Thinking of purchasing a manufactured home? The following is the letter of complaint sent to the Service Manager of Fortune Homes, AKA Dutch Housing, Champion Enterprises:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon and Lori"
To: "Karen Zylman" ; "Melissa D. Taylor"
Cc: "Karen Stephens"
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: New damage
> Dear Ms. Zylman,
> In accordance with the requirements to file a complaint with the Michigan
> government in regards to our home, I submit to you the following complaint
> about my house.
> Model Year: 2001
> Mfg: Fortune Housing
> series: Signature
> Model Name: AHCF860E
> Serial #: 06082N
> Purchased from: Sunrise Homes Inc.
> 3500 Inwood Circle
> Kalkaska, MI, 49646
> Purchase Date: 10-23-2002
> History of Home: Numerous retailer contacts and repairs.
> Manufacturers Work/Service Order # 150204, 153648, 155094, 155776, 160064,
> 161035, 161695
> Initial problems with the home, and steps to correct (if any):
> *Door adjustments and door knob replacements (by retailer) safety concern as
> we were locked into rooms and unable to get out due to the doorknobs
> malfunctioning. Not one doorknob, but several throughout the home.
> Plumbing problems, water line leak (repaired), drain leaks (replaced), water
> in belly of home (drained), bathtub repair due to crack, bathtub replacement
> (master bath), kitchen sink leak (repaired) with water damage to lower shelf
> Linoleum damage in kitchen (due to debris migrating through)- replaced
> Linoleum damage in bath one due to cuts during build- replaced X2 Still
> have floor damage due to water damage not addressed during repairs of leak
> or while replacing the lino.
> Counter top damage due to screw coming through - replaced
> Counter top damage due to failed repair of marriage line cabinets- replaced
> *Sagging of marriage line cabinets- failed repair, then replacement safety
> issue/falling hazard
> *6 window replacements due to cracked seals. safety issue. windows clouded,
> difficult to open, allowing weather in
> Exterior door replacement due to damage
> *Marriage wall lumber replacement due to twisting and broken lumber within.
> Safety issue, bowing, twisting and breakage due to roof failure.
> *Ceiling crack repairs throughout. Stub wall ceiling had large hole,
> ceiling repaired. (safety issue:caused by trusses migrating through the
> ceiling, roof failure. First complaint/repair done shortly after move in,
> second complaint made recently when the damage reappeared)
> *Furnace failure (repaired under warranty by furnace manufacturer)
> safety/comfort issue
> *Electrical ground wire failure resulting in melted outlet (homeowner called
> electrician and paid for repair ) This was a fire hazard that required
> immediate attention. safety issue
> *Thermostat wires found stapled through by factory during build (replaced by
> homeowner after complaints of heating problems were made to factory but
> cause was unable to be found by their contractors) safety/factory defect
> *Improperly labeled GFI outlet by kitchen sink (regular outlet with GFI
> label) safety issue
> Ongoing/current issues with home:
> **Complaints about roof. First complaint made to retailer at move in,
> several complaints made thereafter to manufacturer. We were first told that
> the dips and valleys so noticable were 'normal'. I was told that it was my
> imagination. Factory contractors were sent up to investigate and repair.
> Repair was substandard and resulted in re-occurance of damage in area
> repaired. Further investigation by roofing contractors found that the roof
> was failing, decking was soft. Factory 'inspector' (Mr. Oliver) told me
> that this was how roofs were supposed to be (the roof sinks noticably when
> walking on it) and that there were simply a few 'high' trusses. Further
> inspection indicated that there were several broken trusses, places where
> the trusses fail to meet the roof decking by an inch or more. The factory
> repairs made previously to the roof show improperly repaired trusses,
> further weakening the structure. safety/factory defect/structural issue
> *Secondary damage caused by the roof failure include crushed wallboard,
> bowing of door openings, and lumber bowing or twisting now pushing out the
> wallboard. Trim and battons are popping off throughout the interior of the
> home from the roof weight they have been subject to. Cracks have become
> apparent in the ceiling in 3 locations, and 'nail pops' are apparent in
> several rooms from the ceiling sagging below the trusses. The ceilings
> around the perimeter of the home 'roller coaster'. The window in bdrm 4 now
> screeches horribly and is becoming difficult to open. Ongoing damage yet to
> be determined and not addressed in this complaint due to unknown status.
> safety/manufacturer defect issue
> *Sliding glass door. Multiple attempts by retailer and factory to adjust
> the door to make it function properly. Further investigation reveals that
> the header above the door has failed and is bowed down. Door was not
> properly caulked during build, and allows water to seep in under and above
> it. Door was not installed level, creating additional problems in ingress
> and egress, as the door is so difficult to open and close, and the center
> support of door is cracked from roof weight. safety/defect issue
> Recent email indicates that you would like the name of the insurance agent
> (which I have supplied in the past) and the structural engineer (which I
> didn't have until last Friday), and indicates that I haven't 'honored' your
> request for the written report (which I've kept you updated on, and which is
> not yet available). The insurance agent is Greg MaGuire 1-800-262-3555.
> The structural engineer is Ross Ard (?? this last name is in question, but
> I believe this is what I was told). Mr. MaGuire has spoken to the
> structural engineer and received a briefing on his findings, which I've been
> told would be passed on to you via Mr. MaGuire.
> In keeping this as straight forward as possible, you have indicated that you
> are "willing to send up a crew to the home to repair the roof according to
> HUD code and our truss supplier's approved repair method." Due to our
> observations of previous repairs by factory contractors, we are leery of the
> quality of repairs, and need to bear in mind that we've been advised that
> due to the number of trusses in question, repairing the trusses will only
> add weight to a roof structure that is already compromised. I also feel the
> need to note that as of our last conversation, you had not as of yet been
> able to ascertain what the 'approved' method of repair might be, as you had
> not received a response from your supplier (Banks?). Please remember that
> you have already been advised that we currently have an opening in the
> ceiling that needs to remain open due to the fact that the insurance
> adjuster has advised us not to add more weight to trusses that have already
> failed, and that this opening is to remain until further notice. Proper
> repair would be to replace roof/ceiling and damage noted.
> It is our opinion based on the information that we have, that this home is a
> 'lemon' based on the previous and extensive repairs already done or
> attempted, and the ongoing issues that affect the safety and integrity of
> the home. We would like our home either a) properly repaired, back to the
> original new condition (including the roof structure and headers being
> adequate in design and integrity for the size of the home, as well as the
> proper repair of the secondary damage) or b) our home replaced with a new
> one at no cost to ourselves. We purchased our home based on assurances
> and representations made by the manufacturer (You demand the best, we build
> the best! The high quality of manufactured homes, unlike site-built homes,
> is regulated by the U.S. government under a national building and safety
> code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
> The national code means design, construction, durability, strength, fire
> resistance, energy efficiency, and more, are all federal matters. The homes
> are built well-Uncle Sam makes sure! Stringent Codes by Design. Manufactured
> homes are built to a set of standards as tough as those facing the
> site-built home builder.)
> These are found on your web site www.fortune-homes.com and we feel that the
> you should now live up to the reassurances and 'promises' that it
> advertises. The issues that we are making complaints about are not
> 'cosmetic' in nature but instead safety issues that need immediate attention
> to avoid a potential tragedy. Additional work required is a direct result
> of the roof failure, and needed to maintain the value of our home (if the
> roof failure had not occured, there would be no damage to be repaired,
> thereby it is a direct result whose cost should be absorbed by you.)
> Please respond within 10 days of receipt with a detailed response as to your
> intentions of satisfying the complaints detailed herein. I will be sending
> out a copy of this email, certified mail, for your records within 48 hours.
> As per a previous request, via email in care of Missy Taylor, on 5/18/2005,
> please send me the address and contact name to snail mail a letter in re: my
> home. I would like to assure that I have the correct information to direct
> my concerns to.
> Thank you for your time and effort expended in resolving this situation. I
> look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
> Lori A George
> 8187 Tower Rd NE
> Kalkaska, MI 49646
> CC: Karen Stephens/ HADD representative/MI
> The Kalkaskian/Leader
> The Record Eagle
> Fox News
> Copy for homeowner file
> Copy for Michigan Building Codes/HUD complaint
BUYER BEWARE!! Know the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home. Check out the differences in building requirements. Check out whether the home you've chosen is adequately built for the area you're in. contact other buyers. In our case, the factory's 'inspector' for state complaints and lawsuits uses heavy handed tactics and veiled threats to make you back down (I have a copy of the letter of complaint about Mr. Oliver on file and available on request). Never ASSUME anything in regards to a companies reputation! As homeowners, we invite any interested parties to contact us, walk through our home (which still has the ceiling down so you can see the roof construction, 2X2 trusses, 24" on center for a 32X80' home).
If we had it to do over again, we'd save a bit longer and go stick built. Now, all we want is for the company to step up and provide us with what we THOUGHT we'd gotten to begin with... a safe home that has the value that we paid for.