Missing French Grate and Misinstalled Drain | My Lennar Home

Missing French Grate and Misinstalled Drain

After my one-year inspection (May 2014) and asking Bob Harrower of Lennar to leave my home, I hired multiple inspectors. At the one year mark, I was fed up. You can image how I feel approaching five years.

This construction defect should never have been in debate. The grate is missing. Period. This cone has been outside of my house for over 3.5 years.

During the plumbing inspection, they also found that the drain pipe had not been connected and was damaged. You see in the video, pavers and other debris that was likely thrown in during construction.

Considering the number of beer cans and liquor bottles found while ‘altering the landscaping‘ apparently, the construction crew had better things to do than – construct a home properly. 

That would explain so much.

Lennar (formerly WCI Communities) claimed that I voided the warranty because I altered the landscaping. I guess everyone in the neighborhood voided their home warranty then.

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.

Quick Lennar Construction Issues Timeline

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.

Missing grate description

A grate needs to be installed in the French drain box at the northwest corner of the home.

Original response to grate issue from Joel Fedora

No action. Not warrantable.

Lennar in-house legal response to grate issue

No action – the grate to the catch basin was installed. Missing or damaged items not covered under warranty.

Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about missing grate

Unacceptable response. The grate is missing and Mr. Fannin did not remove it. It is suspected that the grate was not properly secured and moved when the area was inundated with rain. Mr. Fannin demands that WCI fix this area.

Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)

No change in WCI response. The parties are at an impasse with this particular issue.

The missing grate is allowing standing water and does not permit the water to drain properly. There was a pipe that was not installed further up near the house and there is no connection from the one installed pipe to the other pipe that leads to the street. This issue poses a safety hazard as there is a hole where the grate should be.

The hole currently has an orange cone as a temporary safety measure, which has been there for more than a year.

It is suspected that it was not installed properly and (there are crushed materials on a video camera recording further up the line). During a heavy rain, the grate likely pushed up and out.

Final WCI outside legal response to 558 complaint

Missing or damaged items are not covered under the warranty and are not construction defects. The grate to the catch basin was installed.

Lennar executive’s response on 5/22/2017

Clear grate cover line.

Here are the responses to the improperly installed and damage drain line:

Improperly installed drain description

The storm drain on the left side of the house (A/C unit side) has a pipe crushed and a piece of wood clogging the drain. It is marked with an X. The pipe needs to be replaced and the debris should be removed.

Original response to improperly installed drain issue from Joel Fedora

WCI to inspect to determine if warrantable

Lennar in-house legal response to improperly installed drain issue

No action Owner added all new landscaping to the yard, which voids WCI warranty. WCI to determine if the damages could have been compromised by owner.

Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about improperly installed and damaged drain

Unacceptable response. The Homeowner’s Manual provides that “damage caused by Homeowner installed fences, pools, patios, planters, etc. which interfere with proper site drainage are excluded from coverage.” (p. 34). It is unfathomable how any landscaping additions made by Mr. Fannin crushed a pipe and caused a piece of large wood to clog the drain. Mr. Fannin demands that WCI have this area inspected and replace the crushed pipe.

Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)

No change in WCI response that the owner violated his warranty when he added landscape. The parties are at an impasse on this particular issue. Mr. Fannin did not void any warranty and WCI is using this as an excuse not to fix a storm drain / pipe issue.

Final WCI outside legal response to 558 complaint

This is not a construction defect and the warranty was voided by the Homeowner installed landscaping.

Lennar executive’s response on 5/22/2017

If damage to the pipe, Lennar will repair.