Breaking News
More () »

'It was frustrating' | Graham woman runs into multiple issues after moving into her new home

Ella Champion could not have been more excited to move into her new home until she realized just how many problems there were.

GRAHAM, N.C. — Ella Champion was beyond excited to buy and eventually move into her new home. She would go by the property every now and then when it was under construction.

“I kept up on the progress,” Champion said.

Some of the things Champion was seeing had her a bit concerned. One of the obvious items was a couple of columns on the front porch.

“I tried to trust that he was going to do the right thing,” Champion said.

The columns were slightly tilted and the square base at the top didn’t align with the cross beam. There was an overlap on one side of several inches.

“I think I had problems from the beginning; there were red flags,” Champion said.

The builder said the columns were installed properly and called it an aesthetic issue. Champion called it ugly and sloppy and showed WFMY News 2 pictures of other homes where the columns were flush on the top and bottom.

“It’s a mistake and too costly for them to fix it,” Champion said.

After moving into the home, Champion filled out a punch list for repairs or issues she needed to be fixed or addressed. The list was long and while the builder did work to resolve some of the concerns, many went unresolved.

“It was frustrating,” Champion said.

One of the biggest issues Champion discovered after moving in was that a water pipe or connection wasn’t properly installed. Water was slowly leaking onto the kitchen floor and eventually damaged the hardwood floors and some of the cabinets.

“It was a major mess,” Champion said.

This may have been the tipping point for Champion, a few days later, she contacted WFMY News 2 for help.

“The water was coming up through the (floor) crevices,” Champion said. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

We immediately contacted the builder and set an appointment to go visit Champion and look at some of the issues she was having. The builder did get back to us about the water damage and eventually fixed the leak and paid to have the floor and cabinets replaced.

Those repairs however were just the tip of the iceberg. The list of needed repairs Champion sent to the builder was long. It included craftsmanship issues, design problems, electrical problems, issues with the outside siding warping, and several other cosmetic issues.

“The mortar outside was cracking in several spots,” Champion said. “It was just a mess.”

After months and months of back-and-forth communication with the builder, we were able to assist Champion in getting many of the issues resolved or fixed. The builder agreed to replace the siding that warped, came back, repaired some of the craftsmanship issues, and filled in the mortar cracks.

As for the columns, he again stated they were not a structural issue and declined to change them. He did look at the electrical and had a technician come out but said the home was properly wired and the issue was with Duke Energy and not him.

Champion said the lights in the home will often flicker when several items are on at the same time. We contacted Duke Energy about the issue and a technician was sent to the home. Duke Energy said the issue is not on its end, so Champion is left with an electrical issue and no one taking responsibility.

While we were not able to get all of Champion’s issues resolved we did help with many and saved her thousands of dollars in repairs had she had to pay for the fixes herself.

The next step for Champion is deciding whether she wants to go to court to see if she can get the issue and a few other things resolved.

Before You Leave, Check This Out