Sunday, August 14, 2011

Horrible Surprise

First of all, we ended up getting carpet in the dining room after all.  We spoke to our PM on Friday afternoon and told him we feared that they were going to carpet the dining room even though we paid for hardwood.  He said he'd be sure to make a call and make sure it was hardwood.  Well, we were out of town since Friday, so we swung by today.  Well - the dining room is carpeted.  That was our first surprise.

The living room has carpeting down, and the steps to the upstairs have padding on them, and the upstairs has carpeting laid out as well.  The basement steps have padding on them, and while we were heading down to the basement to see if it was carpeted (it's hard to see because we do not have electricity yet and it's a rainy day here today)...John gets to the bottom and sees that we have carpeting.  He steps off the last step and got a horrible surprise.


Yea, no joke, between 4-6" of water IN the basement ON TOP of the CARPETING.  I cannot even deal right now.  With so much going on between the house and wedding and work, I do not even know what to do.  I seriously was about to cry.  Then, I just got really angry...we went over to our Sales Rep because the model home was still open. 

We told him what is going on and he said this is happening because we do not have electricity right now so the sump pump isn't turning on, and that the area around our house is not grated (sp?) correctly yet.  I really kind of don't buy this.  I honestly think it's just something that the buyer would want to hear.  I, however, was raised by parents who don't take BS.  I said to him - regardless of the sump pump, water should not be getting into our basement.  He said water would probably get in to the sump pump but that's why it's there.  I'm starting to really wonder if Ryan gives the buyers a sump pump included for a reason.  Are they taking short cuts?

I need your opinions.  I honestly don't even know where to go with this one.  He said they would replace the carpeting and cut out the drywall that was affected and make sure everything is fine.  What am I supposed to do, go and watch them do this?  How am I supposed to believe that they will do the right thing?  This is a finished basement, we are going to use this as living space, I have horrible allergies and if I have mold in my living space, I am going to be miserable 24/7.  We are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for this home.  Can you guys please help me on this one?  If there is one thing on my blog that concerns me the most - this is the post, and I REALLY need your opinions :( :(


  1. OMG that terrible!! I don't know what I would do, to be honest. I would deffinetly make sure that carpet is replaced and everything gets inspected. Id be so afraid of mold in the long run unless they let it all dry out properly. Im sorry Im not much help. Honestly I don't know what I would do. :( BUT remember if you don't like the outcome or what they are telling don't have to buy it. So they should be doing everything to make sure your happy!

    And what is up with the dining room? That would annoy me too, after I reminded them how it was supposed to be. Luckily thats an easy change for them.

  2. I got a private home inspector to come in predrywall and prewalk through . .. just for some added insurance. the grading is a problem we had too . . water pooled really close to our basement (walk out) maybe 3 inches from coming in. They regraded it but I wasn't satisfied. So I'm now asking them to connect the downspouts to piping that extends to the swale. By code, the extensions should be at least 5 feet from the foundation. These were all things my inspector pointed out. Good luck.

  3. All homes with basements have sump pumps, in the event that water enters the basement. With as much rain as has come through the east coast today (7" here) and without your home properly graded so that water will run off AWAY from the house, rather than TOWARDS it, it no wonder you had water in the basement. They shouldn't have finished the basement or installed hardwood floors until you have electricity (changing temps - heat and humidity might warp the floor boards). So, honestly, basements flood all the time, its no issue as long as you have a sump pump to take the water away. Keep on them, but they can't sell you a house that has a flooded basement or mold in it.

    You may wish to check to see if your homeowners insurance policy will cover basement flooding (some won't) and might wish to consider a battery backup for your sump pump.

    Let us know what happens!

  4. Honestly, I believe you're right. They fed you a bunch of bologna. Water should NOT be in your basement regardless of the pump. I'm no expert though.

    Them fixing the carpet and drywall.... YAY! But um, yeah. They'd better.

    Honestly, if it were me, I would tell them to rip it all out. I would be getting a private inspector to come in before they add drywall back to check out the wood, electrical, ect. I'd be letting Ryan now if they didn't do right by the inspector, I'd pulling my contract. If they didn't oblige me to have a private inspector come out, I'd pulling my contract.

    Wood sits out before framing and gets wet all the time. If given the right amount of time, I'm sure it would dry and be fine. I'd be more concerned with the drywall, electrical, and insulation. Make sure those things are given the right amount of time to dry out as not to be conducive to grow mold. Get an inspector if you can.

    *hugs* I'm sure this kind of thing has happened before to other people with all kinds of builders. One way or another, it'll get worked out. Deep breaths. One step at a time.

    *hugs again* We're here for you.

  5. So your sales rep was not totally feeding you a line of bull. If the grading has not been completed yet there is the chance that the water will run towards your house instead of away, BUT I would try to figure out how the water is getting in because while it might not be graded properly yet, they still typically do a waterproofing on the foundation which should keep the water from coming thru the wall. It is important to try and figure out how it got in.

    Regardless, I would make them rip out all the carpet, padding, and lower drywall panels and insulation. I would also ask them to bring in giant dehumidifiers to dry everything out with you inspecting everything BEFORE they start putting things back in.

    I know you didn't say that they had started installing the hardwood yet, but the residual moisture in the basement and in the house needs to be taken care of first. They should NOT start installing the hardwood until the AC has been running for a couple of days...too much humidity and you could end up with the hardwood cupping. The wider plank hardwood is especially succeptable to this.

  6. Thanks everybody. Most of you think it's not too big of a deal, and after all, we do have a warranty on the house for a little while, so if anythere were to happen again, it wouldn't be on us. Plus, with homeowners, we will make sure it covers basements.

    Noob - I know, especially after we told him on Friday! hahaha, at least that one is an easy fix!

    Mike - Thanks for your input, I'm definitely going to make sure everything is up to code one way or another!

    Ranter - That's strange you say all houses that have basements come with sump you mean just Ryan? Because my family and friends that are recent new construction buyers have basements and the builders do not offer sump pumps. My parents just built a house 5 years ago and they don't have a sump pump either in their basement...I'm happy we do!

    Noey - I know, I almost wish I didn't see it and they just fixed it on their own because then I wouldn't be so worried. They are definitely ripping out everything and cutting the drywall I will be sure to check on it as much as possible.

    BD - That's what I think...we need to see where it was coming in through since the foundation is waterproofed.

    Also - you are all saying they shouldn't be doing the hardwood in the house until the AC is on for a few days. Guess what? We have had hardwood for about 3 weeks now, and no electricity. Should I just keep my eye on that?

  7. BD said what I wanted to say. He just said it better! lol

    I would keep an eye out on the hardwoods and just ask your pm about it. Mention to him that you heard that hardwoods should not be in until AC is working and you were wondering his thoughts on it, or were a bit concerned over warping, or whatever.

    GL honey! Hope they find how it's happening.

  8. All homes do not have sump pumps. I have a finished basement - and no sump pump. Some of my neighbors have sump pumps but my house did not need one. Personally, I was happy we didn't need one.

  9. Regarding the hardwood already installed...if you just went with the standard width planks you may be okay, but it is still surprising that they did the install without climate control being on. If you aren't sure what the "cupping" looks like, you can easily find good illustrations on the internet. You may be okay, but keep an eye out for it, especially with all the water in the basement...having the hardwood floors already installed is even more reason to request that they use some big dehumidifiers to get rid of the moisture as soon as possible.

    Good Luck and keep us now have us worried about our home since we got slammed with rain this weekend...we don't have any flooring installed yet, but our wallboards and insulation are all in now.

  10. ThriftyAmy - that's why I'm worried about why Ryan installs one which is included in the price of the home. I know many people that have finished basements that do not have one at all and they are all new construction. It makes me really nervous especially now that I saw this. I'm really not sure why we needed one to begin with...

    I just feel so stressed out right now with everything on our plates, and now this on top of it. Not only the basement, but now I feel like I have to watch over the hardwood floors and it's just another thing to worry about. I don't live 15 minutes away from the new house, I live about 35 so it's not easy for me to get there every day to check it out. My car will use lots of gas this week because now I'm afraid they'll lock the doors on us since we caught it. John tells me I worry too much, but that's just how I am. Thanks for letting me vent :(

  11. This is so interesting - I have never been in a house, new construction or not, that doesn't have a sump pump! Probably has a lot to do with depth to water table, soil type and geology. I have a sump pump, and the "basement" is level with the backyard. Its never turned itself on. But anyway...

    I can't believe that your floors have been in so long without the electricity on. But listen, every time anything has come up with our house, our PM is on it before we even knew about it. I have every confidence that they will take care of this.

    Make sure you note this incident somewhere in your closing papers - so that if there are problems down the line, nobody gives you any guff about it. They can't control the weather, but they can control how they handle the damage.

  12. I read this post the day you wrote it and I was so upset for you. I told my husband about it and we talked about the situation and we both said how upset we would be if this happened to us.

    Well Surprise, surprise,,,,,,,,the exact same thing has happend to our home today. We had a big storm last night and my PM is teling me that the reason this happened is because the sump pump that we have is currently plugged in to an electric box that is on the back of our lot, so technically we don't have electricity yet and he said that the storm flipped the circuit and shut off the sump pump. So today we have about 3-4" of water in the basement! We also are getting a finiished basement but the drywall was not installed yet. We have framing and HVAC in the basement. I am worried about the water getting in the HVAC system. He connected the sump pump again and they pumped out most of the water and now they have a huge humidifier in the basement to try to dry it out. I haven't posted this on my blog yet but I plan to today. I am so upset, basically in tears. I am not sure what to do and how to proceed. I just feel really uneasy at this point. I asked him how the water got into the basement as our basement has already been waterproofed and he says through the sump pump, the floor of the foundation, and osmosis. (WTF?)I feel like a deflated balloon.

    I wanted to know how did your sitaution turn out and what did you decide to do about this?

  13. Tarra - I'm so sorry that this has happened to you too! When somebody tells you that they are "waterproofing" your basement, you are under the impression that it is doing just that. That's why we were so upset when this happened. They hooked up our sump pump with electricity borrowed from another source (since we still do not have electricity), and pumped the water out. They ended up tearing out the carpet, they cut out 2 feet of drywall from the bottom of each wall, and removed all of the insulation. They have had fans going on since August 15th, so I'm not sure when they'll stop using them. They invited us to walk through the basement to feel everything and approve what they had taken out, and I couldn't attend due to work. John went, and he found a spot that had wet insulation and he made them aware of it, but he told me that when he touched it, it seemed like it was only wet up to about 6 inches. So, we believe that they removed plenty of the drywall since they took out 2'. Our Sales Rep told us about the Osmosis and all that. I still don't get it. I am still on the whole "waterproofing" thing, it just makes me really nervous. They've done absolutely nothing with our house since this has happened. You are lucky that you only have framing in there, but it's still very unfortunate that it happened because now you have seen it and you're going to be worried, just like us. What have they told you so far as to what their plan of action is?