When David Sweeney and his family moved from Tooele to their new home in the Anderson Ranch subdivision in Grantsville, he said they were excited for the newly constructed home.
But the experience of new homeownership quickly soured for Sweeney, who said he has had problems totaling into the tens of thousands of dollars since purchasing the home built by Compass Point Construction in 2014.
“We were excited, you know,” Sweeney said. “Anybody would be to build a new house … It’s just been a headache.”
Issues with the home on Saddle Road included an exterior door at the rear of the home with daylight visible above the top. Gaps on the rear door have caused mold to form along the base of the door inside the home, which Sweeney showed the Transcript Bulletin during a home visit last week.
“Both sides are rotten and I don’t know what it’s doing to the floor yet,” Sweeney said.
In the master bathroom, Sweeney said he spent extra to upgrade the tile surrounding the bathtub and shower. After dealing with leaking water in the bathroom, Sweeney said he discovered a section of tile in the shower did not have grout and the tub was not properly braced.
The leaking water also damaged a section of the bathroom floor near the door to the master bedroom. Sweeney said he received a bid for repairs to the bathroom of about $15,000.
While he expected he would need to make minor repairs like dealing with exposed nailheads or some caulking, Sweeney said he didn’t expect to be making thousands of dollars of repairs on a new, $269,000 home within five years after it was constructed.
“It kind of ticks you off after a while,” he said.
Sweeney was among three Anderson Ranch residents whom spoke at the Grantsville City Council meeting on Feb. 21. More than a dozen other residents also attended the meeting in support of those speaking out, based on a show of hands at the request of Councilman Tom Tripp.
Compass Point Construction owners Jeff and Tami Harris said homeowners had differing opinions on what was covered under the warranty of their homes and their Kaysville-based business is not at fault, in an email received Wednesday.
“The issues with the other homeowners that we were aware of did not fall under the home warranty that was included in the home or fell under the responsibility of a homeowner in regards to upkeep and personal ownership of the property,” the Harrises’ email said.
Compass Point defended its eight years of building homes in Grantsville and the Harrises said they are proud of the homes they have built in Tooele County. The email said some homeowners had “unrealistic expectations” as they helped move through the building process.
“It is unfortunate that these homeowners are not happy with the product that we built for them,” the Harrises said. “However, they are entitled to their opinion and that is just what it is, is an opinion. We can do our best to set realistic expectations and educate our homeowners the best we can, but we also realize that there is a potential that we won’t satisfy everyone.”
One of the residents who spoke at the Feb. 21 council meeting was James Rasher, a Grantsville resident since 2005, who moved to a home in Anderson Ranch last November, which was constructed by Salt City Construction. He said he submitted a punch list of repairs three months ago and has had difficulty getting action on the items related to his home.
After posting on an Anderson Ranch Facebook group, Rasher said he was flooded by responses from other residents dealing with cracking walls and concrete, flooding basements and other concerns.
“The people of Anderson Ranch have learned to live with these issues and that is just not right,” Rasher said.
Dave Munford, president of Munford Marketing Group and its construction company, Salt City Construction, tells a different story of the interaction with Rasher. Munford said Salt City Construction allowed Rasher to close early on his home before the home was completely finished at Rasher’s request, which resulted in a lengthy punch list of items.
Munford also said there is misinformation about the connections between Compass Point and Salt City Construction. He said he served as the real estate agent for Compass Point Construction but was not involved in the construction of the homes.
Munford said Compass Point fell behind on making repairs for homeowners and when he and homeowners pushed Compass Point to complete the fixes, Munford was fired.
About eight months ago, Salt City Construction started building homes in the Anderson Ranch subdivision, according to Munford. He said Salt City Construction uses different subcontractors than Compass Point and is distinctly different but some residents have said they’re the same business.
According to the state Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, Farmington-based Salt City Construction was registered back in Sept. 27, 2012, with the registration most recently renewed last August.
Munford said he lost two deals to sell homes built by Salt City Construction as a result of Facebook posts from angry Anderson Ranch residents who lump the companies together.
Anderson Ranch resident Randall Graff said his experience with Munford was positive and Munford did everything he could to help him with his home built by Compass Point. Graff made a special arrangement to have the exterior of the home constructed so he could finish the interior himself.
Graff had other issues, however, which included his home being constructed with the wrong roof. He said he paid $10,000 more for the different roofline and dormer offered in a Heritage II model home, but Compass Point built a Heritage I with the dormer added on after. Despite Graff pointing out the error early during the construction process, Graff said it was not addressed.
Graff provided the construction plans included in his home, which showed a Heritage II roofline and dormer. Due to the different style of roofline in the final build, Graff said the dormer added to his roof is split, causing a 1.5-inch crack that has caused flooding in his home.
During construction, Graff said he also spoke with Grantsville City building inspector Mike Haycock about various deficiencies, including cracked trusses, which failed inspection and were addressed. Graff took several hundred photos throughout construction to highlight issues like gaps below poured concrete.
Other Anderson Ranch residents cited similar issues noticed during construction that were not addressed by the builder.
Wendy Starling Gardiner said she paid an additional $4,000 for vaulted ceilings in the living room and family rooms of her home. Gardiner said she was told midway through the construction process that the ceilings could not be vaulted by Jeff Harris, but was still charged.
While visiting another home in the neighborhood with the same floorplan, Gardiner said she saw they had vaulted ceilings in the same rooms.
Other residents mentioned issues with cracks on walls and concrete, flooding through basement windows and poor soil compaction. Some filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
Sweeney and Tara Baker both described exchanges with Jeff Harris about issues with their homes where they were told it wasn’t like they were building $1 million homes.
“To us, $250,000 is your forever home,” Baker said. “… It doesn’t matter what you pay for your house, it’s your home.”
With a number of issues adding up, Anderson Ranch residents who spoke with the Transcript Bulletin said they approached the city council in February in hopes of getting some kind of assistance.
“To fix our homes would be great,” Gardiner said. “At bare minimum, stop letting them victimize other citizens of Grantsville.”
During the Feb. 21 meeting, Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall asked residents to get together and compile a list of problems with their residences. At the March 7 meeting, Marshall said he had only received three punch lists from Anderson Ranch residents so far.
Marshall, Grantsville City Attorney Brett Coombs and Munford met following the Feb. 21 meeting. Coombs said the complaints against Compass Point and Salt City are an issue between residents and the builder. He said the city’s building department reviewed those homes and found deficiencies that were identified by the building inspector and were brought up to code by the builders.
In their email, Jeff and Tami Harris said all of the homes were built to state code and received certificates of occupancy from Grantsville City.
But for residents like James Rasher’s wife, Jennifer, the problems with their homes remain a major concern.
“Had we known you were having these problems, we never would have bought the house,” Jennifer Rasher said. “We had no clue.”