excessive drywall cracking and nail pops they will fix the nailing pattern to conform with the recommendations.

So far, more than 100 houses in Hutto Parke and more than 40 in the Legends of Hutto subdivision off FM 1660 South have been addressed by the firm.

“The company is determined to do the right thing and fix any remaining homes with this issue as soon as possible,” he said.

Whisnand wrote that foundations built in the subdivision were correctly built.

“... The foundations built in Hutto Parke and Legends of Hutto were all properly engineered for the soil profiles that are present,” according to the statement. “Lennar does not want certain homeowners to leave you with the impression that there is some problem with the foundations in the communities.”

Lennar has launched a Web site, www.defective-homes.net for homeowners e-mail Lennar representatives.

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