Project: Custom Home Investigation

Custom Home: Investigation and Management
5,500sf, Pleasanton, CA

Background: The owner of this custom home hired All About Homes, approximately six years after its construction, to investigate drainage issues and water penetration at deck areas.

Approach:  We provided an initial investigation and discovered problems with the underground drainage system as well as with the flashings and water sealing of the decks.

Contractors’ Resolution: All About Homes (AAH), acted as the owner’s agent, and assisted with the negotiations with the builder and the landscaping contractor to get these issues resolved. At first neither the builder nor the landscaping contractor wanted to repair the obvious construction defects. The investigation report clearly documented there were deficiencies in each system and it turned out both contractors’ work had contributed to water pooling under the house.

An attorney was retained to file suit against the builder to ensure the statute of limitations would not be exceeded.  Once served with the complaint, the builder was willing to cooperate, and the owner was able to negotiate the correction of the drainage and flashing issues.  The attorney drafted a new contract between the building and owner, specifying the repairs to be done and re-instating a full warranty for the work performed. The builder made the repairs, and AAH provided periodic inspections to assure that the repairs were correct, in accordance with new contract, and reflected accepted construction standards.

Landscapers’ Resolution: After the builder corrected his portion of the drainage, water was still infiltrating under the right side of the house, which was determined to be from the landscaping at the rear yard.   All About Homes was able to  negotiate directly with the Landscaper on the owner’s behalf, and an means to correct the landscaping drainage deficiencies was agreed upon.  AAH was retained by the owner to provide project oversight to ensure proper repairs were made.

Management and Expertise:  This project was successful because the owner knew the importance of performing an initial evaluation / inspection to document and define the deficiencies prior to contacting the builder. The owner also realized the benefit of retaining a construction professional to assist in getting the builder and landscaping contractor to respond, the importance of hiring an attorney, and the need to negotiate specific terms of the corrections and warranties for the work.  This proved invaluable in moving the case forward.

Although the owner’s original concern was drainage under the house, AAH’s initial evaluation identified several other items which were deviated from the requirements of the building codes.  This allowed the owner to include these items in the negotiations with the builder, and ensured the construction of the house was performed in a workmanlike and code complying manner .

Improper Flashing

Water Test

Deck Leakage