Manufacturer's Defect

My daughter and son-in-law bought a new house, in another state far from me.  They have been in it only a few months.  Some defects in things are beginning to show up.  Caulking is "disintegrating" (their word), leaks are occurring, cabinets are coming off the kitchen walls (I had a blog about that, posted on this website entitled "How Not To Install Kitchen Cabinets"), and a big problem is the flooring.  It is separating.  And not just their flooring, but also the house next door, built by the same builder. The problem(s) next door are said to be worse, built by the same builder!

They have counted 15 places where putty was used to fill gaps in the flooring.

I happen to know that putty is not used to install laminate or engineered flooring.  I also happen to know that if installed properly it shouldn't separate.  Minor expansion and contraction is one thing, separation is another.  Some gaps are said to be 1/4" wide!  I also don't see a 1/4" gap or quarter round on the sides.  That is improper also.

But putty?  How did the putty get there in the first place?

Oh, the painters did it.  That's right, the painters did it!

My question was a simple one - why are painters putting putty in flooring anyway?!

Well, putty should NOT have been put there by anybody.  That is not proper installation.

When this continuing problem was brought up to the builder, do you want to guess what his response was?

IT'S A MANUFACTURER'S DEFECT...  and he disclaimed responsibility!

I had a lot of questions for them about this, and the other problems.  I suggested they share my comments with the builder.  I further suggested that they have him call me.  Do you think he will?

My recommendation:  When a builder disclaims responsibility for things that are obviously an installation problem, it is a cause for concern.  It lacks integrity.  When your clients are building/buying new construction, be sure the subcontractors are bona fide companies and not a "crew" working out of the back of a pick up truck with a "supervisor."

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!