Homeowner 'Gets McGinty' for cracking foundation

Homeowner 'Gets McGinty' for cracking foundation

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on August 25, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 10:01 AM

MONROE, N.C. -- A family in Monroe says their house is cracked. Literally!

From the outside, it looks great, but inside, not so much. Patrice Commodore, the home’s owner says, “The engineer believes the crack is still active. And the crack runs all the way down the exterior wall and it exits the house that way.”

How would you feel if you spent $260,000 for your house and then found this cracked slab underneath?  It’s not a hairline crack. It’s a quart-inch wide. It’s deep, and it’s growing.
Patrice commodore is eight years into her KB Home, and in year seven, decided it was time to upgrade some of the flooring. When they pulled the carpet and linoleum back, they saw this huge crack running across the house and panicked. 

KB came out to investigate, and even hired engineers to examine and study the foundation in December 2012, but ultimately KB Homes said to her that the “cracking was merely cosmetic caused by concrete shrinkage” and therefore, wasn’t covered by any warranty.  As a gesture of goodwill, letters KB Homes sent say they offered to fill the cracks. The Commodores worried that wouldn’t be enough.

Patrice says she is the first owner and, “We thought we were buying a new home with no defects.”
The Commodores hired a lawyer and said they wanted a buyout, fearing their home’s foundation would someday fail.  But this summer, the KB lawyer wrote them saying the builder was no longer “interested in performing repairs” and offered a flat 500 bucks to just go away.

Patrice told the NBC Charlotte I-Team, “You have to sign a waiver in order to get the $500, and the waiver basically says you cannot sue us.”

NBC Charlotte asked, “How does that sit with you?”

Patrice responded, “Not well at all.  Very, very disappointed.”

The KB homes lawyer even wrote in an email, “We have nothing to indicate that the structural integrity… is compromised.”

The I-Team found that odd given the KB Homes engineering report we told you about, the one done seven months earlier by KB saying “near surface soils were not adequately compacted and have been compromised…,” which means, the dirt under the house is loose.

We asked Patrice, “Is it product or customer service?”

She replied, “It’s product and customer service! I’m in business for myself, things happen. But it’s not about things happening, it’s about how you go and fix it.”

After NBC Charlotte called KB Homes, they sent inspectors back out to the Commodore home again.  The builder has now offered to make extensive repairs to the cracks and will even excavate under the home to remove loose soil and replace it with concrete, and they are asking for patience from the Commodore family.

KB Homes issued this statement to NBC Charlotte about the Commodore home:

“KB home is currently working with Mrs. Commodore to address her concerns.  We were recently provided new information pertaining to Mrs. Commodore’s claim, and kb home has revisited her home and an engineer has conducted an additional inspection.  We have offered Mrs. Commodore full repairs according to the engineer’s recommendation and appreciate her continued patience as we move forward with the repairs.”

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