5 On Your Side

Couple Closes On House, Then Discovers $7K Problem

Posted October 12, 2005

— Many new homes come with a one-year warranty, but it's not always easy to get the builder to fix problems that happen after you close.

For example, Michelle Murer-Darr and her husband discovered standing water in their house's crawl space last September.

Robert Cameron, builder and owner of RHC Construction, then put in a drain, dug a trench and replaced the insulation.

But nine months later, when the couple hired someone to inspect the home before the warranty ran out, the inspector found more moisture problems in the crawl space.

The inspector's report stated there was "no way" for some areas to drain.

He added that insulation was "separating and flaking" and wood was moldy.

He wrote that if it stays this way, the couple could expect "substantial adverse damages."

So, the couple hired an expert to assess the problem.

"The photographs he collected and the data he collected concerned us a great deal," Michelle Murer-Darr said.

The estimated cost to fix the problem was $7,000. The couple called Cameron, faxed photos of the problem and sent a certified letter.

"It was very stressful," Murer-Darr said.

She said she got no response.

"Just a phone call saying, 'Hey, I got your message or I got the inspection report. I'm kind of busy, I'll get back with you,'" Murer-Darr said. "I would have been happy with that."

So the couple called Five on Your Side, which called Cameron.

Cameron originally said the $7,000 cost to fix the problem was "crazy," and he did not respond to Five On Your Side's request for an on-camera interview.

But after meeting with the couple, Cameron paid the $7,000 to replace the insulation.

"I didn't want to get anybody mad," Murer-Darr said. "I just wanted my house to be right."

She said the crawl space was now finished.


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