Botched House Construction Forces Couple To Tear Down $150K Worth Of Building To Make Room For A Pool

What’s a little thing like $150,000 when a pool is on the line? A couple in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y. went on vacation while their new house was being built, and weren’t too happy when they came back to find it had been situated too far away from the curb. Not because they looove watching street traffic, but because that left no room in the back back the pool that was planned for the house. So they had it torn down to rebuild from scratch.

The New York Post says that teardown was worth about $100,000 to $150,000 as construction was well underway.

“There was no back yard and no pool,” one worker told the paper. “You’ve got to have the pool. This is why you measure twice and cut once.”

Once the couple discovered the botched job, they decided it all had to be taken down. Despite the costly setback, the homeowners seem to be shrugging off the expense as a necessary evil. As the wife tells the paper, it wasn’t their fault as homeowners, after all.

“Mistakes happen. I love my architect and my builder. This was a surveyor’s problem,” she said.

The project has been set back six weeks, as not only was the wood framework torn down, but the newly-poured foundation also had to be smashed up and carted away.

And really, having to shell out $150,000 isn’t all that much when you take into consideration that the property and the home that used to be on it cost the couple $2.478 million when they bought it. That included a 1,674-square-foot house that the couple used the wrecking ball on in order to build the house (and pool) of their dreams.

Meanwhile, some of their neighbors aren’t too pleased with the prospect of living with an extended amount of construction noise and debris in the summer season. Let’s hope they get invited to the pool once it’s all done to make up for the inconvenience.

Hamptons couple tears down house after construction error [New York Post]



Edit Your Comment

  1. CrazyEyed says:

    Wish I could shrug off $150,000 like it was no big deal

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      They’re building a house in the HAMPTONS – what do you expect?

    • wackydan says:

      I’ll bet they do take the surveyor to court to attempt to recoup the expense.

      • mikeami says:

        It may not be worth it. I’m an electrician and the same thing happened in a house I was working on. The surveying company will just file bankruptcy, turn around and start the business again the next day with a new name. It’s cheaper to just buy new letterhead.

  2. SilverBlade2k says:

    Honestly, if it was the fault of the contractor, he should have footed the costs to rebuild the whole thing, not the homeowners..

    • Hartwig says:

      I agree, this sounds like it should have been fixed by the contractor/surveyor not the couple. If anything i think they were being nice footing the bill for this.

    • cosby says:

      Yea thats what I’m wondering. The homeowners have the extra expense dealing with the extra time they will be without the house but other then that it sounds like a big claim against someones insurance for the screw up. For the homeowners it is more of telling them to redo it per the plans and letting their lawyer deal with it if the request is refused.

    • wackydan says:

      Which would hold up the construction process… I think they made the right choice… Move forward with the correction… Take the surveyor to court which is what they would probably have to do anyway.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      If they’re shelling out $150k like it isn’t anything, they don’t need the money.

  3. wade says:

    I guess the consumerist interest in this story is to make sure that we don’t go on vacation before making sure there is plenty of room for the pool?

  4. Coffee says:

    Okay…now you’re just trolling for anti-1% comments.

    And yeah, I wish I could afford to shrug off mistakes like this. That said, I have a feeling that at the same time she’s poo-pooing the snafu, her husband is calling his lawyer.

    • chefboyardee says:

      “Okay…now you’re just trolling for anti-1% comments”

      Agreed. There is no lesson on consumerism here, there is nothing useful to anyone, even the 1%. There was no resolution. There is no takeaway. This is a grab for controversy, trying to get the commenters riled up. Color me unimpressed, Mary Beth.

      • Velifer says:

        This is an excellent example of the original use of the word “consumerism” with its full negative connotations.

        MB is just giving you a much-needed history lesson wrapped in modern allegory. She’s an unappreciated mistress of the written word.

      • Nicolaus99 says:

        Eh, technically there IS a legitimate consumer angle in the story. Just because a pool is in the blueprints doesn’t mean the construction guys will get it right. Lesson: Trust no one, have the space staked out and check on the bastards even for take-for-granted issues like “This is where the house goes.”

  5. Red Cat Linux says:

    While I realize this is a first world problem, why did the couple have the eat the cost when the root cause was not buyer’s remorse, but a surveyor’s error?

  6. Bob says:

    Hey, I don’t have a pool. That couple must not be paying their fair share!

  7. BigHeadEd says:

    When I was growing up in Alabama, pools (the above ground kind) always went in the front yard to show everyone how well off you were.

  8. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Think I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

    Let’s just let bygones be bygones…

    Hey, it’s only a $150,000…pfffttt

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Many years ago, I worked on a three story, multi-million dollar mansion in Greenwich, CT that was just remodeled before being put on the market. The new owners tore the house down and built a new one.

      • mikeami says:

        I live in the “Palm Beach” area and see this all the time. Someone will buy a multimillion dollar home, just so they can tear it down and build a slightly different on in it’s place. Hard to believe that a 1/4 acre of land could cost so much.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    So their inconvenience is another persons life savings.

    Got it.

  10. bosozoku says:

    That’s nothing compared to the couple in Marin County that bought a multi-million dollar house just so they could tear it down and have a better view of the bay.

    • Coffee says:

      Sounds like Marin. I went to high school there. Drove a 1977 GMC pick-up. This was definitely looked down upon by the wealthier kids and – along with crippling shyness – was the only reason I didn’t have a cute girlfriend.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        The *only* reason? You don’t think it had anything to do with you being a one-eyed hunchback?

        • Coffee says:

          Along with my crippling shyness, my hideous countenance, my questionable hygiene, my sexual androgyny, and my generally unpleasant personality, the main reason I didn’t have a cute girlfriend was that fucking truck.

          • wackydan says:

            Come on… The real reason was because you didn’t have a fake set of balls hanging from the tow receiver.

  11. geargutz says:

    I live less than an hour from the hamptons. These are the singularly most confusing people on the face of the earth. They will easily throw down $150k to fix something like this, but then “rent” appliances for their summer homes from Wal-Mart. The income ranges out there do vary, but overall, far too much money out there with nothing better to do. Also, to mirror the statements above, you better believe that lawyers are already maneuvering this one on the back end, regardless of what the wife says. I’ve seen these folks threaten to sue over a weather related cable outage. @_@

  12. MCerberus says:

    I find this offensive. SHAME ON THE ONE THAT WROTE THIS ARTICLE!
    As a web programmer, you’re always supposed to have the image alt text describe the image and be in context to how it’s used.

    dozerbozerhouse indeed.

  13. Kestris says:

    More money than sense. And we shouldn’t be surprised, as it is the Hamptons after all.

  14. shufflemoomin says:

    It’s not the fact that they CAN afford to throw away that money, it’s the arrogance of not really CARING about it that bothers me.

    • Coffee says:

      Do you really think they don’t care? They’re wealthy…part of their schtick is the outward appearance of being unconcerned with money. If they really didn’t care about it, they probably wouldn’t be wealthy.

    • msbask v2 says:

      I’m not sure I attribute it to arrogance. Should she go nuts and threaten to sue everyone? The cost to build their home just increased by about 4%. Clearly, they can more than afford that 4% increase, so they have the luxury of be able to just chalk it up to a mistake and move on. That’s not really a bad thing.

    • elangomatt says:

      The part where they don’t really care about the “mistake” is what make me think that it wasn’t really a surveyor mistake and the couple really just agreed to whatever they were told and then realized later on they wouldn’t have space for a pool if the house was built where they agreed to. I think they are just appearing not to care at all to make up for their $150k mistake.

  15. Daggertrout says:

    OH THE HUMANITY! Now how will they afford a new Lexus? I say we start a donation drive!

  16. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I’d say —

    [puts on monocle]

    There was no clutching of pearls for this woman.

  17. evilpete says:

    While I’ve never been there, what to great about the HAMPTONS

  18. GodfreyOriole says:

    You know whats better? Buying property then building a million dollar house on it then suffolk county finding out that the house shouldnt have been built on the property at all because its considered suffolk county property. The guy now has to tear down the million dollar house and sue the title company who sold him the land.

  19. Nic715 says:
  20. Nic715 says:
  21. duncanblackthorne says:

    Am I the only person who wants to just slap the shit out of these obviously rich and spoiled 1%ers and their damned conspicuous consumption and wasteful habits? They just flushed what I gross in more than 4 years down the toilet on a whim!

    • Cerne says:

      You’re a total jealous asshole huh? They’re spending the money they earned building a house that’s not conspicuous consumption in anyway.

      Also they spent money on labour and supplies that’s not flushing it away that’s making the economy work.

  22. JusticeGustine says:

    Is there anything in the east like the California coast has? Where rich people jump through all kinds of hoops, pay to relocate native plants, buy off water allocations, fund studies of the two-toed walking minnow they might be displacing and get down on their knees and beg the city planners so they can build the “house of their dreams”, only to turn around and sell it when it’s done?

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Nope. Thanks to the modern Republican control of most of the South, they just have to slip a small briI MEAN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION to whomever is in power and they can build whatever they want to, anywhere they want it. Even if they want to pave over several acres of protected state coastal and wildlife preserve.

  23. 4d3fect says:

    “Two weeks!”

  24. pgr says:

    The Mittster must be coming for a fund raiser!

  25. ZenListener says:

    I can sympathize. When I had my little house built they didn’t strengthen the master bedroom bathroom’s floor so when the solid gold toilet (with ruby flush handle) was installed, it just fell right through the floor.

  26. makoto says:

    Why is this news or even considered any form of entertainment?

  27. I look at both sides of the story says:

    “Meanwhile, some of their neighbors aren’t too pleased with the prospect of living with an extended amount of construction noise and debris in the summer season. Let’s hope they get invited to the pool once it’s all done to make up for the inconvenience.”

    The above is a non sequitur to the article. What difference does the construction noise make whether the noise was from regular construction or from re-construction?

    Oh, the “inconvenience” of construction noise. Naturally, all of the other houses were magically built in total silence so that none of the neighbors were “inconvenienced”.

    When my house was being built, the neighbor went bat-shit because construction began before 8am. She called the police. The builder (who built the neighbor’s house years earlier) thought that was amusing because the neighbor didn’t at all mind when her house was built in the wee hours.

  28. Mongo says:

    First (WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH) World (Sniffle/Whine) Problem.

  29. I look at both sides of the story says:

    Why all the hate because they spent an extra $100k on their home?

    I wonder why people have so much contempt for people who earn more or less than themselves? If someone earns more than us, we hate them; envy is so ugly. If someone earns less than us, we scorn them for any number of reasons.

    In the scheme of things, $100k is *not* a lot of money. The Koch brothers throw around tens of millions of dollars to buy politicians. Now, $20M is a lot of money.