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View Full Version : Adventures with a brand new home & my fun with DR Horton



jmcclain19
12-09-2006, 07:42 PM
Ok gang - so I've been relatively busy the last few months with a new project - my new home!

My wife and I were able to commandeer a new build home in a small community on the far south outskirts of the Phoenix Metro area. It's a really exciting time, we got a house with a huge backyard (not that common around here) in a quiet neighborhood we plan on being in for a long time.

This home was a quick turnaround home - that is, someone bought it with the hopes of flipping it quick to make a killing, except the market tanked. So we got a great deal out of someone who wanted to dump this house asap.

However - the new home plan has been nothing but a huge, huge pain.
Having a brand new home has allowed me to come to some of the following conclusion. The idea of "home builder quality" is a load of horse manure. Once the builder sells the home off, they could care less about you and your home.
I live in an entire neighborhood of DR Horton Homes. I know all three builders have a huge backlog for coming back to fix problem areas. Their customer service just doesn't seem to care - you're put on the list and they'll get back to you in a few weeks when a slot opens up. I don't know a single neighbor or friend who lives down here that doesn't have a laundry list of items that the builder screwed up.

Here's mine.

No 1 - My heater (which is amusing because we really don't use it but on a few nights a year) wasn't wired correctly. When the gas company came out to light all our pilot lights, the guy took one look at the furnace and said "Call DR Horton and have them come and re-wire that thing correctly, the job was done piss poor and it doesn't work"

No 2 -Our garage door installer was apparently asleep the day he was at our house - as the arm that connects the Door opener to the door itself wasn't attached correctly (or even faked all that well). Thank GOD my wife and I were inside of the Garage and not near the door when the arm broke and the door fell down shut. Turns out that the installer forgot to put backing nuts on the bolts that held the arm to the door, and after a few times opening it, all three came loose. I had a field day on that one.

No 3 - Apparently, the simple concept of using duct tape or plastic to cover things escaped the guys on Stucco day. As they sprayed the outside of my house, they forgot to take a simple piece or pieces of tape to put over our hose connections on the outside of the house in both the front and the backyard. So the result was - our hose was stucco’d with texture & paint. Sounds harmless, until you try to stick a hose on there. I spent who knows how much on chemicals trying to remove the texture & paint from the threads - at least enough to get a hose on there. I got barely enough on the back to use, and on the front - I had to have it redone with a new spigot.

No 4 - Our guest bathroom fan didn't work. I thought maybe something was wrong with the wires, so this wasn't a pressing issue when we moved in. I pried the fan out of the roof to take a look. And to my surprise - there were no wires leading up to it. The fan was put in the ceiling and left there - no one bothered to wire the rest.

No 5 - The home had surround sound speakers put in the entertainment area - built into the walls. Two of the five in the rear didn't work. This was something we didn't desire in a home - but since it was there it was going to be a cool perk, a really nice add on we were going to use to make a home theater out of our TV area. Instead, this has turned into a big pain in my rear. So much for the perk.

No 6 - While trying to figure out some of the speaker problems, I did some crawling around the attic checking out some of the wiring. Only then did I notice large sections of the attic that someone forgot to insulate. Oops.

I've put these in writing in a complaint to DR Horton - this doesn't count the other stupid things like light fixtures hung crooked in the entry way (from a 20 foot ceiling) and several spots where our "Ceiling fan ready" rooms were anything close to being wiring ready for ceiling fans - but it's come down to being darn near impossible to get them out and get action on some of the items. So you are stuck. Either fix it yourself, or wait for DR Horton to live up to their contract – and who knows when that will be so I've just started doing it myself. It's been a learning experience I'll tell you that.

Our problems seem miniscule compared to some of my neighbors. Down the street, a neighbor noticed that her floorboards were starting to come apart from the floor. So she had someone come out and look, and her living room floor is sinking. There is nearly 2 1/2 inch difference in some spots between the deepest spot is now and the walls. And it's growing. My next door neighbor across the street - had to have his floor ripped out because it was discovered way too late that one of the water pipes wasn't hooked up correctly and was leaking under the house.

Anyone else have any sort of these stories to pass along?

jmcclain19
12-09-2006, 07:51 PM
Ha - I spent an entire post complaining - but I didn't mention that we still love our house despite all the nonsense.

It's huge (2,061 sq ft) which is way more than two people need but I'm sure it won't be just the two of us forever.

And I love having the corner lot. We're across the street from the golf course - so close enough to walk to the clubhouse, but far enough that we only get one stray ball in the yard every few months. The corner lot makes our yard that much bigger, but we also have only two immediate neighbors.

The backyard is coming along as well. Last weekend we put 28 tons of rock back there (if I never see piles of rock again it will be too soon). More landscaping fun in the coming weeks as well.

BuckWoody
12-09-2006, 07:53 PM
Try to have all this stuff fixed up by the time all of us Buckeye fans get there for the game...especially that guest bathroom fan. Thanks. ;)

Dom Heffner
12-09-2006, 08:04 PM
jmmclain, you are making me feel better.

Right now I am sitting in my new house listening to the sounds of aerating fans drying the water that's in the drywall in my ceiling. Apparently they forgot to glue the pipe that drains the water from the master shower.

This is the second time they've done this. I had water in my family room because they forgot to glue the pipe that brings the water down from the guest bathroom, which I was only using because they didn't put in hot water in the master shower.

I have no power in three electrical outlets in the kitchen, and they carpeted over flaws in the woodwork on the stairs. One of the stiars is missing a huge chink of wood on the front lip, but they just carpeted over it.

They didn't care about me, either, until I went on a rampage that is sort of embarrasing looking back on it. My house is within shouting of distance of the construction trailer, so used that to my full advantage.

But they listen to me now.

My thoughts are with you (fans whirling....). :)

Oh- and I love mine, too. It's 3400 square feet for two people, which is ridiculous, but it sure is nice. I picked a lot with a lake in the back (yes, there is an alligator in it) and only one neighbor on my left side. There is no one in fromt, behind, or on the right of us.

I'm happy, but geesh, you'd think pipes were supposed to leak with the way they did my house.

Reds Nd2
12-09-2006, 08:08 PM
I believe that I would contact a licensed electrician. That mess with the wiring could be a potential fire hazard. Still, a nice looking house. Sorry to hear about the problems.

Dom Heffner
12-10-2006, 01:29 PM
The home had surround sound speakers put in the entertainment area - built into the walls. Two of the five in the rear didn't work. This was something we didn't desire in a home - but since it was there it was going to be a cool perk, a really nice add on we were going to use to make a home theater out of our TV area.

These are truly worth it. We have it in two rooms and it's the bomb. Looks and sounds great.

My builder didn't put light bulbs in some of the fixtures, too.

A friend of ours came home one day to find his bedroom furniture had fallen from the second floor into his kitchen. He has been living in a hotel for the past 4 months.

It's really sad that they can't make homes better.

Here in Florida you want to try and get a new house because they are easier and cheaper to get insurance for, but they are made so poorly that you are rolling the dice. Most of these things are covered under home warranty, but it's such an inconvenience (fans whirling still...lol).

westofyou
12-10-2006, 02:16 PM
It's really sad that they can't make homes better.

My house was built the year after the American League started, which makes it 105 years old next year.

I have a whole other set of problems, but real plaster walls as well.

Unassisted
12-10-2006, 02:42 PM
Didn't you have an inspection done before your closing? Seems like a good inspector would have caught most of those issues. If you have any warranty left, it's not too late to have one done.

A good inspection is well worth the money. Last time we moved, I had an inspection done before we closed on our then-brand-new home and a second one done at the 11-month mark, right before the 12-month comprehensive warranty lapsed. On both occasions, the inspector found enough issues that the warranty repair work to correct them was worth more than the inspections cost.

Many production builders are more concerned with meeting deadlines than they are with completing punch lists. Your housing market in PHX is about as hot as the market here, which makes the builders work at a frantic pace to keep up with demand.

Ltlabner
12-10-2006, 06:04 PM
Didn't you have an inspection done before your closing? Seems like a good inspector would have caught most of those issues. If you have any warranty left, it's not too late to have one done.

A good inspection is well worth the money. Last time we moved, I had an inspection done before we closed on our then-brand-new home and a second one done at the 11-month mark, right before the 12-month comprehensive warranty lapsed. On both occasions, the inspector found enough issues that the warranty repair work to correct them was worth more than the inspections cost.

I can second this. I used on inspector on my the first house I ever tried to purchase. He found so many horrible things that were burried and not obvious that we backed out of the deal pronto. I've been using them ever sense.

In addition to find any serrious problems they can provide you a nice laundry list of things to do that will improve the home, keep it safe, avoid problems in the future.