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Old 05-24-2009, 06:02 PM
19 posts, read 77,644 times
Reputation: 11


Hi all,

I'm at a loss at what to do, and I'm hoping to get some good insight from the community here.

We're in the middle of a half-million dollar new construction build. I usually go to check on progress every weekend to see how things are coming along, and correct any mistakes or miscommunications that happened.

When I walked into the house today, I was astonished. There were large pieces of drywall cut away from the ceiling in one of the first floor bedrooms, and an area of the floor (cement) where there was clearly a large puddle (it's just a stain at this point). There's also water damage where water seeped in through the drywall throughout the ceiling.

I went upstairs to the second floor, and found the exact same thing in another room, only it was on the side of the wall. Apparently those pieces were cut away to air out any moisture left from the spill.

I didn't get any notification from the builder this had happened, and when I confronted their representative about it, I was told that these things happen all the time, that they were one of the premium builders in North Texas, etc. They even said that they can get an independent inspector to canvas the whole house once it's done.

Well, I'm a bit worried. I sense that there may be more going on than just a massive water leak. I also happened to find a notice from the gas company on the kitchen counter, saying that preliminary inspections show that there was a gas leak at the main connector, and in the house (though it didn't specify where).

Before I left, I took a ton of pictures on where I found damage, on both floors. At this point, I'm not sure what to do. We like the house, but not enough to invest a half million and end up with a huge lemon.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:13 PM
4,305 posts, read 11,129,515 times
Reputation: 2456
If the house is dried in (roof & windows) and it has a leak I would be worried. I can't imagine a builder putting up drywall without the house being dried in. I would certainly take my concerns up with the builder. I use to work with alot of homeowners who were getting custom homes built. Hearing problems like this was common. Most of the time the homeowners worried about nothing. At other times it was just the tip of the iceberg. A leaking home with drywall up is not a normal thing. I would suggest a independent inspection for piece of mind.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,639 posts, read 53,524,973 times
Reputation: 18554
Absolkutely get an independent inspector out there ASAP. It will be money well-spent even if just for peace of mind. I don't believe any closed-in construction should have water leakage. That's a bad sign IMO.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:46 PM
Location: Abilene, Texas
8,746 posts, read 7,512,790 times
Reputation: 55863
My sister and her husband built a new home over in the Fort Worth area a couple of years ago and discovered they had a water leak inside two different walls after they moved in. Fortunately, the house was guaranteed by the builder and they fixed all the problems but it was a huge undertaking. They had to rip out a tub and shower, a sink, and had to repair several walls that had been damaged. Like the others said above, I'd get an independent inspection for sure. It's good you're finding out about this now, you sure don't want this problem to crop up again after you move in.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:53 AM
27,535 posts, read 44,987,445 times
Reputation: 14064
you are getting jacked around big time--
you need to get an attorney--not just an inspector--
I doubt that the builder will want to have an independent inspector come do appraisal of damage because other factors will turn up that were done incorrectly

call the city--
maybe the plumbing was done incorrectly
maybe the roof
maybe the subs went off and left the windows open which allowed rain into the second floor that caused the damage

while THIS PROBLEM may happen on different builds--it is a sign of shoddy oversight and lazy subs--which mean that you are going to have a house with problems on so many levels it is not funny...
we have seen the exact same situations at times when we walked through homes under construction where subs had left the windows up to get air flow during hot weather and just never closed them---
so if there was rain storm gusting through and they were not working there--the envelope was compromised---and rain came into the interior...
this is totally unacceptable condition TO ME--
and frankly--I bet you bought this house through the sales office--have no realtor to help you fight your contract with the builder---do you?

and no offense--but paying more (500K vs 250K) does not mean that you get double quality for the money....
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:15 AM
Location: la hacienda
2,259 posts, read 8,633,229 times
Reputation: 1146
I think that there is a plumbing, hvac ducting and insulation inpection that is suppose to be done to make sure things are up to code and properly working before the construction is allowed to proceed to drywalling by city code. Something's not right ... I agree with the posters and bring in your own inspector or attorney. This certainly would be disheartening, sorry!
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:40 AM
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,128 posts, read 13,166,637 times
Reputation: 2527
One big piece of information is missing: What stage was the home in? Sheetrock? frame? yes during construction these things happen but it all depends how far along the house is. Sometimes they may have used defective material or may be the labor wasn't done correctly. Either way, good builders will rectify this problem asap. It's not in their best interest to come back later and spend $$$ to fix it either.

It doesn't just happen in 1/2 million dollar homes... but multi-million dollar too. That is why they have their own inspections, independent inspections and city inspections.

Also, depending on what stage the house is in, a phone call from the builder's rep would have been nice to give you the heads up when you visit and see that.

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Old 05-25-2009, 10:34 PM
4,305 posts, read 11,129,515 times
Reputation: 2456
The OP said they had to tear down sheetrock which tells me the house should have been at the dried in stage. This is what raises the red flag for me.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:07 PM
19 posts, read 77,644 times
Reputation: 11
Default Whoops, didn't get a notice!

Hi all,

I would have responded earlier, but City-Data didn't send any notices that folks were posting to the thread. Doh..

To fill some gaps, I'll try and answer some questions that came up:
  • Stage of Build
    The drywall, sheetrock, fans, crown molding, and painting have all been done. When the water damage occured, it saturated the sheetrock on the ceiling of the 1st floor bedroom, and part of the drywall in the media room.
  • Origin of Damage
    I had a couple of conversations with the person who's constructing our home. Apparently the leak started Thursday of last week, and it was discovered the next day. Apparently someone had come in and taken the guts out of the upstairs commode, and left the flow valve on. That's probably why they changed the lock on the door downstairs when I went to see the house on Saturday, which was the first time I discovered it.
  • Inspections
    I don't believe any inspections were done on the piping or electricals before the insulation and the sheetrock were put up. I would have to confirm with the builder about this, but things moved along fairly quickly with regards to the build.
After stating all of this, the builder is making a decent attempt to rectify the situation, but it's taken our initive to get representatives higher up the food chain to take notice. I guess its necessary.

We took the advice of someone else who had their home built here, and went every 2-3 days to check on the work. With information exchanging hands between sales rep, builder and design center, things are going to get missed.

We're hopefully getting together with the builder this weekend to talk through next steps. My wife's confidence in the house is shaken, and we've communicated that this needs to be resolved. I'll post back if anything new happens.

Thanks for all the comments all. Very much appreciated.

PS - We do have legal counsel as an option, but I think it's well within the builder's right to attempt to solve the problem first before going that route.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:03 AM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,639 posts, read 53,524,973 times
Reputation: 18554
That makes a different scenario than rain was getting in. That is something that can be fixed, albeit an expensive fix. Was the removal due to vandalism? retaliation by former/current worker? Sounds like the builder is trying. Good luck!
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