Action 9: Family complains about 'melting' siding on fairly new house

Family complains about siding on fairly new house "melting"

STALLINGS, N.C. — In May 2014, Jill Page and her family moved into a house that was a part of a new construction development in Stallings.

"This was brand new and never been lived in so that was pretty exciting," she told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke.

But Page said, a few years later, the siding started bubbling.

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The problem has to do with her neighbor's windows.

Her neighbor has higher-efficiency windows, called "low-e" windows, which reflect the sunlight to keep the house cool.

But the downside is they can warp the siding on other homes close by.

Page told the builder, M/I Homes, which told her to ask her neighbor to sign a form so the company could install a solar screen on the neighbor's windows.

Page said the company never said anything about the offer having an expiration date.

Like any family, Page said hers had a lot going on, so she put the problem on the back burner.

Then, the siding got much worse, so Page circled back to M/I Homes.

By that time, more than a year had passed and the builder said she waited too long.

Page said she received an email from M/I Homes saying, "There was a time frame and that courtesy time frame has expired."

"I think that I spent too much money on this house in order for it to be melting," Page told Stoogenke.  "It's a five-year-old house. These things shouldn't be happening."

So Stoogenke contacted M/I Homes and the company contacted Page the same day.

The builder emailed Stoogenke, "M/I Homes' policy had changed ... and our company no longer provided a warranty on the siding."  The company went on to say, "However, we have reached out to Ms. Page to offer our previous solution, including replacing the siding and installing a solar window screen on her neighbor's windows."

Shortly after, the company did just that.

If you're buying new home construction:

  • Ask the builder -- in writing -- if the siding will hold up against the sunlight reflecting from windows. That way you can deal with it before you close.
  • If you buy the home and have the problem follow through right away.  Don't wait.

You may be wondering about the following:

  • Builder warranty: usually only lasts about one year
  • Siding warranty:  usually has limits based on time and on what caused the warping
  • Home warranty:   may cover, but a lot of people don't get that on new construction
  • Homeowners insurance: probably covers damaged siding, but read it carefully because it may have to be from wind or other storm damage