HVAC Breaking News

Oct. 31, 2003: Shoddy New Homes Studied By Florida Media

October 31, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two central Florida mainstream news sources, The Orlando Sentinel and WESH-NewsChannel 2, have been examining flaws in new homes for a year. They have now started reporting the results, and plan to do so for a 10-day period that started with an evening news broadcast Oct. 30.

According to Sentinel staff writer Dan Tracey, "The new homes of greater Orlando are riddled with problems large and small - everything from major cracks in the exterior walls to leaky windows and roofs; rooms that are too hot; and toilets that aren't even anchored to the floor."

An overview of the report published Oct. 31 cited the following problems in the 406 new homes examined:

  • Cracks and weather-stripping flaws around windows and doors, 64 percent of the houses;

  • Wall, floor, and deck cracking, 61 percent;

  • "Significant" HVAC system problems (ductwork leaks or creases, corrosion of vents and air handlers), 50 percent;

  • Mold, 20 percent;

  • Poor drainage, 18 percent;

    Home inspectors and representatives of government agencies blamed the shoddy construction on slap-dash work in a booming new home construction market, as well as on an unskilled labor force. Builders blamed the problems on poor homeowner maintenance practices. According to the report, one builder "dismissed leaky air handlers in five homes as ‘acceptable.'"

    While it would be easy to dismiss the report as a ratings-grabber, its statistical legitimacy is hard to discount. According to Tracey, engineering students trained by a professional home inspector, himself with nearly 40 years' experience in the field, "inspected 406 homes built in 2001, randomly selected from the nearly 18,000 new homes sold in six central Florida counties that year."

    According to the report, the problems have showed up in homes constructed by both tract and custom homebuilders. However, "there were not enough custom homes in the survey to draw statistically valid conclusions about the quality of the work."

    The News will follow this report as it develops. If you live/work in the central Florida area and would like to weigh in on this topic, please contact Barb Checket-Hanks at barbarachecket-hanks@achrnews.com or 248-244-6467.

    Publication date: 10/27/2003

  • Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

    Recent Articles by Barbara Checket-Hanks

    You must login or register in order to post a comment.



    Image Galleries

    2014 ACI Home Performance Conference

    The 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show was held in Detroit.


    NEWSMakers: Doug Dougherty

    Doug Dougherty, president and CEO of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) joins the program to discuss the latest happenings with GEO, including the drive to get included in state and federal definitions of renewable energy, plus the future of geothermal.  Posted on July 25.

    More Podcasts


    NEWS 07-21-14 cover

    2014 July 21

    Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

    Table Of Contents Subscribe


    Some in the industry are calling for the EPA to halt production of R-22 as of 2015. What do you think?
    View Results Poll Archive


    2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

    Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

    More Products

    Clear Seas Research


    Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


    Magazine image
    Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


    facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con