Q&A / 

Water Leak New House

Brenda Steele is getting ready to move into a new house in Bentonville, AR. But before the closing, there was a water leak in the kitchen. Here's her story:

"We are under contract to buy a new home and are waiting for loan approval. We received a call saying someone left the kitchen sink on and flooded the laminate floor in the den area.

This also got into the lower kitchen cabinet. What should we expect this builder to do about this?

They say they are going to put in a new floor and they called out restoration services, but we are concerned about the dry wall behind the sink as they have replaced no dry wall. They've just pulled the molding.

I feel we bought a new house and they should pull the cabinets and counter tops as they are not granite.

What is reasonable here?"

Brenda, this is simple in my opinion.

The builder needs to REPLACE anything that had water touch it. The only thing I'd say that doesn't require replacement would be the floor joists, wall studs and any wood sub-floor that's not damaged.

Joists, studs and sub-flooring are made to withstand water during construction.

Here's the bottom line. This should not be costing the builder a penny. He should have had a Builder's Risk insurance policy in place on the house. All the restoration work, including new drywall, new cabinets, new countertops, etc. would be covered in an insurance claim.

You didn't contract to buy DAMAGED GOODS. It's unreasonable for you to pay the full price of the house when it now has a stigma attached to it.


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