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Maintenance tips

You want to protect your home. Take a look at these maintenance tips to make sure your household continues to run smoothly.

Sort by topic alphabetically or download a PDF version of our maintenance tips below.

A

Alarm System

If your home selections included an alarm system, you will be responsible for the final connection and activation after you close. The alarm company will demonstrate the system, instruct you on its use and provide identification codes for your family. We recommend that you test the alarm system each month.

We will correct any defective wiring for the alarm system. We make no representations that the alarm system will provide the protection for which it is installed or intended.

Appliances

For problems with any appliance, the Homeowner must contact the manufacturer directly. Always check first to insure the appliance is plugged in and that a circuit breaker has not been tripped. When calling the manufacturer, be ready to provide the model and serial number (typically found on each appliance), a complete description of the problem and your closing date.

IMPORTANT: Even if we installed some or all of your appliances, connections for all appliances are the homeowner’s responsibility after closing. We cannot be responsible for appliances that may have been moved or disturbed (which may have affected the original connection) during the moving process.

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s requirements/recommendations for each appliance in your home. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of their written warranties.
  • Keep the manufacturer’s literature in a convenient location so that you can reference the information when needed.
  • Mail the warranty registration cards directly to the manufacturers as soon as possible. Some manufacturers may allow you to register on-line.
  • Visit the manufacturer’s website or refer to the literature that was provided with each appliance and follow the cleaning and maintenance guidelines. Note: different types of appliances as well as different models may have different guidelines.

Should you suspect a natural gas leak, immediately shut off the gas to the appliance (at the shut-off valve) and contact the natural gas company for an inspection.

Appliances are not covered by the Limited Warranty. Additionally, we cannot contact the manufacturer or their designated agent on your behalf. We will confirm that all appliances are operational and surfaces are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation.

Asphalt Driveways

Asphalt is a flexible and specialized surface. Like any other surface, it requires protection from factors that can damage it.

Over time, the effects of weather and earth movement can cause minor settling, lifting, loose aggregate and cracking of asphalt. These are normal reactions to the elements and do not constitute improperly installed asphalt or defective material. By seal coating and filling minor cracks in your driveway every year, you can preserve the longevity of the surface.

Your driveway is intended for passenger vehicles only and is not intended for commercial vehicles, especially moving trucks.

During extreme heat, the weight of any vehicle can cause slight depressions or waves in the asphalt which is not considered a defect or failure of the asphalt.

Holes in asphalt are typically caused by sharp objects, gasoline, motor oil or other chemicals. Keep the driveway free from gasoline, motor oil and any other petroleum products to prevent the breakdown of the asphalt.

Thermal cracking is common particularly along the edges where the driveway meets landscaping. Your driveway will exhibit thermal cracking, usually during the first 12 months. Thermal cracking is not considered a defect or a failure of the asphalt.

The cracks can easily be filled with an asphalt crack filler material available at your local home improvement store.

  • For those homeowners who do not have a driveway installed at the time of closing, do not drive on the asphalt surface for at least two days after installation. Avoid parking on your driveway for at least one week after it is installed (normal traffic from the street to the garage should be harmless after the first two days).
  • Prohibit commercial or other heavy vehicles such as moving vans or delivery trucks from pulling onto your driveway at all times. Your driveway is designed and installed to accommodate passenger vehicles only.
  • Avoid any concentrated or prolonged loads on your asphalt (including but not limited to: landscape materials, building materials, storage boxes, etc.) particularly in hot weather.
  • Fill cracks and apply a good seal coat material at least once a year. Do not seal coat your driveway too soon after installation as the oil in the asphalt needs to dissipate. Refer to the seal coat manufacturer’s instructions before applying.
  • If you use de-icing agents on your asphalt driveway, use care not to track these chemicals onto other surfaces (concrete, etc.).
  • Gasoline, oil, turpentine, chemicals and other solvents will dissolve or damage asphalt. Wash any spills with soap and water immediately to prevent and/or reduce the amount of damage to the asphalt.
  • Exercise care with bicycle kick stands, lawn chairs, ladders, car jacks, motorcycle stands, barbeque grills and even high heels as any sharp object will cause indentations, especially during hot weather.
  • Do not park in the same spot repeatedly as this can cause depressions in the asphalt.
  • Remove snow and ice promptly. If a thin layer of ice cannot be removed, spread cat litter or sand to prevent an accident.

We perform all asphalt repairs by saw cutting and patching. This is an industry accepted method of repair. We are not responsible for visible seams or for the inevitable differences in color between the patch and the original surface.

  • Settling/Lifting. Settling and/or lifting where the driveway meets the garage floor of up to 1-1/2 inches across the width of the driveway is normal and is not considered a defect. Settling or depressions elsewhere in the driveway of up to 1 inch in any 8 foot radius are considered normal and not considered a defect. We will repair settling that exceeds these measurements.
  • Standing water on driveway. Areas of standing water can be expected and are considered acceptable up to 1/2” in depth. We will repair the affected area if water is still present 48 hours after a normal rainfall.
  • Cracking. Cracking near the edges of the driveway, especially near where the asphalt meets grass, is normal and is not considered a defect. We will repair cracks elsewhere in the driveway that exceeds ½” by either filling the cracks or saw cutting and patching.

Attics

Many homes are built with engineered roof systems (trusses) that do not allow attics to be used as storage space. Generally, for safety and ventilation reasons, it is best that you do not use your attic for storage. Access to the attic is provided mainly for the purpose of maintenance of mechanical equipment that may be located in the attic space. If you access the attic for any reason, always ensure the insulation is pulled back over the access panel and never leave the access panel open while not in the attic. Failure to do so may result in excessive loss of heat and moisture in the attic. Any conditions caused by this will not be covered by the Limited Warranty.

Your attic is designed to ventilate independently from the interior of your home. Please note heat and humidity from the interior of your home naturally rise and can infiltrate into the attic space and create moisture related problems. It is your responsibility to monitor and control the humidity levels in your home and attic space.

  • Seeing visible daylight in your attic around any ventilation device is normal and not considered a defect.
  • Do not install attic flooring or objects which could compress the insulation. Compressed insulation loses its effectiveness in both saving energy and reducing moisture problems.

When performing any maintenance or other tasks in the attic, use extreme caution. Do not step off the top of the framing onto the insulation, drywall or mechanical components (conduit, PVC, etc.). This can result in personal injury and/or damage to the ceiling below. This Limited Warranty does not cover such injury or damage.

We will provide ventilation and insulation in the attic area as required by the municipal building codes. Attic vents and louvers shall not leak. Infiltration of wind-driven rain and snow are beyond our control and are not considered a defect. D.R. Horton is not responsible for alterations to the original attic ventilation system.

B

Basements

An asphalt damp proofing material has been applied to the exterior of your foundation walls. Although we make every effort to assure a dry basement, during times of excessive humidity/moisture you may notice some dampness. This is normal and is not considered a failure of the damp proofing material or a warranty defect. The dampness and moisture can be controlled with the use of a dehumidifier. Careful maintenance of proper drainage will also protect your basement/crawl space from this condition.

Regularly inspect the sump and/or ejector pumps for proper operation. If you intend to store personal property or finish your basement, a battery back-up pump/system is recommended.

These systems can be purchased at your local home improvement store. We are not responsible for damage to personal property due to a power outage or sump/ejector pump failure.

The duct work in your basement contains dampers to heat and/or cool the basement area. It is recommended that these dampers remain open to heat and/or cool the basement as you would the rest of your living space. This will help (along with the use of a dehumidifier) to prevent the damp, musty smell common with basement areas.

Landscaping, downspouts and sump extensions should allow water to drain away from the foundation. Avoid planting landscaping too close to the foundation. Mulch and dirt should not come in contact with brick or other exterior siding materials. Do not edge your planting beds with materials that will retain water and cause seepage into the basement or crawl space. We are not responsible for foundation leaks caused by improper landscaping by the homeowner or the homeowner’s failure to maintain proper drainage.

The concrete used in the construction of your foundation walls is mixed to industry standards. Concrete is a strong and durable material however; by its very nature concrete is susceptible to cracking. To date, no known prevention has been found to eliminate cracking. The major reasons for concrete cracking are expansion and contraction of concrete surfaces as the concrete cures and the temperature changes throughout the year. This movement causes cosmetic changes and does not affect the structural integrity of your home. Most cracks can be repaired with a waterproof concrete caulk. Concrete caulk can be purchased at your local home improvement store. The color and texture of the caulk may differ from the original surface.

  • Maintain proper grades and drainage away from foundation walls.
  • Avoid planting shrubbery directly next to the foundation.
  • Check the height of mulch and dirt to ensure it does not come in contact with brick or other exterior siding materials.
  • Do not edge your planting beds with materials that will retain water and cause seepage into the basement.
  • Ensure downspout extensions and sump pump discharge extensions are installed to establish proper drainage away from the foundation walls.
  • Aim sprinklers away from the house.
  • If water seepage is present at the floor/wall joint or any expansion joints, this might be an indication that your sump pump is not functioning properly. Check and test the sump pump to insure it is functioning properly.
  • Foundations: Wall cracks are not unusual in concrete foundation walls. We will repair any cracks or wall ties that allow water infiltration only. The color and texture of the repair may differ from the original surface.
  • Basement Slab/Floor: Minor cracks in basement slabs/floors are normal. We will patch or repair cracks more than 1/4” in width or 1/4” in vertical displacement. Concrete caulk is an acceptable method of repair. We are not responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. Cracks in expansion joints are normal and are not considered a defect.
  • Color: No two batches of concrete will be the same color. Additives used during certain weather conditions, and other variables affect the color of concrete. Color
  • variations are not considered a defect and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

C

Cabinets and Vanities

The cabinets and vanities in your new home are constructed of wood, wood veneer or composite materials. Your selection sheets are your record of the grade, style and color of cabinets in your home.

Since no two trees are alike in grain or texture, “nature’s fingerprint” is never the same in two pieces of wood. All cabinets will exhibit natural variations in grain, texture and color. Cabinet woods are stained to obtain as consistent a tone as possible while preserving the distinctive charm and beauty these grain patterns lend to the cabinet or vanity. All finishes will change in color over time. In most cases, the color change due to aging is not noticeable. One determining factor is the amount of exposure your cabinets receive from different types of light. The color of cabinets may also be affected by normal use of your stove (i.e. heat, cooking or oil).

All cabinets and vanities in your home are affected by changes in temperature and humidity (especially high humidity areas such as the bathroom) and will experience changes in moisture content. They will contract and expand as the temperature changes, especially cabinet and vanity doors. A consistent temperature and humidity level in your new home will help to minimize contraction and expansion.

Cabinet and vanity hardware will loosen with repeated use; tighten as needed. Check your hinges at least once a year for proper alignment and tightness. Use the proper tools to make necessary adjustments. Apply a small amount of lubricant to hinges and drawer glides to improve their performance.

  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best tips on maintaining your cabinets. Certain cleaning agents and wax products could damage the finish and/or dull the surface.
  • Scratches will result from normal use and can be touched up with a matching wood tone crayon available at your local home improvement store.

We will confirm that all cabinet and vanity parts and accessories are installed and their surfaces are in acceptable and working condition during your Homeowner Orientation.

  • Grain/color variations. Readily noticeable variations in wood grain and color are normal in all wood or wood veneer selections and are not considered a defect.
  • Warping. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts should not warp in excess of ¼”. If the gap between the cabinet and the cabinet door exceeds ¼”, we will repair or replace the affected door or drawer front. We cannot guarantee an exact match of wood grain or color on replacement parts. We will repair warped cabinet doors and drawer fronts one time during the one year warranty period.
  • Separation. Gaps between the cabinets, ceiling and walls should not exceed ¼” (except locations behind appliances). Caulking is an acceptable method of repair.
  • Operation. Cabinets and accessories (including but not limited to drawers, rollouts, lazy susans, etc.) should operate properly under normal use. We are not responsible for failure of cabinets due to overloading.
  • Rattling Panels. Due to expansion, contraction and changes in moisture content in cabinets, rattling panels are not considered a defect.

Carpentry - Framing

Many of the components of your home consist of natural products, including the lumber used in the framing of your home. Because wood is a natural product, it is affected by the humidity and temperature levels in your home. It is not uncommon that the framing of your home will experience slight movement due to these conditions.

Most natural products are inherently imperfect. Therefore, the industry allows for tolerances which are described below.

Floor squeaks and loose subfloor boards are often temporary conditions common to new home construction. As your new home settles and seasonal moisture levels change, floor squeaks may stop on their own. Floor squeaks not caused by an underlying construction defect are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

All floors deflect (bend) when walked on. This will be more noticeable next to hutches, book cases and other heavy furniture, especially when the furniture runs parallel with the floor joists. This is considered normal and is not a defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

All interior and exterior frame walls and ceilings have slight variations on the finish surface.

The appearance of truss lines and sheathing panels may be visible under certain conditions (sun, frost, etc.). This is considered normal and is not a defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

A truss is a prefabricated roof structure, which holds up the roof decking wood, shingles and top floor ceiling. They are assembled, usually from 2x4 lumber, in a building material factory. The 2x4’s are held together with either metal or plywood “gusset plates”. Trusses tend to be stronger and lighter than rafters. Trusses are strong because they make use of the most efficient geometric shape, the triangle. The outside members of a truss are called chords while the inner pieces are known as webs.

Truss uplift is a common phenomenon in homes built with roof truss systems. Modern construction places the bottom chord of the truss below a deep blanket of insulation. Even on the coldest days the bottom chord remains warm. The tops chords however, are above the insulation and get very cold in the well ventilated attic. As the warm air from the home travels through the attic and past the top chords, they begin to condensate with the cold air of the winter season. As the top chords begin to absorb some moisture from the air, it causes them to elongate, or swell. With the top chords growing and the bottom chords shrinking, the truss arches up in the middle to account for the pressure differences, thus lifting the truss off the interior walls.

From a structural standpoint, truss uplift is not a major problem. But cosmetically, it may cause cracks and separations in the drywall. To date, there is no known solution to prevent truss uplift as it is the natural reaction of the wood framing members (trusses) to the temperature and humidity levels in the attic space. Therefore, this is not considered a defect and not covered by the Limited Warranty.

All of the lumber used in constructing your home is affected by changes in temperature and humidity and will experience changes in moisture content. Lumber will expand and contract as temperature and humidity levels change. A consistent temperature and humidity level in your new home and attic space will help to minimize contraction and expansion.

  • When hanging heavy objects, pictures, etc., be sure to locate a stud within the framing system and use the proper anchor fastener.
  • If you experience truss uplift, consider installing a decorative molding where the walls meet the ceilings. Fasten the moldings to the ceilings but not to the walls. As the ceilings move up, the moldings go with them hiding the gap.
  • Floor Squeaks. This condition is often temporary in new homes. We will correct this condition one time during the one year warranty period only if it is caused by underlying defects in construction (such as a loose subfloor). A squeak proof floor cannot be guaranteed. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • Stair Squeaks. This condition is often temporary in new homes. We will correct this condition one time during the one year warranty period only if it is caused by underlying defects in construction (such as loose treads). Squeak proof stairs cannot be guaranteed.
  • Uneven Subflooring. We will repair any floors that have more than ¼” ridge or depression within any 32” measurement when measured in any direction to the joists. Allowable floor joist deflections are dictated by a licensed design engineer and municipal codes.
  • Splits in Joists/Beams/Posts. Joists, beams and posts will sometimes split as they dry. Parallel splitting is not a structural concern because such inconsistencies in wood are anticipated in the structural calculations of wood products. Diagonal splitting that extends from one side to another and is more than ½” deep may weaken the wood. We will repair any diagonal splitting that extends from one side to another and is more than ½” deep by attaching additional wood framing to the existing joist, beam and/or post and securing it with nails or bolts.
  • Bowed Walls/Ceilings. Framing material will sometimes twist or bow as it dries. Twisting and bowing of wood may be cosmetically unacceptable when visible in habitable spaces but is not a structural problem. We will repair any bows in walls or ceilings in habitable spaces which exceed ½” within a 32” horizontal or vertical measurement. Shimming, trimming or grinding of the wood framing material is an acceptable method of repair. We will not repair bowed framing material located in located in garages, basements, attics or crawl spaces.
  • Ridges or Depressions in Roof Sheathing. We will repair any ridges or depressions in roof sheathing that exceed ½” in 24”. If shingles are required to be removed to conduct the repair, we cannot guarantee an exact match of replacement shingles.

Carpentry – Trim (Interior/Exterior)

Interior trim is cosmetic and gives your home a finished look. As with all wood and wood composition products, trim material is affected by changes in your home’s humidity and temperature. It is not uncommon to experience expansion and contraction of trim during seasonal changes. Contraction of trim results in separation at the joints of trim pieces. This condition is usually temporary in nature and is not considered a defect.

Wood is a product of nature and as such, each piece of wood is different from the next. The amount of grain and texture gives wood its unique appearance and causes each piece of wood to absorb stain differently. This unique appearance is not a defect, but a characteristic of the product.

All painted trim is pre-primed by the manufacturer. Nail holes are filled and a coat of paint is applied after installation.

Base trim can only be nailed where framing is located therefore it is common for base trim to not be tight to the drywall in areas where it cannot be nailed. This is not considered a defect and therefore not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Since wood is a naturally porous material that absorbs and reacts to moisture, cracks or splits in exterior trim boards are natural and not considered a defect.

All of the interior trim used in constructing your home is affected by changes in temperature and humidity and will experience changes in moisture content. Trim will expand and contract as temperature and humidity levels change. A consistent temperature and humidity level in your new home will help to minimize contraction and expansion.

You should inspect your exterior trim annually to ensure that it is tight and secure. Paint and caulk exterior trim as needed.

Materials used to fill nail holes have a tendency to shrink and dry up over time. Fill recessed nail holes as required to prevent water infiltration and damage to the trim.

  • Minor damage to prefinished wood trim can be touched up with a matching wood tone crayon or marker available at any home improvement store.
  • Painted trim can be touched up with paint. Refer to your option selection paperwork or record the paint color and finish in the notes area provided in this manual.

We will confirm that interior and exterior trim is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable damage noted on the Orientation form.

Interior:

  • We will repair any open joints in interior trim that exceed 1/8” in width. Caulking or puttying is an acceptable method of repair.

Exterior:

  • We will repair any open joints in exterior trim that exceed ¼” in width. Caulking is an acceptable method of repair. We cannot be responsible for an exact color match to original material(s).
  • We will repair any cracks in exterior trim that exceed 3/16” in width. Caulking is an acceptable method of repair. We cannot be responsible for an exact color match to original material(s).

Caulking

Caulking is applied on many components of your home. We have applied the initial caulking to your new home, specific to the materials used in the construction of your home. Time and weather will cause caulk to shrink and dry. You are responsible for maintaining the proper caulking, both interior and exterior, for the life of your home.

As routine maintenance, regularly check both the interior and exterior of your home for any places that may need to be recaulked. Even properly installed caulk will shrink and show surface cracks due to expansion, contraction, settlement and weather conditions. This is normal and is not considered a defect.

Generally, whenever two different building materials meet, an opening may occur that needs to be caulked periodically. Examples of areas that require caulk include but are not limited to countertop backsplashes, vanity tops, showers, bathtubs, trim, doors, windows, exterior vents, where siding abuts brick or wood, hose bibs, air conditioning lines, gas piping, etc.

Failure to maintain caulk could lead to water infiltration which could lead to further damage to other components of your home. Any such damage is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

  • It is important to use the correct caulk for specific areas. Consult a home improvement professional to find the best type of caulk for the area.
  • Properly remove old caulk and clean the area (following the product instructions) before applying new caulking
  • Practice caulking before you apply it to a highly visible area.

We will confirm that appropriate areas are adequately caulked during your Homeowner Orientation. After closing, it is your responsibility to maintain the proper caulking.

Ceramic Tile

The ceramic tiles used in various areas of your home provide a durable and decorative covering for floors and/or walls. Your selection sheets include the color of your ceramic tile and grout. Size, shade and/or color variation is inherent in all fired clay products and grout.

It is your responsibility to apply a grout sealer to all grout areas as soon as possible after your closing. Once grout has been sealed, ongoing maintenance of that sealant is necessary. Refer to the grout sealer manufacturer’s recommendations.

It is natural for a slight separation to occur where tile grout meets another material, such as along the edge of a bathtub or shower. Grout between tiles may also crack. Re-grouting cracks is the homeowner’s responsibility during the life of your home.

Failure to re-grout cracks and gaps could result in water infiltration under or behind the tile which can lead to tile failure and/or further damage to other components of your home. Any such damage is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Care should be taken to avoid damage to tiles when installing shower rods or other accessories. Such occurrences may result in cracked or broken tiles. We are not responsible for this condition.

  • Ceramic tile is one of the easiest floor and wall coverings to maintain. Occasional cleaning with warm water is appropriate. Avoid adding detergent to the water. If you feel a cleaning agent is required, use a mild solution of warm water and dishwasher crystals (they will not result in a heavy, difficult to remove lather on the grout). Rinse thoroughly. Abrasive cleaners should not be used to clean tile surfaces, as this may result in surface scratches and abrasions.
  • Slight separations between grout and tiles can be expected. This is caused by normal shrinkage of grout or caulk and shrinkage of wood members as they dry out. If this occurs, the best remedy is to purchase tub caulk or grout (color as indicated on your selection paperwork) from a home improvement or flooring store and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

We will confirm that tile and grout areas are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair or replace cracked, chipped or loose tiles and grout noted prior to closing. If a repair is necessary, we are not responsible for variations in tile and grout color or discontinued patterns.

New grout may vary in color from the original.

Concrete

The concrete used in the construction of your home is mixed to industry standards and installed by professionals. Concrete is a strong and durable material however, by its very nature, concrete is susceptible to cracking. To date, no known prevention has been found to eliminate cracking. The major reason for concrete cracking is the expansion and contraction of concrete surfaces as the concrete cures and the temperature changes throughout the year. These same conditions can also cause variations in color.

Concrete slabs are “floating”; they are not attached to the foundation walls. They are a non-structural element of the home and react in response to the natural movement of the ground below. Movement of any slab (basement, garage, patio, driveway, service walk, etc.) can result in cracking. Movement can be minimized by maintaining proper drainage. Ensure that water is draining off and away from exterior concrete and not collecting on or saturating the ground beside your concrete surfaces, particularly foundation walls. This will protect your home’s foundation and concrete slabs.

Landscaping should allow water to drain away from exterior flat surfaces. Avoid planting landscaping too close to the foundation. Mulch and dirt should not come in contact with brick or other exterior siding materials. Do not edge your planting beds with materials that will retain water and cause seepage into the basement or crawl space. We are not responsible for foundation leaks caused by improper landscaping by the homeowner or the homeowner’s failure to maintain proper drainage.

Even though concrete is generally installed with expansion and contraction joints, it may still develop cracks. Most cracks can be repaired with a waterproof concrete caulk. Concrete caulk can be purchased at your local home improvement store. The color and texture of the caulk may differ from the original surface.

A concrete sealer, available at home improvement stores, will help protect exterior concrete. We recommend that you seal all exterior concrete, including the garage dust lip, every year. Because exterior concrete is exposed to freeze/thaw cycles and the dust lip is, in addition, exposed to road salt, these areas can be prone to pitting, scaling or chipping if not sealed properly. While sealing may not completely eliminate surface damage, it will minimize it by reducing the penetration of water and salt into the surface of the concrete. Remove ice and snow from concrete slabs as promptly as possible after snowstorms. Avoid use of any salt and/or de-icing chemicals in the winter months. If a thin layer of ice or snow cannot be removed, cat litter or sand is recommended.

Although relatively dense, concrete will absorb such liquids as petroleum-based products, solvents and paints. Care must be used to protect the concrete when it will be exposed to such products. Protect concrete from damage by chemical agents such as pet urine, fertilizers, vehicle fluids, high pressure hosing or de-icing agents and road salt that can drip from vehicles. All of these items can damage the surface of the concrete.

  • Cleaning. If washing is necessary, do this when temperatures are moderate. Repeated cleaning of any concrete surface by hosing can increase soil movement by allowing water to penetrate the surface and any existing cracks. We recommend sweeping for keeping exterior concrete clean.
  • Cracking. A concrete slab shrinks as it cures. Some of this shrinkage shows up as cracks. Cracking also results from temperature changes that cause expansion and contraction. During the warm weather months, moisture finds its way under the concrete along the edges or through cracks in the surface. During the cold weather months, this moisture forms frost that can lift the concrete, increasing the cracking. Maintaining drainage away from all concrete will minimize cracking from this cause.
  • Sealer. A concrete sealer, available at home improvement stores, will help protect concrete. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and application.
  • Prohibit commercial or other heavy vehicles such as moving vans or delivery trucks from pulling onto your driveway at all times. Your driveway is designed and installed to accommodate passenger vehicles only.

To help prevent accidents, use cat litter or sand on concrete areas where ice and snow cannot be removed. Avoid using salt and/or de-icing chemicals which can damage concrete.

  • Foundations: Cracks are not unusual in concrete foundation walls. We will repair any cracks or wall ties that allow water infiltration only. The color and texture of the repair may differ from the original surface. (Note: If water seepage is present at the floor/wall joint or any expansion joints, this is typically not a foundation leak but rather it may be an indication that the sump pump is not functioning properly.)
  • Basement Slab/Floor: Minor cracks in basement slabs/floors are normal. We will patch or repair cracks that exceed ¼” in width or ¼” in vertical displacement.Concrete caulk is an acceptable method of repair. We are not responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. Cracks in expansion joints are normal and are not considered a defect.
  • Garage Slab/Floor: We will patch or repair cracks in garage slabs which exceed ¼” in width or ¼” in vertical displacement. Concrete caulk is an acceptable method of repair. We are not responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. If removal of concrete is required, we will saw cut the affected area only and replace. Garage slabs that settle, heave or separate more than 1” from the home will be repaired however we will not be responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. Areas of standing water are considered acceptable up to ¼”. We will repair areas of standing water that exceed ¼” in depth. The method of repair will be to saw cut the affected area only and replace. We are not responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete.
  • Stoops, Steps, Sidewalks, Porches, Patios and Driveways: Stoops, steps, sidewalks, porches, patios or concrete driveways will not settle, heave or separate more than 1” from the home or adjoining concrete surface. We will repair these defects however; we will not be responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. Areas of standing water are considered acceptable up to ¼” on stoops, steps and patios and up to ½” on driveways. We will repair the affected area only if water is still present 48 hours after a normal rainfall. We will not be responsible for an exact color match of the repair to the existing concrete. Minor cracks in stoops, steps, sidewalks, porches, patios and driveways are normal. We will patch or repair cracks that exceed ¼” in width or ¼” in vertical displacement. Concrete caulk is an acceptable method of repair. We are not responsible for an exact color match of the repair to existing concrete. Cracks in expansion joints are normal and are not considered a defect.
  • Slab-on-Grade Concrete Under Finished Floors: Concrete floors in rooms designed for habitability (as living space) will not have depressions or raised surfaces greater than ¼” in 30” when measured in any direction from the affected area. We will repair these defects. We will repair cracks which rupture the finished flooring material so the cracks are not readily apparent when the finished flooring material is in place.
  • Pitting, Scaling or Chipping of Concrete Surfaces: It is normal for some minor pitting, scaling, chipping or flaking of concrete surfaces to occur. These conditions are not considered defects and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty.
  • Color: No two batches of concrete will be the same color. Additives used during certain weather conditions and other variables affect the color of concrete. Color variations are not considered a defect and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Condensation

Condensation is ever present in newly delivered homes due to the moisture content of the materials used in its construction—specifically in lumber, concrete, taping compound, paint, etc. This moisture will escape and may affect the humidity levels in your home.

In order to achieve energy conservation in today’s homes, the construction materials and methods currently used are designed to reduce the structure’s ability to “breathe”. As a side effect of this tighter construction, moisture is also trapped in the process. This may result in condensation and ice build-up on the interior glass surfaces of windows and doors.

Condensation occurs when air comes in contact with a window surface which is below the dew point temperature. The air is then chilled and condensation takes place leaving a residue of water or ice on the surface of the glass. Condensation occurs when a combination of low temperature and high humidity factors are present. This is a common occurrence and does not necessarily indicate a defect in the window/door unit or its installation.

Most often condensation becomes an issue during winter, when there is a greater difference between the inside and outside temperatures. Visible humidity on surfaces inside the home is a result of moisture originated inside the home and is not indicative of an exterior leak. By reducing the humidity inside your home, you will reduce or possibly eliminate this situation.

If you are experiencing an extreme water or ice build-up on glass or other cold surfaces, you should immediately investigate the humidity level in your home. Over humidification is expressly excluded from the Limited Warranty.

If your home includes a humidifier, closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions for its use. Typically, humidifiers are shut off completely during the warm weather months. Moderate settings in cold weather months can maintain desired comfort levels without contributing too much moisture to your home. You will need to regularly adjust the humidifier settings based on your family’s lifestyle and the outdoor air temperature throughout the heating season. This may take some experimenting to find the correct level. You may find, during the first heating season, a humidifier is not necessary due to the moisture in the building materials used in constructing your new home.

As you live in your home, your daily lifestyle contributes to the moisture in the air. Cooking, laundry, baths, showers, aquariums, plants, etc. all add water to the air as you live in your home. Develop the habit of using exhaust fans in bathrooms and over the stove. When weather permits, open windows so fresh air can circulate through your home. Additionally, in winter months window treatments should be adjusted to allow for adequate air movement around windows.

Your attic is designed to ventilate separate from the interior of your home. Please note that heat and humidity from the interior of your home naturally rise and can infiltrate into the attic space and create moisture related problems. It is your responsibility to monitor and control the humidity levels not only in your home but in your attic space as well.

Damp basement and crawl space walls are commonly the result of natural condensation. During the summer months proper ventilation, an air conditioner and a dehumidifier are recommended. Additionally, keeping doors and windows closed during excessively damp and muggy weather will help.

The best solution to persistent condensation during the winter months is to maintain the proper humidity levels in your home. This includes monitoring the outdoor temperature and adjusting the humidity levels accordingly. When air will hold no more moisture, it is said to be saturated. Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air in relation to complete saturation. Example: 100% relative humidity would be raining; 90% relative humidity would be excessively high inside humidity; and 20% relative humidity would be comparatively dry air. The following humidity levels are recommended to avoid excessive condensation based on an inside temperature of 70° (Fahrenheit) and an outside temperature (Fahrenheit):

0° or below – not more than 20% humidity

0° to 20° above – not more than 25% humidity

20° and over – not more than 30% humidity

NOTE: These are the recommended humidity levels that should be maintained in your home, not necessarily the humidifier setting(s).

It is your responsibility to monitor and control the humidity levels in your home.

  • Regularly monitor the outdoor temperature and adjust humidifier settings accordingly. As the outdoor temperature decreases, the humidifier setting should be lowered.
  • Install and operate an air conditioner and dehumidifier during warm weather months.
  • Always use bath exhaust fans while bathing/showering and continue to run them for approximately 20 minutes after bathing/showering is completed.
  • In winter months window treatments should be adjusted to allow for adequate air movement around windows.
  • Clear snow from roof vents to allow for proper ventilation.
  • When cooking, use exhaust fan over the stove.
  • Humidity levels can be monitored by purchasing a humidistat. You can purchase a humidistat from your local home improvement store.
  • Anything which tends to evaporate moisture will lead to excessive humidity. Some chief sources of moisture evaporation include but are not limited to: the number of occupants and pets in a home, uncontrolled humidifiers, open faced/unvented gas heaters, damp basement walls and floor, excessive boiling when cooking, laundry hung up to dry, disconnected dryer vent, large number of plants, nonuse of exhaust vents, etc.

Condensation results from weather conditions and a family’s lifestyle. We have no control over these factors and therefore condensation is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Countertops - Cultured Marble

Cultured marble products are made of a mixture of crushed marble and high strength polyester resins, molded and polished to form a strong durable finish. Please note the bottom surface of the cultured marble tops are not finished.

While cultured marble is durable, it is not heat-proof, scratch- proof nor stain-proof. These countertops are much like natural marble and must be cared for properly. If your countertop includes a cultured marble sink, it is important to use warm water. Running only hot water for extended periods may cause cracking around the drain seal.

Maintain caulking at the side splash and wall.

Use only mild liquid cleaning agents on a soft sponge to clean your cultured marble countertops. Abrasive cleaners, abrasive sponges and steel wool cleaning pads will damage and dull the surface.

Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to the Homeowner Orientation is a Homeowner responsibility.

  • A regular polishing with a non-abrasive car wax will help maintain the luster of the surface.
  • Do not place hot objects directly on the surface.
  • Do not place lit cigarettes on the edges of the top.
  • Avoid striking the surface with heavy or pointed objects or cutting directly on the surface.
  • Clean all spills immediately to avoid stains.

We will confirm that all cultured marble countertops are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form.

Cultured marble countertops/vanity tops are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Countertops - Granite

Granite is one of the hardest natural stones. Generally, most liquid spilled on a granite countertop, if wiped up immediately, will not stain. However, water, wine, grape juice, etc. can soak into a granite countertop and temporarily leave a dark colored spot.

Liquids that do not evaporate, such as oils, will cause stains if left to soak into the stone. Granite is highly porous and absorbs moisture. Therefore, you will need to seal your granite and maintain any seams on a regular basis. It is especially important to regularly seal countertop areas where you prepare food.

Stone cleaner and sealer can be purchased at your local home improvement store.

Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to the Homeowner Orientation is a Homeowner responsibility.

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to get the best maintenance and cleaning tips. This information can be found on the internet.
  • Protect your countertops by always using a cutting board during food preparation.
  • Avoid striking the surface with heavy or pointed objects.
  • Do not set hot pans directly on the surface.
  • Abrasive cleaners, abrasive sponges and steel wool cleaning pads will damage and dull the surface.
  • Seal granite countertops regularly.
  • Clean all spills immediately to avoid stains.

We will confirm that all granite countertops are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form.

Granite countertops/vanity tops are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Countertops - Laminate

Laminate countertops are generally made from a thin layer of plastic laminate material applied over a composite surface.

While the laminate material is durable, it is not heat-proof, scratch-proof, nor stain-proof.

It is important to keep moisture from reaching the wood underneath the laminate to prevent warping. You can expect small gaps to open between the countertops and the backsplash, the countertop and the wall, and between the countertop and the sink. This occurs as your home responds to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This can be remedied with caulk purchased at your local home improvement store.

Keep all countertop seams sealed to prevent moisture from getting underneath the laminate. Seam fill can be purchased at your local home improvement store.

Limit heat and moisture exposure to your laminate countertops. When exposed to these elements, the glue used to attach the laminate may liquefy causing the material to separate.

Rubber drain mats can trap moisture beneath them causing the laminated plastic to warp, blister and/or discolor. Lift the mat and dry the surface as needed.

Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to the Homeowner Orientation is a Homeowner responsibility.

  • Maintain caulking at the backsplash, wall and around the sink.
  • Maintain seam fill at countertop seams.
  • Avoid concentration of water or wet cloths where the counter meets the backsplash and at seams.
  • Protect your countertops by always using a cutting board during food preparation. Never cut directly on the surface.
  • Always set hot pans on trivets or hot pads.
  • Steam from your dishwasher can cause swelling and delamination. Always let the dishwasher cool before opening the door.
  • Use only a damp cloth to take up residue on your countertops. Abrasive cleaners, abrasive sponges and steel wool cleaning pads will damage and dull the surface.
  • Do not place lit cigarettes on the edges of the countertop.
  • Avoid striking the surface with heavy or pointed objects.
  • Clean all spills immediately to avoid stains.

We will confirm that all countertops are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form.

Countertops/vanity tops are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Countertops - Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops and sinks are made of highly durable non-porous materials. Although solid surfaces withstand heat better than most, you must use caution in order to protect them. While the solid surface is durable, it is not heat-proof, scratch proof nor stain-proof.

Repair of surface damage noted subsequent to the Homeowner Orientation is a Homeowner responsibility.

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to get the best maintenance and cleaning tips. This information can be found on the internet.
  • Avoid exposure to strong chemicals such as paint removers, metal cleaners, oven cleaners, acetone (nail polish remover) and acid drain cleaners. If any of these come in contact with your solid surface, immediately flush the surface with mild soap and water.
  • Do not set hot pans directly from the cook top or oven on your solid surface countertops. Also, some electrical appliances such as fry pans, broiler ovens and crock pots can cause damage to the surface.
  • Always use a hot pad or trivet with rubber feet to protect your solid surface.
  • Avoid striking the surface with heavy or pointed objects.
  • Protect your countertops by always using a cutting board during food preparation. Never cut directly on the surface.
  • Clean all spills immediately to avoid stains.

We will confirm that all solid surface countertops are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form.

Solid surface countertops are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Crawl Space

An asphalt damp proofing material has been applied to the exterior of your foundation walls. Although we make every effort to assure a dry basement/crawl space, during times of excessive humidity/moisture, you may notice some dampness. This is normal and is not considered a failure of the damp proofing material or a warranty defect. The dampness and moisture can be controlled with the use of a dehumidifier. Over time, natural compaction of soils in the backfill areas will usually eliminate this condition. Maintenance of proper drainage will also protect your basement/crawl space from this condition.

The duct work in your crawl space contains dampers to heat and/or cool the basement area. It is recommended that these dampers remain open to heat and/or cool the crawl space as you would the rest of your living space. This will help (along with the use of a dehumidifier) to prevent the damp, musty smell common with crawl space areas.

The crawl space is not intended as a storage area for items that could be damaged by moisture. Materials/objects stored in crawl spaces can attract pests.

Maintain proper drainage away from foundation walls. Ensure downspout extensions and sump discharge extensions are installed.

If the option for a darby coat of concrete was selected, this is a thin, rough unfinished coat of concrete. The darby coat can assist in controlling moisture in the crawl space but will not eliminate it completely. A dehumidifier is still recommended with this option. The darby coat of concrete, as with any concrete surface, will have a tendency to crack. Because this is a thin coat of concrete, this is a normal condition and is not considered a defect.

Regularly inspect your crawl space and check and test the sump pump (if applicable).

  • Avoid planting shrubbery directly next to the foundation. Check the height of mulch and dirt to ensure it does not come in contact with brick or other exterior siding materials.
  • Do not edge your planting beds with materials that will retain water and cause seepage into the crawl space. We are not responsible for foundation leaks caused by improper landscaping by the homeowner or the homeowner’s failure to maintain proper grades. Maintain proper drainage away from foundation walls.
  • Ensure downspout extensions and sump discharge extensions are installed.
  • Battery back-up pumps/systems are recommended as added protection. These can be purchased at your local home improvement store.

Foundations: Cracks are not unusual in concrete foundation walls. We will repair any cracks or wall ties that allow water infiltration only. The color and texture of the repair may differ from the original surface.

D

Decks

Wood decks add to the style and function of your home and are a high maintenance part of your home’s exterior. Most decks are made from treated wood. Treated lumber is processed to force chemical preservatives deep into the fibers of the board, giving the wood better resistance to decay and pests. Treated wood appears greenish or yellowish in color when it is new, and all lumber will turn a silver gray color after exposure to the elements.

Cracking, splitting, cupping, shrinkage, twisting and knots are natural occurrences in wood decks and are not considered defects. Nails or screws may work loose and will need routine maintenance. Avoid using the same nail hole when re-nailing or re-screwing loose boards. Inspect your deck regularly and provide the needed attention promptly to maintain an attractive appearance and prevent costly repairs.

Although most lumber used to build decks is mildew resistant by nature, periodically covering the outside of the wood with a sealant will prolong the life of the wood. Sealants will also protect your deck from water damage. When water enters wood and then dries out, it causes the wood to expand and contract. This occurrence will cause the wood to split and crack. This is a normal occurrence and is not considered a warranty defect.

Stain adds color to your deck. Should you choose to do so, ask a professional to recommend the best kind of stain for your deck. If a stain has faded or if you see hairline cracks, it is an indication the wood is in need of waterproofing or resealing.

Color variations are a natural result of the way in which wood accepts stain and are excluded from the Limited Warranty.

As you use your deck, abrasives and grit on shoes can scratch or dent the wood surface. Regular sweeping and mats can help eliminate this but will not completely prevent it.

Heavy snow, ice or leaves that remain on the deck over long periods may decrease the life of your deck. Prompt removal can reduce adverse effects. Use caution in shoveling to avoid needless scratching of deck boards. Additionally, shaded areas may be more susceptible to mildew and may require periodic cleaning.

  • Do not allow foliage to grow close to your deck. This can lead to minimized air movement and drainage around your deck.
  • Clean out the spaces between the deck boards on a regular basis. If leaves or debris are left in between wood boards, it could lead to wood rot.
  • Moving grills, furniture or other items can damage the surface of the decking. Use caution when moving such items to prevent scratches, gouges, etc.
  • If a Homeowner’s Association governs your community, you must obtain the proper approvals from the Association prior to staining your deck.

Periodically check that all deck components remain securely fastened. Check support posts, steps, railings, etc. Deck railings are not designated for sitting.

Keep excessive weight off your deck and side rails. Do not place children’s swimming pools or hot tubs on your deck without designed reinforcement.

Exposed wood decks are constructed to meet structural and functional design standards according to municipal building codes. We will confirm wood decks are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation.

Cracking, splitting, cupping, shrinkage, twisting and knots are natural occurrences in wood decks and are not considered defects and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty. We will replace any deck material that affects the structural integrity of the deck one time only during the warranty period. The new material will not match the existing pieces that have been exposed to the elements and use (or stained and sealed by the homeowner).

We do not provide warranty coverage when problems occur due to lack of normal maintenance. The maintenance of a deck is solely the homeowner’s responsibility.

Doors (and Hardware) - Exterior

Your new home includes a variety of door styles that provide you with privacy and noise reduction. In addition, exterior doors function as a guard against the elements.

Doors:

The exterior doors are constructed of a metal or fiberglass skin over a frame. The hollow core is then injected with a urethane insulation to provide a thermal barrier. These door units are also constructed with weather stripping and adjustable thresholds.

Check your weather stripping and threshold height on a regular basis to ensure the seal is tight around the door.

Keep your home at an even temperature and acceptable humidity level to ensure the proper operation of the door.

Minor damage to the metal, such as dents and scratches, can be easily repaired with the use of a repair compound which can be found at your local home improvement store. Refer to your selection sheets for the paint color for your entry door.

Avoid slamming doors which can damage both the door and jamb and can even cause cracking in walls. This condition is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

We do recommend the addition of a vented glass storm door. However, some trim moldings and glass frames on exterior door units are made of Lexan plastic. Should you have this detail on your door, we do not recommend the addition of a glass storm door unit as heat which builds up between the storm door and exterior door can and will cause distortion of the plastic trim. This occurrence is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Hardware:

The EPA has made drastic changes in the electroplating industry. One of the reasons for these changes is to lessen the negative impact the electroplating process has on the environment. Because of these modifications in the manufacturing process, the resulting plating is far more susceptible to pitting and tarnishing than in previous years.

All exterior hardware installed on your home has been covered with a clear coating to help retard what is known as the “oxidation process”. This coating is not impervious to wear and tear. The “oxidation” is brought about by dirt, atmospheric conditions and ultraviolet light. Eventually these contaminants will break down the clear coating and begin corroding the surface of the plating. This process will eventually tarnish any hardware on the exterior of your home and there is currently no known way to prevent this from occurring.

To remedy a squeaky door hinge, remove the hinge pin and apply a silicone lubricant to it. Avoid using oil, as it can gum up or attract dirt. Graphite works well as a lubricant but can create a gray smudge on the door or floor covering beneath the hinge if too much is applied.

Some of the doors in your home may have spring loaded hinges. These hinges may need to be adjusted periodically. Spring loaded hinges are not intended to close/latch the door completely.

Check and tighten the door hardware as necessary. Door hardware will naturally loosen from use and is not considered a warranty defect.

Do not allow children to hang on the doorknob and swing back and forth. This will not only loosen the hardware but will also cause the door to sag and not operate properly.

  • Check weather stripping and door sweeps, especially as the seasons change, and adjust or replace as necessary.
  • Check exterior door thresholds especially as the seasons change and adjust as necessary.
  • Check and tighten door hardware as necessary.
  • Care should be taken with the installation of seasonal decorations as they may cause damage.
  • If a Homeowner’s Association governs your community, you must obtain the proper approvals from the Association prior to installing a storm door.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents on hardware.

We will confirm exterior doors and hardware are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair construction damage to doors noted on the Orientation form. Doors will be repaired using a repair compound. This is an industry accepted method of repair.

Some wind and water infiltration around doors is normal, especially during high winds or heavy rains. We will adjust any doors that are not installed level, plumb and square within ¼” in any direction.

Exterior hardware is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Doors (and Hardware) – Interior

The doors installed in your home are prefinished wood or painted products subject to the natural characteristics of wood such as expanding, contracting and warping. Due to natural fluctuations in humidity, interior doors may occasionally require minor adjustments.

Warping is a result of moisture in the wood. Typically, warped doors will return to normal as the seasons and humidity levels change. Keep your home at an even temperature and acceptable humidity level to ensure the proper operation of the door.

We will confirm that all bi-fold doors slide properly on their tracks at your Homeowner Orientation. Cleaning and maintenance necessary to preserve proper operation are the homeowner’s responsibility. Bi-fold doors can be adjusted by raising or lowering the adjustment peg on the bottom of the door and sliding the door to either the left or right. A lubricant can be sprayed on the track to improve gliding performance.

Swing doors can be adjusted by moving the catch located in the strike plate, attached to the door frame. If the door, when closed, has too much play in it, loosen the screw and move the catch inward. If you have the opposite condition, use the same procedure but move the catch out and tighten the screw. Be careful not to over tighten the screw as you can break the catch.

Door hardware and hinges can loosen with repeated use. This is not considered a warranty defect and they should be adjusted as needed. Use proper tools to make necessary adjustments.

Squeaky hinges and marks from metal filings can be remedied by removing the hinge pin and applying a small amount of lubricant. Avoid using oil, as it can gum up or attract dirt.

Graphite works well as a lubricant but can create a gray smudge on the door or floor covering beneath if too much is applied.

Use putty, filler or latex caulk (on painted doors and trim) to fill any minor separations that develop at mitered joints in door trim. Color variations can be expected.

Panels of wood doors expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity. This is a natural occurrence and is not considered a warranty defect.

  • Check doors and hardware and adjust as necessary.
  • Minor damage to prefinished wood doors can be touched up with a matching wood tone crayon or marker available at any home improvement store.
  • Painted doors can be touched up with paint.

We will confirm interior doors and hardware are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair construction damage to doors noted on the Homeowner Orientation form.

We will repair any doors that warp more than 3/8”, measured diagonally from corner to corner. Warped doors will be replaced one time only during the warranty period and only after a complete heating and cooling season. We are not responsible for an exact color or grain match of replacement doors.

Door panels may shrink showing raw wood along the edges. This is not considered a warranty defect and we are not responsible to stain or touch up paint raw wood areas that are exposed as a result of shrinkage.

We will repair open joints in door casing or trim if the gaps are more than 1/8” wide. Caulking or puttying the gaps is an industry accepted method of repair. If casing needs to be replaced, we are not responsible for an exact color or grain match of replacement trim.

We will repair any doors that delaminate due to a manufacturing defect with the use of glue. Gluing is an industry accepted method of repair.

Doors – Overhead Garage

Your overhead garage door has been mounted with rollers and tension springs for ease of operation. Some light will be visible around the edges and across the top of the door. Infiltration of the elements can be expected during extreme weather conditions. Since your garage door is a large, moving object, periodic maintenance is necessary.

Garage door openers are frequently installed by homeowners after taking occupancy of their new home. If you plan to have a door opener installed by anyone other than the original door installer, the portion of the warranty pertaining to the “operation” of the door will be voided. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to contact the opener installer for service or adjustments.

The door hardware will require periodic maintenance:

  • Tighten the hardware as needed.
  • Per the manufacturers recommendations, apply a lubricant to all moving parts; track, rollers, hinges, pulleys and springs. Avoid over- lubricating to prevent drips on vehicles or the garage floor.

Repaint your garage door when you repaint your home or more often if needed to maintain a satisfactory appearance.

Replace batteries at least once a year in remotes and keyless entry (if applicable).

Repair of damage noted subsequent to the Homeowner Orientation is a Homeowner responsibility. Garage doors are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

If you have a garage door opener:

  • Use care not to interfere with the function of the electric eye.
  • Ensure the electric eye is aligned properly. Realign as necessary.
  • Familiarize yourself and your family with the steps for manual operation of the door in the event of a power failure.
  • To prevent damage to the door opener, ensure the door lock is completely disengaged.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and reliable door operation.

Do not allow anyone except the operator near the garage door when the door is in motion.

Keep hands away from all parts of the door except the handle. Do not allow children to play with or around the door.

For your safety, have any needed adjustments made by a qualified specialist. The door springs are under a considerable amount of tension and require special tools and knowledge for accurate and safe servicing.

Have the door inspected by a professional garage door technician after any significant impact to the door.

We will confirm that your garage door is in acceptable and operational condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair noticeable damage (dents) and operation issues noted on the Homeowner Orientation form.

Drywall

The interior wall and ceiling surfaces of your home have been constructed of drywall which is affixed to the framing system with the use of glue and screws. It is not uncommon for screw pops and drywall cracks to appear on these surfaces. This is a result of the “curing” process every new home experiences. This “curing” is mainly expansion and contraction of the wood framing system of your home. This is a normal condition in drywall construction and may occur even after the first year.

Most drywall repairs can easily be addressed with the use of a putty knife, spackling compound, sandpaper, a paint brush and paint.

Maintaining proper humidity and temperature levels in your home is your responsibility. Expansion and contraction of the wood components in your home is directly related to humidity and temperature levels.

If drywall repairs are necessary on surfaces you have altered, it is your responsibility to repaint and/or wallpaper these areas. We will only restore the area(s) to the original finish.

It is your responsibility to remove window treatments, move furniture, etc. to allow for warrantable drywall repairs to be completed.

  • If you choose to customize your home with paint and wallpaper during the first year, it is essential that you purchase extra material(s). Since We will only restore repaired areas to the original finish, you will be responsible for applying your own custom finishes after repairs have been completed. We are not responsible for restoring finishes (paint and wallpaper) that are not original to the home.
  • When hanging heavy objects, pictures, etc., be sure to locate a stud within the framing system and use the proper anchor fastener.
  • Special care should be given to prevent excessive amounts of moisture from coming in contact with drywall.

When hanging heavy objects, pictures, etc., be sure to locate a stud within the framing system and use the proper anchor fastener.

We will confirm that the drywall is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • Drywall irregularities shall be determined when viewed without illumination or magnification at a distance of five feet or more under natural lighting conditions and from a normal viewing position. Drywall irregularities only noticed under certain lighting conditions are not covered by the Limited Warranty.
  • We will repair screw pops, blisters in tape, cracked corner bead and other drywall cracks that exceed 1/8” in width only one time during the Limited Warranty period. Caulking at the intersection of the ceiling and wall is an acceptable method of repair.

E

Electrical System and Fixtures

The electrical system and fixtures in your home have been installed by a licensed electrical contractor. Each phase of construction has been inspected and approved by the local municipality and has met all applicable requirements and electrical standards. During your Homeowner Orientation, we will confirm that the electrical fixtures are in acceptable condition and functioning properly.

For safety reasons, it is vital that you have a complete understanding of the proper use of the electrical system.

In the event of a partial (such as half of the house) or complete power failure, call your local electrical utility supplier. If only one room or small area is without power, check the appropriate circuit breaker(s). If a circuit breaker continues to trip, make sure you have not overloaded the circuit.

Modifications to your electrical system made by others not contracted by D. R. Horton may void portions of the Limited Warranty.

Before digging in your yard, you must contact JULIE (Joint Utility Locate Information for Excavators) to identify the location of underground/buried electrical lines.

Some appliances, such as your dishwasher, garbage disposal, whirlpool tub, etc. may be plugged into an outlet or operated by a separate switch. The switch location will be discussed at your Homeowner Orientation and should be checked in the event your appliances are not operating.

Circuit breakers are the safety device of your electrical system. Located in the main electrical panel, they protect wiring and appliances by turning off (TRIPPING) when a circuit overloads. Each breaker is labeled according to the area of your home it supplies power to. Circuit breakers have three positions: ON, OFF and TRIPPED. In the event you are not receiving power to an area in your home, you should first check the appropriate circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker is TRIPPED, it must first be turned OFF before it can be turned ON. Switching the breaker directly from TRIPPED to ON will not restore power. If a circuit TRIPS frequently, unplug all items connected to it and reset. If the circuit stays on, one of the items you unplugged is defective. Typically, circuit breakers trip due to overloads caused by plugging in too many appliances, worn cords, defective appliances or operating an appliance with too high of a demand requirement for the circuit.

The electrical system in your home is designed to accommodate a specific electrical demand. Typically, small appliances can be used or added on most circuits; however, excessive electrical demand may overload the circuit. This may cause the breaker to trip. Prior to purchasing and installing any electrical device or appliance, we recommend having a licensed electrical contractor check the appropriate circuit to ensure sufficient capacity.

Arc fault interrupters are installed in bedrooms (as required by municipal requirements). Arc fault interrupters are a safety precaution to prevent electrical shock if an item, other than a plug, is stuck into an outlet. The arc fault interrupter is located on the circuit breaker and resets similar to GFCI outlet. Appliances that have a large demand such as air purifiers, vacuums, computers, printers etc. will trip the outlet. If an outlet trips during normal use, it may be an indication of a faulty appliance.

The EPA has made drastic changes in the electroplating industry. One of the reasons for these changes is to lessen the negative impact the electroplating process has on the environment. Because of these modifications in the manufacturing process, the resulting plating is far more susceptible to pitting and tarnishing than in previous years.

All exterior fixtures installed on your home have been covered with a clear coating to help retard what is known as the “oxidation process”. This coating is not impervious to wear and tear. The “oxidation” is brought about by dirt, atmospheric conditions and ultraviolet light.

Eventually these contaminants will break down the clear coating and begin corroding the surface of the plating. This process will eventually tarnish any fixtures on the exterior of your home and there is currently no known way to prevent this from occurring. As such, exterior fixtures are excluded from the Limited Warranty.

It is not uncommon to experience slight dimming of the lights or buzzing when your air conditioner, furnace or other large appliance starts. This equipment demands a large amount of electricity at start up. Once this equipment has started, the electrical current flow will return to normal. This is not considered a defect and therefore not covered by the Limited Warranty.

It is not uncommon for florescent fixtures to make a buzzing sound during operation. This is considered normal for this type of fixture, not a defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

If you have fixtures that are not working, first check to see if the bulb is good and screwed in all the way. You may occasionally have to tighten light bulbs. Replacing light bulbs is a homeowner maintenance responsibility. If the bulb is ruled out, check all switches for that particular fixture and then check the circuit breaker for that particular area.

Occasionally check to make sure all fixtures are tightly mounted and secure.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and cleaning.

At least one side of one outlet in each bedroom, living room and family room is operated by a wall switch. Therefore, if there is no power to an outlet in one of these rooms, check to make sure the wall switch is in the ON position. If the wall switch does not provide power, next check the circuit breaker for that area. If the circuit breaker is TRIPPED, remember to reset the breaker by switching the breaker to OFF and then ON. Switching the breaker directly from TRIPPED to ON will not restore power.

Your home is also equipped with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Quite simply, the (GFCI) is a circuit breaker. Building codes require installation of these outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, exteriors, and basements (areas where an individual may come into contact with water while operating an electrical device). They are designed to trip with the slightest moisture contact to eliminate the possibility of electrical shock. Appliances that have a large demand such as refrigerators, freezers, countertop microwaves, power tools, etc. will trip the GFCI outlet. Do not plug these appliances into GFCI controlled outlets. If a GFCI outlet trips during normal use, it may be an indication of a faulty appliance.

If you do not have power to a (GFCI) outlet, simply RESET the outlet. Each (GFCI) has a TEST and RESET button located on the outlet cover. Once each month, we recommend that you press the TEST button, which will trip the (GFCI). To return service, press the RESET button. Please note, in certain home configurations, the (GFCI) TEST and RESET buttons may not be located on the actual outlet which is experiencing power failure. Since one (GFCI) can control multiple outlets, check the RESET button on the nearest (GFCI) outlet. This will be discussed at your Homeowner Orientation.

It is not uncommon to experience air infiltration through outlets and switches located on exterior walls. The depth of the electrical box that contains this switch and/or outlet, limits the insulation behind it. This is not considered a defect and is therefore not covered by the Limited Warranty.

For the safety and protection of your family, smoke alarms have been installed (per municipal requirements) on each level of your home.

These devices are a warning signal in the case of smoke and should always be kept in proper working order as they have been proven to save lives. The smoke alarms are designed to sound an alarm when smoke is present. Therefore, they may go off when cooking, broiling, excessive smoking, etc. Although this may become an irritant, DO NOT ALTER OR REMOVE any part of the detector which would render it inoperable, as this practice could prove to be fatal.

The smoke alarms in your home are wired directly into the electrical system but also include a battery back-up, in the event you should experience a loss of power. These batteries should be replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendations

The main purpose of your smoke alarms is to detect the presence of smoke and activate a warning signal. Having said this, there are other factors which may cause the smoke detectors to activate. You should always ensure your home is free from smoke or fire prior to investigating other causes such as:

  • Cover or sensor chamber is covered by dust, dirt or insects. Not uncommon after very windy conditions. Gently vacuum smoke detectors regularly using the soft brush attachment.
  • Power interruptions to smoke alarms. Smoke alarms may alarm briefly when power has been interrupted.
  • A loose electrical connection. Care should be taken when replacing batteries.
  • When furnace is turned on for first use of season. First use of the furnace can cause oil, dust and residue particles to be blown through the home possibly settling on the cover or sensor chamber.
  • Humidity. Excessive humidity in your home may cause moisture to collect on the cover or sensor chamber. Proper humidity levels in your home should be maintained (refer to Condensation section).
  • Chirping. Chirping is often the result of a low battery. Other factors may be that the battery pull tab is still in detector or that the battery drawer is open.
  • Cooking, broiling toasters, excessive smoking, etc. can all cause a smoke alarm to activate.

Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas. Carbon Monoxide can be produced by gas or oil appliances such as a furnace, clothes dryer, range, oven, water heater or space heater. When appliances and vents work properly, and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of Carbon Monoxide produced are typically not dangerous. The following conditions can cause Carbon Monoxide levels to rise quickly:

  • appliance malfunction
  • vent, flue or chimney is blocked by debris or even snow
  • fireplace, wood burning stove or charcoal grill is not properly vented
  • vehicle is left running in an attached garage
  • several appliances are running at the same time, competing for limited fresh air. This can cause incomplete combustion and produce Carbon Monoxide even if all appliances are in good working condition.

For the safety and protection of your family, Carbon Monoxide detectors have been installed (per municipal requirements) in your home. These devices are a warning signal in case Carbon Monoxide is present and should be kept in working order as they have been proven to save lives. These devices are typically installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms and may be a combination smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector. Although these may be combination units, they will have different sounding alarms. It is important to be familiar with the difference in tones between the two alarms.

The Carbon Monoxide detectors (and/or combination smoke detector and Carbon Monoxide detector) are wired directly into the electrical system but also include a battery back-up, in the event you should experience a loss of power. These batteries should be replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The main purpose of your Carbon Monoxide detector is to detect the presence of Carbon Monoxide and activate a warning signal. It is important that you establish an action plan and educate all family members on what to do in case the alarm sounds. Should the Carbon Monoxide alarm sound, immediately move everyone to fresh air outdoors and contact your emergency services (911). Do not re-enter the home until emergency services have arrived and deem the home safe to re-enter.

It is important to note that Carbon Monoxide detectors do not detect gas leaks, only Carbon Monoxide. To detect a gas leak, a gas detector is required. Should you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas to the appliance in question and contact the gas supplier immediately. They are equipped with the proper gas detector equipment.

If your home selections included a ceiling fan rough-in, you will receive an electrical box (in the ceiling) with three wires and a single pole switch (unless another switch option was chosen). The threewires consist of one neutral wire, that could either be the color white or gray, and two switch legs/wires that are two different colors. The two colored wires run from the ceiling fan box to the switch box. This will enable you to control either the fan or a light kit with the switch (or both at the same time). In order to control both the fan and a light kit separately with switches, a different (dual) switch will need to be purchased and installed. These switches are available at your local home improvement store.

Note: There are no set colors for switch legs/wires, they can be various colors. The colored wires travel from fan box to switch box.

When installing a fan make sure the white neutral wire from the fan connects to the neutral wire (white /gray) in the fan box. One colored switch leg/wire is connected to the fan motor. The other switch leg/wire is connected to the light. Additionally, make sure your fan is properly grounded. Note: if using a fan/light switch be sure to connect the correct colored wires coming from the fan box.

  • Before calling for service, check to confirm:
    • The main circuit breaker and individual circuit breakers are in the ON position.
    • The applicable wall switch is in the ON position.
    • The GFCI outlet is not TRIPPED.
    • The item you want to use is plugged in properly.
    • The item you want to use works in other outlets.
    • The bulbs are operable.
  • Before starting any electrical project remember to turn off all power to that location.
  • Do not use dedicated outlets for any purpose other than their intended use.
  • Test and reset GFCI outlets on a monthly basis. Large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, power tools, etc. will trip GFCI outlets. Do not plug these types of appliances into GFCI controlled outlets.
  • Surges in the electrical supply are normal. If you own sensitive equipment such as a computer, you may want to purchase a surge protector. Surge protectors are available at home improvement and electronics stores.
  • If your neighborhood experiences a power outage, unplug appliances and items such as TV’s, stereos, etc. This will protect them from a possible electrical surge when the power is restored.
  • Use care to not damage the low voltage wiring to your doorbell when installing a storm door. Test the doorbell both before and after storm door installation to ensure it operates properly.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents on fixtures.
  • Apply spray silicone to screws on exterior light fixtures to provide easier access for maintenance (light bulbs, cleaning, etc.).

Always consult a licensed electrical contractor when addressing any electrical component in your home.

Turn off the applicable power source at the main electrical panel when working on anything electrical.

Before digging in your yard, contact JULIE (Joint Utility Locate Information for Excavators) to identify the location of underground/buried electrical lines.

Test your smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms periodically. Change batteries per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Replace smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Care should be taken when handling fixtures to replace bulbs.

Check the permissible wattage of fixtures (usually stamped somewhere on the fixture’s body). Using a higher than recommended wattage of bulb could overheat and damage the fixture or possibly cause a fire.

Never use electrical devices with worn cords. Never overload any circuit.

We will confirm that all electrical fixtures are in acceptable and working condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

We will repair any electrical wiring that does not conform to local municipal electrical requirements.

We are not responsible for alterations, modifications or additions to electrical components or the electrical system as originally installed in your home.

Exterior finishes are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

F

Fireplaces

If you have selected a fireplace option, you will have chosen either a direct-vent or a chimney-vented fireplace. Information for each of these options is included in this section.

A fireplace is an excellent way to create a warm, cozy atmosphere; however, without sufficient information, your use of the fireplace can result in heat (and dollars) being wasted. Consider burning a fire as a luxury that adds much to the atmosphere but little to heating the home. Only about 10 percent of the heat produced by a fire is actually radiated into the home.

Color variations in brick, limestone and mortar are common and, as such, are conditions which are out of our control.

You will be provided with the manufacturers recommendations for the proper use and maintenance of your fireplace at your Homeowner Orientation. Please refer to this information before using the fireplace.

Improper use or maintenance of your fireplace can result in damage and/or injury. All maintenance and tips should be considered Safety Reminders.

Keep chimney chases and vents clear of debris (tree limbs, leaves, pests, toys and other obstructions which may not allow the system to function properly). Failure to do so may result in the inability for your fireplace to properly function.

Never burn trash in the fireplace.

Never use any type of liquid or solid fire starters.

Make sure all passageways of the chimney system are clear and unobstructed.

Always open the damper before lighting a fire and keep it open while the fire is burning. Do not close the damper until the fire is completely out. The damper should be closed when not in use.

When burning wood, your objective should be a clean and steady fire. Begin with a small fire to allow for the components of the fireplace to heat up slowly. Failure to do so may damage the fireplace and will void the warranty.

Remove ashes and coals from under the grate when completely cool.

Always use a grate to support the fire. If the basket grate burns out, it must be replaced with a manufacturer’s approved grate (refer to manufacturer’s manual).

Creosote and other wood-burning by-products accumulate inside the flue over a period of time. This build up can be a fire hazard. The way you use your fireplace and the type of wood you burn will determine the frequency of your chimney cleanings. A qualified chimney sweep should be hired for this cleaning.

The firebrick liner of your fireplace is made of a special fireclay material. While it is quite sturdy, it can become cracked by normal expansion and contraction from heat or abuse. If hairline cracks should develop in the firebrick liner, they will not affect the operation or safety of your fireplace. Discoloration and minor cracking of the firebrick liner is a normal result of use and not considered a defect. To prevent the firebrick from cracking, “condition” the firebox by building small fires for the first several burns and then gradually work up to larger fires. When adding wood to the fire, use only dry wood and use caution not to throw logs into the firebox which can cause damage.

Should you decide to purchase fireplace accessories after closing on your home, confirm that each component, such as the gas piping, grates, glass doors, etc. are compatible with your fireplace.

Ceramic gas logs are included with this option. You cannot burn real wood with this type of fireplace.

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

“Fogging” on the glass of your fireplace is normal. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for information. In addition, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when cleaning any components of your fireplace.

A burn off smell is normal and is not considered a defect. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for information.

  • As a precautionary measure before building your fire, hold a lit piece of paper up to the open damper to check for proper draft. If it is very cold or windy outside, you may need to open a window slightly to create a positive draft to heat the fireplace flue.
  • If you have a gas starter, use long matches or an extended lighter to ignite the gas. Always light the match first as you hold it at the starter valve, and then slightly turn on the gas valve. You can then adjust the gas valve. If using natural wood, be sure to turn off the gas once the logs are lit.

Always keep fire screens closed when using your fireplace. Fireplace doors should remain open when the fireplace is in use.

Extinguish all flames, coals and ashes before going to bed or leaving the home. Never leave a fire unattended.

Care must be taken near a fireplace and the exterior vent. Even the fireplace doors will get extremely hot during and after use.

The exterior vent of a direct-vent fireplace becomes extremely hot while the fireplace is operating.

Never use an accelerant to start a fire.

  • Separation of a masonry chimney on a newly constructed home may occur. We will repair separation from the main structure in excess of ½”. Caulking is considered an acceptable method of repair.
  • The heat from a fire can naturally discolor the firebrick liner. This condition is not covered by the Cambridge Limited Warranty.
  • Hairline cracks in the firebrick liner and shifting of the firebrick panels is normal and is not considered a defect. Larger cracks in the firebrick liner are caused by improper use of the fireplace and are not covered by the Limited Warranty. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for replacement parts.
  • Drafts or cold air convection may occur around the firebox. This condition is inherent with fireplaces and is not considered a defect.
  • The fireplace chase is constructed with wood framing, siding or masonry and a metal vent pipe. All of these components expand and contract with changes in temperature. Additionally, during high winds slight movement of the fireplace chase can occur. The expansion, contraction and movement can cause creaking, ticking or popping noises. This is normal and is not considered a defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Flooring - Carpet

The performance of carpet is directly related to the amount and quality of the fiber that goes into the pile. The better the fiber and the denser it is packed, the better the carpet will perform.

Your selection sheets provide a record of the style and color of the carpet in your home. Please retain this information for future reference. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the care of your carpet.

Vacuum high traffic areas daily, medium to high traffic areas twice weekly, and the entire house at least once a week to remove dirt and to help raise the carpet’s pile. Occasionally vacuum against the grain of the pile. Care should be taken when vacuuming seams. Make sure your vacuum is set to the proper setting for your type of carpet.

Pushing or dragging furniture, even with wheels, will stretch the carpet and cause bubbles or wrinkles to appear. It is a good idea to lift furniture when moving it. You may want to move furniture an inch or two every couple of weeks so it does not compress the same fibers.

Check thresholds and transition areas that secure carpeting to verify they are firmly in place and tack strips are not exposed.

Sunlight will cause carpet to fade. Utilize your window treatments to reduce the effect of sunlight on carpet.

  • Cleaning. You can add years to the life of your carpet with regular care. Most dirt, and even dust, takes the form of hard particles. When left in the carpet these gritty, sharp particles abrade the pile of the carpet. Regular vacuuming not only prolongs the life of the carpet, but will enhance its appearance as well. Most soiling in carpet is of the dry, particulate type which can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum high traffic lanes daily, medium to high traffic areas twice weekly, and the entire house at least once a week. Use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar. Change the bags often and check the beater bars for burrs and gouges so as not to damage the surface of the carpet. Some thick loop pile carpets will fuzz if a rotating brush vacuum is used. In this case we recommend a suction vacuum only. Even with regular vacuuming, soil particles and oily dirt will cling to the carpet fibers, and with foot traffic these particles and oily dirt are driven deep into the carpet. We recommend professional cleaning every 18 to 24 months. Periodic professional cleaning will refresh your carpets appearance.
  • Stains. No carpet is stain proof. Although your carpet manufacturer designates your carpet as stain resistant, some substances may still cause permanent staining. Examples include hair dyes, shoe polish, paint, and India ink. Some substances destroy or change the color of carpets including bleaches, acne medications, drain cleaners, plant food, insecticides and food or beverages with strongly colored natural dyes as found in some brands of mustard and herbal tea. Refer to your care and maintenance brochures for recommended cleaning procedures for your particular fiber. Pretest any spot- removal solution in an inconspicuous area before using it in a large area. Apply several drops of the solution, hold a white tissue on the area, and count to ten. Examine both tissue and carpet for dye transfer and check for carpet damage.

Atmospheric Soil/Dirt. The dark, oily soil/dirt that collects around the edges, at subfloor seams and under the doors of carpeted rooms is called “filtration soil” and is the result of pollutants and impurities in the air being filtered by the carpet. The condition occurs where it does because of the air circulation patterns of the house. For example, in a home with central heating or air conditioning, the vents may be located in the floor, while the cold air return is near the ceiling , or vice versa. This creates a typical circulation pattern where the air moves across the room, hits the wall and goes up, hits the ceiling and changes direction again, and so on. Where the air changes direction at the wall, the carpet collects many of the pollutants, acting like a fine mesh screen or filter. A dark, oily solid is collected around the edge of the room as a result. When a door is closed, interrupting the circulation pattern from room to room, all the air that would normally pass through that door is forced through the small space under the door, again the carpet acts as a filter for air pollutants.

The following carpet characteristics are inherent in all carpet. They are not considered manufacturing defects and are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

  • Appearance Retention. All carpets will change in appearance over time. This is primarily due to foot traffic. Carpet in high traffic areas will exhibit the most change. A good quality pad will help extend the carpet’s appearance. The tips of the tufts in cut-pile carpets, over time and use, will lose some twist, causing it to bloom. This is normal and should be expected.
  • Crushing. Crushing is the compaction of the pile thickness due to foot traffic or furniture. Frequent vacuuming in high traffic areas and glides or cups under heavy pieces of furniture can help prevent this. Rotating your furniture to change the traffic pattern in a room promotes more even wear. Some carpets resist matting and crushing because of their level of fiber, but this does not imply or guarantee that no matting or crushing will occur. Heavy traffic areas such as halls and stairways are more susceptible to wear and crushing. This is considered normal wear.
  • Fading or Color Loss. Science has yet to develop a color that will not fade with time. All carpets will slowly lose some color due to natural and artificial forces in the environment. You can delay this process by frequently removing soil with vacuuming, regularly changing air filters in heating and air conditioning systems, keeping humidity and room temperature from getting too high and reducing sunlight exposure with window coverings.
  • Footprints/Vacuum Cleaner Marks. Cut-pile carpets will show footprints and vacuum cleaner marks. The selection of a carpet with a lower pile height and denser construction will help to minimize this effect.
  • Indentations. Indentations will occur from furniture or heavy objects. Furniture coasters will assist in the spreading of the weight of the object to a larger area. Brushing the affected area with your fingertips will usually restore the crushed tufts to their original position.
  • Matting. The entanglement of fibers and tufts of the yarn tips may be caused by cushion failure, or most often, improper maintenance. Residue from a spill that was not cleaned up thoroughly or cleaning residue that has not been rinsed completely will lead to matting.
  • Piling. After the initial installation of the new carpet, you will notice excess yarn will appear on the carpet surface. This condition is called “piling” and is normal with new carpet. Do not be concerned; this condition will dissipate after a few months with repeated vacuuming.
  • Shading. Shading is a change in pile direction that results in an apparent change in color due to the light reflecting in different ways. Solid color cut-pile carpets will exhibit this more often than textured or patterned carpets. This is normal. Severe cases of shading are also known as “pooling” or “watermarking”. This results in a permanent pile reversal that occurs after installation. It has no known cause and is usually confined to only certain areas of an installation. “Pooling” or “watermarking” is not considered an installation or manufacturing defect.
  • Shedding. New carpeting, especially pile, sheds bits of fiber for a period of time. Regular vacuuming utilizing a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar will remove most of the loose fibers during the first year. Shedding usually occurs more with wool carpeting than with nylon or other synthetics.
  • Snags. Sharp-edged objects, including pet claws/nails can grab or snag the carpet fiber. When this occurs, cut off the snag – do not pull it as you may create further damage. If the snag is especially large, contact a carpet professional for repair.
  • Sprouting. Occasionally you may find small tufts of fiber sprouting above the carpet surface. Simply use scissors to cut off the sprout. Do not attempt to pull it, because other fibers will come out in the process.
  • Rippling. With wall-to-wall carpeting, high humidity may cause rippling. If the carpet remains rippled after the humidity has left, have a professional restretch the carpet using a power stretcher.

We will confirm that your carpet is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will correct stains or spots noted at this time by cleaning, patching or replacing the affected area. We are not responsible for dye lot variations or discontinued patterns if replacements are necessary.

  • Seams. Carpet seams are unavoidable and will be visible. We will repair any separation of the carpet backing (located at the seam). You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • Edges/Transitions. Edges of carpet should be held firmly in place. In some areas, metal or other edging material may be used where carpet meets another floor covering. If we originally installed your carpet and the adjoining floor covering, we will re-secure or re-stretch any carpeting that has lifted from the material to which it was originally attached. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • Fading or spots. Fading and spots can occur naturally when a carpet is exposed to light. We have no responsibility for this condition.
  • Floor Squeaks. This condition is often temporary in new homes. We will correct this condition one time during the one year warranty period only if it is caused by underlying defects in construction (such as a loose subfloor). A squeak proof floor cannot be guaranteed. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.

NOTE: We are not responsible for the removal and reinstallation of any floor covering not original to the home (to perform subfloor or any other repairs that require the removal/reinstallation of the floor covering).

Flooring - Ceramic Tile

The ceramic tiles used in various areas of your home provide a durable and decorative covering for floors and/or walls. Your selection sheets include the color of your ceramic tile and grout. Size, shade and/or color variation is inherent in all fired clay products and grout.

It is your responsibility to apply a grout sealer to all grout areas as soon as possible after your closing. Once grout has been sealed, ongoing maintenance of that sealant is necessary.

It is natural for a slight separation to occur where tile grout meets another material, such as along the edge of a bathtub or shower. Grout between tiles may also crack. Regrouting cracks is the homeowner’s responsibility during the life of your home.

Failure to regrout cracks and gaps could result in water infiltration under or behind the tile which can lead to tile failure and/or further damage to other components of your home. Any such damage is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Care should be taken to avoid damage to tiles when installing accessories. Such occurrences may result in cracked or broken tiles. We are not responsible for this condition.

  • Ceramic tile is one of the easiest floor and wall coverings to maintain. Occasional cleaning with warm water is appropriate. Avoid adding detergent to the water. If you feel a cleaning agent is required, use a mild solution of warm water and dishwasher crystals (they will not result in a heavy, difficult to remove lather on the grout). Rinse thoroughly. Abrasive cleaners should not be used to clean tile surfaces, as this may result in surface scratches and abrasions.
  • Slight separations between grout and tiles can be expected. This is caused by normal shrinkage of grout or caulk and shrinkage of wood members as they dry out. If this occurs, the best remedy is to purchase tub caulk or grout (color as indicated on your selection paperwork) from a home improvement or flooring store and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

We will confirm that tile and grout areas are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair or replace cracked or chipped tiles and grout noted prior to closing. If a repair is necessary, we are not responsible for variations in tile and grout color or discontinued patterns. New grout may vary in color from the original.

Loose Tile. Loose tiles will be repaired or replaced only if resulting from faulty installation. We are not responsible for variations in tile and grout color or discontinued patterns. New grout may vary in color from the original.

Flooring - Laminate

Laminate floors provide a durable surface with the appearance of tile, wood or stone. They are designed for minimum care; however, they do have maintenance needs.

Laminate products are chip and scratch resistant but are not chip and scratch proof. Chips and minor scratches can be expected from normal use. Exposure to sunlight may also alter your floor’s appearance.

Proper care and protection will keep your laminate floor looking its best and performing its best. Just how much attention it needs will depend on the type of floor you purchase and on how much daily traffic it receives.

Cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s specific recommendations.

  • Vacuum, use a dust mop or wipe with a damp cloth
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a cloth or sponge
  • Never use soap-based detergents or “mop and shine” products, as these may leave a dull film on your floor
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder, which can scratch your floor
  • Never wax or polish your floor

Protection. As mentioned above, chips and minor scratches can be expected. By following the steps below, you can help to protect the appearance of your floors from normal wear and tear.

The use of rugs, mats and carpets are recommended. Care should be taken when selecting these products as certain coverings may trap moisture, scratch the floor’s surface and/or affect the color of your floor. The use of “backing” may be used to eliminate SOME of these issues

  • Use dirt-trapping, walk-off mats at all exterior doors
  • In kitchens, use area throw rugs at high spill locations and work stations (stove, sink, refrigerator, etc.).
  • Install protection on the legs of your furniture to allow furniture to be moved without damaging the floor. Care should be taken to keep them clean. Replace as necessary.
  • Do not place plants, pet water bowls, litter boxes, etc. directly on floor surface. Excessive moisture, fertilizer and soils may cause damage to your floor.
  • High heels or rough soled shoes and boots can damage the surface of floors.
  • Keep pet claws trimmed and filed.
  • Use window treatments to lessen the chance of discoloration due to direct sunlight.
  • Move and/or relocate rugs on a regular basis to minimize the effects of sunlight.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Clean floor regularly using recommended cleaning methods.
  • Closely monitor humidity and temperature levels in your home
  • Care should be taken when moving objects across your floor, especially heavy objects, such as appliances and furniture.

Ensure carpets, rugs and mats do not easily slide on laminate floor surface.

Laminate flooring, like other types of smooth floors can become slippery when wet. Allow time for floor to dry after cleaning.

We will confirm that laminate floors are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • We will attempt to correct squeaking floors one time during the 1 year warranty period only if they are caused by underlying defects in construction. This is usually a temporary condition. A squeak proof floor cannot be guaranteed. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • The Limited Warranty does not cover conditions caused by mechanical components or lack thereof (heating, air conditioning, humidifiers and dehumidifiers).
  • We will repair gaps that exceed 1/8” in width. Wood filler/putty is an industry accepted method of repair. If material requires replacement, we are not responsible for color variations or discontinued patterns. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • In areas where mechanicals and/or utilities penetrate the flooring surface, we will attempt to minimize the gaps between the flooring and the penetration. Complete coverage however, is not always possible.

Examples include but are not limited to: around conduit, water pipes, dryer vent, behind and around furnace, etc. This is not considered a warranty defect and is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Flooring - Resilient

Resilient, or vinyl flooring (sheet goods and tile) come in many styles and shades and are designed for minimum care however, they do have maintenance needs.

In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, you may experience conditions such as raised nail heads, separating seams or lifting tiles. Should you notice any of these conditions, protect the area and notify your D.R. Horton representative.

Exposure to sunlight may also alter your floor’s appearance. Discoloration or damages not noted at your Homeowner Orientation is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Proper care and protection will keep your floor looking its best and performing its best. Just how much attention it needs will depend on the type of floor you purchase and on how much daily traffic it receives.

Cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s specific recommendations.

  • Vacuum, use a dust mop or wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a cloth or sponge.
  • Never allow water to stand on the floor. This could cause water to penetrate the seams causing the flooring material to lose adhesion.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder, which can scratch your floor.

Protection. Most vinyl flooring products are resilient but will scratch, mar, tear or dent under certain conditions. By following the steps below, you can help to protect the appearance of your floors from normal wear and tear.

The use of rugs, mats and carpets are recommended. Care should be taken when selecting these products as certain coverings may trap moisture, scratch the floor’s surface and/or affect the color of your floor. The use of “backing” may be used to eliminate SOME of these issues.

  • Use dirt-trapping, walk-off mats at all exterior doors
  • In kitchens, use area throw rugs at high spill locations and work stations (stove, sink, refrigerator, etc.).
  • Install protection on the legs of your furniture to allow furniture to be moved without damaging the floor. Care should be taken to keep them clean. Replace as necessary.
  • Roller type casters on furniture may damage resilient/vinyl flooring. Any warranty as to their suitability is the responsibility of the caster/furniture manufacturer. Be certain that the caster wheels or slides have a flat surface in contact with the floor. If they do not, we recommend that you change them. Keep casters clean and in good working order to help prevent marring and excessive wear of the flooring surface.
  • Do not place plants, pet water bowls, litter boxes, etc. directly on floor surface. Excessive moisture, fertilizer and soils may cause damage to your floor.
  • High heels or rough soled shoes and boots can damage the surface of your floor
  • Keep pet claws trimmed and filed.
  • Use window treatments to lessen the chance of discoloration due to direct sunlight.
  • Move and/or relocate rugs on a regular basis to minimize the effects of sunlight.
  • Clean floor regularly
  • Care should be taken when moving objects across your floor, especially heavy objects, such as appliances.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations

Ensure carpets, rugs and mats do not easily slide on wood floor surface.

Resilient flooring, like other types of smooth floors can become slippery when wet. Allow time for floor to dry after cleaning.

We will confirm that resilient floors are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • We will repair any nail pops that break the surface of the flooring. If material requires replacement, we are not responsible for color variations or discontinued patterns. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • We will repair any ridges or depressions which are readily apparent and which are more than 1/8” high or deep. We are not responsible for color variations between old and new flooring or discontinued patterns. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • We will repair resilient flooring which bubbles, lifts or becomes unglued. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • Slightly visible seams are considered acceptable. We will repair seams or shrinkage gaps in resilient flooring if they are more than 1/16” wide between pieces of resilient flooring. If gaps between
  • resilient flooring and other materials are more than 1/8” wide, we will repair affected area only. If material requires replacement, we are not responsible for color variations or discontinued patterns. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • In areas where mechanicals and/or utilities penetrate the flooring surface, we will attempt to minimize the gaps between the flooring and the penetration. Complete coverage however, is not always possible. Examples include but are not limited to: around conduit, water pipes, dryer vent, behind and around furnace, etc. This is not considered a warranty defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.
  • We will attempt to correct squeaking floors one time during the 1 year warranty period only if they are caused by underlying defects in construction. This is usually a temporary condition. A squeak proof floor cannot be guaranteed.

Flooring - Wood

Wood floors offer a tremendous accent to your home. To keep your floors looking their best, specific care must be taken to maintain their appearance, much like fine wood furniture. As with fine furniture, wood flooring can be scratched, dented or damaged by any object that is dragged or dropped on the floor (unprotected furniture legs, shoes, boots, toys, pets, etc.). This is not a defect but a limitation of the product.

Wood is a product of nature and as such, each piece of wood is different from the next. The amount of grain and texture gives wood its unique appearance and causes each piece of wood to absorb stain differently. This unique appearance is not a defect, but a characteristic of the product.

There are two types of wood flooring, pre-finished and site-finished floors, each available in a number of species. Although the general care for wood flooring is fairly consistent, each type and species of wood has different characteristics which may require “special” attention.

As with all wood products, wood floors are affected by changes in your home’s humidity and temperature. It is not uncommon to experience expansion, contraction and loose boards during seasonal changes. These conditions are not considered defects and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Excessive exposure to any source of light will alter your wood floor’s appearance. Darker colors and higher sheen finishes tend to highlight these conditions more readily than others. Particular species, Brazilian Cherry for example, tend to react significantly to such exposure. Although this condition may be temporary within certain species, this may not be the case with others. These conditions are not considered defects and therefore are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

As with all wood products, wood floors will expand and contract according to the moisture in the air (humidity). The reaction to the humidity or lack of it is constantly causing changes in your wood floor. Gapping and/or cracks between the edges of boards will appear during dry conditions and are most prevalent during the winter months when the heat is running. Installation of a humidifier during the heating season(s) and an air conditioner and dehumidifier during the warm weather season(s) is strongly recommended. The flooring manufacturer, installation subcontractor and D. R. Horton will not be responsible for the performance of any wood floor if these mechanical components are not installed in a home (air conditioning, humidifier and dehumidifier). Although the use of a humidifier is recommended, care must be taken not to “over humidify” your home.

Pre-finished – Refer to the manufacturer’s recommended products.

Site-finished – Refer to the National Wood Flooring Association’s recommendations.

All wood floors -

  • Never apply wax, soaps, oils or polishes to your floor.
  • Never allow cleaning products such as furniture polish, glass cleaner, etc. to come in contact with your floor.
  • Never saturate the floor.
  • Sweep or dry mop as needed. Dirt and grit will damage flooring.
  • Wipe up spills immediately.

As mentioned above, indentations and minor scratches can be expected. By following the steps below, you can help to protect the appearance of your floors from normal wear and tear.

The use of rugs, mats and carpets are recommended. Care should be taken when selecting these products as certain coverings may trap moisture, scratch the floor’s surface and/or affect the color of your wood floor.

  • Use dirt-trapping, walk-off mats at all exterior doors.
  • In kitchens, use area throw rugs at high spill locations and work stations (stove, sink, refrigerator, etc.).
  • Install protection on the legs of your furniture to allow furniture to be moved without damaging the floor. Care should be taken to keep them clean. Replace as necessary.
  • Do not place plants, pet water bowls, litter boxes, etc. directly on floor surface. Excessive moisture, fertilizer and soils may cause damage to your floor.
  • High heels or rough soled shoes and boots can damage the surface of wood floors.
  • Keep pet claws trimmed and filed.
  • Use window treatments to lessen the chance of discoloration due to direct sunlight.
  • Move and/or relocate rugs on a regular basis to minimize the effects of sunlight.
  • Clean floor regularly using recommended cleaning methods.
  • Closely monitor humidity and temperature levels in your home
  • Care should be taken whenever moving objects across your wood floor, especially heavy objects such as appliances and furniture.
  • Expect wood flooring to react similar to other types of wood products (expansion, contractions, etc.).
  • Due to government regulations, the wood floor sealer used in your home no longer includes certain solvents and chemicals (formaldehyde, etc.). Although much safer for your family, the sealer used on your floor may be not be similar to what you have had on previous wood floors.

Ensure carpets, rugs and mats do not easily slide on wood floor surface.

We will confirm that wood floors are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • We will attempt to correct squeaking floors and loose boards one time during the 1 year warranty period only if they are caused by underlying defects in construction and non-seasonal conditions. This is usually a temporary condition. Face nailing is an acceptable method of repair. A squeak proof floor cannot be guaranteed. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • The Limited Warranty does not cover conditions caused by mechanical components or lack thereof (heating, air conditioning, humidifiers and dehumidifiers).
  • We will repair cracks or gaps that exceed 1/8“ in width. Wood filler/putty is an industry accepted method of repair. If boards require replacement, we are not responsible for color variations or discontinued patterns. Face nailing is an acceptable method of repair. You are responsible for moving any furniture to conduct the repair.
  • In areas where mechanicals and/or utilities penetrate the flooring surface, we will attempt to minimize the gaps between the flooring and the penetration. Complete coverage however, is not always possible.

Examples include but are not limited to: around conduit, water pipes, dryer vent, behind and around furnace, etc. This is not considered a warranty defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

G

Gutters and Downspouts

The aluminum gutters and downspouts installed on your home are designed to direct water from your roof and away from the foundation of your home.

Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris (tree limbs, leaves, toys and other obstructions which may not allow the system to function properly). Failure to do so may result in water infiltration. We are not responsible for damages resulting from any such obstructions.

Ensure water from downspouts discharges beyond landscaping beds so water can properly drain away from the foundation.

We will confirm that all gutters and downspouts are installed and in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair any damage noted at this time. After closing, it is a homeowner’s responsibility to repair or replace any damaged gutters and/or downspouts.

  • Gutters over 3 feet long are installed with a slight slope so roof water will flow to the downspout.
  • Gutters may overflow during periods of excessively heavy rain. This is expected and requires no repair.
  • Small amounts of water (up to one inch) may stand in a gutter after a rain. This is expected and requires no repair.
  • Downspout extensions are recommended to aid in keeping water away from the foundation.
  • Care should be taken with the installation of seasonal decorations as they may cause damage.

Always use caution and the proper equipment when cleaning and maintaining your gutters and downspouts.

We will confirm that all gutters and downspouts are installed and in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will only repair damaged gutters and downspouts noted prior to closing.

  • We will warrant all gutters and downspouts will be installed so that they meet industry standards.
  • Leaks: We will repair leaks which occur at any gutter seams.
  • Standing Water: We will repair conditions which result in excess of one inch of standing water in the gutter only if the gutter/downspout is not obstructed with debris (tree limbs, leaves, toys, etc.).
  • Rattling/Vibrating: We will attempt to eliminate gutter rattling/vibrating however, we cannot guarantee a noise proof gutter system.

H

Humidifier

The humidifiers we supply are installed by a licensed heating/cooling contractor. This installation has been inspected and approved by the local municipality and has met applicable requirements.

The operation of the humidifier will be discussed during your Homeowner Orientation. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, given to you at your Homeowner Orientation, on care and use. Regular maintenance is necessary and will prolong the life of your humidifier.

The Humidity Control will be located on an interior wall in the living area or on the return air duct near the furnace. Use the control dial to adjust the humidifier setting.

Typically, humidifiers are shut off completely during the warm weather months. Moderate settings in cold weather months can maintain desired comfort levels without introducing too much moisture to your home. You will need to regularly adjust the humidifier settings based on your family’s lifestyle and the outdoor air temperature throughout the heating season. This may take some experimenting to find the correct level. You may find, during the first heating season, a humidifier is not necessary due to the moisture in the building materials used in constructing your new home.

Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels (refer to Condensation section) in your home:

Humidity levels can be checked by purchasing a humidistat. Humidistats register indoor humidity levels much like a thermometer.

The following humidity levels are recommended to avoid excessive condensation based on an inside temperature of 70° (Fahrenheit) and an outside temperature (Fahrenheit):

When outside temperature is Recommended humidity level
0º F or below not more than 20%
0º to 20º F not more than 30%
20º F and over not more than 40%

These guidelines list the recommended humidity levels in your home, not the recommended humidifier setting.

If you are experiencing an extreme moisture build-up on any surface, you should immediately investigate the humidity level in your home (not necessarily the humidifier setting). Water damage due to over humidification is expressly excluded from the Limited Warranty.

Change filters/pads per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Humidifiers should be cleaned on a regular basis, per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Do not operate your humidifier during summer months and monitor settings during winter months. Failure to do so can result in damage which is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Ensure water to the humidifier is turned on when in use.

  • Bring the manufacturer’s model information for your humidifier along when purchasing replacement filters/pads.
  • Water quality can affect the frequency of filter/pad replacement.

Ensure water and power to humidifier is turned off when replacing filters/pads.

  • The humidifier will operate per manufacturer’s specifications. We are not responsible for any damage to your home due to over- humidification.

HVAC - Air Conditioning

The air conditioning system we supply has been installed by a licensed cooling contractor. Each phase of this installation has been inspected and approved by the local municipality and has met applicable requirements.

The operation of this system will be explained during your Homeowner Orientation. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, given to you at your Homeowner Orientation, on care and use. Regular maintenance of this system will reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the system.

When the thermostat registers a higher temperature setting than which you selected, your air conditioner will come on automatically (assuming it is set on COOL). Setting the thermostat at a lower temperature will not cool your home faster. Your cooling system operates best when kept at a constant temperature. Avoid allowing your home to get too warm or too cold.

Temperatures normally vary from floor to floor and even room to room in a home, especially when it is very cold or very warm outside. During these periods, it is suggested to set the fan setting to ON and leave interior doors open. This will allow for constant air circulation. Dampers and registers may also require adjustment. Do not let window coverings or other objects obstruct airflow.

As the cooling system operates, it is normal to experience some “popping” or “pinging” sounds. These sounds are the natural result of ductwork expanding and contracting in response to airflow. This is not considered a defect and therefore is not covered under the Limited Warranty.

It is always recommended to have a “trial run” of this system in the spring. If service is needed, it is much better to discover this before the actual cooling season.

Never operate your air conditioning unit when the outside temperature is below sixty five degrees Fahrenheit (65º). If the compressor is started during cold weather, you will cause irreparable damage to the motor. Doing so will void the manufacturer’s and any applicable terms under the Limited Warranty.

In the event you find the air conditioner is not operating, you should verify:

  • The thermostat is set on the COOL setting.
  • The breaker for the air conditioner (A/C) located in the main breaker panel box is in the ON position.
  • The electric switch which controls your furnace and air conditioner (A/C) is ON. (Note: The switch will be on or near the furnace.)
  • The exterior service “disconnect” is in the ON position. Ensure the air conditioning (A/C) breaker is in the OFF position prior to checking the service
  • “disconnect”. Turn the breaker ON after checking service “disconnect”.
  • The furnace panel is properly secured as it has a trip device which will not allow the air conditioner (A/C) to operate when open.
  • The furnace filter is clean.
  • Verify the fuses in the furnace are operational (refer to the manufacturer’s manual).
  • Verify the batteries in the thermostat are operational (refer to the manufacturer’s manual).

Note: Loss of air conditioning is not considered an Emergency. In the event your cooling system is not operating and you have checked all of the above items, please contact the Warranty Call Center to schedule an appointment for service. The air conditioning/cooling subcontractor will respond to service requests during normal business hours.

Change furnace filters per manufacturer’s recommendations. Note: certain furnace filters may restrict the airflow and affect the operation of your furnace and air conditioner.

Clean air conditioner condenser, compressor and ductwork per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Ensure the compressor unit is clean and free of debris. Keep vegetation from growing around or on the compressor. During the cooling season, periodically check the compressor’s housing to make sure grass clippings, leaves or other debris do not block the fins.

Ensure condensation drain lines are unobstructed.

Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels in your home.

  • Never run the air conditioner during cold weather, below sixty five degrees Fahrenheit (65º).
  • Test operation of cooling system prior to cooling season.
  • Turn off humidifier, if applicable.
  • Never cover the entire condenser unit as this could cause damage to the unit.
  • Contact a certified HVAC technician for proper maintenance prior to a cooling season.

Care should be taken whenever working with electrical components of cooling system (i.e., breakers, exterior disconnect, etc.).

  • The cooling system is designed to maintain an indoor temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is measured in the center of each room at a height of 5 feet above the floor (under local outdoor summer design conditions as specified in the ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers - handbook). If the outside temperature is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooling system must be able to maintain an inside temperature that is 15 degrees below the outside temperature. Federal, state or local energy requirements take precedence. We will repair the cooling system so that it provides the required temperature.
  • We will repair all leaking refrigerant lines and will recharge unit, if determined to be caused by defective installation.
  • We will provide unobstructed condensation lines at closing.
  • We will re-attach or re-secure all ductwork that has become separated or unattached due to faulty installation.

HVAC - Heating System (and Fixtures)

Your heating systems and fixtures have been installed by a licensed heating/cooling contractor. Each phase of this installation has been inspected and approved by the local municipality and has met applicable requirements.

The operation of this system will be explained during your Homeowner Orientation. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, given to you at your Homeowner Orientation, regarding care and use. Regular maintenance of this system may reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the system.

When the thermostat registers a lower temperature setting than you have selected, your furnace will turn on automatically (assuming it is set to “HEAT”). Setting the thermostat at a higher temperature will not heat your home faster. Your heating system operates best when set at a constant temperature.

Avoid allowing your home to get too warm or too cold.

Temperatures normally vary from floor to floor and room to room in a home, especially when it is very cold or very warm outside. This is normal and does not indicate a failure of the system.

During these periods, it is recommended to set the fan setting to ON and leave interior doors open. This will allow for constant air circulation. Dampers and registers may also require adjustment to help balance the system.

As the heating system operates, it is normal to experience some “popping” or “pinging” sounds. These sounds are the natural result of ductwork expanding and contracting in response to airflow and temperature change. This is not considered a defect therefore, is not covered under the Limited Warranty.

It is always recommended to have a “trial run” of this system in the fall. If service is needed, it is much better to discover this before the actual heating season begins.

In the event you find the furnace is not operating, you should verify:

  • The thermostat is set on the HEAT setting.
  • The breaker for the furnace located in the main breaker panel box is in the ON position.
  • The electric switch which controls your furnace is ON. (Note: The switch will be on or near the furnace.)
  • The switch located near the flywheel inside the furnace should be in the ON position. (Note: You must remove the furnace panel/cover to access this switch.)
  • The furnace cover and/or interior panel are properly secured as it has a trip device which will not allow the furnace to operate when open.
  • The furnace filter is clean.
  • Verify the fuses in the furnace are operational. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Verify the batteries in the thermostat are operational (refer to the manufacturer’s manual).

In the event your furnace is not operating and you have checked all of the above items, please refer to your Emergency Phone List, given to you at your Homeowner Orientation, and contact the appropriate heating subcontractor directly. Loss of heat is only considered an Emergency if the outside temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Change furnace filters per manufacturer’s recommendations. Note: certain furnace filters may restrict the airflow and affect the operation of your furnace.

Clean furnace and ductwork per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels in your home.

If you selected the option for an Electronic Air Cleaner, it is mounted in the return air duct of the forced air heating, cooling and ventilating system. It captures a significant amount of airborne particles from air circulating through it.

To assure optimum performance from the air cleaner, the cells and prefilters must be cleaned regularly and the postfilters replaced regularly – every one to six months. Washing frequency varies, depending on the number of family members, pets, activities (such as cooking, woodworking, etc.) and smoking habits. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for proper operation and maintenance.

  • Never set thermostat setting below sixty five degrees Fahrenheit (65º), especially when leaving home for extended periods.
  • Test operation of furnace prior to heating season.
  • Your furnace may emit slight odors during the first few cycles of the heating season due to oil from the manufacturer process or from dust settling on the burners. This condition is normal and temporary.

The area around your furnace should be vacuumed as needed to prevent dust from entering the unit.

The vent on your furnace should be kept clear from debris and monitored for proper ventilation.

Do not store combustible items. Such as fuel containers, paint, oily rags, clothing, etc. near your furnace.

  • The heating system is designed to maintain an indoor temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is measured in the center of each room at a height of 5 feet above the floor (under local outdoor winter design conditions as specified in the ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers - handbook). Federal, state or local energy requirements take precedence. We will repair the heating system so that it provides the required temperature.
  • We will re-attach or re-secure all ductwork that has become separated or unattached due to faulty installation.

I

Insulation

The insulation system for your home is designed to meet or exceed municipal code requirements. When referring to insulation, the term “R-value” is often used. R-value is defined as the level of resistance provided by the insulation to any transfer of heat or cold. The total R-value of the insulation used in your home may vary depending on the area being insulated. Some areas of your home may require a higher R-value due to a greater tenancy for heat loss. These areas include, but are not limited to, your ceiling and roof.

If your ceiling insulation is blown-in, its effectiveness is enhanced by an even, non-compacted distribution. If you do any work in your attic, you should be sure to check that you did not displace the evenness and/or distribution of the insulation.

Inspect attics on an annual basis to make sure the insulation has remained in place.

Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows on an annual basis and adjust/replace as necessary.

Electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls emit noticeable amounts of cold air when outside temperatures are low. The depth of the electrical box that contains this switch and/or outlet, limits the insulation behind it. This is not considered a defect and therefore, is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Foam insulator pads are available at your local home improvement store to reduce drafts at these locations.

When performing any maintenance or other tasks in the attic, use extreme caution. Do not step off the top of the framing onto the insulation, drywall or mechanical components (conduit, PVC, etc.). This can result in personal injury and/or damage to the ceiling below. This Limited Warranty does not cover such injury or damage.

We will provide insulation in the attic area as required by the municipal building codes. We will correct any insulation that does not conform to local municipal code requirements. Damage to insulation due to the infiltration of wind- driven rain and snow are beyond our control and are not considered a defect.

L

Landscaping

A well-tended lawn adds greatly to the beauty and value of your home. Establishing a sodded and/or seeded lawn is a delicate process which requires special care and DAILY maintenance for the first four to five weeks immediately after installation.

All landscaping elements, including sod, seeded areas, existing and new trees and shrubs are entirely the homeowner’s responsibility (unless otherwise covered by a Homeowner’s Association).

Existing trees and vegetation are not covered under the DR Horton Limited Warranty.

The final grades around your home have been inspected and approved for proper drainage. The grade around your home will allow for positive drainage away from your home. It is not uncommon to experience some standing water and soil erosion after a heavy rainfall.

Although we replaced the soil where the ground was excavated for the construction of your home, it may not have yet returned to its original compaction. Ground settlement, especially near the foundation, may occur.

NOTE: There may be reasons why landscaping cannot be installed at the time of closing (i.e., season, weather, municipal restrictions, etc.) Should this be the case, landscaping items will be documented on an “Exterior Rider” which will be signed by both parties. Landscaping will be completed as conditions allow.

Once landscaping (sod, seed plantings, etc.) has been installed and/or upon closing, whichever should take place last, it is solely the homeowner’s responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of these components (unless otherwise covered by a Homeowner’s Association). This includes watering, mowing, fertilizing, weeding, erosion, etc.

Some municipalities may have watering restrictions in place, so be sure to confirm this information to determine a watering schedule.

The ground needs to be kept moist on a DAILY basis for at least three to five weeks after installation. You must water new sod within hours of installation. Continue watering 8-10 hours per day for the first seven consecutive days.

The second week you must water for 4-5 hours a day. After the second week, continue to water daily basing the number of hours of watering on the weather conditions. Sod not watered properly will result in the grass turning yellow and eventually dying if proper watering is not resumed.

A mixture of rye and blue grass will be applied to your lawn. The rye grass will germinate rather quickly after application and will provide a good environment for the growth of the blue grass.

This initial seeding will supply your lawn with a good base; however, you will need to apply 2 to 3 additional applications of seed during the first growing season and possibly additional applications in following seasons.

The seeded areas need to be lightly watered to keep at least the top ½ inch of soil moist. It will take approximately 10 to 14 days to get the seed to germinate. Once the seed starts to germinate, it is critical to keep the soil moist. One day of the soil drying out can cause any new germination to die.

This may require two to three watering sessions per day. As the seed starts to establish, the watering should be heavier and less frequent.

Hand weeding is necessary in establishing seeded areas. Failure to pull weeds can result in the weeds hindering the establishment of the grass seed.

There are other steps and products available to assist you in establishing a seeded lawn. Please consult with your local garden center or home improvement store for information.

Maintenance of the proper grading of your lot is considered homeowner maintenance. Any alteration to the grading is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

If a common or other area is used to access your property to install an exterior improvement, you are responsible for protecting the area and restoring it if any damage occurs.

NOTE: If a utility company or other entity, not associated with DR Horton, Inc., disturbs your lawn or landscaping, it is your responsibility to contact them regarding the restoration. DR Horton, Inc. is not responsible for correcting the disturbance and D.R Horton representatives cannot contact these companies on your behalf.

If D.R. Horton has not completed setting the proper grade and surface contours on your lot prior to closing, you cannot install exterior improvements (including but not limited to patios, decks, fencing, sheds, sunrooms, swing sets, sprinkler systems, pools, underground pet fencing, landscaping, etc.) until the final grading has been completed and all municipal inspections and approvals have been obtained by D.R. Horton.

Should you choose to proceed with the installation of exterior improvements prior to D.R. Horton’s completion of all exterior components, anything that interferes in establishing the proper grade and drainage will need to be removed and reinstalled at your expense.

  • When watering your lawn, direct sprinklers away from your home.
  • Water in the cool part of the day, ideally just before sunrise.
  • Mowing: Your lawn should be mowed when the grass reaches a height of 5 inches. A 3 inch grass height should be maintained until the lawn is well established. Failure to mow may develop too much shade for the grass and hinder its establishment. Clippings may need to be removed after your cuttings to avoid decomposed matter from building up.
  • Apply fertilizer three times per year starting in the spring.
  • While you are establishing seeded areas, you may need to hand pull weeds to prevent them from hindering the establishment of the grass seed.
  • Once your sod and/or seed are established, apply a pre-emergent weed control in the spring (this may be applied with the spring fertilizer). Apply a weed control in the summer for broadleaf weeds such as dandelions.
  • Inspect your trees on an annual basis. Remove any dead limbs and trim any overhanging branches that could cause damage to roofs, gutters, sidings, etc. Remove any dead trees.
  • Spray or treat trees as necessary for invasive species or conditions (beetles, apple scab, etc.)
  • Mulch should be applied around trees and shrubs on an as needed basis.
  • Edge your lawn annually to keep grass from encroaching on driveways, patios, service walks and sidewalks. Encroaching grass will harbor moisture that may damage concrete and asphalt. If grass roots work their way into small cracks, these cracks can become larger. This is common along the edges of asphalt driveways.
  • Rake leaves from your lawn in the fall in order to allow sunlight and air circulation.
  • Install downspout extensions to lessen soil erosion.

Before any significant digging, check the location of buried service lines by calling the local utility locating service.

  • We will repair settled areas which affect the proper drainage, only one time during the warranty period.
  • We will establish the proper grades and swales (sloped areas for water to properly drain away from the home). Water will not stand or pond for extended periods after a rain (usually not more than 48 hours). For swales which drain other areas or where sump pumps discharge, a longer time is not unusual. It is not unusual for water to stand after a heavy rainfall. Grading or ponding determinations will not be made while there is frost or snow on the ground, or while the ground is saturated or frozen.
  • We will replace any dead trees or shrubs (which are supplied by us) one time during the 1 year warranty period after they have gone through a complete growing season.
  • We are not responsible for damage to or grading issues caused by homeowner installed improvements.

M

Masonry - Brick and Stone

Brick and stone have a reputation for durability and low maintenance. Minor chipping, cracking or mortar shrinkage is normal and should not be a cause for concern.

Variations in size, color and placement are to be expected. Chips and heat cracks in brick are normal and inherent in the brick manufacturing process. Additionally, cracks up to 3/8” wide due to shrinkage are common in mortar joints in masonry construction.

Contrary to popular belief, most masonry products do not repel moisture in fact they have a tendency to absorb moisture. Most masonry applications include drainage systems which use either a wick or a weep hole along their bottom course. A wick system incorporates a short rope (approximately 2 inches) that will eventually disintegrate. Weep holes are merely gaps in the mortar between bricks. Either system, along with a flashing membrane, assist in directing water from behind masonry products to the exterior. Should water penetrate to the interior of the home, please contact your D.R. Horton representative immediately.

Your selection sheets provide a record of the brick and/or stone color on your home.

Occasionally, a white powdery substance called efflorescence may appear on masonry. This is a natural occurrence and does not indicate that there are any problems with the product or its installation. While efflorescence can be removed, it will usually disappear over time. This is not considered a warranty defect. Consult with your local home improvement store for products regarding the removal of efflorescence.

Periodically, brick or stone may require tuck-pointing (repairing the mortar between the brick/stone). Consult a local home improvement store or contact a professional masonry contractor for the repair of mortar or loose brick/stone.

Avoid placing landscaping against masonry material. Check the height of mulch and dirt to ensure they do not come in contact with masonry. We are not responsible for damage caused by improper landscaping installed by the homeowner.

Do not allow ivy or other climbing foliage to grow on masonry. The plants may work their way into tiny masonry cracks, promoting deterioration.

Ensure weep holes are not obstructed.

Maintain caulked areas where masonry meets other components of your home (windows, vents, meters, trim boards, etc.).

We are not responsible for damage to brick or stone resulting from the installation of satellite dishes, flag holders, plant holders, holiday or other decorations, etc.

  • Efflorescence can be removed. Consult a home improvement store for products and instructions.
  • When watering your lawn, direct sprinklers away from your home.
  • Use the proper caulk in areas where masonry meets other building materials. Consult a home improvement store for the proper type of caulk.
  • We will repair cracks in mortar which exceed 3/8” wide by filling the cracks one time during the one year warranty period. We will not be responsible for an exact color match of the old and new masonry and mortar.
  • Minor cracks in bricks/stone are considered normal and are not covered by this Limited Warranty.
  • Minor chips and flaking of brick/stone is considered normal and is not covered by this Limited Warranty. Should excessive chipping and flaking occur (as determined by the manufacturer or their authorized representative), the bricks will be stained to match surrounding/original bricks. An exact color match cannot be guaranteed.
  • Bricks should not overhang the brick ledge by more ½ the depth of the brick. Should more than ½ of the depth of the brick overhang the ledge, steel will be installed under the brick for support.

Mirrors

The mirrors in your home will require occasional cleaning. Particular care should be taken when cleaning your mirrors as certain products may cause damage. Damages brought to our attention after closing are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Ensure cleaning products are not abrasive and do not contain acids or alkalis, which can damage your mirrors. Use a clean, soft rag or paper towels to clean mirrors. Dirty or gritty rags can cause damage. Do not use scrapers or putty knives to clean mirrors.

  • Do not spray cleaner directly on mirror. Apply cleaner to a cloth and then gently wipe the mirror.
  • Care should be taken when cleaning the edges of your mirrors. Most mirror failures occur at the edges when solutions attack the mirror’s backing.

Never apply pressure to mirrors, especially when cleaning.

We will confirm that all mirrors are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface irregularities such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form. Surface irregularities shall be determined without magnification at a distance of three feet or more from a normal viewing position.

Mirrors are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Mold Prevention

There are many different types of indoor environmental contaminants, such as pet dander, dust mites and mold. Molds and other potential contaminants have always been a part of our environment. Mold is everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Therefore, everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. Due to a number of factors, including the fact that sensitivities to various types of molds and other contaminants vary from person to person, there are no state or federal standards concerning acceptable levels of exposure to mold.

Designing or building homes that exclude mold spores is impossible. Moisture is the only mold growth factor that can be controlled in a home. By minimizing moisture, you can reduce or eliminate mold growth. Mold needs moisture to establish, grow and reproduce. Mold problems and long standing moisture or high humidity conditions go hand and hand.

Moisture in your home can originate from many sources. Spills, leaks, overflows, condensation and high humidity are some examples. Good housekeeping and proper maintenance are essential in your effort to minimize or eliminate mold growth.

Immediately report any leaks in your roof, windows or plumbing system to your

D.R. Horton representative. Failure to report leaks promptly increases your risk and responsibility for repairs.

Check your home regularly for signs of water intrusion. Make sure all weatherstripping is in good condition. Adjust door thresholds as necessary.

Wipe up spills immediately.

Maintain all caulking, interior and exterior.

Mold grows well on dust and dirt so be sure to vacuum and dust regularly. Clean or replace filters in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.

If your home includes a humidifier, operate it and clean it in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If condensation develops, turn the humidifier down or off. Condensation on surfaces inside your home is a sign of high humidity. If you notice condensation, wipe it up and take steps to reduce the humidity level of your home (refer to the Condensation section).

Keep weep holes free and clear of debris (i.e. windows and brick).

Check air conditioning condensate line and refrigerator lines/pans regularly for mold growth.

Maintain positive drainage around the foundation of your home. Always use hood fans when cooking.

Always use bath fans when bathing or showering. Continue to run bath fans for at least 20 minutes after bathing.

Clean the dryer duct as needed to keep it clear and functioning efficiently. Air out your home by opening windows for a time when weather permits.

  • Keep extra filters available for convenience. Check filters every 30 days and replace as necessary.
  • Keep garage doors closed to prevent exposure to the elements.

We will respond to any leaks and repair as necessary as described under the individual warranty guidelines (i.e. plumbing, roofing, etc.).

P

Paint - Exterior

All painted exterior surfaces on your home have been covered with exterior grade paint. The paint colors can be found on your color selection sheet (where applicable). These painted surfaces will lose their colorfastness due to exposure to weather conditions.

Checks, cracks, knots and peeling paint are not uncommon on exterior trim and may be caused by conditions other than the paint or its application.

Care of the exterior painted surfaces is a homeowner responsibility (unless otherwise covered by a Homeowner’s Association). This includes damages resulting from the installation of satellite dishes, holiday or other decorations, etc.

Inspect exterior painted and caulked surfaces annually. Repaint/recaulk before excessive chipping or peeling of the original surface occurs.

Depending on the exposure of each surface, the paint on some areas may require attention sooner than others.

Due to environmental conditions, both dark and light colored paint may fade in as little as 90 days. This is not considered a defect and therefore is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

  • Always clean and/or treat the surface properly prior to repainting. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the surface.
  • When watering your lawn, direct sprinklers away from your home.

Store paint in a conditioned space away from open flames and out of the reach of children.

We will confirm that exterior paint is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • We will repair any exterior paint that peels. Only the specific board or affected area will be repaired. We cannot be responsible for an exact color match to the original colors. We will make these repairs only (1) time during the warranty period.

Paint - Interior

The interior walls and ceilings of your home have been painted with an interior grade “flat latex” paint. This acts as a primer coat and provides a blank canvas for you to customize your home after moving in. If you selected a color paint option, your selection sheets provide a record of the color(s) selected. If you selected painted doors and trim, these products come pre-primed and “latex enamel” paint is applied to these surfaces. A paint touch up kit will be provided to you.

You may experience an occasion when paint touch ups to your walls and ceiling surfaces are necessary. Although paint touch ups may not always match the original surface, latex paints typically touch up better than other types of paint (eggshell, semi- gloss, etc.) which is why they are used.

Care of the painted surfaces in your home is your responsibility.

Most touch ups can easily be addressed with the use of materials found in your paint touch kit provided at your Homeowner Orientation.

If drywall repairs are necessary on surfaces you have altered, it is your responsibility to repaint and/or wallpaper these areas. We will only restore the area(s) to the original finish.

It is your responsibility to remove window treatments, move furniture, etc. to allow for warrantable drywall repairs to be completed.

  • If you choose to customize your home with paint and wallpaper during the first year, it is essential that you purchase extra material(s). Since We will only restore repaired areas to the original finish, you will be responsible for applying your own custom finishes after repairs have been completed. We are not responsible for restoring finishes (paint and wallpaper) that are not original to the home.
  • A perfect match from touch ups is unlikely in areas which receive exposure to sunlight or in the case of one or more smokers in the household.
  • Recent studies have shown that burning certain candles, oils and potpourri can result in sooty deposits on carpets, walls, furniture, appliances, etc. These deposits are often impossible to remove. If this is an activity that is part of your lifestyle, we caution you about the potential damage to your home. When this condition occurs due to the use of such products, the resulting damage is not considered a defect and therefore not covered by the Limited Warranty.
  • Prevent excessive amounts of moisture from coming in contact with painted surfaces.
  • Due to the changes in the formulas used in producing paint (such as the elimination of lead to make paints safer), painted surfaces must be washed gently using mild soap, a soft sponge and as little water as possible. Avoid abrasive cleaners, scouring pads or scrub brushes. Flat paints show washing marks more readily than enamel paints do. You may experience better results by touching up rather than washing the paint.

Store paint in a conditioned space away from open flames and out of the reach of children.

We will confirm that interior paint is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface irregularities noted on the Orientation form.

  • Surface irregularities shall be determined when viewed without lumination or magnification at a distance of five feet or more under natural lighting conditions and from a normal viewing position. Surface irregularities only noticed under certain lighting conditions are not covered by the Limited Warranty.
  • We will repair any paint that peels. We cannot be responsible for an exact color match to the original colors. We will make these repairs only (1) time during the warranty period.

Pest Management

Insects, bugs, rodents and other animal life (including but not limited to: ants, spiders, flies, wasps, bees, beetles, box elder bugs, millipedes, mice, squirrels, birds, moles, skunks, etc.) may fail to recognize that your home belongs to you.

Screens are designed to allow airflow through a home and keep most common pests out. However, they cannot possibly keep all pests out of your home. Windows and slider patio doors are designed with a weephole system. The weepholes are an engineered drainage feature of the window and should not be sealed.

Addressing concerns involving these pests and wildlife goes with being a homeowner. You can find information on the internet, from animal control authorities and from pest control professionals.

Check vents on a regular basis to ensure birds or other animals have not nested in the duct work.

  • Exterior doors are intended for ingress and egress only and should be kept closed at all other times (including the overhead garage doors).
  • Regularly inspect and caulk/seal penetrations as necessary (with the exception of window and patio slider weepholes).
  • Regularly inspect window wells to ensure animals have not fallen into them. Window well covers are recommended.

Keep hazardous chemicals (sprays, decon, etc.) out of the reach of children and away from pets.

The Limited Warranty excludes treatment or damage caused by any rodents, pests or any other animal life.

Plumbing System and Fixtures

The plumbing system and fixtures in your home have been installed by a licensed plumbing contractor, according to the information on your selection sheets. Each phase of this installation has been inspected and approved by the local municipality and has met all applicable requirements and plumbing standards.

Although we are responsible for connecting the plumbing system to your home from municipal systems, we have no control over water pressure or the quality of water supplied by your local municipality. Certain municipal water supplies may discolor plumbing fixtures when the water is aerated (as when using the jets in a whirlpool tub). This can cause the tub water to turn brown or leave a residue. This may necessitate installing a water softener or filter. Such conditions are beyond our control and is not considered a product or installation defect.

Additionally, municipalities typically conduct periodic hydrant flushing. We do not have any control over this flushing or any issues that may result from the flushing. You should contact your local municipality with any questions or concerns.

Your plumbing system has many parts, most of which require little maintenance. Proper cleaning and occasional preventative care will assure many years of good service from this system. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and maintenance.

Due to the number of components which comprise your plumbing system, we have listed the most common in alphabetical order. Applicable maintenance information and Helpful Hints are included under each component. This information should be considered Homeowner Maintenance unless otherwise noted under the Warranty Guidelines.

Aerators. Even though your plumbing lines have been flushed to remove dirt and foreign matter, small amounts of minerals in the water may enter these lines. Aerators on the faucets strain much of this from your water. Minerals trapped in the aerators may inhibit water flow or cause faucets to drip. This can be avoided by regular cleaning of your aerators.

Anti-scald. As of 1993, all shower components and shower-bath combinations are provided with an automatic safety water mixing device to prevent sudden unanticipated changes in water temperature. This device is a Federal requirement and neither D.R. Horton, Inc., nor our subcontractors, are permitted to adjust the temperature setting.

Clogs. The main cause of toilet clogs are homeowner introduced items such as excessive amounts of toilet paper, sanitary supplies, disposable diapers, Q-tips and children’s toys. You can usually clear clogged traps with a plunger. It is important to note that excessive plunging can cause failure of the wax ring. This is not covered by the DR Horton, Inc. Limited Warranty. If you use chemical agents, follow directions carefully to avoid personal injury or damage to the fixtures.

Clogs are not considered a defect and are not covered by the Limited Warranty. If you request service for a clog and it is determined the clog is a result of homeowner introduced items, you will be responsible for the cost of the service call.

Ejector Pump. The ejector pump in the basement is designed to pump waste water that originates in your basement and sanitary waste from your basement to a main sanitary sewer line.

  • The pump provided operates on electricity. Power is supplied by a dedicated outlet. This outlet should not be used with any other electrical device, such as a water softener.
  • When used with a lower level laundry facility, a lint trap on the washer discharge is required. Failure to do so will cause damage to this pump.
  • If a lower level bathroom is intended, you must ensure an ejector pump designed for this use has been installed. Care should be taken not to allow foreign objects (see clogs) to enter the ejector pump pit.

Extended Absences. If you plan to be away for any extended period of time, we recommend you shut off your main water supply and drain your water supply lines. This is done by shutting off the main water supply line (typically near the water meter) and opening the faucets to relieve pressure. NEVER DRAIN FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS. Never leave the heating system set below sixty five degrees Fahrenheit (65º).

Fixtures. Follow manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and maintaining fixtures. Your selection sheets provide a record of the fixtures selected and installed in your home. Avoid abrasive cleansers. The seal between your faucet and vanity top is not a water tight seal therefore avoid excessive water splashing or build up at this location.

Freezing Pipes. During extreme weather conditions, certain precautions can be taken to avoid frozen pipes.

  • The heating system should be maintained at a temperature no lower than sixty five degrees Fahrenheit (65º).
  • Keep overhead garage doors closed.
  • When plumbing fixtures are located on an exterior wall, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes and open the faucets just enough to allow water to run at a trickle.
  • Use an ordinary hand held hair dryer to thaw pipes that are frozen. Never use an open flame or leave heating equipment unattended.

Garbage Disposals. A wrench has been provided to manually turn the blades and dislodge food particles. Refer to the manufacturer’s literature for further instructions.

  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance.
  • If the disposal is not operating, check to ensure the unit is plugged in, the breaker is ON and the “reset” button on bottom of unit has been reset.
  • DO periodically run several ice cubes through the disposal, as this helps to clean the blade mechanism.
  • DO periodically run a warm water solution of baking soda through the system to eliminate odor from food residue.
  • DO NOT attempt to grind up stringy foods, including but not limited to: celery, corn husks, artichokes, carrot peels or even flower stems as they may clog the blades and cause damage to the unit.

Hose Bibs. A must for your pre-winter checklist is to make sure to remove all hoses, or other items connected to the hose bibs prior to temperatures falling below thirty two degrees Fahrenheit (32º).

Failure to do so will cause damage to the frost-proof assembly and result in water damage. Any such damage is not covered by the Limited warranty.

Do not over tighten the handle when shutting off the hose bib as this can damage the valve.

Leaks. If a plumbing leak occurs, the first and most important step is to turn off the supply of water to the area involved. If this requires shutting off the water to the entire home, please refer to the section titled Emergencies.

Second and of equal importance is to take appropriate steps to protect the area and mitigate further damage. Personal items, secondary damage and items not original to the home are not covered by the Limited Warranty. If items are damaged, contact your homeowner’s insurance company.

The seal between your faucet and your vanity top is not a water tight seal therefore avoid excessive water splashing or build up at this location.

The overflow on a sink and/or tub is not a drain. Never allow the water level to exceed the height of the overflow.

Condensation on pipes is not considered a leak. This is normal and is not considered a defect therefore, is not covered by the Limited Warranty. To minimize this condition, a dehumidifier is recommended.

Main Water Shut Off. Most of the plumbing fixtures in your home will have a separate shut off (toilets, sinks). The main shut off for the entire system is located at the water meter. This will be pointed out at your Homeowner Orientation.

Noisy Pipes. It is not uncommon to experience a certain amount of noise in your plumbing system. This is especially common when using your hose bibs. The noise is generally a result of expansion and contraction of the supply and drain lines as hot and cold water move throughout the system. This is not considered a defect and therefore, not covered under the Limited Warranty.

Toilets. The water saver features on your plumbing fixtures have been designed to conserve water usage and still allow for the same pressure throughout the system. This includes your toilets. The National Energy Policy Act of 1992 mandates that all residential toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.

  • Most issues regarding toilets tend to be blockages (see Clogs).
  • It is not uncommon for toilet tanks to sweat. This is caused by the difference in temperature between the water in the tank and the air (refer to the Condensation section of this manual for additional information).
  • If the problem is water continuously running into the toilet, turn off water supply at supply stop. Do not flush toilet. Place a few drops of food coloring in tank. Do not use toilet for approximately 1 hour. If food color seeps into bowl, a new flapper ball is needed.

CAUTION: Do not use in-tank cleaners. Products containing chlorine (calcium hypochlorite) can seriously damage the components in the tank. This damage can cause leakage and property damage. Neither we or the manufacturer shall be responsible or liable for any component damage caused by the use of cleaners containing chlorine (calcium hypochlorite).

Sewer Back up. If the sewer system to your entire home is backed up:

  • If you’ve been in your home fewer than 30 days, contact our Customer Service department or refer to the section titled Emergencies. All construction related issues should show up within this timeframe, After 30 days it is your responsibility to contact the contractor of your choice should a backup occur.
  • Move personal belongings to a safe location. If items are damaged, contact your homeowner’s insurance company. We do not provide warranty coverage or reimbursement for personal items.

Sump Pump. The sump pump in your basement or crawl space is designed to pump ground water which enters the sump pit from the drain tile installed around the foundation of your home.

  • The pump provided operates on electricity. Power is supplied by a dedicated outlet. This outlet should not be used with any other electrical devices, such as a water softener.
  • It is strongly recommended that homeowners consider purchasing a battery backup system as it is not uncommon to lose power from time to time. A backup system is also recommended for use in finished basements. We are not responsible for any damage due to loss of power.
  • If your sump pump discharge is not connected to the municipal storm sewer outside your home, it is recommended to install a hose to extend the discharged water away from your home. This hose will need to be disconnected during winter.

Water Heater. The water heater in your home is fueled by natural gas. Some high-efficiency water heaters rely on electricity for venting. These heaters will not operate without electricity.

At your Homeowner Orientation, you will be provided with the manufacturer’s manual. The manufacturer’s manual should be referred to for proper operation and maintenance instructions for your water heater.

Depending on the location of the water heater in your home, it is not uncommon for water to take several minutes to reach certain plumbing fixtures in your home. This is not considered a defect and therefore, is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

The area around your water heater should be vacuumed as needed to prevent dust from entering the unit. The area around your water heater should also be kept clear of boxes, debris and other obstructions and monitored for proper ventilation.

Water Meter. The water meter in your home is owned and maintained by your local municipality. Any issues with your meter should be reported to your municipality.

Whirlpool Tub.

  • Whirlpool tubs should be periodically disinfected per the cleaning instructions enclosed in the manufacturer’s manual. Never use bath oils, bubble bath, etc. when operating the jets.
  • Be sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to take full advantage of all the features your tub may have. Additionally, it is important to familiarize yourself with the safety and maintenance instructions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of the GFCI breaker that powers your tub as well as the motor access location. An access panel or removable tub panel is provided depending on the type of tub installed in your home.

Do not store combustible items such as fuel containers, paint, oily rags, clothing, etc. near your water heater.

Care should be taken when lighting any gas-powered device, including water heaters.

We will confirm all plumbing fixtures, including faucets and drains, are in acceptable condition and functioning properly during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage noted on the Orientation form.

Drain, waste vent and water pipes will be adequately protected to prevent freezing. All applicable plumbing requirements for normally anticipated cold weather are in accordance with the design temperatures established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). We will investigate all frozen pipes and repair any conditions not meeting the ASHRAE standards.

Typically frozen pipes are caused by air infiltration. If necessary, we will also take the appropriate action to correct the cause of air infiltration, in the area where the plumbing is located, to prevent the freezing from reoccurring.

NOTE: Frozen hose bibs are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

We will repair or replace any faucets or valves that leak due to defects in workmanship or materials. Homeowner misuse and/or damage to fixtures and/or finishes are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

We will repair leaks in the drain, waste, vent or water pipes.

We will repair any fixture, appliance or fitting which does not meet the manufacturer’s standards.

We will repair all toilets, sewers, drains and fixtures that are found to be clogged by construction debris or defects in construction only. If you request service for a clog and it is determined the clog is a result of homeowner introduced items, you will be responsible for the cost of the service call.

R

Radon

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It is found in nearly all soils.

You cannot see or smell radon. The only way to find out if radon is present is to conduct a radon test. If you choose to conduct a radon test, contract with a certified radon professional.

Information regarding radon can be found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website. The EPA provides a Citizen’s Guide to Radon.

Because radon is a natural occurrence, D.R. Horton, Inc. does not express any opinions about radon nor is it considered a warranty defect. We do not test for radon during construction nor do we address it as a warranty issue.

Roofing

The roofing system on your home is your protection against the elements. You can ensure a comfortable and dry home by keeping it well maintained. The shingles are manufactured with a mastic material on the underside of each tab. After the initial installation of the roof, the heat generated by the sun seals the top shingle to the one below. Note: shingles installed during the winter months may not completely seal until they are exposed to direct sunlight and adequate surface temperatures. Prior to sealing, your shingles are more vulnerable to blow-offs and wind damage. This is the fundamental nature of shingles and not a manufacturing or installation defect.

The appearance of truss lines and sheathing panels may be visible under certain conditions (sun, frost, etc.). This is not considered a defect and therefore, is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Roof flashing is made out of galvanized metal or aluminum and is in place to keep water from penetrating at the spots where shingles meet other building materials (siding, chimney brick, etc.). It is normal for the flashing to be visible. By design, shingles installed over flashing usually have a raised appearance.

Although periodic inspections of your roof, chimney, caulking around vents, etc. are necessary, excessive foot traffic can damage the shingles. It is best to call a professional for any inspections or repair of your roof.

While we agree that a roof leak is indeed an emergency, the reality is that repairs cannot safely or effectively be performed while the roof is wet.

Should a leak occur, contact the Customer Service Call Center and take appropriate steps to protect the area and mitigate any further damage. We will follow up when conditions make an inspection possible. If a leak occurs, try to detect the exact location. This will greatly simplify finding the area that requires repair when the roof is dry.

Immediately after high winds, perform a visual inspection of your roof to ensure no shingles have blown off. If necessary, take the appropriate action (refer to our “Warranty Guidelines” regarding wind speed). Should you experience roof damage resulting from excessive wind or inclement weather, notify your homeowner’s insurance company and they will inform you of the proper steps to take to address this matter.

Roof shingles may lose colorfastness (especially dark colors) with prolonged exposure to the sun. For this reason, special care should be taken to eliminate damage to the shingles, as a future match may not be possible.

We are not responsible for damages resulting from the installation of satellite dishes, holiday decorations, etc.

Keep roof valleys clean. A buildup of leaves and debris can create a natural dam. The backup of water can result in roof leakage.

During prolonged cold spells, ice build-up is likely to accumulate at the eaves of a roof. This condition, called “ice-damming,” occurs when gutters and downspouts freeze and snow and ice accumulate. If not resolved, ice may back up under the shingles causing possible damage to the roof system and the potential for water leakage when temperatures rise and snow and ice melt. The weather conditions that may cause this occurrence are beyond our control and therefore not covered by the Limited Warranty. This condition should not be allowed to continue and is the homeowner’s responsibility to correct. Should you experience ice damming, notify your homeowner insurance company. They will inform you of the proper steps to take to address this matter.

  • Check roof shingles regularly, especially after high winds.
  • Maintain sealant around all vents that penetrate the roof.
  • During prolonged cold spells, check for evidence of ice damming and correct immediately by contacting a licensed roofing contractor.
  • Check roof (pod) vents regularly, especially after a snowfall, to ensure the snow is not impeding airflow.

Never go onto a roof during inclement weather or when snow or ice is present.

Always use proper equipment when maintaining your roof.

  • Leaks: Roofing or flashing should not leak under normal, anticipated conditions. We will repair roof leaks resulting from improper installation of roofing materials. We are not responsible for an exact color match of replacement shingles. We are not responsible for roof leaks caused by ice and/or snow build up, winds more than 30 MPH or by homeowner damage (satellite dishes, decorations, etc.)
  • Shingles: We will replace all shingles that have blown off as a result of winds less than 30 MPH.

Color variations of roof shingles is not considered a defect and therefore, is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

S

Siding

The siding used on your home has been selected for its durability, appearance and ease of maintenance. Whether your home has aluminum, vinyl or a cement-based product, all siding expands and contracts due to changes in humidity levels and temperature. It is not uncommon for the siding to make “ticking” or “popping” noises when expanding and contracting. Slight waves may also be visible during particular conditions.

Immediately after high winds, perform a visual inspection of your home to ensure the siding is secure (refer to our “Warranty Guidelines” regarding wind speed). Should you experience siding damage resulting from excessive wind or inclement weather, notify your homeowner’s insurance company. They will inform you of the proper steps to take to address this matter.

Maintain caulked areas where siding meets other components of your home (windows, vents, meters, trim boards, etc.). Failure to maintain caulk could lead to water infiltration which could lead to further damage to other components of your home. Any such damage is not covered by the Limited Warranty.

Siding materials may lose colorfastness (especially dark colors) with prolonged exposure to the sun. For this reason, special care should be taken to eliminate damage to your siding, as a future match may not be possible.

Avoid placing landscaping against the siding. Check the height of mulch, dirt and plantings to ensure they do not come in contact with siding. We are not responsible for damages caused by improper installation of landscaping by the homeowner.

Avoid placing barbeques, grills or any heat sources too close to your siding. Excessive heat may damage your siding. We are not responsible for such damages.

We are not responsible for damages resulting from the installation of satellite dishes, holiday decorations, telephone and cable lines, etc.

Stain or paint cement-based siding as needed.

  • Normal dirt build up can be cleaned off the siding easily by the use of a garden hose. Avoid the use of any abrasive cleaners or material which could damage the surface.
  • When cleaning siding, especially when using a power washer, care must be taken not to direct the stream of water at siding seams, the underside of siding panels, around windows and doors, at louvered soffits and/or soffit vents.
  • When watering your lawn, direct sprinklers away from your home.
  • Use care when operating gardening equipment as getting equipment too close to the siding can cause damage.

Avoid placing barbeques, grills or any heat sources too close to your siding.

We will confirm that all siding is in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable damage noted on the Orientation form.

  • Siding will be installed per the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Loose Siding Panels: We will repair all siding that becomes loose or replace all siding that has blown off as a result of winds less than 30 MPH. Face nailing is an acceptable method of fastening. We will not be responsible for an exact match to original colors. The Limited Warranty does not cover blown off or damaged siding when winds exceed 30 MPH. Contact your homeowner’s insurance company should this occur.

Sprinkler Systems (Fire Protection)

In some communities, your home may be protected by an Automatic Fire Protection Sprinkler System. In the event of a fire, the sprinklers are activated individually when the heat reaches 155 degrees. Only the sprinklers that come in contact with this high temperature will activate. In most residential fires, the activation of one or two sprinkler heads is sufficient to extinguish the fire.

The fire sprinkler system is virtually maintenance free. Homeowners should always follow the manufacturer’s/installer’s recommendations for care and maintenance.

Visually inspect the sprinkler heads throughout the home on a regular basis. Look for corrosion, obstructions (within 18” of sprinkler head) which might impede the flow of water from the sprinkler head, damage to the sprinkler head or paint on the sprinkler head.

Have your system inspected per municipal requirements and/or manufacturer’s recommendations by a qualified fire sprinkler contractor to ensure that the valves and devices are functioning properly.

Your sprinkler system may be affected by sudden changes in the pressure of the water supplied to your home. Events which do alter this pressure, such as hydrant flushing performed by your local municipality, may cause an alarm to sound, the system to purge itself, etc. These conditions are not a result of a defect in the construction of your home and therefore, are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

  • Do contact the Fire Department if any activation occurs, even if the fire has apparently been extinguished.
  • Become familiar with the location of the water system control valve, and make certain it remains in the open position at all times.
  • Do not turn off or disconnect the system.
  • Do not obstruct or cover the sprinkler heads.
  • Do not paint the sprinkler heads.
  • Do not damage the sprinkler heads. If a sprinkler head is accidentally broken, the sprinkler head will need to be replaced in order to reactivate the system.
  • Do not hang objects from the sprinkler system.
  • When finishing a basement containing a sprinkler system, sprinkler head extensions are required for a finished ceiling.
  • The pressure to the system may need to be lowered based on other municipal water requirements such as hydrant flushing or a fire in the area.

In the event of a fire, be calm and leave your home immediately! Contact the Fire Department from a neighbor’s home or cell phone.

  • We will ensure the fire protection sprinkler system has been installed and is functioning per manufacturer’s guidelines at time of closing.

T

Tubs and Showers (Enclosures and Doors)

The tub and shower enclosures and doors in your home will require occasional cleaning and caulking. Particular care should be taken during cleaning as certain products may cause damage. Tub squeaks can be expected due to the nature of the material used in manufacturing.

Ensure cleaning products are non-abrasive and do not contain acids or alkalis, which can damage your tub and shower components. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific cleaning instructions.

Use a clean, soft rag for cleaning. Dirty or gritty rags can cause damage. Do not use scrapers or putty knives for cleaning.

Check and maintain caulking on an as needed basis. Consult your local home improvement store for the proper type of caulk to use.

Door hardware can loosen with use. Regularly check and adjust hardware as needed.

Use care to ensure shower curtains are properly positioned to avoid water damage to the walls adjacent to the tub/shower.

  • Avoid hanging wet towels on corners of doors. The weight can pull the door out of alignment.
  • Using a squeegee to remove water after a shower will keep mineral residue and soap film to a minimum.

Never apply pressure to shower doors, especially when cleaning.

We will confirm that all tubs, showers, enclosures and doors are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as chips, cracks and scratches noted on the Orientation form.

Tubs, showers, enclosures and doors are not covered by the Limited Warranty.

W

Windows, Sliding Glass Doors and Screens

The thermopane windows and sliding glass doors installed in your home are selected for their energy efficiency standards, ease of operation and low maintenance.

Having said this, all windows and patio doors are a source of heating and cooling loss. It is not uncommon to feel cold and/or heat radiating from properly installed and functioning windows and glass doors.

Cracked or broken glass noted after closing is a homeowner responsibility. Repair cracked or broken glass as quickly as possible to prevent energy loss and property damage (water infiltration).

Damaged screens noted after closing is a homeowner responsibility. You can purchase replacement screen material at your local home improvement store. Many home improvement stores also offer a screen replacement service.

Condensation (water and/or ice) on the interior surface of windows and doors is a result of high humidity in your home and low exterior temperatures.

Excessive humidity is not considered a defect.

In heavy rains, water may collect in the bottom channel of window or patio door frames. Weep holes are provided to allow excess water to drain to the outside. Ensure bottom window and patio door channels are free of dirt and debris for proper operation.

For ease of operation, tracks should be lubricated according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Alterations to windows after closing (tinting, alarm systems, etc.) can result in damage to your windows. This will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

If your option selections included window coatings, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance.

  • Although not necessary, many homeowners remove and store screens for the winter. To make re-installation more convenient, label each screen as you remove it.
  • Window treatments are usually a necessity. Care should be taken when purchasing and installing window treatments as they may contribute to excessive condensation. Refer to the CONDENSATION section of this manual.

Cracked or broken glass should be repaired as soon as possible to avoid injury or further property damage.

We will confirm that all windows, sliding glass doors and screens are in acceptable condition during your Homeowner Orientation. We will repair noticeable surface damage such as cracks and scratches in glass and tears in screens noted on the Orientation form.

  • We will repair broken or scratched glass reported to us prior to closing.
  • We will repair damaged screens reported to us prior to closing.
  • We will replace any thermopane window panel if condensation forms between the glass panels during the (1) year Limited Warranty period.
  • Windows, patio doors and screens will be installed according to the manufacturer’s standards.
  • We will repair windows so that they are reasonably easy to operate. Windows are prone to operate differently due to weather conditions (heat, cold, humidity, etc.).