SOUTH JORDAN (ABC4 Utah) – A $22 million repair caught the attention of the Daybreak Homeowners Association. That was the price tag the HOA was facing in order to fix many of the problems facing homeowners in the Townhome 1 community of Daybreak in South Jordan.
The HOA filed a lawsuit in 2015 against two home builders, Hamlet Homes and Holmes Homes, but when the HOA learned of the repair build last month, they went public for the first time.
“Daybreak is beautiful,” said Elizabeth Hill, a homeowner and member of the HOA. “It should have been a nice place to come and live and not have problems within five years of building your home.
But there’s a lot of anger.”
According to the lawsuit, about 400 in 102 separate buildings are suffering damage.
“I can’t afford $900 for someone to repair it,” said Hill. “I can’t afford that. I didn’t buy my home to watch it crumble to the ground.”
Most of the problems center around water leaks. The HOA claimed defective installation of stucco, siding flashing, caulking, windows and doors and roofs is damaging homes.
“They finally got tired of the problems and handed me two cans of paint and said good luck,” said James Dugan, another homeowner.
The HOA hired a company to investigate the large number of leaks at the Townhome 1. Shortly thereafter
Gores Construction was hired to make repairs on the so called “sick homes.”
“We came out and in the last 3 years we’ve been out here more than 50 times, chasing various leaks,” said Sean Gores, president of Gores Construction. “That’s a lot of times for a community that’s so new.”
But the head of Hamlet Homes which is targeted in the lawsuit says it’s not their fault.
In a prepared statement they said the following:
“Hamlet Homes has been brought into a lawsuit by the Daybreak Townhome 1 Owners
Association. These allegations are of great concern to all of us at Hamlet Homes. We pride ourselves in building lasting homes that improve families’ lives and are proud to say we have crafted more than 3,400 homes in Utah.
The homes identified in this complaint were built 6-10 years ago, and the allegation that “water has intruded the wall assemblies of all the buildings” was a huge surprise to us. In the previous 10 years, we have not received a single homeowner complaint for related problems in these homes.
Last week, we received an Investigation Finding Report from J2 Building Consultants, Inc. regarding Daybreak Townhome 1. This report is an investigation into the construction of 389 homes built in Daybreak by Holmes Homes and Hamlet Homes. The report does not distinguish between the two builders. Of the 389 homes identified in the report only 29% were built by Hamlet Homes. Further, while very few of the items identified in the report were on Hamlet-built homes, most related to lack of maintenance. It is the responsibility of the homeowner’s association to maintain the exterior of the homes. Early evidence suggests that these homes exteriors were not properly maintained, leading to other larger issues as the homes aged.
At this time, due to the ongoing nature of the litigation, we have no other comments.”
A spokesman for the developer which isn’t named in the lawsuit called these complaints surprising.
“This just hasn’t been our experience,” said Cameron Jackson with Daybreak Communities. “We’ve been here for 10 years and there’s been about 5,000 homes that have been built by some great quality builders in this community by some great home builders. So it just doesn’t check out to us. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
A second home builder named in the lawsuit also issued a statement to the media. The statement came from Holmes Homes. It stated:
“Since 1890, the Holmes family has built quality residences and for those five generations, we’ve focused on attention to detail with every customer. We fell in love with the Daybreak concept years ago and the developers fell in love with our innovative designs. Since 2004, the over 1,300 homes we built in Daybreak not only complied but also exceed industry construction standards, including EnergyStar certification. We also hired a third-party inspector for many of our projects that took a detailed photos during the entire construction process to ensure quality. We have thousands of photos showing the proper construction of the townhomes involved in the litigation. Over the years, all buildings require maintenance. The homes identified in this townhome litigation include those that were built up to or over a decade ago.
We are disappointed that this issue has escalated to this level and it’s unfortunate that we were not informed of these claims until litigation was implicated. Holmes Homes has always responded to all warranty claims. We pride ourselves on taking care of our customers and have always had an open line of communication with our homeowners. We take our legacy seriously and want our homeowners to be happy with their purchase.”
-Spencer Holmes and Patrick Holmes, Partners at Holmes Homes
But homeowners and those called in to fix the so called “sick homes” claimed it’s not due to their negligence.
“All I know is the inside of my house is beautiful but the outside of my house is falling apart,” said James Dugan. “I don’t know if I should just walk away from my home.”