Archive for the ‘Problems’ Category

Drip, drip, drip…

You may recall that, among other issues we were having, one was a leaking window.  It was ultimately resolved, after being identified as an issue with ice, gutters, and thaws.  So imagine our surprise when we recently experienced another leaky window.  This one can’t be contributed to any ice dams, or Spring thaws, since it happened in the Fall.

To be fair, this is not a warranty issue, as it made it appearance some four-plus years after the home was built.  But nonetheless, it’s disconcerting.  What other issues lurk around our Unmistakably Premier Home?

So, can anyone recommend a reliable handyman that may be able to take care of our current issue?

Before It Comes To This…

One of the more interesting insights from Danielle Serino’s October 20th story about UPH was the lack of government oversight into Mr K’s operation. That’s not to say the County or the State should be breathing down a business owner’s neck, but once an issue is discovered, shouldn’t the authorities take some action?

One suggestion offered was to begin submitting police reports to the Medina County Sheriff’s department.  The thought behind this was that once filed, it would trigger the County Prosecutor’s office to begin their own investigation.  We’re no legal experts here at Mistakably Premier, but we were a bit hesitant to endorse this action, seeing as, in our minds, our issues with UPH were more civil than criminal in nature (with a few rare exceptions).

Before we sounded the battle cry, we made a few phone calls to see what the correct course of action should be.  A call was placed to Mr. Dean Holman’s, Medina County Prosecutor, office, and our suspicions were confirmed.  Unless UPH explicitly took money for promised work not completed, all warranty issues are of a civil matter.  So, all of the problems we’ve experienced land squarely in that category.

If you believe that your issues with UPH are criminal, then we suggest that you do follow up with a police report.  There are many sites out there that explain how exactly to do that.  But before you proceed, you may want to check out this link, which gives some basic guidelines.

Bang! Next Case…

Looks like Mr. K will have to find some other legal loophole to hide in.  As of August 27th, his attempt to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy for his 7972 Ridge Road LLC has been dismissed.  So, as the Notice of Dismissal states:

Creditors have a right to proceed against the debtor or the debtor(s) property according to applicable law.

Meaning, PNC can either sue the pants off Mr K to get their money, or take the property away out right.  What will the next card to fall be?

He Loves Trash! But Does Mr K?

Building houses can be a messy business.  An estimate by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), states 8,000 lbs of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000 square foot home.  So where does all that go?  In a dumpster, of course!  But then what?

We recently got a lesson when a local business informed us of yet another Mr K situation.  Typically, a builder will hire a hauling company to leave a dumpster on site, and, when the container is full, haul it to a landfill.  UPH did just that with Amos’ Hauling out of Wayne County.  Unfortunately for them, it’s been several months since Mr K and UPH have paid for their services.

For months, containers have sat full on-site, some with occupants, while payment has been delayed.   Understandably angry homeowners would contact the haulers as to why, and get the honest answer “we haven’t been paid.”  When word got back to UPH about this, they asked Amos’ Hauling to stop.

Several attempts have been made to contact UPH, but excuses range from the inability to pay by credit card to lost invoices.  Needless to say, the owners of Amos’ Hauling have had enough of Mr K’s garbage – so they gave it right back.  Since UPH still hasn’t paid for pickup and disposal of the waste, technically, it’s still Mr K’s stuff.  So Amos’ Hauling has decided to give it to him – at his home.  Mr K now has a dumpster sitting in his driveway, in hopes it will remind him to pay his bill.

Mr. K’s New Neighbor

However, instead of signing his name on a check, he has signed a police report.  Seems he’s not too happy with his friendly reminder.  Amos’ Hauling has responded with their own police report which outlines their position in detail.  Hilarity is almost certain to ensue.  Stay tuned…

Here at Mistakably Premier, we’ve been watching for any signs of UPH’s impending bankruptcy.  Looks like we’ve been looking in all the wrong places.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  We’ve been on the lookout in PACER, the online Federal repository of court cases, for anything related to Unmistakably Premier Homes.  What we forgot to look for is any of Mr. K’s other holdings, specifically, 7972 Ridge Road LLC.  You may recall that 7972 Ridge Road LLC is the company that is listed as the owner of the UPH as-of-now foreclosed offices on 1392 High Street in Wadsworth.  In any event, 7972 has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

So how did we stumble onto this bit of information?  Loyal reader, and UPH victim, Brian (not his real name) sent us the heads up about an article in for the tip regarding the article on Crain’s Cleveland Business online, published today.  It’s an interesting read, the highlights including:

  • UPH is “the target of more than $1.6 million in judgments in Medina and Cuyahoga county common pleas courts. The largest is a $1 million judgment to satisfy a note filed by Fifth Third Bank.” [Ed note:  We think they actually mean PNC (as referenced later in the article).  If that’s the case we brought you this story before Crain’s did!  Pulitzer perhaps?]
  • “The sale [of the 1392 High Street property at Sheriff’s sale] only netted one $990,000 bid, according to the bankruptcy filing.”
  • Liberty Township is hoping to “nab some money that Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine will make available to help local governments cope with foreclosures,” hoping to “use it to demolish” an unfinished UPH home.

But the most interesting tidbit of them all was this:

The homebuilder also is the subject of a website dubbed “Mistakably Premier Homes” where dozens vent complaints about building quality or alleged nonperformance on home-sale contracts. The site has 45 names on a petition calling on the builder to honor warranties and contracts.

That’s right, our little blog and you, “the dozens”, were mentioned in Northeast Ohio’s leading source for weekly business news, analysis and commentary!  Couple this with our proposed Channel 19 appearance, and it’s like we’re the next Facebook (okay, maybe MySpace…)!

Special thanks to “Brian” for the tip!

Just so you don’t think our new-found love for UPH has side-tracked us from our stated mission, we bring you the latest in BBB grades… And it’s not pretty.  During our time documenting Unmistakably Premier Homes’ Better Business Bureau score, we’ve seen the marks get worse, and worse.  Well, my friends, it don’t get much worse than this – a big fat “F”! Uh oh…

Screenshot removed due to copyright concerns. Enjoy the picture of the puppies instead!

The good news is, there’s nowhere else but up!

Do You Believe?

In 1980, the US National Hockey team upset the Soviet Hockey team in Lake Placid, New York, paving their way to Olympic gold.  As the final seconds of the match counted down, broadcaster Al Michaels delivered his famous call,

11 seconds, you’ve got 10 seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. 5 seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? YES!

Today, we believe in miracles!  Okay, that may be a bit extreme, but today, the long awaited day of morning room painting finally became reality!  We are proud to announce that the reason this blog was created, the reason we began documenting our plight – our morning room – has finally been completed!  Painters from  GPC Improvements  arrived this morning to complete the work – and did a wonderful job at that.  We couldn’t be happier with their work.

We would be remiss if we did not mention the fact that this was organized by UPH’s new warranty man, Andy.  Ever since our meeting a few weeks back, we have noticed a substantial improvement in communication and follow through.  We hope that we can continue to provide more positive news in the future.

Now, if we can just get rid of the fresh paint smell…


When we purchased our Unmistakably Premier Home, we never thought we’d be so fortunate as to have included, at no extra cost, a refrigerator!  But unfortunately, this ice box only works from October to April, and, for the rest of the of the year, converts itself into an oven.  You may have already guessed that this isn’t a GE, a LG, or even a Frigidaire – this is an UPH signature appliance.  Interestingly enough, Colonel Klink from “Hogan’s Heros” had one, and called it “The Cooler”.  Colonel Hogan would sometimes spend 30 days in it.  We call ours the  bedroom over the garage, and spend 365 days a year in it.

We suspect the reason the room takes on the temperature of the garage below it is lack of proper insulation.  We’ve seen enough episodes of Holmes on Homes to understand how, if a garage ceiling isn’t properly insulated, the room above it is essentially exposed to the elements.  We haven’t done any exploration of the garage ceiling to confirm, but if we were betting people, that’s what we’d place our money on.

Another possibility would be the HVAC system design.  To be honest, it doesn’t seem to blow all that hot in the winter, or cold in the summer when the A/C is on.  This may also be a symptom of the improper insulation.   This wouldn’t be the first time UPH has either cut corners or outright missed the opportunity to insulate correctly.

Admittedly, we have never submitted this as a formal walk-through issue.  Chalk that up to one-part ignorance on our part, one-part problem fatigue with the rest of the issues.  Therefore, technically, this isn’t a issue we have raised with Premier before.  But since we have been writing about all the issues we have been having, we figure why not make others aware of this issue.  If you are currently building with Premier (or any other builder for that matter) make sure you discuss the issue of proper insulation of the garage – it’ll save you some heartache in the long run.

A while back we asked the question “where has Biggie S (UPH’s warranty manager) gone?”  We have heard from multiple independent sources that Biggie S is no longer working for UPH.  From the information we are able to gather, Biggie S was not necessarily a direct employee of UPH, but rather a contractor working for UPH.  The difference is subtle, but distinct.

It is unknown at this time who (or if?) will take over Biggie S’s duties.  Stay tuned to find out more!

Spring's Better Half

Ah Spring.  It means Winter’s icy grip on the weather slowly loosens, and the world blooms anew.  And, if you own our Unmistakably Premier Home, it also marks the season of ice dams, leaky windows, and water damage to your ceilings.  (This story is a long one!  So pour yourself some coffee before proceeding! – Ed)

We first noticed an issue during our first spring in our home.  We were watching TV and heard dripping coming from one of the windows in our living room.  At first it seemed as though the melting snow and ice was dripping against the window, but on closer inspection, noticed the water coming inside the home, between the transom and main windows.

Premier was quick to respond, going so far as removing the siding around the window.  However, the water had infiltrated the walls near the window, causing the tape to separate from the drywall.  Again, Premier was quick to schedule the appropriate subs to repair and repaint the walls.  We were told that a water test would be done to ensure the root issue was fixed… But it was never completed.

It seemed that all was well until the next spring,  when the water started to leak between the transom and main windows again.  This time, the finger was pointed to the window manufacturer itself – Simonton.  We’ve had issues with our windows before, but Simonton always responded quickly and professionally – and this time was no exception.   After an inspection, a a quick caulk reseal, they concluded it was an installation issue, and therefore any water infiltration was a builder issue.

Premier came back out, and concluded it was an issue with the way the downspouts from the second story roof drained and reconfigured them.  That seemed to do the trick until this spring.  After a large snowfall, and then a quick thaw/refreeze cycle, we began to notice a small stain in our morning room near the leaking window.  The stain grew quickly, and so did our ire.

Looking at the gutter near the leak revealed a large ice dam.  Another few calls to Premier resulted in one final attempt at a fix – the removal of the siding near the leak, and the application of ice guard membrane.  In addition to the ice-guard, a promise was made to repair the interior damage, which included repairing the wet drywall and re-taping, and a final repaint of the ceiling.

It appears the ice-guard has done the job, and the drywall has been repaired.  However, the stain remains.  This work was supposed to be finished mid-April:  it’s now mid-October.

The resulting stain - after the drywall patch. Click to embiggen.

So that’s where we stand – and one of the many reasons this Mistakably Premier was started.  Some questions still remain as well, like:

  1. Will the ice-guard make a difference?
  2. Will we continue to have issues with ice dams in the spring?
  3. How come the promises to fully repair the damage have not been fulfilled?
Ah, yes… Spring.