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Owners Of New San Jose Homes Fed Up With Falling Tiles, Plumbing Issues

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Residents in a brand new subdivision in San Jose are fed up with homebuilder KB Home over numerous issues that have cropped up after they moved in.

Two weeks after KPIX 5 first reported on dangerous falling tiles and other construction problems at KB Home's new Communications Hill community, neighbors are still wondering if their homes are safe, and whether the builder is going to make them right.

"I've heard through other homeowners that they are going to handle it on a one by one basis," said Joe Ponte, owner of one of the homes.

On October 6th, KB sent all the new homeowners an unusual warning not to stand under their homes, because heavy porcelain tiles could come loose and fall from up to two stories high.

KB Home Communications Hill San Jose - Falling Tiles
Falling tiles found at a new KB Home development on Communications Hill in San Jose. (CBS)

The tiles, which are as thick as flooring tiles, are being used on most of the homes in the development as decorative cladding. But several of them came loose and fell to the ground.

"I think, oh my God. What have I got myself into in buying this home now?" Ponte said.

A KB Home spokesperson declined an interview request but sent a statement to KPIX 5, saying "We have replaced all exterior tiles that required replacement and have been providing warranty customer service in response to warranty claims from our customers. We look forward to continuing to work with our homeowners until they are completely satisfied with their KB Home purchase."

KB Home Communications Hill San Jose
KB Home development on Communications Hill in San Jose. (CBS)

Tiles are not the only construction problems homeowners have found.

Ponte said he haggled with KB for months over his bathroom floor, which was not level when he moved in.

Also, poor bathroom caulking caused leaks and water damage to his first floor ceiling and walls. He said KB did pay for the damage, and they just agreed to fix the floor.

"This should have never happened in the first place," Ponte told KPIX 5.

His neighbor's home shows exterior gaps and unpainted surfaces.

Another neighbor, Stephanie Silcott, said she's had plumbing problems.

"I just don't think there's enough workers to provide the service that was promised," Silcott told KPIX 5.

Ponte said he's looking for an action plan from KB and a time line for getting things fixed.

A construction worker told KPIX 5 that crews were pressured to get the work done as quickly as possible and that may be one explanation for the problems. KB Home has flatly denied that accusation.

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