Joel Fedora of Lennar Homes promised to fix all three of my defective marble countertops less than two months after I closed – that was 4.5 years ago. All of the countertops had something wrong, including the quartz kitchen countertops. There was something different about the marble countertops though. Not only were they scratched, they were starting to stain and fade in less than two months after closing.
In July 2013, Joel spent a lot of time here coordinating the repair of many initial construction defects. As you can see in this message from Joel, he was attempting to repair them just as he had successfully done with the ones in the kitchen.
As with most everything that is wrong in this house, I believe it’s a combination of factors which include, poor workmanship, bad installation, the pipes below the counters that are visibly corroding, as well as environmental issues. Here is a picture beneath the marble countertop looking up. It looks stained and dry.
As a reminder, here is a picture of some of the pipes under the marble countertops:
Here is the history on this issue that’s gone on for several years.
Here’s the summary from all of Lennar construction issues I keep in a spreadsheet.
*Note: For simplicity, the Lennar and WCI Communities names here are used interchangeably as Lennar took over WCI in February of 2017.
2013-2014 – First issues were reported to WCI. The initial responses were from Joel Fedora who is now a Vice President of Construction with Lennar.
Late-2014 – Towards the end of the year, I retained Amanda Buffinton (at the time a shareholder at Bush Ross) to start working the legal side of the issues, because nothing was getting resolved. The first Lennar in-house legal response happens around this time.
July 2015 – The case expands and WCI moves the case from in-house to outside legal. The outside legal responses are from this time.
September 2015 – Amanda Buffington files a 558 complaint against WCI/Lennar to start the process of filing a construction lawsuit.
October 2015 – Lennar’s outside legal sends a response to the 558 complaint. Their response was completely untrue. It’s the same attorney who provided the first outside legal response in July 2015.
Marble countertops issue description
Stains on the countertops are not normal and indicate either a manufacturing defect or improper seal. The should be repaired and/or replaced and sealed properly.
Original response to the defective marble countertops issue by Joel Fedora
No action. Not warrantable.
Lennar in-house legal response for the marble countertops issue
No action. Not warrantable. The countertops are porous material and as stated in the homeowner manual, we recommend cleaning up spills immediately to avoid staining. The countertops do come with a factory sealant and if additional sealant is desired, this would be at the owner’s expenses.
Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about marble countertops issue
Unacceptable response. A WCI representative previously told Mr. Fannin that this problem would be fixed. Specifically, approximately two months after closing, Joel Fedora of WCI indicated to Mr. Fannin that the condition should be monitored and, if it got worse, WCI would replace it. Further, page 18 of the Homeowner’s Manual provides that “during your homeowner orientation we confirm that all countertops are in acceptable condition. WCI will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the homeowner orientation.” The issue with the staining of the countertops has existed since Mr. Fannin closed on the home. The staining needs to be remediated.
Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)
No change in WCI response. WCI added that Sterling visited and removed the marks in the quartz and the master bathroom scratches were polished. This was completed in Joel’s presence. Mr. Fannin’s response is that WCI did fix the quartz in the kitchen countertops; however, the bathrooms are MARBLE – not quartz. Joel Fedora of WCI indicated that, if the conditioned worsened, WCI would repair (scratch marks have existed from the beginning and they need to be replaced). The issue is likely a manufacturing defect and improper sealing. The parties are at an impasse on this issue
Final WCI outside legal response to 558 complaint
This item is not a construction defect. The countertops are porous material and as stated in the homeowner manual, we recommend cleaning up spills immediately to avoid staining. The countertops do come with a factory sealant and if additional sealant is desired, this would be at the owner’s expenses.
Lennar executive’s response on 5/22/2017
Polishing and resealing.
My notes: This should remove both the staining and scratches from the marble countertops. As agreed by Lennar, if the countertops are not fixed through this process, something else will be done.
This. House. Is. Exhausting. Dealing with this builder is never ending. It’s all a struggle.