I originally found out about the issue when I organized and paid for my own inspections after a frustrating one-year warranty home repair walkthrough with Bob Harrower. I wouldn’t have realized there was a problem – until I needed it. I didn’t even know what it was and what it is for at the time, but it’s important. You’ve likely seen the sewer cleanout in your yard, and it looks like the picture below.
There was never a debate about it not being done properly, the fight for years has been that the builder just wanted to replace the mulch when it was done. I spent thousands on landscaping because Lennar’s landscaping was – nothing special.
To give you an idea, the sewer cleanout it in a small area between the porch and the sidewalk. All of this would need to be taken away to bring the sewer cleanout to grade. The builder just wanted to throw on some mulch. The mulch is one of the first things I had replaced with the landscaping.
As well, the builder kept arguing that I voided the warranty because I ‘altered the landscaping.’ First, that’s not true and I’ve never been able to find that anywhere. Second, then everyone in the neighborhood voided their warranties. WCI/Lennar originally said it also wasn’t a construction defect. See the responses that change below.
A bigger problem in the Westshore Yacht Club?
I was walking my dogs one day and decided to look for the sewer cleanout in other homes built during this phase. Not surprisingly, I didn’t find one I could find in my model home built during this phase.
Although I informed Rick Hudak of Lennar of what I observed in this email to him back in March 2107, I am not aware of Lennar inspecting for the issue or informing other homeowners. Mark Metheny and Steve Smith were also included in the communication, so they are also aware of the issue.
Here is the history on this issue that’s gone on for 4.5 years.
Here’s the summary of 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.
Sewer cleanout issue description
The sanitary sewer from the cleanout in the garage to property line is satisfactory; however, the cleanout near the sidewalk is not to grade and needs to be brought up to grade. It is buried feet under the plant bedding closest to the house and sidewalk. Areas are marked with orange flags.
Original response to sewer cleanout issue from Joel Fedora
WCI will have a plumber address this issue.
Lennar in-house legal response to sewer cleanout issue
WCI will schedule RT More to complete this repair (raise the clean out to existing grade).
Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about sewer cleanout issue
Accepted. However, Mr. Fannin requests that WCI be responsible for repairing any landscaping that is damaged during this repair.
Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)
WCI added to response – “WCI will bring one bag of mulch.” This response is unacceptable as the area does not have mulch. The pre-existing material is lava rock and the area should have the same appearance after the repair as the appearance was before the repair including the replacement of sod (together with preparation of the sod to enable it to take root).
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
Extend clean out of sanitary sewer to grade level. Lennar will repair any damaged landscaping.
Note: As of the date of this publication, all the Lennar executives went silent and none of the construction repairs were ever made, including the promised replacements of two, improperly installed and defective A/C units causing extensive mold exposure and health issues.