BBB Accredited Business since
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Fine Line Homes is a home builder of single family homes and townhouses. Fine Line Homes is also a land developer turning raw land into finished building sites. The company has an offices in Lewisburg, Hazleton, Sayre, State College and Harrisburg. Fine Line Homes builds throughout Northeast PA, Central PA and Southern NY.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Fine Line Homes LP meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Fine Line Homes LP include:
- Length of time business has been operating.
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
- Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business.
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
- BBB has sufficient background information on this business.
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||2|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding
or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain
any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Office of the Attorney General-PA
Strawberry Square, 14th Floor, Harrisburg PA 17120
Phone Number: 800-441-2555
The license number is PA085226.
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Mark Bittner, Director Sales Mr. Ben Craig, Manager-Sayre Mr. Craig Kemmerer, Manager-Hazleton Mr. John Kerschner, Manager Harrisburg Mr. Mark Satteson, Manager-Lewisburg
Home Builders Real Estate Developers
Alternate Business NamesFine Line Homes,Inc.
Fine Line Homes Corporate Offices are located at 7300 Derry Street in Harrisburg, PA. The company has an office located at the following addresses:
Hazleton: 596 Susquehanna Blvd, Hazleton, PA 18202
Telephone number 570-455-3324
Harrisburg:7300 Derry Street, Harrisburg, PA 17111
Telephone number 717-561-2040
Lewisburg: 1189 West Branch Hwy, Winfield, PA 17889
Telephone number 570-524-7333
Sayre: 29720 Route 220, Athens, PA 18810
Telephone Number 570-888-4676
State College: 1426 Benner Pike, State College, PA 16801
Telephone number 814-237-5581
1189 Westbranch Hwy
Winfield, PA 17889 (570) 524-7333 Directions
THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED
1426 Benner Pike
State College, PA 16801 Directions
29720 Route 220
Athens, PA 18810 (570) 888-4676 Directions
596 Susquehanna Blvd
Hazle Townshp, PA 18202 Directions
7300 Derry St
Harrisburg, PA 17111 Directions
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (570) 455-3324(Phone)
- (717) 561-2040(Phone)
- (717) 561-4480(Phone)
- (814) 237-5581(Phone)
- (570) 455-9629 (Fax)
- (570) 524-0226 (Fax)
- (570) 888-6375 (Fax)
Additional Email Addresses
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
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|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: We have built a house with Fine Lines Homes which was completed in 2013. We have encountered a moisture problem from lack of insulation on exposed concrete basement walls in cold weather and poor attic ventilation. The moisture has traveled up from the basement to first floor, second floor and up to the attic causing humidity levels to vary between 50-70%. The moisture condensed even more in the attic space due to lack of proper ventilation as the ridge vent in the roof becomes blocked by snow. The moisture dripping down through the layers of insulation onto the ceiling on the second floor. The moisture has dripping through light fixtures causing circuit breakers to trip. Also some trusses and areas of the attic have developed mold. The builder came out to the property and stated that the moisture problem caused by non insulated basement walls which they designed and installed was my problem. They also stated that I could not burn a wood stove in the basement because it was causing the moisture to travel through the house. They should have never built a chimney on the house if it could not be used as an alternative heating source. The builder dropped off dehumidifiers and offered to possibly install gable vents in the attic at a later point in time due to the weather. The builder did nothing to dry out the attic space or remove mold. The builder did not offer any remedy to the moisture problem in basement due to non insulated basement walls.
Desired Settlement: Install insulation on basement walls to fix moisture problem due to hot/cold air condensing. Install optional/alternative venting in attic for when ridge vent becomes blocked by snow as we live in the northeast. Remove wet/damp/ mold insulation and replace. Remove replace mold sheet rock and replace. Mold to be removed by a certified mold removal expert.
RESPONSE TO COMPLAINT OF **** **********
I. Preliminary statement regarding Fine Line Homes customer complaint procedure.
As part of Fine Line Homes (FLH) customer service program, FLH purchases an independent third party warranty administered by Residential Warranty Company. If any FLH customer has a complaint regarding construction of their home, the *** warranty program is in place to handle their complaints. The warranty procedure is explained in the warranty book that has been provided **. **********. **. ********** has signed an Application for warranty indicating he has been given a copy of the warranty book and understands its contents. The warranty procedure involves a dispute resolution process including mediation through ***. **. ********** should utilize that procedure rather than this forum. However, in order to serve as a good corporate citizen, FLH will provide a response as requested.
II. Recent facts regarding **. **********’s complaint and FLH’s response thereto.
Fine Line Homes received a call from **. ********** on January 3, 2014 concerning moisture issues throughout the home and attic. Fine Line Homes had an employee in the area on this day and sent him there to observe, his visit confirmed this issue. While at the home the employee noticed a wood burning unit in the basement with wood also stored in the basement. The exposed wall where the walkout door in the basement was had high amounts of condensation on the wall and door. At this time there was no dehumidifier in the basement, but **. ********** did have a dehumidifier running on the 1st floor of the home.
Fine Line Homes construction Forman ***** ******* spoke with **** ********** the afternoon of January 3, 2014 to discuss what the cause may be for the high humidity throughout the home. It was at this time that ***** ******* instructed **. ********** to shut down the wood burner and turn on the Central Heating System. A meeting was set up for the following Monday January 6, 2014.
On January 6, 2014 upon arrival, the dehumidifier was not running. During the meeting condensation was observed in the basement along exposed basement wall. **. ********** told us when he was running the wood burner he would keep the basement temperature between 70 and 80 degrees with the basement door to the 1st floor open to supplement the 1st floor heat and leave the 1st floor zone off at the thermostat. The basement relative humidity reading was 60%, 1st floor reading was 53%, 2nd floor reading was 44%. During the meeting Fine Line Homes was told by the owner that the house was reading 60-70% humidity prior to his phone call to Fine Line Homes. The attic observation at this meeting did confirm moisture in the attic as well. During the observation of the attic ventilation, proper vents were in place and not blocked and the ridge vent was open and air could be felt moving around the attic. The air temperature in the attic was consistent with the air temperature outside which was around 32 degrees. At the conclusion of the meeting it was asked of the homeowner to keep the dehumidifier running and move it to the basement where the high humidity is and to turn on the 1st floor heat to help keep air moving. It was mentioned to the homeowner that Fine Line Homes will be in constant contact with him to help him through this issue and that it could take some time to get it under control. The owner was asked to send pictures of what the basement wall looked like the following morning.
On January 7, 2014 the homeowner did send pictures of the home around 7:15 a.m. Fine Line Homes construction foreman spoke with **. ********** later that day and it was decided that Fine Line Homes would send up to his home two more dehumidifiers to help speed up humidity control.
On January 8, 2014 two dehumidifiers were set up at each end of the basement by Fine Line Home employees, with the homeowners still on the 1st floor of the home. Relative humidity readings at this point were basement 53%, 1st floor was 35% and 2nd floor 37%. At this time much less condensation on the basement wall by walkout door, with only some exposed near the upper corners of the wall and some on the door itself.
On January 13, 2014 a meeting was held with **. ********** and more readings were taken, the basement was 50% relative humidity, 1st floor was 33% relative humidity and 2nd floor was 39% and the attic was 55%.
It was discussed with homeowner that the relative humidity readings are dropping and we would like to keep monitoring this over the next few days.
At this time it is Fine Line Homes opinion that there is sufficient ventilation in the attic and the humidity in the home reached an excessive point. Fine Line Homes will continue to monitor and work with John on this issue.
Attached are pictures showing basement at the beginning of FLH involvement and after. The before and after pictures show the humidity is becoming controlled.
III. Analysis of the facts regarding responsibility for **. **********’s complaint
FLH warrants all homes to be free from construction defects. As mentioned in Section I above, FLH utilizes the *** warranty program to ensure all homes are so warranted. In this matter, there are no construction defects. The only problem is **. **********’s use a new heat source to circumvent the central heating system installed by FLH.
**. **********’s house was constructed with a walk-out basement. Basements are not conditioned space. They are not intended to be living space without significant modification. Regardless of their use as living space, they are absolutely not intended to serve as makeshift furnace to heat the entire structure sitting on top of it. Yet, in this matter, that is how the **. **********’s basement is being used.
**. ********** asked FLH to install a chimney in the basement. That device could have been used for any number of products. **. ********** chose to install a wood burning stove in the basement. He also began store large quantities of wood in the basement. He also has additional, uninstalled wood burning stoves in the basement. As provided in the facts in section II above, **. ********** generated high heat in the basement and turned off heating zones on the first floor thermostat. He kept the basement door open to the first floor for heat to rise. When supplemental heat is taken to this extreme, the basement, in essence, is transformed into a gigantic furnace. The basement walls become a furnace box and the wood burner becomes the furnace heating element. Residential basements are not intended to serve as a heating source for the entire home. **. ********** is attempting to heat his entire home from the basement.
**. **********’s use of the wood burner to circumvent the existing heat source creates the opportunity for this heating method to draw moisture from the entire unconditioned basement area, and even to draw moisture through the basement walls and floor. The super-heated air generated by the wood burner collects the moisture that either currently exists or is draw in. This new humid air now goes up through the open basement door and disperses through the house. As this humid air proceeds through the house, it cools. Since cooler air cannot hold as much moisture as super-heated air, it condensates on cooler surfaces such as windows and trusses in the attic, for example. Addition moisture from the logs being stored in the basement is also being introduced into the home.
Obviously, FLH did not construct the house to be used in that manner. All modern residential construction uses a Central Heating System to provide heat evenly throughout the home. FLH constructed **. **********’s home in this manner. FLH installed Carrier brand heat pump sized for the design and construction of **. **********’s house plan. When this system is engaged, it uses conditioned air from the house to heat and redistribute the air throughout the home. This system will not create humidity and in fact will avoid moisture problems entirely. If the Carrier brand Central Heating System is used as intended, and is not circumvented by an alternate heating system, **. ********** will not have the problems outlined in his complaint. Indeed, the problem is being corrected as described in Section II above.
The roof vents on this home are the standard for this model home and are used on other such models without complaint. The roof and roof vents have been constructed and installed correctly, are free of construction defects, and are not the cause of any problems.
IV. Conclusions and Recommendations.
As the facts in Section II and the attached photographs show, the problems associated with **. **********’s secondary heating system are being addressed successfully through costumer guidance and advice from FLH. Any future concerns regarding allegations of construction defects should be addressed through the warranty procedures as described in Section I above. If **. ********** chooses to use his self-installed wood burner in a manner that circumvents the FLH-installed Carrier Central Heating System, FLH would recommend at a minimum that he install additional ventilation in that attic that is controlled by a humistat. This venting system is not necessary if the Central Heating System installed by FLH is used to heat the home.
This response is a compilation of facts contributed by numerous parties a Fine Line Homes.
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]
The moisture issue still exists in the basement regardless of what heating system is used. When the temperature outside drops it causes the uninsulated basement walls to condensate. Fineline is trying yo circumvent placing insulation on the basement walls. They placed two dehumidifiers in the basement as a temporary solution to a long term problem. When they monitor the humidity in the house their moisture reading tool is constantly reading 10-15% lower than the humidity reading displayed on the dehumidifiers & heating system.
**. ********** had discontinued following Fine Line Homes advice, including discontinuing the use of dehumidifiers.
The warranty booklet provided does, as **. ********* states, point out that first and second year issues are between the builder and the purchaser of the home. However, **. *********** fails to mention that Section VI of the warranty contains a complete dispute resolution mechanism designed precisely for when there is a dispute between the builder and the purchaser of the home. A Brief review of section IV of the warranty document shows that for first and second year issues, *** will act as the Administrator of the dispute resolution process. Section IV.D even provides for mediation of the matter where *** will mediate the homeowner’s request for warranty performance by “communicating with you, your builder, and any other individuals or entities who the Administrator believes possess relevant information.”
BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved