Doublespeak, Lies & Banging

All appears well and fine from the outside of Aspen-216.DeNova Homes excels in the art of doublespeak, when it comes to the ongoing problems at Aspen-216, Emerson Ranch in Oakley evidenced by a visit from their Warranty Manager and Director of Operations last Thursday. This appointment, followed a condescending email response from their Executive Vice President, Lori Sanson, in which I voiced my disappointment, frustration and anger with this home since we closed escrow on March 17. This meeting was to revisit a list of open items on our punch list, the most notorious being a bathtub surround and new issues DeNova Homes continues to deny are problems and up to their standard of “quality and integrity.”

There was no formal introduction of who this “boss” was, not that it made any difference appearing annoyed to even be at our house, deal these problems. We started in the kitchen, with cabinets having misaligned corners, dings, damage and trim pieces colored with a black felt pen instead of replaced. After a visit from Barbosa Cabinets, we have a pile of cabinet pieces in our kitchen, but nothing had been fixed with the exception of a cabinet door and alignment problems. Barbosa did make mention of the “lack of quality” and “poor installation” to my wife during their initial visit.

IMG_1525A bigger concern for us was the upgraded tile back splash, which appears to have been installed too fast, possibly incorrectly with some slippage occurring during the setting of the tile. Grout lines vary in size with no real consistency giving a wavy effect around the kitchen walls. There are lines of grout discolored in and around the sink, as well as cracked tiles. DeNova Homes and no issue with either the tile or grout. Some doublespeak by the Warranty Manager guaranteed to get the tile people to examine the tile and grout. Honestly, I expect no fix to occur on this $5200 upgraded back splash.

Discussion transitioned to the granite counter top; the seams, sharp edges and overall a poor finishing. This was an item that had been mentioned previously, as it had sliced my wife’s forearm open when we first moved in. The edges of granite are rough and poorly cut with two noticeable seams. In our previous house, we paid for new counter tops during our kitchen remodel and had a single seam that could barely be seen, cut at a 45 degree angle on our U-shaped counter, as well as a single piece around the sink basin. Not with DeNova Homes, possibly due to time and cost, our corner seam is set at a 90 degree angle with an unsightly seam directly in line with the faucet. Again, this from a company who has “a commitment to quality and integrity” and boasts “attention to detail.” This could not be further from the truth.

From the kitchen my wife discussed about the unfinished work that previously occurred, in which wall and baseboard trim or doors were sanded, but never repainted. This stemming from a very poor quality paint job through out the entire house; doors to trim, walls to ceilings. Coats of paint so thin, you could see through the paint and even areas that weren’t painted at all. I had never seen so many runs in paint, I guess that’s “quality and integrity” at it’s finest. No effort made at the time of painting to fix the initial problem, my 10 year old could have painted the trim more professionally!

outdoor_outletOutside it was a dirty, chipped concrete patio that was NEVER cleaned prior to moving in, with stucco and overspray, an unsightly mess. The outdoor kitchen ledge, which houses the gas grill isn’t level and the cutout and finish on the granite are poor, worse than the kitchen. In an attempt to cite DeNova Homes on a code violation I involved the City of Oakley in an electrical issue, which saw the use of a 3 outlet adapter used in a two outlet receptacle because of the BBQ, warmer and mini fridge. Three electrical items, only two outlets. Shocked to see their “standard” I felt it was a hazard and showed the city inspector. They said they would contact DeNova Homes. No idea if ours will be corrected or if they continue with the same “quality” practice in the houses now under construction.

Upstairs to the main event, the master bathroom tub surround. I stand by my comment, the master bathroom exemplifies the entire home. Even though their Executive Vice President, Lori Sanson disagrees, “hope you understand that does not speak to the overall quality of the home.” Yes, it does! You resolve this problem when it was initially reported, which was BEFORE escrow closed and I am not “banging DeNova on social media” as Brock Rose, Director of Operations implied. Since this problem continues to exist appearing DeNova Homes believes there is nothing wrong with the “standard” install I have very few avenues to warn other potential buyers of the lack of quality in DeNova Homes. May even require the services of Michael Finney of 7 On Your Side.

bathtub_03Everyone who has seen this tub surround agrees. The quality and craftsmanship is unacceptable, no one has sided with DeNova Homes on the bathtub surround. The install is poor. The quality is poor. The craftsmanship is non-existant! You can talk about “all homes are constructed with thousands of natural and manufactured materials by human hands,” but we am not looking for perfect. Never have been. We are after acceptable and the bathtub surround is NOT acceptable and doesn’t meet expectations. Place the blame on me, since I should have stopped the sale or not closed escrow until this problem was addressed. Yet we were assured time and time again through the construction process the problem would be take care of before we moved in, by the salesperson and construction superintendent. Surprisingly, it wasn’t.

bathtub_04The discussion with the Warranty Manager and Brock Rose, Director of Operations ended in the master bathroom. His demeanor, like that of Lori Sanson in her email response was arrogant and condescending. As my wife continued to call the quality of the master bathroom “shit” time after time, Mr. Rose spoke up, which included comments about how she was “banging DeNova on social media.” I quickly corrected him that going to social media was solely my responsibility. This followed by the insinuation I was “lying” as other new DeNova homeowners at Emerson Ranch were happy with their DeNova built home, except us. That could not be further from the truth. I’ve spoke to four homeowners next door and across the street who aren’t pleased with DeNova Homes.  This includes a family I met last Saturday, just moving in and the exterior paint scheme was not what they were sold. Continue to boast about “commitment to quality and integrity…attention to detail…values” in your mission statement. We have not experienced it, neither have some of our neighbors.

google_dontbuydenovaAfter these comments were made, I was done wasting time with these DeNova Homes representatives. As per our warrant agreement I will continue to file service requests for items requiring attention for the first (hopefully our last) year of ownership. However I will not deal with the unprofessional, arrogant, condescending people of DeNova Homes. I will leave my wife to schedule and confirm the appointments. It’s unfortunate, but many of these continuing issues could have been avoided, along with the #dontbuydenova and stance I have taken against this developer. There needs to be some level of quality expected when you purchase a new home. We were never looking for perfect, but we didn’t even get acceptable. For the rest of the story you can search The 6th Floor for ‘DeNova Homes‘ as the story begins on August 1, 2016. There are 76 images that have been made public on my Facebook page to warn potential buyers.

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  1. Have you checked into any state, county or municipal laws that may cover some of this?
    This is criminal really. Lawyer? Class action?

    SO wish you had not closed until some of the more obvious issues were addressed.

    • I know there is language written in to the warranty book I have about no legal action, must go back and check it closer to see just how it reads. A neighbor across the street was looking to go to small claims court ($5000 max) for repairs that were not being addressed. Never have heard from him again to see if he resolved his issues or not.

      Do I wish we had time and didn’t close escrow? Yup, live and learn. In the meantime we are paying the price for doing so. It should have NEVER gone this far. I should not have to be talking to the VP of the developer to get things done at an “acceptable” level. Surely their quality control is not what it should be, as the list of the problems that we had was ridiculous!

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