Sunday, November 15, 2015

comments from Hondo

Hondo has left a new comment on your post "Silver Spring Transit Center": 

I lived in Sun City Hilton Head from 2008 to 2013. My stucco house was built in 2005. I started to address the cracks in the stucco in 2011 having an infrared study done by a resident in Sun City. It passed the initial home inspection. The first year was ok but with sections on the border of failure. In 2012 the test revealed a failure and Pulte had to replace one side. The problem here is that they did not change the location of the expansion joints around the windows and set up another failure in the future and the other sides were headed for failure. Pulte did not charge me anything because they want to mitigate the class action suit but there is no guarantee that they will continue to fix stucco problems free of charge. Infrared test costs are paid by the homeowner and have to be done once a year or once every two years at a cost of @ $200. Furthermore, I had cracks in the foundation, and the overall quality of the house for being built in 2005 was poor. The HVAC system and roof were going to need replacement earlier than one would expect. I had cracked tiles and window leaks. All things that you would think I would have seen or read about in the home inspection when I bought the house. But you get caught up with the allure of Sun City and a house on a lagoon that you put the practical side on the back burner. The major reason I moved back north was that I felt that within 10 years I would be spending a chunk of my retirement savings to maintain a house that was fairly new.
Plus, Sun City was not the best fit for me. Politically, it is tea party conservative and I felt I was living in a large nursing home at times because there is a large segment of the population who have owned there for twenty years and are now in their 80s. Also the expense of having three golf courses would increase the POA at some point. This is just my opinion and I also felt that a large segment of the residents felt self-entitled. I worked for the management company there in a customer service position for 5 years which added to my perception. I guess the bottom line is that I am highly suspect over the construction quality of all the homes built there (even the new section) and would recommend that perspective buyers look at the overall fit of moving into a large, and aging senior community. 


PE retired said...

The new house that we bought was built in 2004. I didn't discover that Pulte substituted nails for hurricane clips in roof truss connections until 2007. Pulte wouldn't talk with me (because it wasn't our house). Beaufort County at first refused to admit that there was a problem. When they did admit that there was a problem, the county did nothing for months. It was only after I went to The Island Packet that the problem was supposedly "addressed". Instead of requiring hurricane clips that showed on construction drawings, the county settled for screws at connections where Pulte failed to provide two nails. IMHO the problem wasn't adequately "addressed". Connections with two nails or screwed connections are inferior to connections with a hurricane clip.

We decided to sell in 2011 for many of the same reasons that you cite. I agree wholeheartedly with your "bottom line", except for "suspect". "Quality" is not a word that should be used when describing construction at SCHH (unless it is preceded by "poor"--like you did earlier in your comments).

This is not to say that all of Pulte's subcontractors did poor work. In the small number of homes that I sampled (a couple dozen?) I discovered a wide variation in the quality of the roof framing. One house might be very poor while the one next to it was good (considering that it was Pulte who instructed the framing subcontractors to substitute two nails for a hurricane clip at roof truss connections). With three or four framing subcontractors on the job, quality can vary widely. To make matters worse Pulte failed to adequately inspect their subcontractors' work. Pulte's decision to substitute nails for hurricane clips was poor; and, so was their failure to inspect their subcontractors' work.

Roof framing, roofing (roofing nails in valleys, shingles overlapped the opposite of what they should be, etc. that caused roof leaks that weren't discovered until homeowners, including me, reported water coming through the ceiling), stucco, cracked foundation slabs, lagoons, etc. are all testimony to Pulte's failure to adequately inspect their subcontractors' work.

PE retired said...

You mentioned the "new section"... After the hurricane clip flap and the so-called "repairs" I was contacted by a fellow in NJ who bought a house in the "new section" and asked if I would inspect it for him. I said no--(1) I'm retired, (2) I let my SC PE license expire, and most importantly, (3) even if I was there during construction 24-7, there's no guarantee that there won't be defects--work can be going on in more than one place in the house and I can't be two places at once, and (4) I KNOW what's being built here (SCHH) and I don't want anyone getting "warm and fuzzy" that their house is OK because I inspected it. Besides, there's NO way that I want to be associated with a lousy product, even if it's as a "third party". Anyway, this fellow was VERY persistent, and I finally agreed to go with him to his framing inspection. I looked for hurricane clips first--good, they're there. Next I looked at one of the gable ends--good, it's braced (of the couple dozen homes that I looked at in the 7+ years that I lived there, most were not adequately braced). Then I looked at the other gable--ONE 2 by 4 for the entire gable. I told the owner and he told Pulte's employee/construction rep, who said: "our engineer says that it's OK". I said, "so your engineer says that the wind blows on one end of the house and not on the other?" and I left, after I told the owner that THIS is why I refused to inspect your house!