Courtesy of First Coast News -- NBC 12
August 28, 2007
FL-- There's a back wall hanging over its slab by more than two inches.
Threaded rods that should be hidden in the foundation are exposed. When
concrete from the slab was tested, it failed two of the three pressure tests.
All those problems are found in John Norman's home, which is less than two
The home passed inspection. The builder, by law, is allowed to hire private
inspectors. That is what Drees Homes did.
City inspectors now say the flaws should have been caught.
The state's department of Business and Professional Regulations has been
investigating the situation at least since January of 2007.
Last week, the DBPR said its investigation was complete.
"I thought the evidence was overwhelming and they'd find some fault with
builders' actions," says Norman.
The DBPR says that's not the case. In a letter to Norman, the department
says,"....the evidence is not sufficient to support a disciplinary
action...(under)Florida construction industry regulatory statutes."
"....this decision in no way indicates that your complaint is not
The letter also says, "Building code violations are not within the
jurisdiction of the department...(and it should be)addressed by the local
"It shows me there are very few consumer protections for homeowners in
the state of Florida," says Norman.
The local building department is aware of the issues and now so is State
Senator Stephen Wise.
First Coast News has learned the Senator has contacted Norman.
Wise was unavailable for comment on Monday, but his staff did tell First Coast
News Wise is aware of the investigation results and he is disappointed.
Drees Homes declined an interview on camera, and released a statement saying,
"While Drees acknowledges the fact that Mr. Norman's case has been
dismissed....we continue to hope that he will give us permission to address
his concerns.... We stand ready to make the needed repairs on his home just as
we have agreed to do all along."
Norman says he won't allow Drees back at his home. He says he tried to work
with the company for a year and a half and was not happy with the results.
The DBPR letter also tells Norman to contact an attorney in order to receive
civil remedies. Norman has and some of his neighbors have as well.
Norman also says the DBPR says it is still investigating the inspectors who
passed Norman's home and his neighbor's homes.