And They Built A Crooked House
An (Unlucky) Homeowner's Account of One of the Largest Residential Construction Cases Ever Tried in Court
Ruth S. Martin, MD
Comment for web edition of Crooked House. Events recounted in this book took place in an upscale Cleveland suburb in the late 1980s, but are just as relevant to new home buyers in the 21st century. The book was self-published in 1991 by Lakeside Press, and placed on the internet in the late 1990s. The entire book is here. The only change made is an updated Bibliography, with links to amazon.com. And They Built a Crooked House has become something of a minor classic in the house-construction-nightmare literature. Since original publication we have received hundreds of emails of similar horror stories, with the invariable comment: "wish we had read your book before we built with...XYX." The fact is, my husband and I wish the same! Although it was over a generation ago that we built with the truly dishonest and incompetent people profiled in this book, the pain still lingers.Ruth S. Martin, MD, Cleveland, 2009.
About the Names
PART I - WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PARANOID.
Settling in Cleveland
The Lot is Ideal
PART II - LOOK WHAT WE BOUGHT!
The Developer Demands More Money
Sloping floors - and More
More Problems - and Letters
The Builder is Banned
"You Need a Litigator"
The Experts Descend
PART III - WE ARE COMPLETELY INNOCENT VICTIMS AND OUR COMPLAINT IS 100% VALID - SO WHAT?
The Builder's Insurer Passes the Buck
The House is For Sale
PART IV - WE ARE JERKED AROUND BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM. THEN JERKED AROUND SOME MORE.
Depositions - First Round
All the Experts Agree
We Are Deposed
"If You Win You Lose"
Trial vs. Settlement
New Repair Estimate: June - September 1988
PART V - A NEW WAY TO PROFIT: SELL A DEFECTIVE HOME AND REFUSE TO RESPOND TO THE HOMEOWNERS.
Motion to Amend
Aftermath: Lies and Deception
End of the story
PART VI - DON'T THINK WE'RE UNIQUE. THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE.
It Happens Everywhere
How to Protect Yourself When Building or Buying a New Home