A Nassau County Pastor took to social media last week claiming the home being built for him had been compromised.
Tony Nolan of Journey Church says he thought his video recordings from inside the unfinished Amelia Walk subdivision home would prove to the building company there were problems.
During rainstorms on Nov. 23 and 25, he captured rainwater streaming through seams of the sheetrock walls of the home and openings meant for light fixtures.
Nolan says he showed representatives at AV Homes, Inc. the videos, fearing mold or water damage could manifest in the future.
AV Homes and Nolan both say drywall was installed over the home's sheetrock the day after the rainstorm but they disagree over what happened next. Nolan says the move ignored the water intrusion issue.
"What happened last night?" Nolan says in his social media video that was shared over 1,000 times. "They just taped over it."
Robert Kanjian, broker for AV Homes told First Coast News the drywall contractor had already been scheduled to begin work and completed the installation before Nolan’s complaint reached the right person.
“At AV Homes we build quality homes, we had all the areas that were affected, the drywall was removed, we had it replaced," Kanjian said. "The inspection showed it was a beautiful home with no ongoing moisture issues."
Kanjian said weather conditions are a challenge for any Florida home being built and their workers handle each issue on a case by case basis.
A skeptical Nolan does not believe the replacements took place.
“They initially didn’t want to admit there was a problem, they told me they checked and everything was fine," Nolan explained. "It's problematic to me, they want me to come to the table and sign the loan as if nothing every happened to the house. I don't have $31,700 [in deposit money] to blow, but I'm not signing on the dotted line because I realize it could cost me a whole lot more."
A Nov. 30 inspection report by BiltRite in Jacksonville cleared the home as having no problem areas. The report also calls the inspection limited, noting “it is possible that some areas containing mold growth, water damage...or other indicators of poor indoor air quality from areas that are inaccessible...”
Nolan says his communications with AV Homes broke down after he sent a December letter to AV homes demanding replacement of all areas affected by the water, an extended warranty for any future mold and mildew issues, or termination of the contract.
He says none of the demands were met. In its response, AV Homes pointed out Nolan violated their contract by being on site taking video after hours. Kanjian said this is a safety policy to protect the public.
“At AV, we take our responsibility to build a quality home very seriously...we stand behind our product," said Kanjian. "We encouraged [the buyer] to have an inspector of [his] choice inspect the property as well."
Proving what work has been done on a home can be difficult for a potential buyer.
Construction law attorney Chip Bachara, who is not affiliated with this case, says builders are typically under no obligation to show the buyer proof of their building process.
"If the contractor claims they have repaired the condition, they've probably done what they were supposed to do as long as they can pass an inspection by the city and as long as their work meets code," Bachara said. "The difficult part may come after the project is completed."
He recommends addressing any concerns with the building company prior to closing. However, Bachara said buyers are not without protections after signing the final paperwork. If problems with faulty workmanship arise after move-in, the buyer could bring a lawsuit for damages.
As the housing boom builds on the First Coast, Bachara said the industry is seeing more complaints.
"There's so much work, there's such a high demand all of a sudden again, we don't have a skilled workforce to really handle all the work, and you sometimes see sloppy work," Bachara said.