FOX21 Investigates: Neighborhood blames homebuilder after drainage issues wreak havoc on their yards

WIDEFIELD, Colo. — In one Widefield neighborhood, when it rains it pours and destroys their backyards, costing them thousands in landscaping repairs and in some cases even cracking the foundation in their brand new homes.

Last May, Marie Imotichey and her husband started looking at a lot to build their dream home in a housing development called The Glen. They began asking the builder, Reunion Homes, questions about the grade or slope in their backyard considering they’re at the bottom of a hill. She says the sales associates assured them they wouldn’t need a retaining wall or anything special for draining.

They soon found out flooding was going to be a major issue.

Less than a month after closing, the first snow hit and the Imoticheys started noticing water pooling on their concrete patio. Now Marie says after months of warranty requests and no help from the builders, she’s left with a backyard she can’t even use.

“Once it hits the fence-line it’s supposed to come to come down and straight around which obviously it is coming onto the sides but it should not be coming down the middle. There shouldn’t have been ponding on my patio and you can actually see the discoloration in the middle of my turf where the water was literally ponding,” said Marie.

According to the owner of Reunion Homes, Grant Langdon, the problem with Marie’s yard is she waited too long to landscape and he says when she did the landscapers ruined the swales or shallow trenches dug to catch and re-route water.

But Marie says that can’t be the problem because she is one of at least 10 homeowners in the neighborhood dealing with the same issues.

Jay Pegel said, “Basically where the water is actually coming up underneath the concrete already and cracking the concrete. If it gets to the foundation of the house, it could actually ruin the foundation of the house as well.”

Pegel lives next door to Marie and has the same problems. He says he’s put in numerous warranty requests and they’ve only been ignored, although Langdon says Pegel’s claims have been promptly addressed.

But there’s more – Sebastian Schwender shared with us cell phone video of his home just up the street.

Schwender says on the video, “September 1st, 2016 its 4:59 p.m. I just called Jeff with the warranty company with Reunion Homes. I said, ‘Hey if you’re there can you come take a look? There’s a lot of water pumping in my yard, downing into my yard right now. He said he couldn’t make into the Glen until the 7th, 8th or 9th of September.”

Now Langdon agreed to meet me at Marie’s house to explain what was going on but he refused to go on camera.

Langdon tells me both Marie and Pegel have only contacted Reunion once in regards to their yard issues and that homeowners are clearly told to maintain the swales and grading.

Schwender said, “It says in the warranty books if you change any of the grade then you void your warranty for drainage so anytime anybody would do a landscaping job it would do that.”

Schwender still hasn’t landscaped his backyard because he says it’s so wrecked but Langdon and Reunion Homes continue to say it’s not their problem. Now Schwender’s concrete patio is cracked and sinking inch by inch and the warranty management’s solution, caulking it.

“They’re taking advantage of us. You know people want to build their dream home or any home for themselves,” said Schwender. “You know, they work hard for this and for them to come in and be really quick to take your money and do closing and then never show back up after that, that’s not right.”

FOX21 checked the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado’s website and Reunion Homes is not accredited. There have been 11 total complaints on them in the last three years, 5 of them Reunion failed to respond to the dispute.

At least two homeowners who have Reunion built homes in another neighborhood, Lorson Ranch which is also in Widefield, just east of The Glen, have also reached out to FOX21 saying they’re going through the exact same thing.

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