STories from homeowners


Chuck and Corinne Owens, Durango

“We were excited to buy a new townhome. But over a period of a couple years, there were major drainage problems that also caused serious damage in freeze and thaw conditions. We had rotted timbers, and the stucco on the exterior walls was done poorly and needs to be replaced. We’re retired and this has been a nightmare and taken so much of our time, but the repairs have to be made, there’s no way around it. The legal protections that we have are important.”

C.J. Matthews, Aurora

“Water flowed in from patios and roads, uninsulated pipes froze and breakers were overloaded in our community. The worst was sewage and water dumping into the walls. Our builder’s response? Sue the homeowners to avoid repairs and drag out the timeline to nullify our claims forever. And we’re still hassling with the developer 12 years later.”  


Macky Bennett, Denver


“We thought we’d done our research on our new townhome’s developer, design and materials. When the economy crashed inferior materials were substituted, resulting in serious construction defects. Within months, most of the roofs leaked. The entry bridge decks buckled and the walkway became dangerous. The stucco facade started to crack and leak. The developer refused to correct the problems then disappeared. Mediation yielded a settlement that didn’t come close to covering the costs of restoration – by the time this is over, each owner will have paid $30,000 per unit for repairs. We were innocent victims who assumed we were buying a quality home and that our builder would stand behind the warranty.


A.J. Rose, Castle Rock


Construction defects made our community dangerous – stairs pulling away from the buildings, mold from water leaking from the roof and walls and drainage problems leading to black ice all winter long. Retaining wall failures would have dumped homes into a pond if it hadn’t been rebuilt. The only thing that moved the builder from lame fixes to real repairs was a lawsuit. As an HOA board member, I’ve invested a ridiculous amount of time, energy and money into this over more than three years. No one should ever have to go through this.”  


Paula Norlin, Denver

“Within two years of completion, Windmill Creek had significant cracking in the interior walls, doors not closing, gaps in exterior doors, patios flooding – even the foundation was moving! Water and mold got into some units because of improper construction and preparation behind the exterior. The roofs and gutters didn’t drain, creating ice build up and other draining problems. We discovered that some areas were completely lacking in insulation when we had to have all the stone, siding and gypsum removed to deal with the leaking problems. This has been going on for years and repairs won’t wrap up until sometime in 2015. All of us homeowner volunteers have spent so much time, energy and tears on trying to fix our homes – it’s just not right.”


John Stovall, Denver

“Our homeowners have spent more than three years trying to get construction defects fixed at our high-rise in the Denver Tech Center. The most dangerous thing we have been dealing with is badly built balconies with loose bricks that are at risk of falling. Very troubling is the developer insisted on installing windows in a way that both the manufacturer and their architect objected to, leading to water leakage not only through the windows, but also in between the exterior and interior walls. At first, we tried to work with the developer who tried to get a way with an unacceptable “caulk and walk” fix, then they offered a totally inadequate settlement. While we finally settled, homeowners spend untold numbers of volunteer hours trying to deal with it, not to mention putting up with two years of disruptive construction on their units and common areas.” 


Pam Malsch, Erie


“It took us 7 years to get through the process of getting our builder to take responsibility for the serious mistakes made during construction. There were serious structural issues and cracking in the drywall of our homes due to improper soil treatment and preparation, drainage problems, poor siding and window insulation which caused water damage and mold, a lack of insulation and so much more leading to all kinds of problems. A major installation issue was with our fire protection system. After frozen pipes resulted in flooding, my place had to be completely gutted. All I wanted was a great place to live– but as a member of the homeowners association board, I ended up with my life taken over by the time-consuming process and stress of feeling responsible for the financial future and quality of life of more than 1,000 neighbors. It has been horrible and we’re not finished yet.


Lori Potter, Denver

“Our brand-new, modern condo seemed perfect – until discoloration and “weeping lines” from water seepage appeared on the stucco within a year of moving in. Our builder canceled the warranty within months and took no responsibility despite our countless email, calls, and photos. After mediation and arbitration failed, we finally received a settlement that didn’t even cover the year-long stucco repair process. Without the right to go to court, we’d be back where we started.”


Julie Connaghan, Boulder


“We had overwhelming water intrusion issues.  Some of the 98 units had no water barriers, which created mold problems.  Our roofs had to be replaced because they didn’t drain properly.  The air conditioning units were installed the wrong way, windows were installed improperly and had to be replaced, and we found out that the structures were not built to code to safely withstand high winds.  The issue that homebuilders need to focus on is not limiting homeowners’ legal rights, but building their buildings right the first time. The problem is pervasive in the construction industry. Pervasive.


Nik Mueller, Denver

My community has greater than 90% affordable housing units that were built in the early 2000s, and about the time I bought my unit in 2007 the defects in the construction were starting to show.  The majority of decks were not built to code which resulted in water intrusion, and the property had drainage issues that created dangerous winter walking conditions due to icing.  The legal process was long and we settled with the builder in mediation, but without the legal option we would have had a tougher time.  We hope to have all the repairs completed this year.” 


Jon Harris, Denver, President of Build Our Homes Right

“I purchased a condo in a mixed-income development in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood for its central location, diverse community, and convenience to the light rail system. Unknown to me the building had serious problems with water damage, poor design and workmanship, windows that weren’t installed properly, and inadequate materials that were used. We worked with the developer and builder for years obtaining temporary fixes that did not get to the root problems, and ultimately we needed to exercise our legal rights in an attempt to pursue real repairs. Still, my neighbors and I will never be made whole.