Water Leak During New Home Construction

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WisconFan1986
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Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by WisconFan1986 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm

I am almost eight months into the build of a new home. The builder was nearing completion, but today called me and said there was a water leak overnight. It seems the water was turned on yesterday and the plumbers didn't stay at the home long enough to detect the leak. The leak came from a second floor toilet, down through the kitchen and basement bar. The builder had a water remediation company look at the damage and determined they need to rip out the ceilings and floors in the affected areas, let them dry out and then redo the work. I am extremely frustrated over the issue and while the builder does seem to be addressing it quickly, I am wondering what further recourse I have in this situation and would like advice from all you. I was not given a concrete move-in date from the builder previous to this happening, but based on conversations we had planned to have a temporary living arrangement for less than a month (we moved out of our previous house last Friday). We have three young girls plus my wife and I who are all living with my wife's parents. With all the girls toys, household furnishings, etc, we have three storage units costing over $400 per month. I imagine this issue will cause at least a one month additional delay. Here are all the issues and costs that I have come up with to make my case for some "customer goodwill"...

Future market value of the home - I will now have to disclose that there was a water leak that I know about
Potential future mold/rotting problems - Want a bank warranty guarantee that can be called upon in case builder/plumbing company does not exist in future
Extra interest paid on construction loan due to the delay
Extra storage costs due to the delay
Higher water bill since we had leaking water
We painted the basement personally so I'm not redoing the work myself

Any suggestions on how to handle? I personally think that getting a lawyer involved is probably overkill, but I'm not sure how seriously the builder is going to take my concerns without it.

WisconFan1986
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by WisconFan1986 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:02 pm

Sorry for bumping this, really hoping for some advice. Struggling to do anything but think about this right now. Just keep refreshing the page :(

RickBoglehead
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:44 pm

You don't need to disclose repairs that are successfully made.

What does your contract with the builder say?

BanquetBeer
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by BanquetBeer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:45 pm

I’d rather they fix it right than quick. Projects always have delays.

You could try to get some kind of extra when they redo the work but also keep in mind he is likely eating all the rework cost out of his profits. How big is the builder?

WisconFan1986
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by WisconFan1986 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:01 pm

You don't need to disclose repairs that are successfully made.
I do not think this is correct, in WI, it says "I am aware of the presence of unsafe levels of mold, or roof, basement, window or plumbing leaks, or overflow from sinks, bathtubs or sewers, or other water or moisture intrusions or conditions that might initiate the growth of unsafe levels of mold"

Unfortunately, the contract is the standard builders association contract which says that they are not responsible for basically anything.

The builder is one of the bigger builders in the area, so my hope was that they would even be scared about bad word of mouth and give me something if I agree not to spread the word. They are generally pretty organized and professional but they have so many houses going that it doesn't seem like they are truly managing the build but instead just relying on the contractors for all the work and quality control.

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CaliJim
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by CaliJim » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:27 pm

chill out. this too will pass.

IMHO: water is not too big a deal. the lumber will be fine. plywood may delaminate, maybe you will get some mold...

but 2x4's will be aok.

talk to the remediation people. keep the air ciculating. hose it down w/ bleach if you are paranoid about it. did any fiberglass insulation get wet? if so... pull that stuff out and replace it. sheetrock? replace it. wiring.... possibly replace if the paper inside the romex is soaked. outlets and switches.... meh, they should dry out ok.

water is everywhere. in the air. in your body. in the wood.
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letsgobobby
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by letsgobobby » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:29 pm

WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:01 pm
You don't need to disclose repairs that are successfully made.
I do not think this is correct, in WI, it says "I am aware of the presence of unsafe levels of mold, or roof, basement, window or plumbing leaks, or overflow from sinks, bathtubs or sewers, or other water or moisture intrusions or conditions that might initiate the growth of unsafe levels of mold"

Unfortunately, the contract is the standard builders association contract which says that they are not responsible for basically anything.

The builder is one of the bigger builders in the area, so my hope was that they would even be scared about bad word of mouth and give me something if I agree not to spread the word. They are generally pretty organized and professional but they have so many houses going that it doesn't seem like they are truly managing the build but instead just relying on the contractors for all the work and quality control.
I'm not a lawyer, but that language is in the present tense. If those problems are addressed now especially when you have the house wide open to ensure no longer term effects, I would not disclose. If the language was past tense you'd have a different situation.

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CaliJim
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by CaliJim » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:32 pm

chill out. this too will pass.

IMHO: water is not too big a deal. the lumber will be fine. plywood may delaminate, maybe you will get some mold...

2x4's will be aok. wood comes from trees. trees grow in water! they grow outside, uncovered, in the rain!!!!

talk to the remediation people. keep the air ciculating. hose it down w/ bleach if you are paranoid about it. did any fiberglass insulation get wet? if so... pull that stuff out and replace it. sheetrock? replace it. wiring.... possibly replace if the paper inside the romex is soaked but I wouldn't worry too much about that. outlets and switches.... meh, they should dry out ok. they are nothing much but plastic and metal anyhow. dimmer switches... replace. led lamps? replace. hardware - should be fine. nails? they will rust anyway and rust will improve their grip.

water is everywhere. the world is not on fire.

lawyer? no need. work WITH your contractor not against him and he'll likely do his best to make it right.
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Nate79
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by Nate79 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:09 pm

This is a pretty minor issue and since they are working with you to fix it and fix it right I don't see the problem. Unless you have a contract that says they will have you in the house by such and such date or else they do X, I don't think you should expect anything. A house built on time would be a miracle.

Even if you needed to disclose the problem in a future sale unless it is an ongoing problem it won't affect anything. Houses have disclosures all the time.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 pm

They owe you a proper repair. And I can see paying for the water bill (although that's probably small change).

They don't owe you compensation for delays unless you have it written into the contract. There are almost always delays in construction.

finite_difference
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by finite_difference » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:47 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:09 pm
This is a pretty minor issue and since they are working with you to fix it and fix it right I don't see the problem. Unless you have a contract that says they will have you in the house by such and such date or else they do X, I don't think you should expect anything. A house built on time would be a miracle.

Even if you needed to disclose the problem in a future sale unless it is an ongoing problem it won't affect anything. Houses have disclosures all the time.
+1.

If this is the only problem you encounter, I’d say you had an extremely smooth building process.

Watch a few episodes of “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” — and be grateful your house is not so complex. Most, if not all, of the owners look like they had a complete nervous breakdown at some point. And many of them seem to have gone close to bankrupt.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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8foot7
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:16 am

If he's engaged a remediation company you will be fine. But I understand this is a stressful time; been there done that.

If your builder wrote into a contract a clause for compensating you for construction delays, I would be worried that he had never built a house before.

Scrapr
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by Scrapr » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:20 am

be glad it didn't happen 1 month after you moved in. Builder is taking care of it. Will be fine

* had 2 leaks from upstairs toilet into kitchen below over 23 years

daheld
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by daheld » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:42 am

Make sure all repairs are done right. If plywood got wet, I'd want that replaced for sure. As someone else above said, 2x4's and other solid wood will be just fine, but plywood could delaminate down the road and cause issues with whatever flooring you have on top of it. This is not the end of the world, but you just want to make sure all repairs are done right. I am sure you're ready to get this ordeal over with, but this is not the stage you want to rush. An extra month living with parents will be worth it if you are sure everything is fixed correctly.

If your contract doesn't address this, I think it's unlikely you can force them to pay you for extra costs. Rather than starting off red hot with a letter from a lawyer, I'd recommend calling the sales person or whoever you've dealt with at the builder. Request an in person meeting. Go sit with them, remain calm, and explain the situation. When you explain that you painted the basement on your own time, are spending a couple thousand extra bucks over the course of an extra month between time, money, and heartache, they might be willing to cut you a deal. From the outside, that seems like a more productive route. At the end of the day, I don't think this is a big enough deal to sour your relationship with the builder. There's still more work to be done on the house...

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lthenderson
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by lthenderson » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:50 am

WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm
Future market value of the home - I will now have to disclose that there was a water leak that I know about
Potential future mold/rotting problems - Want a bank warranty guarantee that can be called upon in case builder/plumbing company does not exist in future
Extra interest paid on construction loan due to the delay
Extra storage costs due to the delay
Higher water bill since we had leaking water
We painted the basement personally so I'm not redoing the work myself
You don't have to disclose past leaks that have been fixed. You do have to report unfixed leaks so your future market value loss is not a valid claim.

If the company opens up the walls, ceilings and floors and lets everything dry out before fixing, you also will not have any mold issues. Just because something was wet in the past doesn't mean there will ever be mold. Mold grows in environments that are continually moist.

Unless you have some language in the contract specifying that the house must be completed by a certain day or penalties are assessed, I don't think you have a claim on extra interest paid on the construction loan or the extra storage costs.

The higher water bill is the sole thing I think you might have a legitimate claim on.

I think it would be hard to claim damage to your basement when the contractor isn't even finished with the house yet. This is why painting is generally one of the final steps because things like this happen from time to time.

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:04 am

WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm
The builder was nearing completion, but today called me and said there was a water leak overnight. It seems the water was turned on yesterday and the plumbers didn't stay at the home long enough to detect the leak. The leak came from a second floor toilet, down through the kitchen and basement bar.

The builder had a water remediation company look at the damage and determined they need to rip out the ceilings and floors in the affected areas, let them dry out and then redo the work.
I'm very surprised at the nonchalant reactions of most posters. This is a serious issue that shouldn't be dismissed with "oh well, the builder will fix it." You may have a very reputable, caring builder. But most would simply patch this mess up as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Here is what I would do...
- First off, you need to get in there ASAP and fully document the damage (pictures & video).
- You then need to contact a third-party remediation company for a separate assessment/report.
- I would then have a third-party contractor identify the bests way to repair the mess, and the pros/cons of each method
- Now, you can meet with the builder to discuss the repair process and any compensation you are due

From your description, it was a sizeable 15+ hour leak that impacted all levels of your house. I would not be concerned with mold or water damage since you caught it so quickly. But I would be concerned with how it gets repaired...
- Are they going to remove cabinets/vanities to properly repair the flooring, or just cut out & patch the floor? If they do remove items, will everything be re-installed correctly without damage?
- Does the subfloor need to be replaced? They will have to cut out and patch the subfloors (vs replacing the entire sheet), which can make that area more susceptible to movement, squeaks, ect.
- Drywall ceilings are very difficult to patch properly. It will take a skilled tradesman to ensure the patch is not visible.

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snackdog
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by snackdog » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:15 am

I agree it seems like a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Wood can't be much damaged by water in such a short time period. If they air things out for a day or two and replace the damaged dry wall it should be fine. Water leaks are about the most common issue affecting new houses and probably affect more than half of them. These include plumbing leaks due to poor plumbing, or pipes hit by screws/nails, improper roof or window flashing, and probably lots of others. I have bought three new homes over the last 30 years and two (66%!) had water leaks after we moved in which required repairs and dry wall work. A third house was used but with a brand new roof which also leaked and wrecked the dry wall. Unpleasant but the world didn't stop turning. I would keep your eye on it and urge the builder to fix it properly and efficiently.

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 am

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:50 am
You don't have to disclose past leaks that have been fixed. You do have to report unfixed leaks so your future market value loss is not a valid claim.
This is 100% false (in my state, and likely the OP's).

Disclosure forms typically ask about any PREVIOUS or CURRENT issues.
Here is the exact wording from the residential property disclosure form for my state...
Do you know of any previous or current water leakage, water accumulation, excess moisture or other defects to the proper?

For ALL aspects of the home (sewer system, roof, water intrusion, structural components, termites, HVAC, drainage), it specifically says...
"Do you know of any previous or current..."

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jharkin
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by jharkin » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:37 am

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 am
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:50 am
You don't have to disclose past leaks that have been fixed. You do have to report unfixed leaks so your future market value loss is not a valid claim.
This is 100% false (in my state, and likely the OP's).

Disclosure forms typically ask about any PREVIOUS or CURRENT issues.
Here is the exact wording from the residential property disclosure form for my state...
Do you know of any previous or current water leakage, water accumulation, excess moisture or other defects to the proper?

For ALL aspects of the home (sewer system, roof, water intrusion, structural components, termites, HVAC, drainage), it specifically says...
"Do you know of any previous or current..."
Yeah, but how far back does that go??? I can see evidence of old roof leaks in my house that might be from a 19th century blizzard for all I know (or any of the last 5 owners know for that matter)...

Seems to me that the builder is basically ripping everything out and replacing with brand new. As long as they are eating the cost of the repairs it seems fairly reasonable to me. I might push for some compensation for the time delay but I think all these future guarantees, etc might be stretching things.

theplayer11
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:43 am

can't believe the plumber was so negligent

barnaclebob
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:50 am

I doubt there is much you can do. Stuff happens when building a house and if they are ripping out the drywall and drying everything out then its going to be as good as if it never happened. Had there been a delay when pouring the foundation would you have been so upset? They should repaint the walls for you though.
WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:01 pm
You don't need to disclose repairs that are successfully made.
I do not think this is correct, in WI, it says "I am aware of the presence of unsafe levels of mold, or roof, basement, window or plumbing leaks, or overflow from sinks, bathtubs or sewers, or other water or moisture intrusions or conditions that might initiate the growth of unsafe levels of mold"
You can truthfully say no to that disclosure. There is no presence of mold, rot, or a situation that could cause it. You had a leak for one day and it sounds like it will be fully repaired.

There is no increased risk of mold in the future if its dry when they seal it back up. Go buy a $20 moisture meter and check the studs yourself before they seal it back up.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:07 am

snackdog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:15 am
I agree it seems like a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Wood can't be much damaged by water in such a short time period. If they air things out for a day or two and replace the damaged dry wall it should be fine.
I'm not sure why everyone is describing this as a minor issue. It was a ~15 hour water leak that went from the second floor to the basement, impacting everything in between. Consider the work needed to bring just the bathroom back to like new condition...
- Flooring needs to be ripped out and replaced. If the subfloor is damaged, it will need to be replaced as well.
- Since flooring was laid first, that means the vanity needs to be removed.
- As a result, the plumbing must be disconnected, countertop removed, and backsplash possibly removed.
- Baseboards also need to be removed.

The chances small that all of this is put back together in like new condition without something being damaged/screwed up. Then you must repeat this process for the finished kitchen and finished basement.

chevca
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by chevca » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:24 am

WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm
Higher water bill since we had leaking water
We painted the basement personally so I'm not redoing the work myself
It's not your house yet. Why were/are you paying the water bill? It's not your house yet? Why were you painting rooms?

As others have said, it happens and there are almost always delays in construction and new home builds. If you read your contract, I'd bet it even allows for delays.

We bought and live in a new build neighborhood in the Seattle area. We got lucky and ours was built in the summer of 2017, which was extremely dry so not a drop of rain. But, the neighborhood has been getting built up for years now and all year long. Some houses get soaked by rain during the winter when they're just bones or plywood walls and floors. They all turn out fine. We had a leak during the pressure test of the pluming from the upstairs laundry room that went downstairs. Things were wet, we were concerned, and talked to the builder. Granted, this was before any ceilings, drywall, or floors were in. But, they let everything dry out, made sure nothing else leaked, and all is fine.

I know you're stressed about it and probably a bit PO'd. But, I suggest calm down, let them fix it, and be happy you're soon to be in your new home. I do think asking them to do any painting in the basement is reasonable. And, I bet they would do that willingly.

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4nursebee
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by 4nursebee » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:50 am

WisconFan1986 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm
I am almost eight months into the build of a new home. The builder was nearing completion, but today called me and said there was a water leak overnight. It seems the water was turned on yesterday and the plumbers didn't stay at the home long enough to detect the leak. The leak came from a second floor toilet, down through the kitchen and basement bar. The builder had a water remediation company look at the damage and determined they need to rip out the ceilings and floors in the affected areas, let them dry out and then redo the work. I am extremely frustrated over the issue and while the builder does seem to be addressing it quickly, I am wondering what further recourse I have in this situation and would like advice from all you. I was not given a concrete move-in date from the builder previous to this happening, but based on conversations we had planned to have a temporary living arrangement for less than a month (we moved out of our previous house last Friday). We have three young girls plus my wife and I who are all living with my wife's parents. With all the girls toys, household furnishings, etc, we have three storage units costing over $400 per month. I imagine this issue will cause at least a one month additional delay. Here are all the issues and costs that I have come up with to make my case for some "customer goodwill"...

Future market value of the home - I will now have to disclose that there was a water leak that I know about
Potential future mold/rotting problems - Want a bank warranty guarantee that can be called upon in case builder/plumbing company does not exist in future
Extra interest paid on construction loan due to the delay
Extra storage costs due to the delay
Higher water bill since we had leaking water
We painted the basement personally so I'm not redoing the work myself

Any suggestions on how to handle? I personally think that getting a lawyer involved is probably overkill, but I'm not sure how seriously the builder is going to take my concerns without it.

I hope the OP made it through the night.
No goodwill.
Insurance issue.

It happened to us months after new home occupied.

All is well, it ended well. No mold! Dry it out, that is what the tear out is for.
Consider your current angst when you insure the place.
4nursebee

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:03 am

chevca wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:24 am
Things were wet, we were concerned, and talked to the builder. Granted, this was before any ceilings, drywall, or floors were in. But, they let everything dry out, made sure nothing else leaked, and all is fine.

But, I suggest calm down, let them fix it, and be happy you're soon to be in your new home.
Your situation is completely different than the OP's.

How would you have felt/responded if flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, drywall, baseboards had to be ripped out and re-installed throughout 3 different levels of your brand new house?

Then when put back together/painted/ect, you could still make out patches in the ceiling or nicked up vanities?

barnaclebob
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:13 am

jharkin wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:37 am
researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 am
This is 100% false (in my state, and likely the OP's).

Disclosure forms typically ask about any PREVIOUS or CURRENT issues.
Here is the exact wording from the residential property disclosure form for my state...
Do you know of any previous or current water leakage, water accumulation, excess moisture or other defects to the proper?

For ALL aspects of the home (sewer system, roof, water intrusion, structural components, termites, HVAC, drainage), it specifically says...
"Do you know of any previous or current..."
Yeah, but how far back does that go??? I can see evidence of old roof leaks in my house that might be from a 19th century blizzard for all I know (or any of the last 5 owners know for that matter)...
I think the key part of the language in your situation is the words "you know", not "you guess". Just because you see what looks like evidence of past leaks doesn't me you have knowledge about them. In our old house we had some puffed ceiling that is evident of a leak from the master bath. It didn't change the entire 9 years we owned the house and nothing looked awry when when I replaced that shower a few years before selling. I didn't disclose anything because I didn't know about any leak and the realtor agreed with that.

In my new house I have a single rafter in the attic with about a 2"x6" section with charring on it otherwise the attic is near immaculate. All other wood in the attic looks the same age as this charred piece. I don't know about any fires there, I wouldn't disclose it.

If the OP had the "previous or current" language in his disclosure then he would legally have to disclose it but could add that it happened before the house was completed, was discovered the next day (no mold), everything fully dried, moisture tested, no problems since, etc. This would have zero affect on the value of the house.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:23 am

If you haven't had a formal closing the house is not legally yours, it belongs to the builder during all phases of construction, so any leak at any stage is 100% his problem. I assume there is no certificate of occupancy yet so no one can legally live in the house at this point. In my opinion any future disclosure you would be doing as an owner selling their house should be from a point in time where you actually took possession of the house and after it was had a certificate of occupancy.

I am involved in building houses in my area for a local charity. We occasionally have water leaks of various types throughout various phases of construction. A leak after drywall and cabinets and flooring is in is the worst time because lots has to removed and exposed to make sure underlying structure is dried out. Insist on inspection of all structure to be dry before anything is reinstalled. As long as materials are exposed and properly dried out there is really not much to be concerned about.

The other suggestion I have is to let them know up front that you will not accept any visible traces of repair on cabinets, flooring or traces of drywall repairs on any surface, or anything but perfect paint work on trim, walls, and ceilings. You may also consider hiring a home inspector to inspect the house before closing and come up with a punch list of items that need to be addressed. Do not close on the house until it is completed to your satisfaction.

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FlyAF
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by FlyAF » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:03 am
chevca wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:24 am
Things were wet, we were concerned, and talked to the builder. Granted, this was before any ceilings, drywall, or floors were in. But, they let everything dry out, made sure nothing else leaked, and all is fine.

But, I suggest calm down, let them fix it, and be happy you're soon to be in your new home.
Your situation is completely different than the OP's.

How would you have felt/responded if flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, drywall, baseboards had to be ripped out and re-installed throughout 3 different levels of your brand new house?

Then when put back together/painted/ect, you could still make out patches in the ceiling or nicked up vanities?
Unfortunately, feelings have little / nothing to do with it. How else is this issue supposed to be resolved? Should OP take his hurt feelings and his ball and go home?

The builder will fix the issue and nobody will be the wiser.

Nova1967
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by Nova1967 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:01 pm

Make sure you address the water damage issue immediately, I had a water leak from a clogged AC when I went out of town for a few weeks 10 years ago I took a small settlement from the Insurance company and proceeded to dry the carpets with blowers and did some minor drywall repairs.
10 years later we lifted the carpets , termites got into the beams as a result of the water damage I am looking at 100K in repairs out of pocket, and having a very difficult time finding an honest GC to complete the repairs,
Good Luck
Last edited by Nova1967 on Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:08 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am
Unfortunately, feelings have little / nothing to do with it. How else is this issue supposed to be resolved? Should OP take his hurt feelings and his ball and go home?
Did you miss the /RESPONDED part? I only referenced "feelings" because chevca suggested that the OP was "PO'd" and simply needed to "calm down." That is very easy for chevca to say, since their leak occurred when the house was completely unfinished and nothing had to be torn out/patched/repaired.
The builder will fix the issue and nobody will be the wiser.
It is quite naive to assume that all of the issues will be perfectly fixed and "nobody will be the wiser."

All 3 levels of this brand new home have water damage. This will require flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, drywall, baseboards to be ripped out and re-installed on all three floors?
- Have you ever seen a drywall ceiling patch before? They are very obvious/easy to spot, even with a skilled tradesman doing the work.
- Have you ever removed vanities/cabinets/baseboards and then re-installed them? The chances of some damage during the process is 100%.
- Have you never known contractors to take the cheap/easy/quick way out versus doing it properly?

thrifty_one
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by thrifty_one » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:13 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:08 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am
Unfortunately, feelings have little / nothing to do with it. How else is this issue supposed to be resolved? Should OP take his hurt feelings and his ball and go home?
Did you miss the /RESPONDED part? I only referenced "feelings" because chevca suggested that the OP was "PO'd" and simply needed to "calm down." That is very easy for chevca to say, since their leak occurred when the house was completely unfinished and nothing had to be torn out/patched/repaired.
The builder will fix the issue and nobody will be the wiser.
It is quite naive to assume that all of the issues will be perfectly fixed and "nobody will be the wiser."

All 3 levels of this brand new home have water damage. This will require flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, drywall, baseboards to be ripped out and re-installed on all three floors?
- Have you ever seen a drywall ceiling patch before? They are very obvious/easy to spot, even with a skilled tradesman doing the work.
- Have you ever removed vanities/cabinets/baseboards and then re-installed them? The chances of some damage during the process is 100%.
- Have you never known contractors to take the cheap/easy/quick way out versus doing it properly?
+1

never assume anything the builder says it will do .. I'd document everything possible before it magically get's patched up and they say it's been done completely/perfectly. If it were me, i'd be be in the builder's hip pocket through the complete remediation process until it's completely redone in the manner i accept, nothing less. After all, they're only going to be looking out for what's best for their business, not you.

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lthenderson
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by lthenderson » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:05 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:19 am
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:50 am
You don't have to disclose past leaks that have been fixed. You do have to report unfixed leaks so your future market value loss is not a valid claim.
This is 100% false (in my state, and likely the OP's).

Disclosure forms typically ask about any PREVIOUS or CURRENT issues.
Here is the exact wording from the residential property disclosure form for my state...
Do you know of any previous or current water leakage, water accumulation, excess moisture or other defects to the proper?

For ALL aspects of the home (sewer system, roof, water intrusion, structural components, termites, HVAC, drainage), it specifically says...
"Do you know of any previous or current..."
To each state there own. In my state, there isn't a single question that asks about prior leaks, water accumulation or excess moisture. I have yet to live in a house where a leak hasn't happened as some point. Leaks happen. You fix them and move on.

WisconFan1986
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by WisconFan1986 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:25 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. I'll try to address the most common/important things mentioned...
They don't owe you compensation for delays unless you have it written into the contract. There are almost always delays in construction.
Agree with both points, but just because they don't technically owe anything doesn't mean they shouldn't do the right thing. They know that this will cost me money in interest, storage fees, etc...if they care about their reputation, agreeing to cover those costs would be the least they could do.
If he's engaged a remediation company you will be fine. But I understand this is a stressful time; been there done that.
Agree that everything will be fine in the future and certainly a stressful situation right now. I have calmed down a lot since yesterday...still upset, but understand that things happen. I think more of my stress is over the repair process. It's already hard trusting careless contractors who leave doors unlocked, have sloppy work, etc...and now I have to trust them to fix this in a way that makes it the same as if the leak had never happened.
The other suggestion I have is to let them know up front that you will not accept any visible traces of repair on cabinets, flooring or traces of drywall repairs on any surface, or anything but perfect paint work on trim, walls, and ceilings. You may also consider hiring a home inspector to inspect the house before closing and come up with a punch list of items that need to be addressed. Do not close on the house until it is completed to your satisfaction.
This has been done many times already as I have witnessed sloppy work by the contractors even before the water leak (I do not have a high opinion of the builder's quality control...it is basically non-existent in my opinion since I am often pointing out the flaws). I have stressed it even further now after this leak...but I cannot tell if they are taking me seriously. I think they know I urgently need/want to get into this house, so they are thinking that wood filler (on cabinet holes) and other poor repair techniques are acceptable.
never assume anything the builder says it will do .. I'd document everything possible before it magically get's patched up and they say it's been done completely/perfectly. If it were me, i'd be be in the builder's hip pocket through the complete remediation process until it's completely redone in the manner i accept, nothing less. After all, they're only going to be looking out for what's best for their business, not you.
Agreed. I have asked that they reimburse the cost of a third party inspection and he said that's what the remediation company is for. I pointed out that they are not a third party since they certainly have a closer relationship with the builder, so we will see how they respond to my re-iterated request for a true third party. Their response on items like this is part of what makes me so angry...I would have thought they would have instantly accepted this as something they could do for a customer in this situation instead of being worried that it would uncover issues.

chevca
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by chevca » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:28 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:08 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am
Unfortunately, feelings have little / nothing to do with it. How else is this issue supposed to be resolved? Should OP take his hurt feelings and his ball and go home?
Did you miss the /RESPONDED part? I only referenced "feelings" because chevca suggested that the OP was "PO'd" and simply needed to "calm down." That is very easy for chevca to say, since their leak occurred when the house was completely unfinished and nothing had to be torn out/patched/repaired.
The builder will fix the issue and nobody will be the wiser.
It is quite naive to assume that all of the issues will be perfectly fixed and "nobody will be the wiser."

All 3 levels of this brand new home have water damage. This will require flooring, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing, drywall, baseboards to be ripped out and re-installed on all three floors?
- Have you ever seen a drywall ceiling patch before? They are very obvious/easy to spot, even with a skilled tradesman doing the work.
- Have you ever removed vanities/cabinets/baseboards and then re-installed them? The chances of some damage during the process is 100%.
- Have you never known contractors to take the cheap/easy/quick way out versus doing it properly?
You're assuming a lot and basically predicting the future of how it will look, researcher. The OP said the assesment called for ripping out floors and ceilings, letting things dry, and the replacing all. Where do you get just patching things from? How do you know cabinets and countertops are damaged, need replacing, and will later be chipped or whatever? Feel free to keep making up your own scenario, but I mean....

I agree with others to keep a watchful eye over how this repair is done. It's on the builder to fix it right, so make sure it is. But,... things can be repaired, you know....

chevca
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by chevca » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:29 pm

OP, is this a national builder or a local builder?

WisconFan1986
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by WisconFan1986 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:41 pm

The builder is a local builder and does have a very good reputation.

I just talked with the remediation company and the manager of the job mentioned that the builder is doing everything exactly as they need to get it fixed properly. I did get some comfort talking with him and hearing his opinion on the situation.

investingdad
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by investingdad » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:19 pm

Are you all sure this is a disclosure issue if the house is still under construction? What if it rains and things get wet before the windows are in?

researcher
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by researcher » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:10 pm

chevca wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:28 pm
The OP said the assesment called for ripping out floors and ceilings, letting things dry, and the replacing all. Where do you get just patching things from? How do you know cabinets and countertops are damaged, need replacing, and will later be chipped or whatever? Feel free to keep making up your own scenario, but I mean....
It doesn't sound like you fully understand the building process. It is not a clean or simple process to simply "rip out floors and ceilings" and then "replace them all." This stuff doesn't go back together as cleanly/nicely as it was when originally installed.

In order to properly "rip out the floors" and replace, you must remove anything that has been installed on TOP of those floors, such as baseboards, vanities, cabinets, ect. In order to remove a cabinet/vanity, you must remove plumbing, countertops, backsplash, ect.
- Keep in mind that all of this stuff has been glued, screwed, nailed and/or caulked into place.
- In the process of ripping out and re-installing all this stuff (in the 2nd floor bathroom, 1st floor kitchen and basement bar), what are the chances stuff will get damaged? I would guess close to 100%.

And regarding the ceilings, do you really think the builder will completely rip out all of the ceilings adjoining the kitchen AND the entire basement ceiling, instead of patching them?
- Even if they were to attempt to do this, the ceilings are installed first, then the walls are put up. This means the edge of the ceiling drywall (and screws holding it in place) are covered up by the wall drywall, which introduces a whole host of headaches. Plus, you must now re-tape/mud all of the walls (where they meet the ceiling).

thrifty_one
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Location: Missouri

Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by thrifty_one » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:21 pm

that's the builder's problem ... not the OP's

chevca
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by chevca » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:18 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:10 pm
chevca wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:28 pm
The OP said the assesment called for ripping out floors and ceilings, letting things dry, and the replacing all. Where do you get just patching things from? How do you know cabinets and countertops are damaged, need replacing, and will later be chipped or whatever? Feel free to keep making up your own scenario, but I mean....
It doesn't sound like you fully understand the building process. It is not a clean or simple process to simply "rip out floors and ceilings" and then "replace them all." This stuff doesn't go back together as cleanly/nicely as it was when originally installed.

In order to properly "rip out the floors" and replace, you must remove anything that has been installed on TOP of those floors, such as baseboards, vanities, cabinets, ect. In order to remove a cabinet/vanity, you must remove plumbing, countertops, backsplash, ect.
- Keep in mind that all of this stuff has been glued, screwed, nailed and/or caulked into place.
- In the process of ripping out and re-installing all this stuff (in the 2nd floor bathroom, 1st floor kitchen and basement bar), what are the chances stuff will get damaged? I would guess close to 100%.

And regarding the ceilings, do you really think the builder will completely rip out all of the ceilings adjoining the kitchen AND the entire basement ceiling, instead of patching them?
- Even if they were to attempt to do this, the ceilings are installed first, then the walls are put up. This means the edge of the ceiling drywall (and screws holding it in place) are covered up by the wall drywall, which introduces a whole host of headaches. Plus, you must now re-tape/mud all of the walls (where they meet the ceiling).
However do the renovate or remodel a home and make it look good, huh??

The drywall will likely be ripped out as well. Do you thing the ceilings and floors were damaged, but somehow the drywall escaped unscathed?? Water tends to flow downwards, right?

If they have to replace everything with brand new cabinets and and backsplash and whatever, then that's what they do. Yes, I do think the builder will do this if need be.

No, I don't fully understand the building process. It's not my profession. Is it yours? Or, are you just making an extreme argument as tends to happen in Bogleheads? Either way, I'd bet you're only causing the OP unneeded stress with your extreme examples.

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CaliJim
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Re: Water Leak During New Home Construction

Post by CaliJim » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:28 pm

You can catch more flys with honey than you can with vinegar. Keep friendly relationships with the foreman. Bring pizza and beer on Friday. Or setup a bbq, picnic table, chairs for the crew to use.
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki

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