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Home Builder reviews in Roan Mountain

  • F
    Custom Smart Homes
    ***CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS BOX*** This offer was made when the builder was informed by Nationwide that the stairs would conflict with a basement doorway or window (depending on whether stairs turned left or right from the intermediate landing). Note: In response to his son’s comment, Bill Lizzio Sr. called to say that they could not construct the stairs in violation of code (see item 16 where son later offers to reconstruct stairs in violation of code – second offer for doing such). Bill Lizzio Sr.’s comment had no influence on actual work performed, however, given the subsequent code violations which ensued in four (two original and two replacement) stairways later constructed by the Lizzio Development Group, as documented in items 16 through 22, as well as other items not related to stair construction. Bill Lizzio Sr. provided no project oversight at the job site after excavation (one short visit to site to deliver paychecks) and he would not respond to phone calls or emails after the concrete was poured through the remainder of construction. The homeowners stated to both Bill Lizzio Jr. by email and Bill Lizzio Sr. by phone that the stairways should be constructed to code. The lack of oversight by the builders in plan development has resulted in very odd window placement (homeowners were told it was too late to change plans as the basement pre-cast walls were already constructed at the time the problem was identified by Nationwide). 16. 6 types of violations are listed in this bullet regarding basement stairs, constructed after discussion listed in item 15: Nosing exceedance - nosing 2". Tread slope exceedance - out-of-level, down/up direction,1/4" per 9" tread. Tread depth less than minimum - tread depth 9". Riser variation exceedance - risers varied from 6" to 8". Riser height exceedance – the 8" risers. No nosing at both landings which causes exceedance in tread depth variation. After homeowner pointed out violations with stairs, Bill Lizzio Jr.’s stated that stairs were constructed to fit below the window sill located at the landing. When discussing stair replacement, Bill Lizzio Jr., in person, again offered to construct the stairs in violation of code to make stairs fit below window. The homeowners stated they wanted the stairs constructed to code in an email to the Lizzios. On two occasions the builder’s carpenter, Lawson, stated that he had constructed stairs in this manner since he began working for the Lizzios, it is the homeowners’ understanding he has worked for the Lizzios for approximately 3 years prior to the summer of 2010. Lawson made the comment that he was glad homeowner pointed out these problems because he learned much that would be useful as he was going to have to construct a set of stairs where the stairs were to be inspected by the local building department. Most of the original stairs are available for inspection (demolished stairs were saved by homeowner). 17. *Replacement basement stairs: After replacement basement stairs were "complete", there was no nosing at both landings which causes a violation of the variation in tread depth (first tread down from landing is thus 1" greater than the other treads). One nosing at upper landing was corrected at homeowner’s request (prior to carpeting). The homeowner had specifically asked Lawson and Dennis to construct the nosing at the intermediate landing, they did not. In exasperation, the homeowner told Bill Lizzio Jr. that the homeowner would fix the intermediate landing’s nosing. 18. 2 violations in this bullet: After the basement stairs were constructed and code violations pointed out to the builder by the homeowner, Lawson constructed the front porch stairs. These stairs were also constructed with tread depths less than minimum – having 8.5" to 9" tread depth. No nosing at landing which causes violation by variation in tread depth (first tread down from landing is thus 1" greater than other treads). Homeowner and son on separate occasions stumbled on these stairs (carpenter Lawson observed homeowner stumble). Original stairs are available for inspection, although disconnected and saved. 19. *After replacement front porch stairs were constructed, no nosing at landing which causes violation of variation in tread depth (first tread down from landing is thus 1" greater than other treads). In exasperation, the homeowner told Bill Lizzio Jr. that the homeowner would fix the nosing (during same conversation as noted at the end of item 17). 20. After replacement front porch stairs were constructed, the bottom tread included only two nails and no glue for the 7’ wide step. Tread built with two boards, the board with only two nails was the one which comprised the nosing. 21. Stairs from 1st to 2nd floor were constructed with no nosing at landing which causes violation of variation in tread depth (first tread down from landing is thus 1" greater than other treads). This was fixed prior to carpeting at request of homeowner. 22. Stair rail from first floor to second floor is not "gripable" at lower end and causes pinched fingers if sliding hand down the rail (pinch between rail and knee wall trim), adult fingers cannot grip rail at this pinch point. Homeowner was asked which side of stairs he wanted the rail and so specified the side where constructed, but the homeowner was not informed that this would create a safety problem and be in violation of code. The homeowner pointed this out when it was clear the handrail couldn’t be grasped after it was constructed. Builder paid homeowner to fix rail (rail is not yet fixed to allow inspection). 23. Dryer vent was installed with flexible, non-smooth-wall duct instead of smooth-wall duct (in basement to the exit point in wall, not the location right behind dryer where flexible duct is acceptable). This was replaced with smooth wall duct at homeowners direction, duct provided by homeowner. Some of flexible duct is saved and available for inspection. 24. Dryer vent was installed with bathroom exhaust style vent with ~1/8-3/16" screen at exhaust-to-outside point, covered with plastic fixed vent with ~¼” gaps. Screen removed by homeowner while investigating why the dryer had rapidly decreased in ability to dry despite the dryer generating hot air. The plastic fixed mesh was replaced with an appropriate dryer vent by builder at homeowner request. Screen is saved and available for inspection, plastic cover is no longer available. 25. Porch railing missing screws at connectors to posts. 25% missing in a sampling of eight required screw locations. Builder has said all rails have since been checked and screws provided where needed – homeowner has not verified. 26. *Blocking between floor joists (basement ceiling) were not installed prior to backfill. Builder specified when construction was ready for backfill. The homeowner told Bill Lizzio Jr. that the shear wall hadn’t yet been constructed, so that was first constructed (incorrectly, see item 12) before backfill was completed. However, after backfill, the homeowner noticed the missing blocking. The homeowner informed the builder’s carpenter Lawson that the blocking added after backfill would not fully distribute stresses already placed on end members from the backfill already in-place. It took two weeks after pointing out problem for the blocking to be installed. 27. Homeowner had to twice request vent holes be cut between dormers and main attic i.e., the shed dormer would not have had any venting other than at soffit (no high point for hot air to escape). 28. *Two gable-end vents required for whole-house fan were installed with two hammer holes through OSB with nearly no airflow passage possible. After asking builder to fix, the house wrap, studs and significant OSB remained in place over the vent and had to ask builder to again fix. Visible house wrap was removed but double stud and significant OSB/house wrap remains over each vent. Vents currently operating at approximately 20 percent design capacity. 29. *Material strength issue: Concrete footings and floor poured after substantial mixing time due to site not being prepared prior to concrete truck arrival. The first concrete truck arrived in the area 15-minutes before the crew arrived (homeowner saw lost truck driver one road over from house), then some of the crew went to search for concrete truck and the rest of the crew started putting in stakes, etc. (preparatory work was not complete prior to concrete arrival). While the first truck waited for the preparatory work to be completed, the second truck arrived. Trucks had approximately 70 minutes travel time from the plant. The first wheelbarrow full of concrete was taken from the first truck a minimum of 2 hours after mixing began, with a longer wait for the second truck. Floor cracking is evident throughout basement. The builder has refused to fix or otherwise compensate. * Seeking financial compensation. However, the primary objective of this complaint is to protect the safety of others. All items in the Basis for Complaint were identified by the homeowner. The homeowner who assembled this complaint is a registered professional engineer (TN and MI) but does not claim to be a structural engineer. The homeowner does not claim to be a builder or building inspector. Statements made above are the best determination by the homeowner from research. The word ‘code’ herein refers to International Residential Code, required by Carter County, TN – IRC year of code referenced may vary based on homeowner’s ability to locate information. Both homeowners will defer to independent inspection as to whether items above constitute a violation of building code. Further, the homeowners recognize that an independent inspector may identify other items not listed above.
    - Ben S.
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