"$590,000 NEW BUILD RIP OFF!"

Mr. Robert Knowles. PE

I heard you are hoping to have a web site to help people who experienced the things I did. 

I needed help, and you were there to help me! Thank you!

I had just taken out a mortgage for 30 years for a $590,000 house that was a new build.  The sales rep actually recommended that since it is new build, I probably didn’t need to have it inspected.  When I told him I was and our inspector is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE), he literally jumped out of his chair and yelled “NO!”  I did hire the PE inspector anyway, but only after we closed as this Builder would not allow you on the property.  6 hours after closing, I received your report with 64 CODE VIOLATIONS! 

Turns out, the house never really had full township Building Department inspections. The inspectors are overbooked, sometimes with over 12 inspections in a day. So, they were observed to just drive up out front, and take a picture, fill out the report in their truck, and drive to the next house.  There must have been minimal time spent on framing inspections, otherwise they’d have noticed we were missing 5 to 7 first floor exterior wall studs.  As the Builder's Rep said to me in front of the chief township inspector, “Well, if we remove 5 to 7 studs from every house, and we have 400 houses we are building here, that’s a significant savings.”  Yea, he said that... and in front of the Town’s Building Inspector!  A blatant admission of guilt, but no repair was offered or performed.

We apparently had no real roof inspections. Turns out the Local Building Department Inspectors aren’t allowed up on ladders!  Maybe they could at last buy a drone?  So, my engineer discovered the roof underlayment to be the wrong type and lacking fasteners, and the Builder had to completely remove and replace our entire roof at the main house and garage. Plus, the shingles were not the 30 year warranty type that we had contracted for!

Fortunately, I learned from you, Mr. Knowles, that any code violation is the responsibility of the Builder to correct for as long as they have their license to build homes.   There’s no one year expiration on code violations, but they did try to say there was. 

Thank you for helping us against this Home Builder, Mr. Knowles. 

Jackie Rabenstein

National Association of Homeowners

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