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Homeowners facing long list of problems with Pulte Homes

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 10:37:25-05

HENDERSON (KTNV) — It's the American dream. You buy a new house and as you settle in, it becomes a home. Unfortunately, a long list of complaints is keeping a group of local homeowners from getting comfortable. 13 Consumer Advocate Tricia Kean looks at the little hassles adding up to big headaches for some Henderson residents.

"He said they'll get back to me. I said okay," says homeowner Tom Harris.

"We've all heard it," says homeowner Kevin Lush.

"We've all heard that story," says homeowner Tom Monico.

"Same old, same old," says homeowner Tami Lush.

That "same old, same old" is getting old for Henderson residents who are sick and tired of the seemingly endless repairs they need in brand new homes. They live in the new Bellano community by Pulte Homes and each of them has a long list of problems.

"The finish work is very sub-par; the texture, the paint, and overspray of paint, paint drippings, baseboards coming off," says Kevin.

He and Tami were supposed to close on their home last May, but say they've had issues from the beginning.

"We delayed closing for two months because they were so behind schedule, and there were so many things unfinished," says Tami.

Seven months after finally closing, they still have a lengthy punch list. They're really worried about this exposed wood on the roof, just over their front door.

"I've had to fight hand over fist to get somebody to come out," says Kevin.

Homeowner Denise Winer has quite a list too.

"I bought a brand new home and it does not feel like it. You come to my house and you'll see a lot of blue tape everywhere," says Denise.

She's not kidding. Walking into her home, you almost feel like you're seeing spots. Workers have marked dozens and dozens of areas that need attention, like these door frames that appear to be installed incorrectly.

"Blue tape became a real joke around here," says Tom.

He says he's still dealing with repairs, six months after moving into his home. He's frustrated with issues like this crack found in his kitchen countertop.

"Why should we have to put up with marks on counters or scratches on floors or poorly painted doors or what have you. There's no excuse for that," says Tom.

Then there's Kelly Reece. She paid for an upgraded commercial-grade refrigerator. But workers realized it wouldn't fit after installing her kitchen cabinets.

"My refrigerator in the garage about a month and a half. So really really hard," says Kelly.

Colleen Zato paid for an upgraded shower. But it looks like workers used two different colors of grout.

"It's just sad that it's put such a damper on what should be such a positive experience. Such a happy experience. I feel like they don't care," says Colleen.

And then there's Tom Harris. He moved in, back in September. Tom says he's already seeing aging signs he didn't expect to see for years.

"I've got stress cracks in my ceiling already. Like the foundation is settling. So that's a big concern to me. It's in two spots in my house," says Tom.

13 Action News reached out to Pulte on behalf of all these homeowners, plus others. Pulte declined to speak on camera but says it has set up a schedule for repairs on one of the homes.

Pulte issued a statement saying in part: "We stand behind our homes with one of the industry's best warranties and by providing excellent after-sale service. We have and continue to provide warranty repairs on requests submitted by all Pulte homeowners to our Customer Care Center."

"This is not a new problem. It's been going on for the last 20-30 years. I don't see it getting any better. As the market accelerates there are going to be more mistakes made," says Bill Loden.

He's a former quality control and safety engineer with NASA. For the last 25 years he's been in the home inspection business and owns Insight Home Inspection. We spoke with Bill via Skype, from his office outside Huntsville, Alabama.

"There are a lot of problems that the builders have to contend with: labor shortages, training," says Bill.

He says overall, the home building industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers: like carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. He says there's also a lack of oversight in many cases, whether it's involving workmanship or materials being used.

"It's always going to be up to the consumer to make sure that they guard their own rights, and understand fully what they're getting into," says Bill.

Bill recommends potential home buyers, hire their own home inspector and a realtor to help protect themselves, even with brand new homes. As for our group of homeowners, they'll continue to reach out and request the necessary repairs.

"We just want our homes to be finished and complete," says Tami.

"It doesn't matter if it's a $10 million home or a $50,000 home. It just needs to be right," says Kevin.

Statement from Pulte Homes:

"For 27 years, PulteGroup has been delivering quality homes and an outstanding customer experience in Nevada. We stand behind our homes with one of the industry’s best warranties and by providing excellent after-sale service. We have and continue to provide warranty repairs on requests submitted by all Pulte homeowners to our Customer Care Center. Should residents require assistance, we encourage them to contact us directly at LVVC@pulte.com or 1-800-664-3089, so we can quickly address their concerns. We have communicated several times with Mr. Lush and have a schedule in place to address his concerns. Additionally, all other homeowners have filed service tickets with our Customer Care Center, and those claims have either been completed or are in progress."