Lea and Mark Tingley's house never should have been issued a certificate of occupancy, the chief building inspector for Cabarrus County told the Observer.
The house had code violations that were missed when the certificate was issued in 2001, said Scott McAnulty. He said the department lacks the resources to inspect every new home at all the necessary moments in the construction process.
The wooden walls of the Tingley home start too close to the ground, McAnulty said. The same problem can be seen in other homes in the neighborhood, he said.
Robert Boucek, a building inspector hired by the Observer, said poor landscaping allows water to pool outside many of the homes. That's not a building code issue, but the combination means the wood soaks up the water. The result is rot and mold, Boucek said.
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Boucek found mold in the carpets and moisture along the inside walls of the Tingley home.
Boucek also noted vinyl siding nailed on too tightly; shingles that overhang the roofline, making cracks and leaks more likely; and untreated wood used on the outside of homes.
The effect, Boucek said, is a young neighborhood that "looks like it's already 40 years old."
In a written response, Beazer defended its products.
"Beazer adheres to stringent building standards and follows strict processes, reviewing construction activity on a constant basis," Beazer wrote. "Each home undergoes a series of quality inspections and is reviewed and approved by government building officials."
The company said it had not received "a significant number of warranty issue-related calls from homeowners in the Southern Chase community."