Dear Prosepective New Home Owner:
We purchased a new home from The Forecast Group in 1998 and would like to share with you our experience to warn you that what happened to us, can happen to you. We signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement on June 14, 1998 and closed escrow on October 22, 1998. Subsequently, we moved in on October 30, 1998.
Prior to the first walk-thru with Forecast personnel, we performed our own detailed walk-thru and faxed results to Forecast Homes on October 12, 1998 with anticipation items will be addressed. On October 16, 1998, the first walk-thru occurred with the result that only a partial exception report was written by Forecast. We forwarded another fax detailing exceptions on October 22, 1998 with the hope that they will be handled prior to move-in.
On October 30, 1998, our move-in date and since then, to this date, we have experienced the following:
All phone outlets were wired incorrectly. Recessed lighting not of "substantially equal utility and quality". (Variance from model.) Motion detectors (Upgrade) malfunctioning and lamp missing. Light bulbs missing in dining room and breakfast nook lamps. Variance in ceiling lights in bedrooms and breakfast nook - clear glass versus opague. Variance in smoke detectors from model. Smoke detectors malfunctioning. Gaps and holes in walls by light fixtures, lights switches, ceiling vents etc. Ceiling light above kitchen counter doesn't work and improperly installed. Large holes (8") behing light fixtures in bathrooms allowing moisture in walls. Front doorbell doesn't work properly. Broken switch plate in garage.
Berber loop carpet (Upgrade 8) was purchased with corresponding pad designated by the Design Center. Flaws in the carpet are noted. Three different pads, some for commercial application only, were installed. The existing pads are not dense enough for berber loop carpet. The pad sold by the Design Center is not recommended by the manufacturer. (1/2" 40 oz. vs 7/16" 7-8 lb.) The pads were installed upside down. The tack strips were installed too far from the baseboards creating gullies. The carpet was cut short in places and some metal bars were not knocked down. The carpet was not properly stretched, as waves are evident. Seams are similar to surgical scars. After waiting for 13 months, carpet replacement began but could not be completed due to insufficient amount of pad and carpet. Defect in carpet noted again. This resulted in an upheaval of our home for a week. New carpet not available from the mill to remedy the situation for approx. one. month.
The water heater malfunctioned the first three weeks. Initial complaints were not taken seriously by Forecast. (Cold showers each day!) Repairs included replacing the burner, control box and pipe on top. Shower heads and faucet sets not of "substantially equal utility and quality" (Variance from model.) Back-up toilet in master bathroom and toilet in other bathroom installed 2 1/2" off center, contrary to code, too close to cabinets. Shower curtain rod missing. Caulk missing in areas around bathtubs. Water pressure too low.
Driveway, Sidewalks and Foundation
Rebar or wire not placed in driveway and sidewalks which resulted in multiple cracks, chipping. 1" differential between front sidewalk and driveway. Numerous large cracks in slab and concrete missing on sides of foundation.
Three windows installed with seals broken allowing moisture in. Two leaking windows with one replaced with a broken one and other repaired. Metal bar bent in middle of one window. Defect in front window. Incorrect screws, interior and exterior, installed in windows. Rubber stops in most windows were missing. Plastic clips for vents missing in most windows. Trim on front window loose. Paint missing on windows and latches, glue, gunk etc. on all windows, exterior and interior. Window frame in family room bent.
Approximately 80 roof tiles installed that were broken and chipped or pieced together to form a tile. Damage roof vents were installed. Other vents need paint. Head cover missing on roof pipe causing rain to come in the attic. Plank loose and hanging over gutter. One section of tiles not positioned flat on roof.
Interior bowed walls in the master bathroom, master bedroom, kitchen, family, dining and living rooms. Outside wall at back door out of alignment, off by 2". Framing problem in garage ceiling. Numerous nails protruding thru under eaves. Various eaves cracked. "Leaning tower of pisa" wall in kitchen. Walls underneath kitchen counter not straight. Reveal problems at windows in retreat, bedroom and front entry way.
Shelves missing in kichen and laundry room cabinets. Media cabinet (Upgrade) not of "substantially equal utility and quality". (Variance from Model) Will not hold 32" - 36" TV. Glass doors to retreat (Upgrade) chipped, cracked, lots of glue and badly painted. Sliding door to bathroom hard to open/close. Inside pocket, frame bowed causing damage to door. Felt spots missing on variance cabinets and drawers in kitchen and bathrooms. Two kitchen drawers - bottoms not secured. One drawer - bottom badly damaged. Screws protruding thru in interior of various cabinets. Trim missing. Cabinet doors and drawers not hanging straight. Numerous gouges, chips, nicks and scratches on door frames, baseboards etc. Large hole created in kitchen counter wall (51x4") to install cabinets, hole not closed.
Gutters, Downspouts Etc.
All gutter seams were not sealed causing numerous leaks during the winter damaging the sides of the house and walkways. Downspout installed obstructing gas meter. All gutters bent. Flex pipe to roof for the moisture vent (Upgrade) in master bathroom missing.
Four different colors tile on master bathroom vanity. Two cracked tiles in entry way (Upgrade). Three off-color tiles in master bathroom floor (Upgrade). Chipped tile on kitchen counter. Vanity in bathroom too long.
Gaps at numerous places. Not sealed to frame. Large crack on side of house. Stucco missing above all windows and garage door. Number of cracks in stucco.
Variance from model. Missing top panel on fireplace. Missing ceramic veneer in fireplace. Conflict between exterior fireplace vent and motion detector triggering detector to go on while fireplace is on. Smoke from fireplace inside and out over a 6 week period.
Areas you can not see, such as ledges and top of doors, not painted, only primer applied. Top of gutters not painted. Color overlap on exterior of house. Flat paint applied on door frames that had semi-gloss. Painted on top of dirt in many interior areas. Underneath of window sills not sanded. Texture missing on walls, plant stands and doorway.
Stucco repair on exterior of house, numerous places, were repainted with the wrong color paint. Bowed walls repaired without use of a level - master bathroom walldone six times, bedroom wall done four times, dining room wall done four times. Master bathroom mirror broken, master bathtub chipped, cracked and punctured. 4'-5' crack in stucco repaired incorrectly. Front window screen damaged. Various warranty repairs started and not finished in a reasonable time frame. Subcontractors do not clean up after repair. Grass in areas of front yard died due to cleaning compounds poured on it. Texturing problems on walls and plant stands. "Patching" of holes in driveway done improperly. Replacement windows had to be replaced. 40+ no-shows by warranty repairmen and Forecast personnel.
Slope in front yard does not go down to street. Water backs up in back yard. Drainage problems. Debris left in back yard - lot used during construction for piling gravel etc. Thousands of rocks in the yard with nails, foundation pins, plastic, wood and large pieces of cement and asphalt. Fence in corner built short and not secured. Portions of fence blew down. The sprinkler system in the front yard leaks due to installation of mailbox on top of it.
We have not received the CF-6R, Installation Certificate, as required by state law. This report verifies that the house meets energy requirements as stipulated.
Forecast Homes did not comply with the Contractors State License Board deadline of November 10, 1999 to fix complaint items.
After months of occupancy, our home being accessible continously and numerous requests for warranty, verbal and written, (certified mail), it is not finished. Letters to the management and the owner of The Forecast Group have been unaswered. Phone calls to management are screened. This builder does not have a clue to what a customer is!! What happened to us is not an isolated episode. Neighbors share similar difficulties with this builder. The joy of buying a new home was turned into a nightmare by Forecast Homes and its personnel. Warning!! Forecast Homes does not deserve your business and your hard earned monies and you don't deserve this kind of a nightmare!!
December 2, 1999
As you read our report, you are probably asking what have we done this past year to resolve this situation. Initially, we went through Forecast Homes organizational structure and the warranty process. That didn't get us very far. Since then, we have contacted the Better Business Bureau, State Attorney General's Office, Police Department, District Attorney, Contractors State License Board, the City Building and Planning Depts., and televisions stations. For the most part, these organizations did not respond with help with the exception of the Contractors State License Board. However, we have been and are committed to getting what we paid for. To that extent, we picketed the builder for three months this summer, creating a web site to alert the public, communicating with our neighbors and will pursue the political entities that allowed a builder with this reputation to conduct business in this community. We have asked ourselves many times, why are they not held accountable and why do these various organizations not getting involved. The only answer we have come up with and that is $$$$.We will continue our efforts to get the message out to the public as they have the power to stop this company. Don't think this is an isolated case as its far from it when it comes to Forecast Homes.
Bernadet van Staveren and Guus Kort
December 1, 1999
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