Letter: How DR Horton treats their buyers after closing
Roger D. Carman Jr.
St Augustine, FL
Dear Historic City News editor:
D.R. Horton Home Builders built our home and it was completed in February 2016. We closed on the home on February 29th, 2016, and have experienced more problems and issues than anyone should EVER have to face when purchasing a new home.
In an attempt to be brief and keep this from being as long as it could be, I will provide some basic points here:
- During our initial walk-thru (prior to closing), we found numerous items. Most of the items found were not taken care of, as promised, prior to closing. In fact, as we were pointing our discrepancies, the builder stated, “you cannot expect a million-dollar home for $360,000.00.”
- During our pre-closing walk-thru, they gave us about 30 minutes before we had to leave in order to make our closing appointment on time, and still never remedied the issues until a much later date.
- The builder installed our fence approximately 9 feet from where it was supposed to be, per the survey outline. They had to move it and were forced to angle it, rather than follow the original plan, due to a pipe preventing them from installing the posts deep enough. This created an encroachment problem with the home to my left. I met with them, well before they sold that home, and was promised a legal document to cover us if we were to sell at some point, and have still not received the document. After they sold the home, they told me it was now a problem that belonged to my new neighbor and me.
- Our 90-day warranty list contained exactly 100 items, some of which are still incomplete.
- There are numerous warranty items submitted through their website after submitting the 90-day list.
- We hired a home inspector around the 10-month mark, paying approximately $600.00, because we were afraid we might miss something since we were already finding so many issues.
- Our 1-year warranty list contained 36 items. Some remain outstanding.
- The home has had to be re-painted 3 times.
- Hardie siding has had to be replaced in numerous areas and there are nail holes where there shouldn’t be, potentially voiding our warranty. We were promised a legal document that would ensure us our warranty would be valid, but have still not received the document. The siding still has improper nail holes and is not sealed properly.
- Temperature fluctuations exist in the home. D.R. Horton sent the Jardy Group to test all temperatures, verified that the system is not right and stated that it needed to be fixed. They sent an A/C company to remedy the problem, yet all they did was turn up the speed of the motor in the A/C unit.
- Our A/C unit has been repaired somewhere between 8 and 10 times, possibly more, since closing on the home. At one point, one of the A/C technicians found a drainage problem and tried to blame us. After further inspection on the entire unit, he actually found a small plastic box being used to prop-up one of the drain lines. The ultimate problem turned out to be double-traps in the lines and they had to install a drainage pump. This basically means that the system was never installed properly in the first place.
- We recently paid $570.00 to have our sprinkler system redone. Partly due to our installation of a fire pit and partly because the system installed by D.R. Horton was not installed properly and the sprinkler heads were not in the correct locations. Some would not rise high enough to water the grass at all and higher sprinkler heads had to be installed. D.R. Horton should be responsible for at least half of the cost incurred.
- D.R. Horton sent a company out to test our windows to see if they were performing to specifications. This took place on August 11, 2017 and to date we haven’t heard anything further. This was done because it was determined that the temperature at the windows appeared to be excessive when measured by one of their A/C companies.
- The GFCI protected outlets in the kitchen trip consistently under normal usage. This has never been addressed and D.R. Horton’s response is that the problem has been remedied because the homeowner has already had a GFI protector installed. We paid $160.00 to have that installed and it has not taken care of the problem.
- We asked that our over the range microwave oven be centered properly. When D.R. Horton sent their team to do this, the adjusted the cabinet doors above the microwave to make it appear the appliance was centered. In the process of doing this, they damaged the microwave and it had to be replaced.
- After replacing the microwave, it was still not properly centered. D.R. Horton sent Setzer’s Appliances to fix the issue. Their representative came in with a hammer and chisel and banged on the mounts in a brutal attempt to center the microwave. Obviously this did not work, but it damaged the door to the appliance so that it is no longer tight and D.R. Horton has ignored this issue as well.
There are additional items that are too lengthy to list herein. I, personally, will remedy what I can in order to avoid further damage by D.R. Horton’s repair team.
Those items are simply provided to give some basic background as to what we have been facing since the day we closed on our home with D.R. Horton Home Builders.
The following are the major problems we are currently facing and do not seem to get any cooperation from D.R. Horton Home Builders in taking care of them:
- The downstairs roof leaked on September 10th, 2017, just prior to Hurricane Irma, causing water to saturate the ceiling in the breakfast nook, drip onto our wood floor, and saturate the area surrounding a window close by. My insurance company neglected to pay for the damage because they stated it occurred during a hurricane. A roofing inspector, sent to inspect by D.R. Horton Home Builders, found the leak and stated it is due to faulty workmanship.
- The homeowner’s insurance company (Security First Insurance) sent an adjuster and is simply stating they are following the law regarding any leak that occurs within 72 hours of a hurricane. This hardly seems legitimate due to the fact that the historical weather data from that particular date, per NOAA, indicates that there were no hurricane strength winds.
- The roof needs to be repaired by D.R. Horton due to the fact that the leak is due to faulty workmanship/materials.
- The repairs inside, determined to cost $1438.99 by the homeowner’s insurance company, should be paid by D.R. Horton, again due to the fact that the leak and damage were caused by faulty workmanship/materials.
- The upstairs roof now leaked on October 1, 2017. It completely saturated the ceiling, causing it to sag and leak water on our carpet. I have no idea how much water got to the sub-flooring upstairs. In fact, D.R. Horton’s warranty representative stated he had 3 other homes he was dealing with that have the same problem. Our entire roof needs replaced; yet the builder is ignoring us.
- The homeowner’s insurance company (Security First Insurance) sent an adjuster who found numerous construction problems with the roof and took numerous photographs of the issues.
- The homeowner’s insurance company also sent out an Engineer from EFI Global who stated in his report that the damage to the roof was caused by deficient materials or methods at the time of construction.
- D.R. Horton sent out an Engineer who stated the wind blew in the water, even though there was very minimal wind (2 MPH) during this particular incident.
- The homeowner’s insurance company determined they would not pay to repair the roof due to deficient materials or methods at the time of construction. However; they did agree to pay $2,867.57 to conduct repairs to the inside of the home, less a $1,000.00 deductible that D.R. Horton should be responsible to pay since it is due to faulty construction on their part.
These issues go on and on, and I have found numerous other individuals that have experienced the same issues with D.R. Horton, especially concerning the leaking roofs.
We honestly need some help and have nowhere to turn because of a clause in their contract stating that we will resolve issues through arbitration. We don’t have the money for that. The only thing we’re waiting for now is the entire home to simply fall apart around us.