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|Guestbook for Defective House. 61 entries.||Sign the Guestbook|
|Twix||Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:15AM|
I am so sorry for what you experienced. As we shop for a home, we've seen insides of houses that look spectacular at the same time water has destroyed their (criminally crappy) stucco exteriors. We're lucky to have a very good inspector. I wish everyone had such a good inspector.
|Patrick K||Sat, 7 Sep 2013 4:49PM|
I found your site/blog researching copper roofs etc. After looking at every picture, even though it's your house, I want to kill myself! LOL. Oh my word, I don't know how you survived it all. Thankfully it does seem to have a happy ending. Cheers.
|Jason||Thu, 22 Aug 2013 9:28AM|
First off, thank you for your documentation! I hope this stays up forever. It's the best documentation I've ever seen for stucco houses!
|Neil||Fri, 12 Jul 2013 7:30PM|
Well, I could blame my heartburn on the pizza I ate tonight -- but I think it has more to do with reading your story. Oy!
|Nikki||Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:46PM|
Please don't take down this site - ever. I have a similar problem, but I live in a condo. After years of fighting with the HOA about whose is responsible for the structural defects, I sued. Basically, I was suing my neighbors, so I wasn't the most popular gal around. In fact, I was physically threatened by three neighbors. I paid about $300,000 for legal, engineering and mold experts. Repairs were finally made, but the next rainy season, there was more water intrusion. More repairs, more water intrusion. That continued for four years. I now live without a kitchen, walls, flooring, cabinetry, etc. My place still smells like mold. All of the tie downs, nails and electrical boxes attached to the studs are rusted. Why did I stay and fight? I wanted to preserve my credit and not have a foreclosure on my record. The $300,000 was paid in small amounts over a long period of time. Each month, I was told that we were closer to a solution - just another $10K here and there. Obviously, I should have walked away and let the bank foreclose. Your website is amazing and informative. I don't feel alone anymore. Enjoy your new home.
|Mary Ann Leichty||Sun, 10 Jun 2012 12:02AM|
Perhaps you already addressed this, but have you looked into suing the builder? I am not a big proponent of suing people (despite my profession!) but it seems fair that your builder should share this burden. In the end there may be reasons you cannot sue (like a statute of limitations)or recover anything, but I hope you have at least considered it. I feel your pain!
|Lisa||Fri, 8 Jun 2012 12:19PM|
Thank you for your very informative documentation and taking the time to do so to help others. I just rented a home which we thought was a perfect chance for more room and space to combine families, and the musty smell is driving me crazy. Thanks to your time and attention in relaying your experience, we now know what to look for before we spend money on professionals to look further.
|John A Smith||Sat, 19 May 2012 2:24PM|
I just happened upon your site as we are just starting our nightmare. Our problem was brought to light by termites. The house is 100% EIFS clad and we're not sure of the extent of damage yet. My wife and I are originally from lower Bucks so we're re very familiar with your area as we still get up that way often to visit family. We now live in Virginia Beach, Va.. We have been in this house for 17years (new when we moved in) before the problem was brought to light. I certainly feel your pain and hope the ache has dulled.
|Lindsay||Fri, 24 Feb 2012 2:22AM|
You are a strong woman! Thanks for sharing your story....we have recently moved into a 7 year old house that has a musty smell. I am praying that we do not have a situation as bad as yours was.
|Jon W||Sat, 17 Sep 2011 6:43PM|
Just found this site while I was looking for information about bad smells coming from odour damage. I didn't expect to stay so long, then I started reading and thought what a great job you did documenting everything and explaining everything, and especially *understanding* everything that they'd done wrong. I thought of posting to say you're pretty amazing and intelligent. Then I kept reading and the saga kept unfolding until I learned at the end that you are also a beautiful person who decided not to sue an innocent despite having legal recourse to go ahead. I'm sorry that being a smart and kind person hasn't made you more lucky with your house, and the financial and health problems it has caused you. Best regards from Canada - Jon W
|Cheryl Geertson||Tue, 24 May 2011 10:48AM|
I thought we had problems! My, what an ordeal you've been through. We've had problems with leaking windows & roofing since we bought our house in 1997. We're looking at replacing our second set of replacement windows! The first two replacement installations were incorrect, now we've discovered there may be an issue with the stucco installation over a "fan folded foam core material". We will be getting another opinion or two on the stucco situation before moving forward with total removal. These leaks have caused so much stress & anguish! We look forward to someday having a "dry" home. Thanks for sharing your story, I've learned so much!
|Glen | http://www.mannure.org/TheStory.php?story=House||Mon, 25 Apr 2011 7:35PM|
Wow. I thought I saw some nightmares. Like you I documented it, though I'm a little behind on updates. It's really sad the shortcuts and downright stupid things contractors (and amateurs) can do. I'm still looking after several tries to find one with intelligence beyond the second grade, and who owns a framing square. Very very sad. I'm doing many of my repairs myself, and I make mistakes, but for a "professional" contractor, there is no excuse (beyond being lazy and wanting to hit the bar more than work). But enough of my affair - thanks for sharing...I hope your repairs last. Nice home.
|Misty||Tue, 8 Feb 2011 7:53AM|
Have you considered posting a link for any one who would like to make a voluntary donation. You never know, it might work.
|J Harrer||Sat, 2 Oct 2010 5:17PM|
After having flooding in my house on a HUGE hill there had 2 b a problem. Long story short 10 months after initial onslaught with flood chasers out here on a weekend from Texas plus FEMA that acknowledged a miserable roof but could do nothing till Allstate did their thing. Allstate paid the thieves $8000 of a $14000 bill to "dry out the carpeting". NEVER dried out ( u can even just look under the carpet & see the problems. Padding never reinstalled bc I would not deal with a rip off artist nor the roof so now I hv continuous medical problems ( mostly respiratory) so much so I sleep sitting up & then get woken up 2 hours later by literally choking bc I cannot breathe. Atrocious. Amazingly atrocious.
|Greg||Tue, 21 Sep 2010 6:54PM|
You have a beautiful home and the view is magnificent even with the new house in the farmers field.
|Bruce Dahms||Mon, 13 Sep 2010 11:02PM|
Ignorant home builders notwithstanding, it seems one of the fundamental issues behind this sad story is that the home inspection industry is largely unregulated (well, at least here in Canada that's the case). Until national standards are in place to regulate the home inspection industry, I'm afraid more home buyers will have to relive the utter hell you've documented. I urge everyone to find out what your state (or province) is doing to regulate the home inspection industry where you live. The inspector in this case didn't read the warning signs.
|slicchicfl||Sun, 9 May 2010 3:59PM|
Looking at your website was heartbreaking as well as enlightening. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I have bookmarked your website.
|Lisa||Tue, 9 Mar 2010 5:40PM|
I found your site and have to say that it is hitting a little close to home. We purchased a new stucco house that is 9 years old (with wood trim). We've noticed several things... one, the house has a weird smell, especially when it rains. It hasn't rained since yesterday and it smells worse. I burn candles throughout the day just to keep the odor hidden. Second, we have ants, bad. We have to have an exterminator to come out every month but they're invading our home. They're the biggest ants that I have ever seen. I wonder if there are cracks in the walls that we can't see that is possibly keeping moisture and ant mounds.
|GD||Mon, 1 Feb 2010 3:14PM|
|Jim Williams||Wed, 30 Dec 2009 8:41PM|
I ended up here via your thread on jlconline.com. My parents live in SWFL and have a circa-2002 house that they had built. Fast forward years later and they are having lots of leaking window problems. Of course, here in FL, the house gets 50-60" of rain per year and has had 2 hurricane hits with multiple tropical storms in-between (the storms did not damage the windows, but did drive water in, which could be expected with any type of window in that situation). Anyway, there are some pretty bad leaks so I was looking into flashing issues (as some of the contractors who have been out indicated) and came across the post. I had no idea I would read all 15 pages and then view all the images. What an ordeal from hell you have been through. It is good to see that you are optimistic and at least you were able to get your home to where it needed to be (although the mental, physical and monetary expenses were very unfortunate). I wish you the best with your home and family (I'd say you have earned it after this).
|Wendy Bartlett||Wed, 2 Sep 2009 4:25PM|
Gosh, you've got a partner in dispair here. We bought a rotten house for price of the land but thankfully we did it on purpose to fix ourselves, and it's getting quite nice. Just uncovered fact that our hail damaged roof set to be torn off Monday, has flat board sheathing so will need to be brought up to code. Assured insurance will pay for it; until I have that verifyed I will not have further work started but delayed.Hubby and co can resheath, THEN let roofers do the reshingling, or we have a solid cost- of -sheathing separate contract we can deal with. Glad I knew troubles with stucco, sorry I wanted hail damage fixed. Geez, you can't win. I would have had hubby replace whole roof shingle by shingle in his spare time, YOU had to have your work done, and fast! Did insurance pay for it, may we ask??
|Tony||Sun, 26 Jul 2009 9:22PM|
It seems like the stucco was never allowed to dry and never did dry, you said they put multiple coats? it couldnt breathe or dry and OSB yes its a low cost solution but...the house I am working on was built in 1883 and some of the wood is dry rot and stuff, the house is crooked in many ways but they had very little concern about any drip edge or anything like that but somehow regular old pine boards they used as roof planks (actually 1" and 2") not 3/4" and 1-1/2" it lasted 130 years so far and we have severe climate here from -48F to 103F.
|Kimberlyn Headley | BigTrends.com||Sat, 11 Jul 2009 12:37AM|
I am in awe. Found this link from Garden Web clicked and TWO hours later I have determined that your House should get an Oscar Award for Best Dramatic performance as a Building. You would get the award for Best Dramatic Screen Play. I am a very private person...We have an online business...so I tend to keep personal private. BUT...sister, you deserve a standing ovation for maintaining some sanity!!! We have gutted a house in a Historic area of Kentucky and thanks to you my eyes are glued open! The detail and descriptions you gave are priceless. I feel like I went to trade school!
|Fathen||Fri, 19 Jun 2009 1:59PM|
Like so many homeowners with a new home nightmare, it appears you had to cut quite a bit of loss and move on. It's disgusting that the industry can repeatedly get away with shoddy work. I'm glad you were able to survive it and move on. My husband and I also survived a construction case; we're grateful we came out ok in the end. We had to sue to get their attention and preserve our statute of limitations. In doing all this we discovered how important the right to sue was. I've seen so many people lose everything in these cases now, especially if they lost their right to sue in an arbitration clause and/or home warranty policy that had the clause. It's obscene that home buyers have to learn construction and redo the work of 'professionals' and go thru all this legal junk. The industry should be more accountable and competent. If strict regulation comes of all the problems in this industry, it has only it's own bumbling and complicit trade associations to blame.
|Michelle H. (parma42)||Tue, 14 Apr 2009 3:48PM|
I just happened upon your saga. Absolutely unbelievable!
|Wall||Sun, 29 Mar 2009 10:00AM|
Thank you so much for this fantastically well detailed article.I am currently trying to figure out where a strong musty smell is originating in my home. This article has given me a idea of what i may expect to find.
|Joseph Anderson||Tue, 24 Mar 2009 8:40AM|
Thanks for the time you spent detailing your nightmare. I was researching a musty smell in a house I was considering purchasing. A beautiful house on a lake. The inspector couldn't figure out where the musty smell was coming from, but it's pretty intense. A mold specialist came out and said they couldn't pinpoint a source either. The cedar siding needs to be replaced, as well as the windows. I'm guessing there's likely another nightmare behind the walls like you encountered. After looking at your situation, I've decided to back out and give up the house. I can only imagine how much that mess ended up costing you. Thanks again, Joe Anderson
|Bob Arnold||Wed, 2 Jul 2008 12:23PM|
Thank you for taking the time to document your woes. I have a similar problem with my home, well I hope not too similar. I have a leaky window or two at the back of my house and am finding similar installation problems to what you have experienced. My house is only seven years old. Thanks.
|Patricia Bourque||Sat, 21 Jun 2008 3:25PM|
Your journal is testament to the adage that truth is stranger than fiction, and why we should care how buildings are built. You must be a writer and a saint, otherwise how could you have made it so engaging for the rest of us and survived to tell the tale. Thank you!
|alisha hukill||Sat, 9 Feb 2008 7:35AM|
I cannot believe what occurred to your home, what a mess. I have to tell you we are having a similar issue, we kept telling the contractor that we had water coming into the garage, that the paint was falling off the sheet rock, he kept saying that the water was coming down from the exterior of the top of the garage and back around, I kept telling my husband that does not make since, I believe the water is penatrating the stucco and the black paper. We had a leak in the kitchen from the refigerator, it damaged or wood floor, so the man was coming out to repair that, and some other issues with the finish, so I started walking around, I noticed by the window that the floor was raised. I emailed the contractor, and said why are they going to finish the floor, when I believe we might have another issue with water coming into the house from the stucco or window. So finally, he came out and told my husband that he used to be an inspector of houses, and that he now believed that there was a leak. So, the contractor is now having the people repair the issue, but I still have concerns, now that you mention the paper falling, and the moldings, and metal flashings. We now that someone put staples into the flashing around the window frame, and that should not have been done. Since I am not an expert, I still have concerns that they are repairing the problem correctly, and hope that we will not have this problem in the future.
|Sandy Brown||Fri, 24 Aug 2007 2:20PM|
Were I you, I would be on trial for murder, but any reasonable jury would reduce it to justifiable manslaughter or maybe self-defense and give me a suspended sentence. Um, why didn't you just burn it down? Or more seriously, total it? Is this massive repair actually less costly than a scrape and a new house?
|L. Bunch||Wed, 22 Aug 2007 4:39AM|
Thank you so much for putting this together. I am learning so much and you are helping me to laugh at all of it. I love your sense of humor! Thank you also for the contacts you have given me. We've met with Dave and I called Ted yesterday and left a message.
|Frank Dellapina||Fri, 6 Apr 2007 8:28AM|
I feel for all that have encountered this problem. One of our coworkers sat down the other day with us and told us that his walls are rotting away. I now people in the home building business up here in Toronto Canada and I also have lots of knowledge in construction. From what I have seen and read including my friend who builds homes, this is not just a problem with leaks in the windows, doors ect ect. If you live in a colder climate the problem I think will be worse even if you have all the windows and holes sealed perfectly. My coworker has wood rot all over even where there are no leaks. I firmly believe that the problem exist because the new stuccos act like a vapor barrier on the outside. There is already a vapour barrier on the inside between the studs and drywall but if you have and holes in the interior vapour barrier such as around the electrical outlets or missed drywall screwes ect. then the moist air on the inside of the heated home will get into the wall and condense on the inner part of the outside wall that cannot breathe because the stucco has a plastic or silicon base. This will inturn rot the wood studs and plates. Yes if you have any leaks in windows sills ect this will help to excellerate the problem. There is a new way to intstall stucco now out and I only had a breif talk with my friend the other day about it and it no longer involves any kind of wood as the stucco base(under the wire mesh and brown coat) They are also installing some kind of rigid insulation that has groves in it for air movement witch is greatly lacking in the way many stuccos were and are being applied. So in some cases I believe that there was contractor neglect but mostly I believe that there was no real code or knowledge of how to properly install or apply stucco when this new type of stucco first appeared in the 80s. My heart goes out to those that are finding their homes in a mess but I believe there are hundreds of thousands of homes in the USA and Canada that have this problem brewing in their walls and dont even know it.
|Steven R Berlett | www.sashiinc.com||Fri, 16 Feb 2007 3:55AM|
Thanks for the valuable information that I can use in my business.
|Marcel Cyr||Thu, 15 Feb 2007 4:04PM|
It saddens me to find out that in my Construction Industry experience, that such distructive building could evolve. In my 40 years in the Industry, I would not have believed the going on of such deficiant building practices. I wish you luck in your remedial work to get your home back to par.
|Michael Thomas||Thu, 15 Feb 2007 6:56AM|
What a nightmare.
|Frank and Suree||Sat, 17 Jun 2006 7:57PM|
Our hearts go out to you-
|Fran||Wed, 31 May 2006 7:40AM|
THANKS for all the pictures and information. We are buying land and hope to build in about 3 years in Louisville, TN. You've raised our awareness about structural details.
|Katrina||Sat, 18 Mar 2006 6:36AM|
First, you have a remarkable attitude about this awful ordeal. Secondly, I have taken many notes as I embark on my own home building journey. I have a fantaskic builder but I will be dotting every i and crossing every t with the information you have provided. I know how hard it is to keep a journal of this kind and applaud your conviction. I wish you and your family lots of peace and love. If you are ever in the Seattle area, we would love to host you. Thank you for the wealth of information. My hubby builds software for a living and when information is made available and shared in this way, it makes it all worth while to get up in the morning. That and our two little boys!! Again, thank you.
|Connie||Tue, 14 Mar 2006 2:43PM|
I sympathize with you. We had similar problems; but fortunately not as extensive. Our home was new in 94. We were lucky we did not have the funds to finish the lower level walkout. The spring of 95 we had a waterfall on our basement walls whenever it rained. Builder caulked, etc. I hired an engineer who said we should remove all stucco, reset windows, etc. Also had an extremely inferior stucco application. Our builder kept putting us off, would do some things, not return calls. We received bids from 6000 to 80000 to do the work. Talked to the state attorney general's office. Not considered structural and by now 2 years and nothing we could do. An attorney would have cost us more than the repairs and we were told we could not get attorneys fees even if we won.
|Charlie||Fri, 17 Feb 2006 9:47AM|
I'm thankful for your information and website. I hope things are going well for you and your family now. The home builders of these homes should really be accountable for such POOR worksmanship. Are there any legal avenues that you may take? How does your home insurance play into this (sellers insurance)?
|Julie||Wed, 15 Feb 2006 12:20PM|
I don't even know what to say. Wow. Good for you for documenting all this. How unfair that you've had to deal with all of this! I'll keep your family in my prayers. And I did actually learn quite a bit from you. Thank you for the lesson. (((hugs))) ~Julie
|Jordan||Fri, 10 Feb 2006 5:56PM|
Unfortunantly, it looks very familiar to me. Sad and sick... We bought a new house. a $360,000 free standing town home in a prime location near downtown houston. Our builder Stature/Tremont we now know hides under about 30 different DBA'sLLC's LP's, entites and affiilations.
|Keith||Sun, 5 Feb 2006 6:53PM|
Wow. The mess that your home started in actually makes me feel much better about the condition of my own. All I have to deal with are a few rotting pieces of subfloor, a wet crawl space, and a complete lack of floor joists between all of the beams. I guess clown contractors were around 35 years ago, too. I don't know how you've managed to stay sane through all of that, but you've done it!
|Rollie||Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:50AM|
Lisa, Nice to see you forging ahead with good details. I'm sure you could go on the road with all of your field experience. What has been amazing fom me, throughout this whole process has been your calmness regarding this whole mess. You are pretty amazing. I'm sure many others would've folded under the duress youve been put through. Another thing that amazes me is how well you grasped the whole concept of what was wrong, and what the proper fixes should be, when bombarded with literally hundreds of differing opinions, you have managed to stay on task and make all the good decisions. I'm smiling for you, and wish you and your family a happy ending to this problem..
|Jorge Vargas||Wed, 9 Nov 2005 6:14PM|
Oh my GOD, I feel so bad for you and your family. I am totally speechless.
|GreenDog||Fri, 28 Oct 2005 6:09AM|
Thank you for sharing all this information. The pictures are great. I'm getting quite an education.
|Rolland Pruner||Tue, 18 Oct 2005 7:51AM|
Great find and great job.
|Beth||Mon, 17 Oct 2005 9:13AM|
Lisa, you have done some great photography. I am sorry things have been so disheartening for you guys, but in the end, you will have practically a new home! Let us know if we can help. Love,Beth
|Wayne Smith||Sat, 15 Oct 2005 2:27PM|
Thanks for sharing your wisdom. We alllearned alot from you.
|Eileen||Fri, 14 Oct 2005 3:18PM|
How are you all doing with this terrible experience? Love, Eileen
|Customer Service||Wed, 5 Oct 2005 1:18PM|
I'm very sorry for what you have experienced thus far. It's every homeowners worst nightmare! Our company, Benjamin Obdyke, sells a product called Home Slicker that should be of interest for you as you begin to 'rebuild' your exterior sidewalls. It's a rainscreen product that will allow excess moisture to drain down away from the backside of your siding material, as well as ventilate the wall cavity. Home Slicker can be used with fiber cement boards, and is ideal for your situation. In addition, it will only add an extra 1/4" space to the thickness of your wall. Good luck to you as you move along with your reconstruction and if we can answer any additional questions regarding Home Slicker and how it can help, please contact us at 800-523-5261.
|Cindy Schnackel||Tue, 4 Oct 2005 7:13PM|
Thousands of "new" homes are disintigrating like this, due to shoddy construction and deliberate shortcuts that put money in a builder's pocket and cost home buyers thousands. Many of the shortcuts don't show up until a few years later when it is harder, if not impossible, to hold a builder accountable, especially since the builders claim "everyone does it this way," as if that makes it alright. I have been thru a construction defect case and as a result i am through with new construction. I don't see hardly any builders doing things right or being willing to use a fair contract anymore.
|Jack Freeman||Tue, 4 Oct 2005 4:58PM|
I am building now because of mistakes made by my previous contractor but I am getting a first class job this time. Hope your situation works out.
|WynnBear||Tue, 4 Oct 2005 8:12AM|
Wow, defective original construction. Doesn't the original contractor have any liability? Or has too much time passed to hold him/her accountable?
|Dave Bonshor||Sun, 2 Oct 2005 12:55PM|
Hi guys, I am late to your story but would like to suggest that you take a lesson from our recent disaster here in Vancouver, B.C. DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER any system other than a full and properly detailed rainscreen for your home. We have spent over $1 BILLION repairing houses and condos that had problems similar to yours and were less than 10 years old! Do a search for 'Vancouver leaky condo crisis' to get more information. I would not take any one person's assurance about what they think should be done. A full rainscreen involves proper detailing and flashing as everyone has suggested to you but adds an airspace gap between the WRB and the Hardie. It is now standard practise here in Vancouver and really adds little to the cost- it is more a matter of getting people use to the concept. Good luck- you are not alone. Dave Bonshor
|Peewee||Sat, 1 Oct 2005 8:32PM|
I really feal for you folks!!!I can not believe the builder did not put metal flashing above the window trim,and the stucco company would stucco it that way.Its also hard to believe that the building codes and ASTM still allow builders to use OSB for sheathing.
|carl||Sat, 1 Oct 2005 7:28PM|
This hose had a lot of issues that were in place before the stucco was applied! And the numbers are growing more every day! See more in progress at my website www.badstucco.com Thanks Lisa for sharing the info with the public a lot of home owners will not!
|Nancy Seats||Sat, 1 Oct 2005 8:28AM|
Defective construction is a national disaster that our elected officials continue to ignore thanks to the campaign donations and lobbyists from the home building industry. It is a crime that the largest single investment a family ever makes has NO consumer protection. Please visit www.hadd.com, file a builder complaint and sign our petition requesting a Congressional hearing.
|Janet Schreibman||Fri, 30 Sep 2005 2:48PM|
|Rollie||Fri, 30 Sep 2005 1:05PM|
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