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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:21 PM
1 posts, read 665 times
Reputation: 10


I have a new construction house, less than one year old. I am hoping someone can give me advice. There are several issues I believe should be addressed that aren't. I get the distinct impression I am being taken advantage of so I would like to educate myself as much as possible.

Background: I built a 3 bdr room house with an unfinished basement. The plan I gave to the builder had 3 bedrooms with a bonus room. I made it clear that I would be finishing the basement within one year and planned to add another bedroom to the basement. I also had him change the bonus room to a bedroom (he added a door and closet).

1. Once the house was finished, I went to get the permit to finish the basement and it was denied because my septic is only for a 3 bedroom, even though turning the bonus room into a bedroom made 4 and the builder was well aware I would be adding a 5th bedroom in the basement. He refused to do anything about it telling me I got what I paid for and he built a 3 bedroom house and the basement was unfinished. I argued until I was exhausted and then just paid to have the septic tank dug up, a new one put in and the yard resewed. It was not cheap.

2. Moving on, I go to finish the basement and get the floor laid. I chose bamboo. The bamboo boards started raising up in the middle (like a peak) when I walked on them. Two flooring contractors told me that it is due to the concrete foundation not being level. The concrete person says there was no need to level it because it was an unfinished basement.

3. My yard in the area of the storm drain floods every time it rains. The storm drain grade in my opinion is obviously not proper or it would not allow for standing water and free flowing creek during hard rain. The "creek" overflows into my backyard almost up to my walk in basement patio. Not quite to the patio though. The builder has come and dug additional room out for the water to flow but now it just floods mine and my neighbors back yards.

4. The driveway has a 16ft long crack that goes across the entire driveway. I requested it to be fixed as it happened less than 4 months after I moved in. I am told it is normal shrinkage and settling and they will not fix it.

What is my recourse if any and how do I go about resolving these issues? I feel like the septic should have been for at least a 4 bedroom and probably a 5 to begin with since the builder was aware of my intentions and technically did build a 4 bedroom house. I definitely think the flood and concrete issues need to be fixed but now I am going to have to take up the new floor that was laid to do so.

Help please!
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:07 AM
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,256 posts, read 2,110,545 times
Reputation: 624
Your recourse would be to file a lawsuit against the builder.

1. What does your contract with the builder say, with regard to the number of bedrooms? I'm a little surprised the inspector allowed occupancy since you had 4 bedrooms once the builder made the bonus room into the 4th. You might be able to argue that the builder should be required to pay to upgrade the septic system to provide for the 4th bedroom since he built a 4-bedroom house.

2. I wouldn't expect an unfinished basement floor to be prepped for flooring. If leveling or otherwise prepping the floor wasn't addressed in the contract, I don't think you've have any recourse, regardless of the fact that you told him you'd be finishing is soon afterwards. How is the contact written as far as the basement is concerned? IMO the builder should have advised you that the basement floor would require more prep work at the time of construction in order to plan for a future floor. But I'm guessing you're out of luck on this item if it's not addressed in the contract.

3. Have you hired an expert to determine if grading is improper? You'd need a professional's opinion to have a chance at recovering any costs to repair.

4. Settling cracks are common. In a lawsuit, I wouldn't expect you to be able to recover the cost to re-pour, if that's what you want done.
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