KB Home is being sued by a group of homeowners in Cary, N.C., because it installed weather barriers behind fiber cement siding in some residential developments but not others, according to a case summary provided by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
A Business Court judge certified the lawsuit, describing the class as "all persons in the state of North Carolina who own a home that was constructed by KB Homes without a weather-restrictive barrier behind the exterior veneer of Hardiplank cement fiber lap siding."
But this group may only consist of approximately 300 homes in the Twin Lakes, Amberly and Wynbrooke developments in Cary. KB Homes said in court filings that it used Hardiplank only in those communities and that after June 2007, it began installing a weather-resistant barrier due to a change in local building codes.
The home builder, which contracted with Stock Building Supply to install the siding, has brought the North Carolina pro dealer into the lawsuit as a third-party defendant.
The plaintiffs claim they have elevated levels of moisture in their houses. KB Homes disputes the existence of any real damage, claiming that it received no complaints until an attorney mass-mailed a solicitation letter about the missing weather barrier to homeowners in December 2007.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers respond that it would be necessary to remove the Hardiplank to determine the extent of the damage. They also contend that KB Home was supposed to follow the manufacturer's installation specifications and seek approval from the local building code authority, as opposed to looking to the building codes for guidance.