Thanks to SD_Coastal for tippng me to this beauty, a bank-owned unit in the Seahaus condominium in La Jolla’s Bird Rock.  Barratt American was the developer who has since gone bankrupt, making homeowners pursue other entities to fix the construction defects.

Kelly covered this in her article from July, 2010:


An excerpt:

Homeowners assert that while the complex was being constructed, the beams used to frame the buildings were exposed to the winter rain and got wetter than recommended, but weren’t thoroughly examined before the building’s walls went up.

A smaller group of homeowners now filed another lawsuit last month piggybacking on the homeowners’ association’s claims, saying the developers and construction companies fraudulently concealed interior water damage from homeowners to compel them to pay top dollar for the ocean front units.

It’s not unusual for new condo owners to sue their developers for construction defects like leaky windows and electrical wiring issues. Seahaus owners make those allegations here, too. But what makes this litigation unusual is that these homeowners are talking about the safety and soundness of their homes’ skeleton.

And the questions about that safety and soundness aren’t easily answered. Finding the answers involves opening the walls of the complex.

Instead of sawn wood or steel beams, Seahaus’s skeleton is made of “parallel strand lumber” beams — long strands of wood from small trees glued together to make beams. The homeowners’ lawsuits allege that the developers knew the rainy winter of 2005 was exposing the buildings’ frames to rain, that they knew the beams could become an unglued mushy mess.

“They told me everything was going to be top-of-the-line, it was going to be nice, it was going to be great,” Alkasabi said. “But this place is full of nightmares.”

Alkasabi said he was told before he bought that the structure would be framed with steel beams, not the strand lumber. The condos would be soundproof and top-of-the-line, he said.

Alkasabi said he’s seen mushrooms grow out of stucco because of moisture inside. He refuses to walk under certain corridors. Inspectors found three colors of mold growing in his living room wall, he said.

When he complained about a construction issue in one of his units, he said, the developers quickly planted a palm tree squarely in front of his view.

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