Builder put window in wrong place

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We are building a house long distance, about 8 hours away (military move). Some friends of ours went to the house this past weekend to take some pictures for us.
The house has a room on each side that comes out from the front of the house. Each bedroom has a two connected windows on the front. Both of the windows are supposed to be centered on the wall. On one side the windows are centered the other is not. It looks like it is off- center by at least two feet.
I have contacted my realtor or the builder about this problem yet because I am unsure how to go about it. Every issue that I have had so far has been treated like "nothing to be bothered about."
The house has all the siding and drywall up. Although, the drywall has not been finished yet.
What should I do? The un-centered window bothers me a lot. I guess I could plant a tall bush on that side of the house to distract from the error. We will only be living in the house about 4 years. I do not want to do anything that will keep us from moving in the house on time. (about 7 weeks).
Thanks for your help.
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Depending on your contract, is really IS no big deal: You tell them to fix it and they do what you say. They didn't build the house according to the plan, so they don't have much choice. Also, depending on your contract, they shouldn't have any trouble getting it done on time -- they just have to hire extra workers.
If I understand your description, your house will look unbalanced. You might have trouble selling it.
Call your representative NOW!
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Yeah, right. They don't have much choice. Except maybe to keep the deposit and tell you to get lost. What planet are you on?
First, what evidence, other than the buyer saying so, is there that the window is in the "wrong" place? And even if a window is off from where it's shown on some document, how much are you willing to spend to try to prove it on the chance that you might win?
Don;t get me wrong. If the window is substantially off from where it's supposed to be, the buyer has a valid issue and it should be fixed. However, anyone saying it's no big deal is an idiot.
Also, depending on your

LOL, what does the contract have to do with how much trouble it is to get the job done on time? Does it say if we screw up and it's a lot of trouble, we have 6 mths, but if it's less trouble we have 1 mth? And wha t does any of that have to do with the questions at hand?

Oh, so you're not even sure you understand the description, but you know it's no problem?

There is no record of what was said on a phone call. You should call the builder AND send the builder via mail with a return receipt a letter stating your issue.
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In which case, you simply don't pay them the final installment until it's right, and if they won't make it right, you call the contractor's board, and they arbitrate. If they find in your favor, they have the contractor do it right, or hire another, and tack it against his surety bond.

Blueprints are actually pretty simple. If the window goes 16'8" from the left corner, and it's not there, it's WRONG.

For a couple of guys to move a window at this stage IS NO BIG DEAL. Anyone who thinks it is doesn't know anything about construction. It's done all the time. They built the whole friggin house, I'll bet a dollar they can move a window.

I can see you don't have a lot of experience with this, do you?
Steve
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 12:04:13 -0700, "Steve B"

Exactly. We have called back framers to fix and RO, so we could set the right window.
I'd like the builders take from the OP.
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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So, you're familiar with the laws governing builders in the OP's state? And you're sure it's a slam dunk she;s gonna win arbitration, provided it's even provided for under the local laws and contract? And the OP hasn't even stated what, if any, evidence she has that the window is in the wrong place to begin with. We don;t know what the building plans show or that she ever saw them. We don't know what any sales materials she relied on show. We don't know what the model, if there is one, looks like. And we don;t know if there are any other homes of that model and where their widnows are. BTW, most people wouldn't say withholding payment, likely delaying your move-in, and having to go to arbitration is "no big deal."

So, you've seen the blueprints BEFORE telling her it's no big deal? And you know the contract doesn't have a clause that talks about what deviations the builder is allowed and for what reasons?

At this stage? The window is in, the siding is done, the drywall is done. Except for paint, it's complete. Sure they can tear it apart and redo it. But the OP already told you that the builder has been unreponsive on other issues, that are very likely a lot less cost and trouble to fix than this.

I have enough experience to know that it's wrong to tell someone that it's no big deal that a window has been framed, installed, sided,and drywalled in what they think is the wrong place. Especially when it wasn't even stated what basis there is that the window is in the wrong place, other thand the buyer's opinion.
Now, again, a disclaimer. I wouldn't want a window that is clearly in the wrong place either. But, before I assumed it's no big deal, I'd find out what all the relevant facts are. .
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I really don't have to know ANYTHING. Since you know EVERYTHING, I have you to do it.
Steve
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On Apr 30, 2:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I said that moving a window is no big deal, particularly in new construction, or in a 100 year old house for that matter. That's insane to tell this gentlemen that anyone who thinks its no big deal to move a window is an idiot. It happens countless times and any contractor with half a brain and a couple of tools can do it. A smuck and a duck can do it. What kind of contractor or builders do you know...the lazy bastard types that are just looking for the money. We can turn a 1200 sq. ft. cape home into Graceland in 1 week, but we can't move an existing window...gimme a friggin break man. Kris, if you want the window moved, it can be moved by any qualified contractor.
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There is the possibility that the picture is a bit deceiving depending on the angle and position it was taken. If you think there is a problem you should absolutely go see the house and inspect it. 8 hours is a long way but I'm sure it's a considerable investment and if you think there is a problem with the construction you should see for yourself and consult the builder face to face on the property and explain your concerns. New construction certainly comes with a set of building & architectural plans which would easily tell if the window is in the correct location or not so there really shouldn't be any argument. The plan measurements are what they are; there is no "wiggle" room. But if it's not in the right spot, you are certainly entitled to have the problem rectified. If on site with the builder, he/she can walk you through the plans. If it is a window location issue, although it would take time, should be able to be moved to the correct spot without much problem particularly since it is on the front of the house and there should be nothing behind those walls blocking the move such as pipes. The builder will definitely have to take into consideration the electric wiring, etc that may be behind the wall, but this should not be a problem to move if needed since the sheetrock will come down and expose the area and any adjustments will be made at that point. Of course if the builder gives you problems you do have the new construction plans, etc, so you do have legal remedies, but hopefully it won't come to that. One thing though, it is possible the window is in the correct spot and built according to plan and it was just something you didn't focus on when you originally looked at and approved the design. Remember, they need to build it according to the plans, if they are wrong, they MUST fix it irrespective of the cost & time to them. Hope it all goes well for you.
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Is it possible they centered the window on the inside wall, and not on the outside wall? What did the blueprints show?
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Off-the-cuff; I wouldn't just accept this. I would call the builder and ask him to check your plans and the actual measurements.
He can correct one window early , if in fact it is wrong. Better for him to fix it now than to find out you won't close on the house because the window is wrong.
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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I like Oren's style. Let them check the plans and the house, and they may well say, It's wrong. Do you want us to move it?, and you will say, "Yes, please. Thank you.".
But read my other post, further down, ready in a minute or two.

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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 11:01:10 -0700, kris3432 wrote:

A level headed chat with the builder should rectify the problem. It's no big deal to redo the window especially if they built the house in the first place.
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I don't think it is possible to tell if this means: "It's nothing you should be bothered about so why are you bothering us? It doesn't require any fixing." OR "It's no bother for us to fix it and we will, so don't let it bother you."
What is the builder's attitude?
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Sorry I wasn't clear. Anytime I call about an issue they act like my issue isn't a big deal... nothing I should complain about. Like the builder was going to move the laundry room wall another three feet into the garage, and didn't do it. But, I was told by my realtor that since he wasn't charging us for this change there was nothing I could do about him not doing it. It was also a verbal agreement, and was not in the contract... so it was a lesson learned for me. Also, he placed a door opening in the opposite direction that the plans showed... when I called about it and spoke to the realtor I was told that the plans were just wrong.
It is hard to say what the builder's attitude is. Unfortunately I have very little direct contact with the builder, since i am required to field all questions through my realtor and she fields them through his realtor. Every question I have had has been like a game of telephone.
The window not be centered, just bothers me. The plans show it centered and that is the way I want it.
Here is a link to the picture of just the side of the window:
http://s155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/dawn3432/?action=view&current=housefront.jpg
Link to picture that shows both front rooms/windows: http://s155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/dawn3432/?action=view&current P_0952.jpg
Please let me know if you think I am being overally picky.
I plan to call my realtor in the morning.
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kris3432 wrote:

http://s155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/dawn3432/?action=view&current P_0952.jpg
If the plans are (and it appears it should be) for the window to be centered on the outside, then there should be no question and I'd demand it be made to match the plans if that's what you want. It's enough out of symmetry that it could be an issue on a resale, I'll agree.
As an aside, the arrangement seems absurd, but if you're somehow contractually obligated to deal that way, then I guess it's so. I would make the phone call but follow it up w/ written (and not e-mail written, but snail-mail written w/ delivery confirmation to both that the window location doesn't meet the specifications of the plans and you expect it to be corrected. As someone else said, if the plans are clear and it's not where they say it belongs, then it's wrong -- end of story, what they say is/isn't a "big deal" has no bearing whatsoever on the discussion. Don't let them sidetrack the issue -- "it's wrong, fix it"
"But, it's only a few inches."
"It's wrong, fix it."
"Nobody will pay any attention but you."
"It's wrong, fix it."
...etc., etc., etc., ...

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I intended to make one more point and noticed this little comment that I thought worth a brief response to, also...
The only thing you've mentioned so far I agree with the realtor/ builder on is the first of these -- if you didn't get a change order, then despite an agreement verbally, there is no recourse. OTOH, if the plans show the door hung the other way from which it was hung it is just like the window position -- unless you agree (again in writing), the plans are the controlling document. If it really should swing the other way based on traffic flow or even if you only want it the other way, it's his responsibility to make it so according to the plans. If the plans were "wrong", then they should be changed, but they can't be changed unless you approve.

Actually, it's very easy to say what the builder's attitude is--it sucks, and he's hiding behind this facade and letting the realtor do his dirty work for him. The realtor is just as bad and in cahoots as they have a sweetheart deal going here. Which leads into my main point I intended to raise earlier...
In addition to the formal notification to the realtor and builder, I would recommend a cc: to the lawyer who reviewed the contract(s) for you before you signed them. (You _DID_ get them reviewed by somebody on _YOUR_ nickel, right?) You're not intending to sue or anything, of course, but it serves to notify them you're serious and are tired of the BS excuses. And, if you did go into this w/o somebody, I suggest it's past time to get there as it gets closer to completion the details are going to become harder to ensure are completed to your satisfaction and you just might need it.
Lastly, despite the distance, you really do need to make the time to get over there and walk through and ensure things are as supposed to be. And, in the end, remember when they're running you through hoops, it is, in the end, your money they're spending.
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As noted elsewhere, I agree it the plans show it that way, that's the way it should be and my other responses point that out.
_BUT_, I must note that the pictures show the house nearing completion so I'm not too surprised the builder really doesn't want to move it at this point. The time you should have noticed this was when the framing was completed and the window openings placed. By not taking the time to make a thorough verification/check then, and waiting until now, you have definitely increased the level of complexity in making the fix by an ofer of magnitude as the exterior siding will have to be replaced/repaired as well as the interior and it looks like it could possibly be far enough along that the interior trim work has been completed as well, even...
So, in some ways you're reaping the rewards of not being proactive enough earlier.
But, in the end, it should meet the plans. He may want some compensation if he moves it at this point in time. If it is to the point interior trimwork is done, I'd suspect he may have a point although that could be argued undoubtedly. Depends partly on whether there are any identified checkpoints during construction where "no comment/complaint" equals acceptance...
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http://s155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/dawn3432/?action=view&current=housefront.jpg
Sounds like your realtor has her loyalties mixed up. She does work for you and is obligated to look out for your best interest. Maybe she needs to be reminded of this. If she is being brow-beat by the builder and his agent you need another agent.
The window is wrong; now a door, and you don't like it.
Are you going to "close" on the house?
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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What makes you think she isn't just dealing with the builder's real estate agent, who represents the builder, not her? If you see a new development and just walk into the model, that's usually the case.

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