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Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 in Thinking of Building? | 3 comments | Print Print

Get It Right

Hat tip to Susie for sending this in from

The new Southampton, N.Y., home of Eric and Margaret Friedberg was almost half completed when they decided to tear it down and start over because the garage was in the wrong spot.

“It’s an expensive construction course,” Jonathan Foster, the head building inspector at the Village of Southampton, told ABCNews.

The Friedbergs are both former federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York’s Eastern District. Eric Friedberg’s digital risk management and investigation firm, Stroz Friedberg, was responsible for monitoring former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn during his house arrest in New York City last spring and providing bodyguards for Bernard Madoff while he awaited trial in 2009, according to TIME Magazine.

Foster said the first floor was nearing completion, and structural steel supports were in place to hold up the second floor before the owners saw it and realized the construction workers were using the wrong site plan.

“The owner says, ‘No, I don’t want it there. I want it like we’re supposed to have it,'” Foster said.

And down it went.

The Friedbergs are not enjoying their new found publicity.

“Thank you for your profound interest on where my garage on my tiny family lot should go,” Margaret Friedberg told today. “I’m so glad this is more important than the presidential election.”

According to building department records, the home will cost $2 million. It will include 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms over 3,869 square feet. Plans also call for a 544-square-foot pool.

Nevertheless, it is one of the smaller homes on the block in this upscale vacation town on Long Island, the town’s building officials said. Mrs. Friedberg agrees.

“It’s not a fancy block in Southampton,” Mrs. Friedberg said. “My home in Winchester is twice the size.”

The New York Post reported the construction error to be about pool placement, but Mrs. Friedberg told that the problem was the garage was built in the wrong place.

“I’m a formal federal prosecutor,” she said. “And someone wants to know where my garage needs to go on a tiny family lot.”

The home will be less than a mile from the beach, Foster said, adding “This area at nighttime, it sounds like the ocean in your backyard.”

Building department documents indicate that the house will have cathedral ceilings and a fireplace.


  1. darwin award to somebody for sure.


  2. The Darwin awards go to people who find creative ways to remove themselves from the gene pool, either through death or through the elimination of their reproductive capabilities.

    This is just a major planning screw-up.


  3. Prima facie evidence that someone has too much money (but it’s their money to burn, so rock on).



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