Skip to comments.Dark side of the housing boom: Shoddy work
Posted on 02/14/2007 9:00:35 AM PST by Hydroshock
(Money Magazine) -- Less than a year after moving into her new 2,100-square-foot house in Lenexa, Kans., Susan Sabin has strung up lemon lights in her front window.
The lemons, she says, go perfectly with the home's most prominent features: jammed doors, warped windows, bent pipes and cracked walls. "The house is essentially splitting in two," says Sabin.
Where to go for help If you're buying or fear a problem: These consumer groups post advice for buyers, news about home builders and the latest on construction materials: HomeOwners for Better Building (hobb.org) and Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (hadd.com). If you need a pro: You can find a home inspector in your area at the American Society of Home Inspectors Web site at ashi.org. If you suspect fraud: Complain to regulators. Find out how to reach your state attorney general's office at naag.org; reach the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.
At the peak of the recent housing boom, home buyers scooped up a million newly built homes every year while homeowners poured more than $200 billion into renovations. But now stories of shifting soil, leaky roofs, damaged stucco and other construction defects abound.
Though many builders have worked to improve the quality of their houses over the past decade, says Alan Mooney, president of Criterium Engineers, a national engineering firm, the building frenzy also opened the door for unskilled labor, unscrupulous contractors and untested products.
"When everyone is out there building as fast as they can, that does result in more defects," he says.
Contractor problems rank among the most common consumer complaints, according to the Better Business Bureau, and a recent Criterium Engineers study found that 17 percent of new residential construction projects inspected by the firm in 2006 had at least two significant problems.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
Have they ever heard of a home inspector?
100 to 1 says it was built by "hardworking" illegal Hispanic immigrants. I know all about their poor workmanship.
"Cheap" is often only cheap in the short run.
I used to sell real estate on Mercer Island. There was a common and very believeable story that a few decades ago there was a certain building inspector that, if you knew his favorite brand of bourbon, would rubber stamp your building quality. \
It is believeable because homes built within a certain time range had a certain "look and feel". It was almost universal.
Some is shoddy, some is great. You usually get what you pay for. BTW, the housing market is doing quite well as of late.
Some builders don't allow you to bring in a home inspector. DR Horton didn't when I bought my house in 1999. I got lucky that there were only a few minor things wrong.
My in-laws bought a house at the same time that I did, but paid three times as much. I couldn't believe the problems they had-- roofs leaks that came through the ceiling lights, loose stuff all over counters installed incorrectly. I used to think you get what you pay for, but that house proved me wrong.
How do you inspect a home that has not been built? But local building inspectors should have picked up serious problems like shoddy foundation work.
Yes, but it was new with an warrantee from a major national homebuilder. They are hageling with them now after they have gotten a home inspection. The inspector recommended tearing it down and redoing it from the ground up.
And those builders should be out of business for lack of customers.
Anyone who would purchase something as expensive as a house, without an inspection is... well... I don't really need to say it, do I?
Better, alternative technologies like cordwood (www.daycreek.com) or log cabins require expensive engineering documentation in order to be approved.
The new plumbing code: Hot's on the left, cold's on the right. 1/4" to a foot slope to get a turd to flow downhill, the boss is an a$$hole and payday is on Friday......
'bout 12 years ago I was working near Scottsdale, AZ, when a building boom was going on. I was there testing cellular telephone sites, but observed this new building code first hand as construction crews were decking roofs on houses adjacent to the cell site I was working on. Instead of cutting the OSB decking to fit, I watched in amazement as they layed the 4'x8' sheet on the valley of the roof, jumped on it and broke it, then, they nailed it into place. I took pictures it was so amusing, while at the same time disgusting.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
And I would be willing to bet that I can name the builder, too.
You get what the subcontractors build for you. Without good oversight/mgmt you get Sh_T.
I know. My best friend builds houses for a living.
Let me guess... begins with a P?
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