Structural integrity questioned after framework of new home falls due to wind

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Buying a home is one of the biggest investments most will make. That’s why when strong winds brought down a new home under construction Saturday night many started questioning the structural integrity of their homes.

Though this home was in the early stages of being built, residents took to social media to express concerns about the builder and their history of lawsuits and complaints.

The developer in question is D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder by volume in the United States since 2002. According to the builder, Horton has operations in 104 markets in 32 states across the U.S. and closed 81,749 homes in the 12-month period ended March 31, 2022.

Residents are concerned this weekend’s minor wind storm is proof these homes are not built to the same standard as other homes.

The Better Business Bureau website shows D.R. Horton has thousands of complaints in their files, but they still maintain a B+ rating.

The company has also seen its share of lawsuits. Ten south Louisiana attorneys are suing D.R. Horton alleging their homes can’t withstand Louisiana humidity. Other lawsuits claim D.R. Horton Homes aren’t built to last and allege homes have construction defects.

Katie Galen, regional director for the BBB says when buying a new home construction experts say it’s also important to do your research when selecting a home builder.

“That includes coming to our website, coming to and checking on different contractors, checking on people who provide all these types of services because again this is such a huge investment,” said Galen.

Galen says while she can’t specifically speak to D.R. Horton’s complaints she says many factors go into the number of complaints a company may receive.

“How many locations does the company have, where are they spread out over, does that contribute to the numberthe , of complaints,” said Galen.

She also recommends going through each complaint one by one so you can get a full scope of the issues others are having.

“Read through the complaints, have they been resolved were they issues that have to do with contracts, with warranties,” said Galen.

KBTX took residents’ concerns to Horton. The developer was unavailable for an on-camera interview but released a statement.

KBTX also reached out to officials with the City of College Station. City leaders say despite some complaints, Horton is in good standing with the city.

“This contractor has certainly gone through the steps they need to be able to be able to build here,” said Brian Binford, City of College Station Certified Building Official.

Binford says homes go through a rigorous inspection before any family is allowed to move in.

" Mechanical, the plumbing, the electrical as well as the structural foundation, framing and then ultimately ending with a building final inspection at which point we’ll issue a certificate of occupancy which states the property can be legally be occupied,” said Binford.

While this home falling down is concerning, city leaders say it happened prior to any parts of the inspection process.

”I wanted to make the clear distinction that this is not really a comparable product to one that’s being inhabited out in that area. It’s apples to oranges at this point as far as the stages of construction and the steps that are taken to get from the point this one’s at to the point where a complete product is at,” said Binford.

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