Altura Homes / Poor or improper constructions - Builder refused to repair defects/problems
We commissioned Altura Homes to build our home and it was finished the first week of October 2011.
Shortly after we closed on our home and just barely moved in for a couple of weeks, the home began showing cracks in many places: walls, corners, ceilings, above doors frames and ceiling nail popped out…. There were other problems such as many doors were badly misaligned and door locks stuck, unable to close even when we tried to push hard or slammed the doors in. Many of these problems happened repeatedly within a few week times, even after they were already repaired 2-3 times. Then the front porch and driveway were also having long cracks within a few weeks after we closed on our home, the gutter did not work properly as rain water from the roof did not gather down the gutter spout but instead splashing all over the front brick column, causing the column to be wet for several days before it would dry out eventually, while the other brick columns/walls would dry out only a few hours after the rain or the next day at the most. This is an average single story home.
The roof showed bumps all over it, but the Builder claimed it was not a warrantable item so they are not going to do anything about it. They said the same thing about the gutter, the front porch and driveway, that these are not warrantable items, that the cracks were all normal and were just a natural process of the house settling. Even after we gave Altura manager photos taken at the time our driveway was being constructed, which showed it was not built correctly or up to standard, compared with other homes recently being built by the same Builder in our area. Altura and its Builder maintained that the driveway and other defects were not warrantable, and thus, will not be repaired.
Grounds in front of our home were sinking badly making a very large dipped area, which luckily, they corrected. Similarly, within weeks of our moving in, the ground around the AC cement pad was sinking making the AC system tilted unnaturally and imbalanced. However, Altura refused to repair this problem, saying it was not a warrantable item. It seemed to us that Altura always responded to any defects or problems - which they are unwilling to repair- with the usual mantras “it is not a warrantable item” and “these cracks and defects are just a normal house settling process”. We believe they are getting away with this in the past, and will most likely continue to do so in our case.
Ever since we moved into our new home a few months ago, we haven’t a moment of peace. We were having to deal with all these problems and defects on a regular basis. Every few weeks we have had to submit a repair request to Altura, and then waiting for the Builder to come inspecting the validity of our claim. Afterwards, if the Builder determined it was a warrantable item, he would set up appointments with many different workers to come do the repair. For the past few months, we have had people coming in and out of our home too many times it was just baffling, disturbing our privacy and peace. In addition, we have had to fight with Altura for those items which they refused to repair, continually claiming “they are non-warrantable items” or “those problems were just normal home settling process”.
Right from the get go, when Altura first poured the foundation on our home and began with the framing, they already made a big boo boo. The plumber miscalculated about 4ft and placed the master toilet right smack into the master bedroom. When the foundation was later inspected by the city inspector, along with the Builder and plumber, no one even noticed this glaring and obvious error. When we came afterwards and saw the mistake, we sent an email to the Builder, that was when he first knew about it. He panicked and told us all three of them inspected the foundation and framing very carefully, walking back and forth for at least an hour, and somehow they just missed it. The Builder was at a loss because he couldn’t explain to us why all three people failed to see this obvious mistake. Beside, when the framing was done, they made several mistakes with the windows placement, the bedrooms closets, the island stand… and after we pointed those out to the Builder, he had to have the windows and closets reframed. Throughout the whole building process, they made so many mistakes to even count, which luckily we found out beforehand and made sure the Builder corrected those before we would agree to close on our home.
We truly thought since we had caught so many mistakes while the home was being built and that those were already corrected and repaired, we would not have to deal with so much headaches right after we moved in. How wrong we were!
Can anyone give us some info or advice as to what we can do? We cannot afford a lawsuit, and really don’t know what else we could do. Everything we could think of, we did. We tried to reason with Altura many times, even writing to the manager and President. We showed them our proof that things were not done right as they should, but to no avail. Their answers have always been the same, that those defects/problems were “non-warrantable items”, thus, will not be repaired.
Thanks so much in advance for any help we can get.
Mr. & Mrs. S. Nguyen
Grand Prairie, TX
March 27, 2012