Builders Warranty

Way to go Mark Cramer…

I can’t stress enough to my clients the importance of maintaining stucco cladding.

Nice going Mark! Good to read these inspector positive stories.


The house was built in 2006, and Miller and his wife bought it as a bank-owned foreclosure this past July. At the time, his home inspector noticed a few small stucco cracks, so Miller says he called the builder to ask if the home had a warranty. Miller was told there is a 10-year structural warranty that’s good through 2016. He says he bought the home after Taylor Morrison assured him that if the stucco cracks became something serious, he would be covered.

“When we were told by Taylor Morrison that we did indeed have a 10-year structural warranty and that being a subsequent homeowner, it made no difference, then we felt confident to move forward.”

But now, home inspector Mark Cramer, an expert in stucco problems, says all of the stucco on the second floor needs to be removed and replaced. The wood beneath the stucco outside of Cramer’s 7-year-old daughter’s room is rotten and moldy. The Millers won’t let their daughter sleep in her bedroom.

“I’m not going to take a chance with my 7-year-old and her safety,” Jeff Miller said.

Taylor Morrison’s warranty does transfer to new homeowners, and it applies to structural damage. Miller says the builder told him the warranty doesn’t apply because the damage is due to a failure to caulk cracks and paint.

Crammer called that explanation, “completely ludicrous.” Crammer’s inspection report says he found numerous building code violations, and that’s what caused this mess.

“One, the stucco is too thin. two, the paper back lap is lapped incorrectly, creating thin areas which are prone to cracking, which is occurring,” Crammer said. “The intersection of stucco and other dissimilar materials such as windows lacks caulked joints to prevent water entry.”

Pop Quiz…how thick is the stucco supposed to be on a wire lath 3 coat stucco system? Don’t look it up…


Back in the day…the 80s, that was the scratch coat.

Amazing how it went from settlement cracks to numerous code violations… :mrgreen:

Scary to think how many people’s homes are rotting away behind their stucco that were thrown up during the housing boom around here. Almost makes we want to take my vibratory tool with the flat blade attachment and blow in a thin cut and stick my thin metal ruler in to measure thickness. If only…

Just bring a ball peen hammer and crack the wall once…that should do it! :slight_smile:

If you wanted to be a “Ball peen” ball breaker you could make a living just exposing this building defect. Water intrusion into building envelopes from “stucco” or “cementious materials” whatever you want to call it is everywhere and sorry to say most builders just don’t get it even though there is study after study after study out here of what not to do.

It sounds like the buyer chose to not hire an inspector prior to purchasing, relying instead on a builder’s warranty. That much moisture would have been discovered, along with the faulty stucco.


No, he had an inspection done.


First off, the article is poorly written as to an actual timeline of when all of the events occurred. Even to go as far as stating “The wood beneath the stucco outside of Cramer’s 7-year-old daughter’s room is rotten and moldy.”

Next, the home was apparently a foreclosure and sat vacant for a period of time.

His builder, Arizona-based Taylor Morrison, says his warranty doesn’t apply because the damage is due to the previous homeowner’s failure to maintain the home.

Taylor Morrison sent this statement about Miller’s home:

I would more than likely agree that it was poor maintenance and neglect instead of “numerous building code violations”.

Thanks, didn’t catch that.

And even poorly installed stucco leaks less water when caulked, painted and maintained…


My concern is what expectations clients will have with this type of story. So, am I expected to determine the thickness of the stucco? Am I also expected to report on the condition or compliance with code of the back lapping?

Damn, where was that cereal box with the X-Ray glasses?

Just wondering how long a paint job should last…Also I run across metal and vinyl windows that are hard to open or close properly with the lock latching. Is this an indication of moisture or just window adjustments?

Mark Cramer to the rescue… Again! :smiley:

I know of no one in Florida who understands the problems associated with stucco like Mark, he has personally helped me with flawed stucco issues on numerous construction projects and I am deeply indebted to his expertise.

One of the best suggestions he made to me was in purchasing the Stucco Resource Guide and I pass this on to everyone who has the responsibility to inspect stucco.

Way to go Mark!

Amazing that you can determine that from afar.

Trust me on this. The damage is due to numerous building code violations. I documented all of them in the report. Eventually, the builder will remove all of the stucco and replace it at their expense, just like virtually every other production builder has had to do when faced with the reality of the facts.

So you are a code inspector now?

Good job