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Community and Q&A

Is our builder responsible for the wrong height of the ceiling?

Courtney Spitz | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

We walked through a model home, liked the floor plan and choose to build that plan. Our home and one other home (with the same floor plan) were being built at the same time by same framers.

The ceiling in the hallway was a certain height to accommodate crown molding. The project manager came to us and said the crown molding couldn’t go all the way around because of the height of the arches, so we could have it come around and stop on each side of the arch or lower the arches.

We, not being builders, didn’t put it together until after closing on our home and moving things in that the ceiling in that area was framed 4 inches lower than according to the plan, thus the REAL reason the crown molding wouldn’t fit all the way around.

This was done incorrectly on our home and the other home being framed at the same time. We started quickly requesting they fix the ceiling. It is a tray ceiling (is best way to explain) so the ceiling edge that is lower, we have asked them to remove and make the ceiling all one level. They said no that it was done correctly. We’ve measured the model and the same floor plans that were started after our close and those were all done correctly. We since found out that the framers that did our home and the other home incorrectly were replaced with another framer. Obviously because they know it is incorrect.

Our home is still under warranty. We have to go through mediation before maybe seeking an attorney. Will mediation help us at all?

Thank you!

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Courtney,
    To answer the question of whether the builder is responsible, we would have to read your contract with the builder.

    Were there plans and specs for this project? If so, were the plans and specs referenced in the contract? Did you review the plans and specs (if any) before you signed the contract?

    Did the plans and specs refer to the ceiling heights of your house?

  2. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #2

    Even if there is evidence of a mistake, the builder will probably argue that you accepted the modified design. Were you asked to sign a change order?

  3. Mel Tillyard | | #3

    Do you have any pictures you can post so we can see it?

  4. Dan Kolbert | | #4

    Will the 4" lower ceiling help save energy?

  5. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #5

    Dan,
    It depends which Passive House metric you use.

  6. Courtney Spitz | | #6

    Thank you all for your responses. I will check the contract to see if anything is soecific, which I'm sure it's not. My problem is 2 homes done incorrectly according to the same cookie cutter plan, then 10+ homes (our same exact floor plan) all done correctly because they changed framers after the 2 mistakes.
    Thank you again!

  7. John Clark | | #7

    IMO the difficult part will be proving that they just didn't modify the height of the ceiling after the first couple of homes were built. If your contract doesn't mention something like "9ft ceilings" then you'll need a copy of the original plans and many tract builders won't give them to you out of liability concerns. At that point you'll have to get an attorney involved, subpoena the builder for the plans, and hire your own expert to determine whether the ceiling was built as planned.

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