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Unread 06-07-2020, 05:41 PM   #1
Elle H
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Help, what to do? New construction, Bad tile job?

Hi all, can you help me with what I should do? I am under contract for a new construction Pulte home. I am not an expert by any means but the tile job looks SO shoddy to me. Just unprofessional. The cuts are uneven, jagged and too short, leaving large gaps along the walls. There is lots of lipping throughout. He even grouted in a broken tile. I checked another house they are building and it looks similar. I feel like their tile subcontractor is just not good. I’m attaching some photos. What are your thoughts and what should I do?
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Unread 06-07-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
Elle H
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Adding a photo of the tiled room for context
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Unread 06-07-2020, 06:29 PM   #3
Gozo
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Talk to Pulte directly, and bring the lead contractor in on the issue. Depends on how badly you want the home and how badly they want to move inventory. Depending on how the floor was laid, it could be rough to fix; but from what I see, it looks like the tiles will come up easily.
In the 5th picture of the first post, I was thinking the crappy cut would be covered by the trim, but there’s already trim there. I usually paint/stain the trim before I put it in, but hopefully the painter will be neater than the tiler. On the wide view pic in the second post, usually even bad tiling looks nice, but in this picture, am I seeing huge gaps around the bottom of what look to be a bar seating area, or is it just the optics of the photo?
If they won’t fix it, see how much they can rebate you at closing on the price. Before closing, go over this place with a fine toothed comb; rarely is one subcontractor the only crappy one on the job.
Then again, I’m not a pleasure to work with when I’m on the customer side of the deal, so this just my thoughts on it....
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Unread 06-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #4
Redlands Okie
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If they put the building up for sale then the tile work must meet the sellers / builders requirements. Other similar homes in the area with similar problems by the same people just reinforces the idea. As already suggested its likely to have more issues if you look closely. I suspect nothing in the contract requires you to accept shoddy workmanship.
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Unread 06-07-2020, 06:43 PM   #5
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Elle,
Try talking to the Pulte superintendent, I don't think you will get far. I worked in the residential construction trades here in Michigan for 35 years (painter) but never directly for Pulte. I have been in many of their homes and never saw much I liked. I know this may not be what you want to hear, but many years ago they were, for a lack of a better term, "run out" of Michigan for many years. Pulte is now back here building many subdivisions and their reputation proceeds them amongst the trades, but not for many home buyers. They build houses their way, not the purchasers way. I wish you the best of luck, but don't get too hopeful for a proper resolution.
John
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Unread 06-07-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
Elle H
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Thank you all for your feedback. Yes, there are fairly large gaps around the bar area. The tile there was cut so poorly. They have put on trim that covers most of it but not all. There are quite a few sections throughout the house where even the trim doesn’t cover the gaps because they are so big.

I agree it would make sense to paint the trim first before applying but honesty a lot of what they have been doing doesn’t make sense to me.

I now understand better why they have a bad reputation. This wasn’t the only issue I noticed. They also stuccoed the entire home the wrong color for instance. I am hiring an inspector to check everything else.

I emailed the Pulte field manager about 30 of these photos and he said they are going to fix it but I have severe doubts they know what they are doing enough to do a better job. I think that one photo that shows the tilted tile that lips was one of their attempts to fix.

So if I am reading your responses correctly, it seems the badly cut edge tiles can be pulled out and replaced with better cut tiles, right? I will push Pulte to do that.

The lipping and also uneven grout which I feel is throughout the house and only noticeable when I look for it.. is there any hope for that?

So can you confirm for me.. These aren’t photos of an acceptable job, right? It’s reasonable to ask them to fix it? Thanks!!
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Unread 06-07-2020, 07:56 PM   #7
Redlands Okie
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I suspect its going to be expensive and difficult to resolve many of the issues your concerned about. That is not a lot of motivation for them. While your documenting and seeing what they will fix correctly you might start checking with a legal 3rd party about that contract. The builder likely has lots of experience with this situation from the sound of things. You need the same for your problems.

I am assuming your buying a new home. Sounds like your going to get a remodeled one if your not careful.
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Unread 06-08-2020, 07:01 AM   #8
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Yes it's a crappy job. I'm an amateur, and I could do WAY better than that.

All your other questions can be answered by reading your contract with Pulte. You've already signed it, but still. Read it carefully. There will be language about condition, acceptability and even resolution - prolly arbitration.

First step is to get the Pulte Manager onsite. Look him in the eye and ask him if he would accept quality like that for his home. Wait for his answer, and record it.
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Unread 06-08-2020, 07:07 AM   #9
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Welcome to the world of mass-produced houses. Tract homes are too competitive and the quality just isn't there.

I was getting calls from a nearby development about loose floor tiles and moisture ants in the shower on 2-5 year old homes. Even if they were under warranty the fix was always whatever was easiest and only solved things short term.
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Unread 06-08-2020, 07:34 AM   #10
Lazarus
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I don't particularly like the "Stair Step" pattern of the tile...but it's a lot easier than a proper "random" pattern, eh?
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Unread 06-08-2020, 07:23 PM   #11
jlbos83
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I know a lot of tract homes are like that. We have one (not Pulte), it's not perfect, but nothing like that. The house across the street was done with different dye lots. They pulled it all out and redid it before the sale went through. So sometimes, there is such a thing as service.

Good luck!
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Unread 06-08-2020, 08:05 PM   #12
Elle H
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The Saga Continues.

I emailed the Pulte Field Manager with all my concerns and photos. He called me back and said so many reassuring words like we’ve fixed those items and we understand you are paying half a million for a house, you want quality, don’t worry I have been doing this for 20 years, I want the best for your family etc etc

So he told me to go see what they’ve done tonight. What do I find? This newly laid tile WITHOUT spacers. It looks awful. Plus on another issue the toilet they installed today is leaking so maybe there will be water damage and mold to add to the mix. I texted him to have someone come out and address the water leak immediately but I have low hopes of it happening. Oh and look what I noticed underneath the water leak.. chipped tile. Fun.

In other fun news I also found out they framed the shower wrong so they had to hack off part of the wall today so they could fit it in.

You have all helped me understand I need to lower my expectations with Pulte but I’m also wondering if I should just walk away. I’m getting an independent inspector and also a lawyer.
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Unread 06-08-2020, 08:29 PM   #13
smifwal
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$500000.00 for a house that has food stamp quality craftsmanship, I wouldn't be able to run fast enough,and I'm pretty fast. Think about the things that you can see and now think about all the things you can't. Then when there is something that needs addressed for warranty they send in the same clowns that messed it up in the first place. I would walk
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Unread 06-09-2020, 05:17 AM   #14
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I have to disagree with Shawn. Don’t walk away from this house.
To quote Arthur in “Monty Python’s Holy Grail” when confronted by the rabbit......”RUN AWAY!”
Seriously, you have to put a value on getting a good night’s sleep. Being $500K in the hole will cause some sleepless nights, but worrying what’s going to break next and “did get ripped off?” becomes the stuff of nightmares and ulcers.

I had to add this when looking at the last picture: Elle, is this ceramic tile or vinyl/composite flooring? How’ they drill screws into ceramic tile (forget the why) and if it’s not, how’d they have problems making a decent cut in vinyl? Those are screw heads next to the water leaking from the toilet, right?
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Last edited by Gozo; 06-09-2020 at 05:25 AM.
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Unread 06-09-2020, 08:39 AM   #15
Elle H
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Thank you Shawn and Jeff for your feedback. I am seriously considering walking/running away. I totally agree with the unknowns of what else could be wrong. All I’m seeing is surface stuff wrong and there is enough to make me very concerned. I’m going to meet with them this morning. I also hired an independent inspector and have a lawyer referral if needed.

It’s ceramic tile. I’m not sure if those are screw heads. It looks like it but it could also be random debris. I’ll check today.
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