This one has been a complete circus – a 10 ring circus just full of clowns and excuses. This issue has just been insanely mishandled, it’s putting the home, my dogs and me at risk, and it’s been happening since June of 2013 – more than 4.5 years.
Dryer installation defect
The first time the gas dryer failed it was just about a month into my new construction home at the Westshore Yacht Club. I called the warranty line, and they indicated they would have someone out sometime Wednesday to Friday of NEXT week (this was Friday afternoon). I had my first pair of expensive sheets, and I was not about to let them get ruined by waiting up to a week for repair.
So I did what most people would do and searched for my repair company with a reasonable repair timeline. Ralph’s Appliance repair came out almost immediately. They were fantastic.
The first dryer failure was blamed on installation failure and it was fixed immediately.
Second failure -dryer vent fire hazard
The dryer stopped working again a few weeks later in July 2013. The manufacturer came out this time. It was determined that WCI Communities (now Lennar Homes) made a terrible mistake in installing the dryer vent. The error caused a significant fire hazard.
WCI forgot to take off the vent seal, so the lint and heat were building up against the roof.
Joel Fedora admitted to the mistake and had it corrected.
Third Failure – Lint Build Up at Roof
The dryer failed again a few months later. This time, it was determined to be still a fire hazard – lint building at the roof and trapping the exhaust dryer vent.
After the vent was cleaned out, Joel Fedora of Lennar indicated that it would be fine and was just an odd occurrence.
Unfortunately, I trusted him.
Lint is blown onto roof – questions of dryer pipes
In February 2014, I looked out the window from my home office and saw debris all over the roof. I called Bob Harrower about the dryer debris. I also questioned the position of the dryer vent pipes. A dryer and gas tankless water heater vents were both close to one another (those are other issues I’ll document here). The water heater vent looked backward, and the vent pipe casing raised above the bottom.
I also noticed a slipping roof tile. Just to give you an idea of where I’m going – that tile was found to be broken and not slipping as Lennar had indicated.
May 2014 One-Year Warranty Inspection
The closing of my WCI new construction home was approaching one year. I put together a list of items and my assistant did a walkthrough with Bob while I worked in the office.
I had prepped her that he was a ‘character’ and if she started running into issues to just text me and I would come and meet her. I got a text.
“He’s excusing and lying about everything. I’m going to lose it. Help!”
I came downstairs. It was true. The man had an explanation for everything. It was annoying, and I was about to stop it.
When I asked him about the vents on the roof, he said there was no issue. He told me both vents – including the dryer vent – are installed as they were supposed to be.
I asked him to walk outside with me.
I showed him my house. I then walked him to the same model up the street. Everything is the same – except these vents.
The pictures are below.
This is what I saw. This is what he saw. This is what you see.
He said it was meant to be that way; it was normal, and there was nothing wrong with the dryer vent.
I asked him to look and compare again. Please make the assessment again.
I got the same response.
Inspection over! – Me
I was done. I was tired of being lied to. I was tired of wasting my time. I am not sure this man could tell the truth if he tried. It truly seems like instinct for him to just lie..about anything.
Inspection finds Lennar construction design defects in dryer vent
The independent inspector discovered what was happening. The dryer vent has two sharp angels. Either vent angel can cause a fire hazard.
He indicated that both vent angels together would inevitably cause a fire at some point if the venting was not corrected.
So what was happening with the lint on the roof that Bob said was ‘no worries?’ It was getting trapped in the vent and against the roof. The lint builds at the roof until there was so much heat and pressure that the lint would “explode” through the dryer vent.
The inspector said that it was not normal and that anyone in Bob’s position who said otherwise was either lying or not experienced. Either was putting my home and livelihood at risk by trusting WCI community representatives. Joel Fedora continued to defend him as you will see in the responses below.
Mark Metheny’s response to the dryer fire hazard
As you’ll eventually read in the complaints and communications section of this website, one of the last meetings that Lennar’s Mark Metheny and I had, he indicated he wouldn’t fix the issue because moving the vents would involve another roof penetration and could cause a roof leak.
A roof leak or a fire hazard and this man takes the chance with a fire hazard.
That’s not my fault and it’s not my issue. It was done incorrectly the first time and I’ve been arguing this for over four years.
Mark Metheny is a Regional President of Lennar. This is an example of the mindset and logic of this builder.
Here’s the summary from all of 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.
Dryer vent construction issue description
The clothes dryer vent roof penetration is too close to the water heater make-up air vent chase and needs to be moved as well as rerouting the dryer vent pipe to go straight up from the dryer through the roof. Too many curves and joints area causing a build-up of lint which then bursts out of the dryer vent creating a major fire hazard as it is too close to the water heater make-up vent.
Original response to dryer vent issue from Joel Fedora
WCI will move the dryer vent. There are no code issues with the current piping for the vent, but the repair will be made due to the continuous issues that are occurring with the lint buildup.
Lennar in-house legal response to dryer vent issue
Del-Air to re-route the dryer vent and turn the gooseneck 180 degrees. Roofer to repair roof system where the vent was relocated.
Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about broken roof tile
Unacceptable response. Enclosed with this chart is a photograph of Mr. Fannin’s roof showing the dangerously close proximity of the dryer vent roof penetration and the water heater make-up air vent chase.
Additionally, I previously enclosed a photograph of a neighbor’s roof showing the correct configuration of the dryer vent penetration and the water heater vent penetration.
Simply turning the gooseneck 180 degrees does not alleviate the problem and Mr. Fannin demands that the roof penetrations be properly relocated such that it more closely resembles the roofs of all of Mr. Fannin’s neighbors. Even a layperson can see that Mr. Fannin’s roof condition is an anomaly when compared to other homes.
Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)
Mr. Fannin accepts WCI’s proposed response; however, this should be addressed comprehensively now with the leak that WCI believes is condensation (it is not condensation). Mr. Fannin believes that both issues are related and should be addressed together. Mr. Fannin reserves his rights.
Final WCI outside legal response to 558 complaint
WCI offered to resolve this item but the Homeowner canceled the repair.
Note: This is not true at all. See: WCI (Now Lennar Homes) Lied in Their Legal Response. Why?
Lennar executive’s response on 5/22/2017
Will not be relocating roof penetrations, however, see item 11 on Exhibit B. Mark Metheny explained that another roof penetration would increase the chances of a leak.