Last summer I bought a new house in Redmond, Washington. The builder is Camwest (http://www.camwest.com/
). I have roughly 1000 square feet of solid wood birch flooring installed on the first floor of the house. The specific wood flooring product is here (http://www.kentwoodfloors.com/ca/origin ... ucts/30230
). The installation was a nail down over OSB, and Camwest subcontracted the installation out to a company called "Floor Craft". I'd give more details, but I don't know anything about construction.
A few months after the house was finished being built, certain areas of the hardwood floor started to make crackling noises when walked on. I figured that it was no big deal since it was only in a few areas of the floor. After approximately 6 months since the house was finished being built, the every part of the floor made a crackling noise when walked on. At that point, I had my wife contact the builder.
The builder dropped by and quickly noticed that this wasn't just a few boards squeeking, and so they scheduled for the installer to come out and take a look. Another week later, the installer drops by and says that it might be defective wood, so they scheduled for the wood distributor to come take a look (http://www.metrofloors.com/
). Yet another week goes by, and the wood distributor drops by and takes a look. The distributor is amazed by the amount of crackling. He performed an inspection using magnets in order to estimate where nails were, he looked at the cross section of the floor via the heating vents on the floor. He checked humidity and temperature. The distributor said that they'd put a report together. A month goes by and another representative of the distributor comes out and does yet another inspection... repeating the same measurements.
The distributor verbally told my wife that temperature and humidity were within the specified ranges for the product.
A couple more weeks go by and then the builder contacts my wife and tells her that humidity is too low, that the crackling noise that our floor makes when walked on is a normal part of a house settling, and that we should wait until the 1 year walk through of our house... which coincidentally is also when the warranty on the house expires. The builder also forwarded the wood product distributor's inspection. I will copy-paste the full report into the post immediately below this one.
I need advice because I am not an expert. I am just a home buyer. None of the other floors in our neighborhood have this problem. No matter where you walk on the hardwood floor, each step makes a crackling noise. I am afraid that I won't be able to sell my house several years down the road, unless I replace the hardwood floor. It doesn't seem acceptable for the builder to simply tell me to live with it. I paid good money for the house! What should I do? Should I pressure the builder to fix the problem? Should I get an independent inspector to identify the root cause of the noise?
The builder still has roughly 10 more houses to sell in our neighborhood. I'd figure that they'd at least want to maintain a good reputation within the neighborhood, otherwise a billboard in front of a new home owner could convince prospective home buyers that Camwest is not a reputable builder.