Homeowners upset with workmanship | SummitDaily.com
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Homeowners upset with workmanship

BRECKENRIDGE – In Karen Humpherys’ Gibson Heights home, the sinks leak, the floors are uneven, the roof leaks into the siding, the siding is warped, the stairs creak, the toilet’s chipped and the bathtub’s cracked.

And Humpherys said she’s tired of waiting for the Summit Housing Authority (SHA) to fix the problems. SHA developed the homes to serve the so-called “worker bee” population of Breckenridge.

“We don’t have $10,000 sitting around in the bank to repair these things,” Humpherys said. “They tell me to wait, to be patient. I’m tired of being patient. This is just ridiculous. It’s an embarrassment.”



Some of the repairs, she said, are on a “punchlist” of items the contractor has yet to finish. Others are warranty items that normally are covered by the modular-unit factory firm that made them.

“I don’t care if you spend $100,000 or $200,000,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to live with crappy workmanship. I don’t want to live in this neighborhood with all these problems. No one else is going to want to walk into these problems.”



Humpherys is not alone.

Outside Charlie Hatch’s townhome, a stalagmite is growing on a piece of plywood he laid on the ground. The stalagmite is fed by water falling from his roof – and until he put the wood down, water was filling up his window well. The window well is now filled with ice, and it’s supposed to serve as his fire egress. Hatch thinks that’s poor design on behalf of the factory.

“Everything I hear from them (SHA) is, “You bought it, so sue us,'” Hatch said, referring to conversations he had with Gordon Ferris, former director of SHA. “It hasn’t changed a whole heck of a lot since he left.”

Ferris now works as a country director for the Peace Corps on Carawa, an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He declined to comment on Hatch’s statement.

Hatch cited other problems at his neighbors’ homes, including a roof leak that has disintegrated drywall, mold, broken light fixtures, sagging porches, frozen pipes and ice dams. Five houses have yet to be assembled because of water damage suffered while sitting outside, waiting for builders to pour concrete pads. Breckenridge Town Manager Tim Gagen said the houses should be complete by April after damage is repaired.

Hatch was particularly angry when a friend who uses a wheelchair visited and couldn’t use the bathroom because the door frame is too narrow to accommodate a standard wheelchair. A nearby closet door, however, is wide enough, he said.

Hatch said his problems began before he closed the deal to buy the house.

The bill to install natural gas pipes, he said, should have been about $250 but ran $900.

“They said I had a choice,” Hatch said. “Pay it or we don’t close.”

Humpherys said her patience is running out.

“We moved from Leadville, but for all this aggravation, all this money we’ve spent, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea,” she said. “I’m kicking myself that we didn’t buy in French Creek. It’s their (SHA) objective to help people live here, and they can’t even do that.”

Hatch, too, said that if he had known all the problems he would face moving into the neighborhood, he wouldn’t have relocated from his Farmer’s Korner trailer.

“The day after I closed, I wanted to put it up for sale,” he said. “Would I do it again? Absolutely not.”


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