Grievance Procedure

What should I do if I have a dispute with my builder?

Should you have a dispute while building your home, the BIA offers a special dispute resolution service to the public.

Of course, the BIA encourages all builders and owners to resolve disputes in an orderly and timely fashion. But should there be any complaints, you, as the owner, should notify your builder in writing of your specific disputes and allow a reasonable period for the builder to respond.

If a dispute cannot be resolved, the complaining party can write to the BIA and must include the following information:

  • The name, address and phone number of the owner and the builder
  • The closing date of the home
  • The nature of the complaint

The BIA will write urging the Builder to settle the dispute. If the dispute has not been settled, the Owner may pay a fee and register for a Dispute Settlement Hearing through the BIA's Professional Standards Committee, providing facts underlying the dispute meet the existing criteria for such a hearing.

To learn more about the BIA's Grievance Procedure, download a detailed PDF by clicking the link below.

 

BIA Quality Standards


Minimum performance criteria for acceptable workmanship of BIA Builder and Remodeler Members. Possible deficiency is listed in bold and the minimum standard is listed below.

I. Site Work

A. Site Drainage

1. Improper drainage of site.

Standing or ponding of water shall not remain for extended periods in the immediate area after a rain (generally no more than 24 hours), except that in swales which drain other areas, or in areas where sump pumps discharge, a longer period can be anticipated (generally no more than 48 hours).

B. Site Grading

1. Settling of ground around the foundation walls, utility trenches or other areas.

If Builder has provided final grading: upon request from the Owner, the Builder will supply soil once during the one year warranty period, for the Owner to fill such settled areas. The Owner shall be responsible for the removal and replacement of shrubs, seeding and landscaping affected by the placement of such fill. It is further the responsibility of the Owner to maintain a positive grade/slope away from the house, at all times. The positive grade should slope away from the house at a minimum rate of ½ to 1 inch per foot for a distance of 6 to 10 feet or as governed by applicable building codes.

II. Concrete and Masonry

A. Cast-in-Place Concrete

1. Foundation is out of level.

Foundation variance shall not exceed ½ inch out of level in 15 feet, with no ridge or depression in excess of ¼ inch within any 32 inch measurement. Foundation walls should not be more than 1½ inch out of level over the entire surface.

2. Foundation is out of square.

Foundation walls shall not vary more than ½ inch out of square when measured along the diagonal of a 6 foot x 8 foot x 10 foot triangle at any corner.

3. Foundation wall cracks (horizontal or vertical face separation).

Cracks greater than 1/8 inch in width or 1/8 inch in vertical displacement are unacceptable.

4. Cracking of attached garage slab, exterior service walks or driveway.

Cracks in garage slabs and in exterior service walks in excess of ¼ inch in width or ¼ inch in vertical displacement are unacceptable.

5. Settling, heaving, or separation of attached stoops, steps or garage floors.

Stoops, steps or garage floors shall not settle, heave or separate in excess of ½ inch from the house structure.

6. Water standing on stoops and porches.

No measurable water depth exceeding ¼ inch is permissible on stoops or porches.

7. Uneven concrete floors or slabs.

Except for basement floors or where a floor or portion of a floor has been designed for specific drainage purposes, concrete floors in rooms designed for habitability shall not have pits, depressions or areas of unevenness exceeding ¼ inch in 32 inches.

8. Basement leaks.

Leaks resulting in the actual trickling of water are unacceptable. The failure to maintain a positive grade/slope away from the foundation walls can cause or contribute to dampness and/or leaks, however, dampness is not considered a deficiency.

9. Cracking of basement floor.

Cracks exceeding 3/16 inch in width or 1/8 inch in vertical displacement are unacceptable.

B. Unit Masonry (Cement Block)

1. Foundation is out of level.

Same as standard II A 1.

2. Foundation is out of square.

Same as standard II A 2.

3. Foundation wall cracks (horizontal or vertical face separation).

Same as standard II A 3.

4. Basement leaks.

Same as standard II A 8.

5. Cracks in unit masonry walls or veneer.

Cracks in excess of 3/8 inch are unacceptable.

6. Chimney separation from structure to which it is attached.

Separation shall not exceed ½ inch in a 10 foot measurement from the main structure.

C. Stucco

1. Cracks in exterior stucco wall surfaces.

Cracks greater than 1/8 inch in width are unacceptable.

2. Cracking between existing and new stucco.

Crack between existing and new stucco greater than 1/8 inch in width are unacceptable.

III. Carpentry

A. Rough Carpentry

1. Floor system out of level.

Same as Standard II A 1.

2. Floor system is out of square.

Same as standard II A 2.

3. Uneven wood floors.

Floors shall have no more than ¼ inch ridge or depression within any 32 inch measurement. Allowable floor and ceiling deflections are governed by the applicable building code.

4. Walls are bowed.

Walls shall bow no more than ¼ inch within any 32 inch horizontal or vertical measurement.

5. Walls are out of plumb.

Walls shall not be more than ¼ inch out of plumb for any 32 inch vertical measurement.

6. Walls are out of square.

Same as standard II A 2.

7. Doors and windows are out of square.

Doors and windows shall be installed level, plumb in both directions and squarely into the opening, with no more than ¼ inch in 4 feet deviation in any direction.

8. Roof is wavy from bowed sheathing.

Roof sheathing shall not bow more than ½ inch in 2 feet.

B. Exterior Trim

1. Poor quality of exterior trim workmanship.

Joints between differing exterior trim elements, including siding and masonry, shall not result in open joints exceeding 3/8 inch.

2. Siding end gaps are visible.

End gaps wider than 1/8 inch are unacceptable.

3. Siding is bowed.

Bows between studs exceeding 3/16 inch in 16 inches or ¼ inch in 24 inches are unacceptable.

4. Twisted, cupped or split exterior trim boards.

Exterior trim boards shall not be installed twisted in excess of 5/16 inch in 8 feet, cupped more than 1/16 inch in 5½ inches or split more than 1/8 inch at any point. (Exterior deck boards excepted.)

5. Siding is not installed on a straight line.

Siding shall be installed within ½ inch of level within 10 feet and not more than ¼ inch off parallel with contiguous courses.

6. Joints between siding have separated.

Joint separations exceeding 1/8 inch are unacceptable.

7. Siding is buckled.

Siding that projects more than 3/16 inch from the face of adjacent siding is unacceptable.

8. Siding nailed improperly.

Siding shall be nailed according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

C. Interior Trim

1. Poor quality of interior trim workmanship.

Joints in moldings or between molding and adjacent surfaces shall not exceed 1/8 inch in width.

2. Trim or molding miter edges do not meet.

Gaps between miter edges in interior trim and molding shall not exceed 1/8 inch.

3. Interior trim is split.

Splits in interior trim are unacceptable if they exceed 1/8 inch in width and 1 inch in length.

4. Interior or exterior wood doors are warped.

Interior or exterior wood doors shall not exceed the National Wood Window and Door Association Standard of ¼ inch measured diagonally from corner to corner.

5. Insert panels of interior or exterior wood doors shrink and expose raw unstained or unpainted edges.

It is common for the insert panels of wood doors to shrink and to expand exposing raw edges. This is not considered a deficiency.

6. Window check rails are not even or flush.

Rails shall not exceed 3/16 inch.

7. Cracks exist between interior stair parts.

Cracks between interior stair parts shall not exceed 1/8 inch in width.

D. Cabinetry

1. Cabinets do not meet ceiling or walls.

Gaps in excess of ¼ inch are unacceptable.

2. Cabinets do not line up with each other.

Cabinet faces more than 1/16 inch out of line and cabinet corners more than 1/8 inch out of line are unacceptable.

3. Cabinet is warped.

Cabinet warpage shall not exceed ¼ inch as measured from the face frame to the point of furthermost warpage, with the door or drawer front in the closed position.

4. Counter tops are not level.

Counter tops shall be no more than ¼ inch in 8 feet out of level and no more than ¼ inch out of level front to rear.

5. Seams in plastic laminated tops show.

Seams in plastic laminated tops shall not exceed 1/16 inch.

IV. Heating and Cooling

A. Heating

1. The heating system is inadequate.

The heating system shall be capable of producing an inside temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, as 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 Handbook: Fundamentals. On extremely cold days, a 5 to 6 degree difference between the actual inside temperature and the thermostat setting is acceptable. It is acceptable for rooms to vary in temperature by 3 to 4 degrees. The Owner is responsible for minor adjustments such as balancing dampers and registers and for changing the filter as recommended by the manufacturer.

B. Cooling

1. The cooling system is inadequate.

Where air conditioning is provided, the cooling system shall be capable of maintaining a temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit, as 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 Handbook: Fundamentals. In case of the outside temperature exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit, a differential of 15 degrees Fahrenheit from the outside temperature will be maintained. It is acceptable for rooms to vary in temperature by 3 to 4 degrees. The Owner is responsible for minor adjustments such as balancing dampers and registers and for changing the filer as recommended by the manufacturer.

V. Interior Finishes

A. Drywall

1. Cracks, nail pops and blisters in the tape.

Cracks exceeding 1/8 inch in width, visible nail pops and blisters in the tape are considered unacceptable.

B. Finished Flooring

1. Separations developing between hardwood flooring.

Separation in excess of 1/8 inch in width are unacceptable in standard 2¼ inch wide hardwood flooring, and separation can be greater when wider boards are used.

2. Depressions or ridges appear in the resilient flooring due to sub-floor irregularities.

Readily apparent depressions or ridges exceeding 1/8 inch shall be repaired. The ridge or depression measurement is taken and the gap created at one end of a 6 inch straightedge placed over the depression or ridge with 3 inches of the straightedge on one side of the defect held tightly to the floor.

3. Seams or shrinkage gaps show at resilient flooring joints.

Gaps shall not exceed 1/16 inch in width in resilient floor covering joints. Where dissimilar materials abut, a gap not to exceed 1/8 inch is acceptable.

4. Grout joints in quarried marble tile floors are unequal.

Grout joints between marble tiles may vary from 1/16 inch to ¼ inch due to variations in the tiles.

VI. Roofing and Ventilation

A. Roofing

1. Roof shingles are not installed straight.

Standard: The corners of individual shingles shall be no more than a total of ¼ inch off the horizontal line of shingles and these horizontal lines shall be no more than ½ inch out of parallel in 10 feet. Individual shingle tabs shall be no more than ½ inch off the vertical line of the shingle tabs in either direction.

2. Roof shingles do not overhang the edges of the roof or hang too far over the edges of the roof.

Roof shingles shall overhang roof edges by not less than ¼ inch, and not more than 1¼ inches.

B. Ventilation

1. Inadequate ventilation of attics and crawl spaces.

Attics and crawl spaces shall be ventilated as required by the applicable building codes. The net free ventilating area shall be not less than 1 to 150 of the area of the space ventilated except that the area may be 1 to 300, provided at least 50 percent of the required ventilating area is provided by ventilators located in the upper portion of the space to be ventilated at least 3 feet above the eave or cornice vents with the balance of the required ventilation provided by the eave or cornice vents.

VII. Asphalt

A. Driveways

1. Depression and/or sunken areas in driveway.

Builder is responsible to patch or fill sunken areas which are 2 inches or more in depth.

VIII. Sound Transmission

A. Airborne or Impact

1. Airborne, impact or structure borne sound is permeating common walls and/or floor/ceiling assemblies of dwelling units and/or condominium units.

Airborne Sound. Walls, partitions and floor/ceiling assemblies separating dwelling and/or condominium units from each other or from common areas, limited common areas, service areas or public areas shall have a sound transmission class (STC) of not less than 50 (45 if field tested) for air-borne noise when tested in accordance with ASTM E 90.

Structure or Impact Sound. Floor/ceiling assemblies between dwelling and/or condominium units or between a dwelling or condominium unit and a common area, limited common area, service area or public area within the structure or building shall have an impact insulation class (IIC) rating of not less than 50 (45 if field tested) when tested in accordance with ASTM E 492.

[Reference Ohio Building Code Section 1207 – Sound Transmission]

 

These standards are printed in the BIA Home Owners Manual, along with information about your new home and what to expect within the first year. Also included are typical owner maintenance items. Contact your builder for a Home Owners Manual today.

BIA MISSION STATEMENT

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