Clayton Homes — New manufactured home nightmare
We recently purchased a brand-new manufactured home from Clayton Homes for $118, 605.94. We had built an engineered structural concrete foundation with utility drops for $25, 000.00. The home was delivered in two separate pieces on September 23, 2019, the first half was the front piece. As the Installer/delivery people approached the concrete foundation with their machine they broke off huge chunks of concrete. We were not happy, but we had come to far to turn back now. Upon arrival of the back half it was soon discovered that the front right wheel was missing from one of the transporting axles. Upon entering the foundation, the axle of the missing wheel got stuck on the edge of the concrete. He tried two times to yank it up creating more damage, as the left rear was off the ground about three feet flexing up and down. The entire delivery was captured on video where you can also hear the sound of wood fracturing. This is where our nightmare began.
We soon discovered damage to the home and the utility drops did not line up. We notified the sales manager of Clayton Homes; Jeffery Levy of the damaged concrete, the missing wheel and multiple problems which totaled 179 issues. He promptly sent out a repair crew and promised to fix the concrete foundation; which is still unaddressed to this day. As they attempted to repair the problems, we noticed that they were only making things worse. The cracks in the ceiling, which are many, they just blobbed on more texture which did not match the rest of the ceiling and ran heavy beads of silicone into the separating corners and used their finger to apply and panted the walls with dirty rollers. After the first rain we noticed that the windows in the office were leaking, which still leak to this day, and went on the roof to investigate and what we found was very troubling. The roof was extremely crooked and had obvious damage. It looked like a roller coaster ride, where the shingles went up and down and in and out. We also noticed many damaged blocks and notified Jeffery Levy the sales manager of Clayton Homes, who came to the property and tried to convince us that everything was fine. We strongly disagreed, so we insisted that these issues be looked at. He ordered a state inspection on October 8, 2019, and accidentally sent us the email also; where he downplayed the damage, and he stated that everything looked fine to him and advised the homeowners were very particular.
The Inspector showed up on October 14, 2019, his name was Derrick Scroggins. We notified him that the installer had lost a wheel and damaged the concrete and there were many problems inside and out of the house. He stated that he was only there to inspect the block and nothing else. Out of 110 blocks, 52 were severely damaged, some were cracked completely in half and he gave the installer 30 days to replace the block. Before departing, we asked him if he could please look at the roof, which he agreed to and after doing so he said yes, the roof is F …ed up and he would notify his supervisor. We continuously and repeatedly contacted Clayton Homes almost daily about the problems from day one, which they would send out their repair crew and only address a few minor items at a time and looked away from the major issues except for replacing the block and the roof cap. When we pressured up the water a huge leak was found and discovered that the water lines were duct taped to the bottom of the floor joist instead of running it through the two-inch hole which is provided in the middle of the floor joist where it is supposed to go so it does not freeze. Upon further inspection, it was found that the electrical was ran in the same manner. After many months of getting nowhere, we began to become extremely frustrated and downright angry and after, hundreds of emails, text messages and phone calls which are all well documented. Timara Harper from SE Homes informed us that she was going to send out a third-party Structural Engineer. In fact, he was so third party, that she didn't want us on our own property or even speaking with him, we informed her we had livestock and you cannot get onto the property without us opening the gate. Benny from RCS Enterprises showed up on 11/08/2019, he did not provide a card nor did he take any notes and it turns out the only ones he did not know before that day was us Paul and Sandy Harpham. He knew everybody involved, right down to the repair crew and informed us that we would not be receiving a copy of the report. It was at this time we felt we needed to contact an attorney. We hired Earl Hargrave Attorney at Law and paid $750.00 to write a demand letter to address the numerous problems. Their attorney responded in writing and used many slanderous names and accused us of being racist. We are not racist and had no idea why he would say such a thing. Now our contract states that this matter needed to go to arbitration, which we felt was unacceptable because the installer had lost a wheel and damaged the concrete slab and the home. Now a second state inspection was in order and we had to write our attorney a $3, 500.00 check to for litigation. The inspection was supposed to be a complete inspection from top to bottom inside and out, and it was from the time of delivery four months later the inspection was scheduled on January 15, 2020. Representatives from Clayton Homes, SE Homes, along with their attorney, the installer and our attorney were present. The inspectors name was Jimmy Turner and upon meeting him, we couldn't help but wonder if this is why they called us racist and could tell this was not going to go well for us, as he had his badge on a chain around his neck and stuck his chest out, with an aggressive look on his face and asserted his authority by ordering us to accept the manuals and keys to the house, which was all captured on video. It seemed like he had a predetermined disposition of us, and we were just wasting his time. We notified him, that the installer had lost a wheel and we had it on video. He was uninterested, and asked where we wanted to start?
Every item we addressed, he stated that he saw no problem here! This is going to meet HUD Standards; I will tell you that right now. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT? As though he just wanted to get out of there. Halfway through the inspection, we came to the conclusion that this inspection was futile, and it was difficult for us to continue, but we did so anyways. After we finished with the inspection of the home, we asked the inspector again if he would please look at the video of the missing wheel to which he reluctantly agreed to, along with the installer who quickly admitted to losing the wheel and damaging the concrete foundation. The video shows the combativeness of the inspector, which we can provide with the proper link to send it to.
Also, our contract states, nineteen separate times that the square footage of the home is 2, 244 square feet at 66-foot-long by 34-foot-wide, and the sales manager informed us that was correct. When the house arrived, there is a sign in the window of the house that states it to be 2, 212 square feet at 66-foot-long by 34 foot wide. After receiving the Statement of Ownership, it states that the front half of the house is 15 foot by 66 foot and the back half of the house is 17 foot by 64 foot which includes the porch, which is only covered and not enclosed, with a total of 2, 078 square feet. Now we have three different square footage totals, which we questioned the inspector on. The response given was unacceptable as he stated that the roof eaves and porch are added to the square footage of the house. Accordingly, HUD interprets statute 3282.8 (g) as follows: In calculating the square footage of a home, the square footage includes all siding, corner trim, molding, storage space, and areas enclosed by windows but not the roof overhang. Which would mean the roof eaves and also the porch.
The house is actually 1, 942 square feet, a difference of 302 square feet from the 2, 244 square feet that our contract states. This is an area larger than the master bedroom, which affects our property taxes, our insurance and the value of the home, which we have the inspector on video trying to persuade us otherwise.
Upon receiving a copy of the inspection report, and out of the hundreds of issues pointed out during the inspection, he only ordered a few small items for the manufacture and the installer to correct and gave 30 days to do so. This appears to be standard procedure for them to fix a couple of things then drag out the rest for months. Now our attorney money, has run dry, we are out $4, 250.00 for attorney fees and have gotten nowhere. We cannot give our attorney any more money and we are no longer able to reside outside of the home. We have no choice as it has been going on almost six months while waiting for them to address the problems. We must occupy the home, which has been sitting vacant during the entire process, and we have also been making payments to the lender for the house. We thought the inspector was there to protect the homeowner, he was clearly not.
We are sending a copy of the report along with some pictures that the inspector thought were unimportant. This includes the twisted roof, the separation of the exterior wall from the interior wall, along with the missing wheel and the damaged concrete foundation. And after viewing the video of the missing wheel it is unacceptable. This has been a complete nightmare for us, and we have never felt so disrespected. They beat you down and wait you out until you are no longer able to defend yourself. This is very unfair; they have unlimited funds and nothing but time. The entire inspection was videotaped. We would like a complete investigation into this matter and will not rest until it is resolved. Also, we have yet to receive our two decks or skirting and we have no way to enter or exit our front door, for it is 3 ½ feet off the ground. Also they made us hook up our own utilities, at a cost of $6, 000.00 and nowhere in our contract does it say we are responsible for doing. We honestly believe their attorney called us numerous names and accused us of being racist because he knew the inspector was African American and used this to influence the inspector's decisions. All we wanted was a nice place to live out the rest of our lives, instead we sit here with a house and concrete that is riddled with damage. These are some of the most dishonest and corrupt people in our opinion that we have ever met. We need help.
Thank you in advance,
Paul and Sandy Harpham