CONSUMER WATCH: If you’re thinking about buying or building a home– there is one building code in Louisiana you should be aware of before you do. In Louisiana, it is not required for builders to pre-treat wood inside a home and one local family found out the hard way when they purchased their half a million dollar home.
“You can see where the bugs have eaten through” said Home Owner, Chris Primeaux, shining a light up at a wooden beam.
Back in May, the Primeaux family purchased the 2018 parade home from Hebert Home Builders. But, once they settled in, a 4-month headache started.
“The first week, my son kept finding these bugs laying around. We had the insect people come out and spray the house again and we were still finding these live bugs walking around.” said Primeaux, “We realized it was coming from the antique beams installed on the inside of the house.”
A common interior design feature in homes are antique wood beams, according to local architects, builders are not required to treat wood like those beams inside a home.
“We asked him, did you treat it?” said Primeaux, “He said no, because it was more expensive.”
Primeaux says after talking to multiple pest companies, the only way to properly treat the wood boring beetles would be to tent the house.
“You’re having to move back out after settling in” said Primeaux, “We were concerned with the integrity of the house.”
Once they contacted the builder about the problem, the family ran into more issues. In a recording taken by the Primeaux family during the ordeal, you could hear someone from Hebert Home Builders saying “you bought them that way” when asked about taking care of the beetle infestation. Local attorney, Alan Breaud, says the new home warranty act is supposed to make builders stand behind the workmanship of the home.
“The organization that the builders belong to have been in front of the legislature to narrow their responsibility as much as they can.” explained Breaud, “For some reason they work hard not to be responsible for the home they build for the consumer.”
“It’s been a little bit of progress but I mean from the beginning, after making this size of a purchase to think that the builder wouldn’t stand behind their work and get everything done correctly…it’s just crazy.” said Primeaux, “And that’s why we are coming forward. We wanted people to know that this problem does exist.”