Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: My Brick is Falling Apart!

My Brick is Falling Apart!

Good news, our new brick has arrived... and then I saw it being driven off again...

boral bricks austin tx

Some of you followed the agony of my new house being built.  You'll remember that we had many issues throughout the building process. Issues that I have never seen one of my own clients go through.

To catch up the others, prior to moving in, we had two sections of the exterior brick replaced because the areas looked bad.  Upon moving in, I found myself collecting chips of brick all around my house.  As I picked everything up, there would be more the next day. 

My house is falling apart!!

After being in the house just 2 days, I took my brick chips to the sales office and explained what was going on.  He said to let the builder know and to also send in an offici

al request, which we did.  Several weeks and months later, after numerous follow up visits, calls, and emails, we finally got someone from Boral to look at the brick who had some authority to do something.

Boral agreed to replace our brick so we got to start the process all over again with driving neighborhoods and looking at different houses to see which brick color to choose.

You see, we couldn't pick the same color mix.  It was a very new mix when we picked it, and apparently, it's not a very good mix for it to be falling apart the way it is.  Also, it's coming from a particular plant in Oklahoma that is near a lot of gypsum, and the white gypsum particles were causing the vast majority of the problem.  Our house looked orange with white polka dots.

With that, we had to get information on different plants that Boral uses in order to narrow down which houses we could go look at.  That took a lot of driving since the main two colors we liked were an hour away to go look at...

So this morning, I'm sitting at my desk trying to get a HUD approval on a closing, and I see a truck of brick outside my window.  I'm thinking, "The guy must be confused because he's delivering bricks to a house that already has brick on it!"  Mind you, I'm in a brand new community with a lot of construction going on, so he thought he had the wrong address.

I see the truck start to leave, and I send my husband out to stop him.  After awhile, the brick was agreed to be dropped off across the street at a vacant lot so they didn't mess up our yard or block our driveway...

And then, all of a sudden, the brick is being loaded back on the truck!!  WHAT??  I run out there.

"Where are you taking my brick!!??"

They were told to take it to the brick yard off site.  Right, so the builder could use that as an excuse to slow down the time it's going to take to redo my house...

I got the builder on the phone, but no matter what I said, he didn't care.  He told the brick guys to take my brick away...

I'll update further when my brick comes back and some masonry guys come along with it!

Comment balloon 21 commentsDonna Harris • September 24 2009 04:03PM


Holy cow!  I will be interested to see how your brick project plays out.  I missed the earlier installments.....

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) about 9 years ago

Donna-I can not believe that your nightmare is still going on, this has been really unbelievable. Hang in there!

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) about 9 years ago

If you had stayed in Dallas you wouldn't be having these problems!

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Janna, Oh, you missed a lot!  I have about 25 posts out there about my relocation nightmares.  You can search my tags for "relocating" on the right side of my blog if you're bored!

Joseph, And still going... we're getting a new fireplace too!!  But they've been saying that for 4 months!

Lorrie, I know I know, my mother keeps reminding me!!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 9 years ago

Donna - They mystery of the disappearing brick TO BE CONTINUED at The Harris Home.


Posted by Carl Winters about 9 years ago

Hi Donna... I guess we can safely assume after all that you have been through that you will not be recommending your builder to others.  Good luck with the saga of the bricks. 

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 9 years ago

Donna:  For some reason, this saga of yours... this never-ending story of the construction of your home... just goes on and on.  I have never seen anything like this happen... this brick thing is just plain nutz.  I am so sorry... :(

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 9 years ago

C & C, Exactly!

Steve, I wouldn't necessarily say that, as we are a unique situation.That's why you've never heard me say which builder it is!!

Karen Anne, No joke!! I've never seen this either!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 9 years ago

Donna, I cant believe you are still dealing with this issue. Unbelievable!

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 about 9 years ago

I have followed your home saga for some time now and it appears it isn't over yet!

As if you need the extra stress.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) about 9 years ago

I feel your pain Donna. When we built our house it was suppose to take 6 months and we moved in, under protest, in 14 months...
Begin each day as if it were on purpose,

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) about 9 years ago

Donna:  I wonder if it has anything to do with Boral.  Could you get them to use Acme Brick when they brick it this time ?  That might solve this problem, and future problems, too.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 9 years ago

John, I know, it's unbelievable!

Craig, No joke!

Paul, Our punch list is still very long!

Karen Anne, Boral is the brick company and they've supplied the warranty, and they're not going to pay to have another company's brick used. This isn't a builder warranty, it's a manufacturer warranty.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 9 years ago

That is awful!  Hope you get your brick back soon.  Don't these people know you're in real estate and it's not a good idea to screw up a local real estate mogul's home like this???



Posted by Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner (Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group) about 9 years ago

um, wow.  I thought this story was over but it's resurgence reminds me of the Friday the 13th movies.  Will they ever kill Jason?

can't believe the luck you've had with that house. 

Posted by John Jones (Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty) about 9 years ago

geez, that is terrible.  I hope it finally comes to an end- a good end that is.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) about 9 years ago

Sounds like someone is a few bricks short---off site:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Kathleen, I've told them over and over again!!  At least the area director has been involved, but that just makes things move slower!

John, Nope, not over by a long shot.  Much left to still do!

Angelia, I hope so!

Charles, No joke!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 9 years ago

Hi Donna, I am a home inspector and I am very intrested in the reason for the fail in the first place. Please email. I am proforming a lot of new home inspections it this is something I would like to be informed about.

When I am questioned I dont like to be uninformed.

Posted by Mark Dickerson over 5 years ago

Mark, Thank you for your comment, but you did not leave me an email address in order to contact you. As my post mentions above, it was because of the amount of Gypsum in the mix, which is like a limestone. The front facade of the brick was breaking off leaving the orange background of the original clay color plus a white dot in the middle, the gypsum.

Per Boral, this should only happen within the first year the brick is on the house, HOWEVER, this should NOT happen and I notice it on about 1 in 100 houses I show, which tells me that it should NOT happen as it's a small percentage. If it was a more common thing, more houses would show the signs.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 5 years ago

I had a home built in North Dallas/Denton. 3 months in the house and it has spalling happening all around the house. Gypsum spots in the center of many of these chips but many others do not. Its clear there is a problem. I had a forensics engineer provide an opinion that stated his fear that the brick may be problematic but the only way to know for sure is to perform tests on the brick. It is a very expensive process and will cost many 1000's of dollars. Can you share what you may have done with Boral to get them to back their warranty? I have Boral brick as well and so far they have dismissed the issues by saying it is "not unheard of", as if that is acceptable. I would appreciate any information you can offer. My email address is Thank you. Anthony vonPongracz

Posted by Anthony vonPongracz about 3 years ago