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Dozens Of Homeowners Sue D-R Horton Over Building Defects

DENVER (CBS4)- A CBS4 Investigation found more than a dozen townhouse communities built in Colorado by D.R. Horton have sued over building defects.

D.R. Horton calls itself “America’s Builder.” The company has payed out tens of millions of dollars in settlements to those lawsuits.

Prairie Ridge, located in Aurora, was built eight years ago.

“I like my house. I just would like a house that’s not falling apart,” said homeowner Jennifer Rubino.

She is also the head of the Homeowners’ Association. Many residents have complained that their residences look more like a construction zone than a neighborhood. Yellow stripes along the sidewalks warn residents of hazards in the complex.

“I’ve tripped over it a couple of times and finally put out a cone so other people wouldn’t trip,” said resident Dawn Coulter.

“These are incredibly invasive trees, the roots can damage the foundation, so they are going to have to come down eventually,” said Rubino.

Some residents have complained about water running into their homes from balconies above.

“It rains into your house. Basically, it rains down the side. This last time, into both of my living room windows,” said resident Katrina Robinson.

Other problems include mold and standing frozen water in the winter.

This is a partial list of the multi-family developments that have sued D.R. Horton, claiming defects due to shoddy construction: Prairie Ridge, Landing at Cherry Creek, Windermere, Mansion Park, Lake Arbor Fairways, Colony at Cherry Creek, Cherry Grove II, Marina Pointe, Westbury Farms, Willow Trace, Park Avenue, Carlyle Park, Canyon Creek, Stapleton II, Stapleton VI and Sterling Commons.

Most settlements are confidential. CBS4 Investigates learned The Summit at Rock Creek in Broomfield received a $39.5 million settlement. St. Andrews at Plum Creek in Castle Rock settled for $20 million. Carlyle Park in Highlands Ranch received an unspecified eight figure settlement.

“We haven’t seen the same with other production builders. I think we probably have more D.R. Horton cases than any other builder,” said attorney Doug Benson.

In a statement, D.R. Horton said all of its homes are covered by a warranty and homeowners have slowed the repair process by going through lawyers and, “Our homeowners’ satisfaction is important and we encourage our homeowners to contact us directly so we may address any issues as quickly as possible. D.R. Horton stands behind its warranty.”

When asked for a comment, D.R. Horton attorney Buck Mann responded, “Ever since I’ve been a prosecutor I’ve never spoken to the press because you guys never get it right.”

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  • Joan S

    We own a D R Horton home and had a construction error which caused water intrusion because of a nail hole in the window frame. We contacted Horton and were told they “declined to help us with the home repair”. I would never purchase another home built by D R Horton. They do not stand behind their product even though the default was caused during the window installation during construction.

    • Doug Benson

      Your report is not uncommon. Yet, DR Horton argues that becuase homeowenrs call attorneys that it SLOWS the repair process that otherwise would take place. In reality, I am not the first person the homeowner calls. It is not until the homeowner has exhausted their rememdies with DR Horton that I even get the call!

  • kiki

    I am in construction and for the last 10-20 years and during the boom builders have been using cheap forgein labor workforce, which work only under very close supervision hence the falling apart of your housing, that is my observation.

  • Barbara

    It seems the one thing companies from outside of Colorado that build here forget to take into account is the concrete. Since the ‘dirt’ here is bentonite, it expands and contracts rapidly. If the concrete isn’t poured just right, especially in the winter, you have these problems popping up. When I delivered mail in Brighton, they had a housing development (Ryland or Richmond) that had so many orders for new houses that they put them up very quickly…in the winter. Sure enough when spring came just about everyone had huge signs in their yards about what an awful builder they were and how they wouldn’t come in and make the promised repairs (cracking foundation’s, broken sidewalks, etc).
    When buying a new home…make sure you keep an eye on just how they get the concrete poured, or you could be sorry once the weather changes.
    Here’s some info on bentonite

  • David

    With construction defects running rampant across our state and country, how can people ensure quality construction on projects?

  • Sane Consumer

    Ambulance-chasing lawyers have made a cottage industry of going to HOAs and suing large builders for construction defects. They really likes townhome and condo projects. They start at the foundation and go to the last shingle on the roof. If they can’t find a fault with something, they list it as a defect anyway. Their strategy is to throw everything against the wall and see if some of it sticks. Insurance companies are willing to pay up to avoid the costs of defending themselves. I’m sure Horton isn’t a perfect builder, but the reason they get sued so much is that they’re the biggest builder with the deepest pockets. The lawyers work on a contingency basis and promises HOAs that it won’t cost them anything. That’s true…but. Homeowners can’t sell their homes without disclosing that there’s a construction defect lawsuit pending (which will last 2 or 3 years) so potential buyers look elsewhere. Ergo, home prices in these developments go down 40% and foreclosures will be rampant. You decide who wins. And no, I’m not a builder or tied to the law suit.

  • Peggy Campbell

    I purchased a DR Horton home 6 years ago. From year one, have had problems with pipes freezing. Every winter, I spend numerous mornings in my crawl space with a hair dryer trying to unfreeze the pipes. This year, two broke, causing water damage in my (finished) basement. Fortunately, my husband was home both times and was able to turn the water off. One pipe was placed on the outside wall of the house and less than a half inch from the vent to the crawl space – brilliant, huh? I’ve contacted DR Horton multiple times as has an independent contractor that tore the side of our house off to re-insulate in an effort to maintain some integrity around the pipe. It would cost us $10,000 to have the pipes re-routed which would also mean redoing everything in and around the master bath these pipes run into. DR Horton states that it was done “within code” and therefore is not their problem. The last person I spoke with said “I can send you a list of things to do that might help” and that their extended warranty (“structural warranty”) does not cover something of this nature – it is not a structural issue. Really?? Also, their structural warranty only covers items that could catastrophically lead to loss of life. Guess loss of my personal memories, possessions and sanity aren’t quite enough. I received his suggested list of things to help remedy the issue and things like “drip water throughout night from faucets when temp is going below freezing”. Wanted to ask if they would be paying my winter water bill because, guess what DRH – I live in Colorado!! From December through May our nights go below freezing. Wow….This is the most frustrating company I have ever worked with and their lack of knowledge as to what good customer service is is astounding.

  • Diana

    I think that most of the problem communities in the lawsuit were actually built by TRIMARK. In 2002, DRHorton bought Melody Homes, Continental Homes, and Trimark. Trimark build Multi-family, townhomes, condos. As Sane Consumer noted above, those are most of the lawsuits. Unfortunately, Horton was required to do a lot of repairing of the damages and cleaning up the Trimark messes. I worked for DRHorton for many years. and personally bought and lived in DRHorton homes. In a product (home) that has thousands of components and materials and craftsmen and procedures, “perfection” does not exist, but DRHorton comes close. They have the highest building standards and customer feedback procedures of all the major builders in the Denver area.

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