NORTH WALES, Pa. (CBS) — Cutler Group is the only name in the suit, but experts we spoke with say that these issues are currently being found in thousands of homes produced by many of the area’s largest builders.
Pennsylvania has filed suit against the largest privately owned residential builder in the Delaware Valley. The Office of the Attorney General claims that the David Cutler Group systematically failed to comply with codes and standards in the installation of stucco.
“They may have followed the letter of the code to follow that to a T, but they still didn’t make a waterproof house.” said Bill Dare.
Dare is a home inspector who specializes in stucco testing. He says he’s done extensive work in Cutler Group developments. Photos show just how devastating the repair process gets. “Many times, stucco repairs exceed $50,000 to $100,000.”
Dare says the expensive issue may be more widespread than many homeowners know but that since the damage has been done, repairs don’t need to be rushed unless you’re selling or suing.
“If your home is going to leak and rot and fall apart it’s not acceptable,” said attorney Steven Farlie, who has represented affected families. He explains that there is a strict 12-year statute of limitation on filing suit against a builder in Pennsylvania.
And many of these homes are approaching 12 years aren’t they?
“They’re right there,” Farlie said.
The attorney general’s lawsuit seeks damages for homeowners. Farlie and Dare agree that other large builders in the region are also plagued with stucco problems that aren’t always easy to recognize.
“We’ve tested some of the worst looking stucco on the planet and found perfectly good houses and we’ve tested some of the most beautiful stucco and found very big problems,” Dare explained.
Homeowners who believe they may have had issues can reach out to the Attorney General’s Office even if they already paid for repairs.