This page is under construction as time permits
Lennar Pinehurst townhome on Heritage Loop, purchased 28 June 2017
1. the windows work, and pretty much the doors too;
in my Surfside Beach house the contractor did not shim any of the doors or windows.
2. the screens fit, but some of the spring loaded things that you have to pull
to release the screen are jammed up and very hard to pull down.
3. the Lennar workmen left most (but not all) of the User & Installation manuals.
On my Surfside Beach house they threw them all in the dumpster
and each time I went to see the house I had to go dumpster diving to reclaim them.
4. Lennar put actual light fixtures (2x60watt LED bulbs) in the rooms instead of cheap-junk half-hots.
5. Lennar put an additional switch and wiring in each room for future/optional addition of a fan/light.
6. Lennar put a nice insulated plug in the small hatch-hole that goes up into the attic.
however, the ceiling is 9 feet, standing on the top step of an 8 foot stepladder
still leaves a big step up into the attic
and when you push the plug up into the attic, there is no room to put it
other than the small piece of particle board that you need to step onto from the ladder !
(a 10 foot step-ladder would not fit in the room,
and if you could buy a 9 foot step-ladder, it would be difficult to maneuver into place)
7. Lennar did caulk around various places for both looks and insulation.
8. The main house water cut-off is a quarter-turn valve in the first-floor centralized Laundry Room.
1. No hot water.
We basically have no hot water in the town home.
The water heater is a gas, tankless unit, placed outside of the house.
It turns on the gas when the water-flow is above a certain level,
so if you run the hot water slowly you will never get hot water.
If you run the hot water full blast,
it takes minutes and gallons of water to get warm water,
then more minutes and more gallons to get hot water.
The pipe from the water heater is too long, it goes under the
concrete slab to a 'manifold' under the stairs, then from there to the various
sinks in the house. It takes a minimum of 2 gallons to get warm water,
and after that another 2 gallons to get hot water because the pipes are too
long and absorb so much heat out of the first 2 gallons of hot water.
The water heater was initially set at 105 degrees F;
I raised it 5 degrees F each day until I got
to 125 deg. F; but after a few days I raised it 5 deg. F for 2 more days to
135 deg. F to warm up the pipes faster. We only waste the 4 gallons of hot
water for our shower, we are stuck with cold water at all of our sinks.
We catch the 4 gallons of cold water in 2 small buckets and use them to
flush the 1.28gpf toilet, which is another problem.
And when you turn off the hot water, you are left with 2 gallons of hot water
in the pipes, for which you paid the gas company to heat and did not get to
use. To the best of my knowledge, the pipes are uninsulated, the 'hot' water
goes cold again in mere minutes.
Tankless water heaters have been around since before 1960, but they were
meant to be used at the source. For example, in France in 1963, they had a
tankless gas water heater mounted right above the bathtub.
I don't remember how the kitchen sink got hot water, I have to ask.
Now with a tank water heater, gas or electric, hot water flows into the pipes
no matter how slow the water is running.
I called the City of Myrtle Beach building director and tried to explain that
installing a 1.28gpf (gallons per flush) instead of a 1.6gpf toilet
does not make up for having to waste 4 gallons or more every time that you want
hot water somewhere in the house, and that they should be looking to the
overall design to reduce water usage. The director didn't care at all,
he said that they just followed code, no matter how stupid and wasteful it is.
In the below photo, taken in the kitchen sink, the bucket is 9 3/4" in diameter,
the water measured 7" deep just to get WARM water, not hot water.
The water lines in or below the outside water heater froze in the below 20 deg. F cold snap January 2018.
The 2 garage spigots froze even though I put foam covers on them.
2. Exterior color: Lennar did not permit selection of exterior colors.
I was unlucky and got the darkest color.
Not only will this drive up my cooling bills,
but my garage is so hot that I don't even want to park my car in there
much less store anything in the garage in the summer.
On 12 October 2017 at 6PM with heavy cloud cover, I touched one of the exterior walls;
my first thought was that there was a fire on the other side of the wall
but I heard the neighbors talking so I knew that there was no fire.
Choosing such a dark color in the South is totally irresponsible,
especially when the builder does not allow the homeowner to select the color !
2a. Garage is much to hot, no airflow: the garage has 2 roof vents, the smaller one was completely blocked,
they had butted the sheets of 'wood' up against each other and not left any space.
I complained and they had a man rip off the roof vent, cut a hole, and put the thing back together with 6 nails and some caulk. I have no faith that it will stay on in a big wind; and the garage is not any cooler.
In my Surfside house there was a noticeable draft from the garage up to the garage attic as the heat pushed air out the roof vents; in my Lennar garage I cannot feel any draft at all.
On the other garage roof-vent there is some light coming in but I can see that they put shingles over the gap, I will try to repair that myself in the future.
I had the same problem with my Surfside house builder, each time I complained about something, he sent someone that did an even worse job,
and caused more damage than the first bungler; so even though I am totally incompetent, I tried to fix things myself in order to prevent additional damage,
and often did a far better job than the 'professionals'.
'Professional' means that they get paid for the work, it does not mean that they are any good at it.
3. Garage is TINY ! Many of my townhome neighbors park in their driveways,
and I assumed that this was so that they could use their garages for storage; only slightly true.
Once I got enough stuff out of my garage for my wife to put her Toyota Corolla in the garage
I realized how small the garage is, and that the neighbors larger cars would not fit in the garage!
There is inadequate space both front to back, and side to side for opening car doors without hitting the other car.
4. light switches: bad placement, most are left handed and a far reach from the doorway.
In the master-bedroom closet the switch is behind the clothes instead of next to the doorway.
5. Lennar painters painted over needed stamped information on exterior doors. Painted over the bathroom fan,
painted over the wires everywhere, I scape or sand paint off the wires when changing fixtures or switches,
both the copper and sometimes the insulation, because they painted over all the wires, I cannot tell which wire is white and which black
they have all been painted white.
6. (see # 6 above in the 'Pros' section)
When the time comes, how is a new air-handler going to be put into the attic
through the 19.5" x 27.5" house attic hatch hole ? I think that the original air-handler was put into the attic
with a crane before the roof was put on.
7. Lennar put an additional switch and wiring in each room for future/optional addition of a fan/light
except in the 1/2 bath where I needed one.
the half bath has a Panasonic FV-05-11VK1 fan installed with the optional motion sensor.
It turns on automatically when you enter the room
and will turn off automatically after 20 minutes of blowing your heated/cooled air out of the house,
even if you just stick you head in to look at something.
The painters painted over the model # plate, the CFM switch, and everything else.
Disconnecting the Motion Sensor causes the fan to stay on indefinitely, as far as I can tell.
There is an additional $25 module that can be purchased to reduce the 20 minutes of run time
but it is hard to plug in, and has fixed settings of .5 minutes, 5 minutes, etc.
and after your set time period is finished, the Motion Sensor will restart the cycle again if you are still in the room.
I was talking to a neighbor about the fan and she said that the fan went on and off with the
light switch because the electrician wired it wrong.
I needed to know where the model # was on my fan and
there was only one unit left that had not been painted
so I went inside to look and there was no fan at all,
either they sheet-rocked over it, or forgot to put one in.
Did I mention that there was no or no effective supervision ?
After I found out from the manufacturer where the model # plate was, I scraped off the paint
with my fingernail and took the serial # right off !
The black spot in the photo below is where I took a cover plate off, it was painted white also.
8. Seagull can-lights: hard to change, no flexibility, no whiter colors, do not support illuminated (locater) light switches.
9. Black Shingles: absorb too much heat, white or light colored shingles are preferred in the South.
10. The 'hurricane panels' mandated by the City of Myrtle Beach to be mounted over the windows
in case of hurricane, were a waste of wood.
The heavy particle board (most neighbors threw or gave them away) had pre-drilled
holes which did NOT line-up with the screw-openings on the windows; the holes in
the wood were centered, the screw-openings on the windows were NOT centered;
also on the particle board for 3 of the first floor windows the pre-drilled holes
were one inch to low. The first-floor hurricane wood required a lot of hole
changes, the particle board was much too heavy to put on the 2nd floor windows.
I think that only 3 townhomes out of more than 60 tried to use the hurricane boards;
the two Pinehurst models only did the first-floor windows, the Augusta model has only
two 2nd floor windows, the owners paid someone to re-drill the holes and put them up.
11. 2nd floor floor entertainment room:
about half of the rooms floor on the stairs side flexes downward when walked upon
especially approaching the stairwell. I weigh less than 200 pounds and walk softly;
but it moves even when my wife walks softly in the area, about 130 pounds.
I didn't think about it too much until I leaned a plastic clock against the wall,
and each time I walked to the top of the stairs there was a big squeak;
the squeak was the clock edge sliding up and down against the wall !
12. We were not given a copy of the house plans, wiring, or water-lines.
As far as I can find out there are no water-line plans !
13. No supervision during construction.
14. Overall bad design. For example, a 1.28gpf toilet vs a more normal 1.6gpf, saves .3 gallons per flush;
yet we waste 2 to 4 gallons of water each time we want hot water !
Also, little or no thought was given to making the unit easily maintainable, repairable, or modifiable.
15. No standardization: it seems that every unit is different depending on who
actually did the work. I took a photo of my own water manifold, then
wanted another photo (I can't remember why) so I took a photo of the manifold
in the next building, which should have been identical to mine, and the
manifold was done very differently.
Also the electric in the kitchen was done very differently,
receptacles and phone jacks were on the opposite side !
16. Poor acoustic and physical insulation/isolation. I can easily hear the neighbor kid running
up and down stairs, jumping around in the 2nd floor, playing basketball in the courtyard, etc.
17. Neighbors dryer vent blows lint into my courtyard. This should have been mounted on the other side
of the roof, only a few feet away; I think that on some units it was, see # 15 'no standardization'.
18. Warranty: forget it.
If they can't do it right the first time, why should I think that they can do it right the second time ?
19. Bad concrete/cement work. Numerous driveways & courtyards ripped out and redone.
poured cement over trash and uneven dirt which causes cement to crack ?
Failed to install expansion joints which were laying in the mud a few feet away ! (Buyer saw this and made them redo it).
Again, NO supervision !
20. The dish-washing machine was pushed in right over all the construction garbage,
just a statement of fact, not a complaint.
My complaint is that the dishwasher instructions call for 120 to 140 deg.F hot water
which, see # 1. above, is not going to happen any time soon. I don't know how much water the
dishwasher pulls in at any point in its operation, but the first 3 or 4 gallons are going to be cold water.
And if it hesitates a few minutes between cycles, that means more cold water again.
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