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CALL 6: 200 complaints about new home builds

Posted: 8:45 AM, Nov 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-16 19:37:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Many people build a new home in the hopes that it will be close to perfect, but Call 6 Investigates found starting from scratch isn’t a guarantee you won’t have defects or problems with your house.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has received more than 200 complaints about new home construction since 2010, with poor workmanship and failure to honor a warranty topping the list of common gripes against builders.

Most of the complaints have been filed in the last two years as the new home construction market has improved in Indiana.

Call 6 Investigates is partnering with ABC News and ABC stations across the country for “New Home Heartbreak.”

Construction expert Mark McGivern said water intrusion is the biggest -- and the most expensive -- problem homeowners face.

“In some cases, it can cause mold, which then becomes a health concern,” said McGivern, CEO of Construction Consulting Associates.

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McGivern said there are a number of things a homeowner can do to protect themselves.

“Be an informed and educated consumer, and whether you’re buying a $200,000 house or a $2 million house, the rules apply as just good common sense,” said McGivern.

Indianapolis-based builder Arbor Homes’ VP of Operations Don Chesney said homeowners should talk to people living in the neighborhood already.

Chesney suggested also meeting with the crew actually doing the construction, as many builders subcontract out all or almost all of the work.

“Meet the superintendent, meet the people controlling the process,” said Chesney.

HOME BUILDING TIPS:

  1. Have an attorney look at the agreement of sale, warranty, and other documents
  2. Hire a qualified home inspector and tour the home with them
  3. Create a checklist for the builder at walk-through
  4. Identify problems before closing and put the builder on notice to fix them

RESOURCES:

What to do before you move in

Find a certified builder or remodeler in Indiana