Hamptons Couple Tears Down House Mid-Construction

Say you're halfway through building a new home when you realize -- oops! -- there's not enough room for a pool in the backyard!

What ever are you to do?

If you're one couple in the Hamptons, you tear the sucker down and start again from scratch.

Eric and Margaret Friedberg did just that when, in the middle of construction on their new home in Southampton Village on Long Island, they realized the house was too far from the curb, leaving no room for the all-important backyard pool, the New York Post reported.

"There was no backyard and no pool," one worker told the Post. "You've got to have the pool. This is why you measure twice and cut once."

Multimillion-Dollar Teardowns
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Hamptons Couple Tears Down House Mid-Construction

Clark and Sharon Winslow of Belvedere, Calif. owned a $19 million 11,200-square-foot mansion with a "resort-style health club," a 60-foot pool and 5,000 square feet of stone terraces. But they weren't too thrilled about their partially obstructed view. Luckily for them, the obstructing house next door was foreclosed on and went up for auction. They purchased it for $4.2 million...

And promptly had it demolished. The Winslows plan to use the newly vacant lot as a garden. As their neighbor Roger snow told NBC Bay Area, "The view is really nice now!"

Real estate mogul Morris Moinian got a killer deal on this Southampton, N.Y., property. Originally listed for $3.5 million, Moinian managed to score a closing price of just $2.7 million. According to the New York Post, Moinian plans to tear down the seven-bedroom, 5,700-square-foot home to build a 12,000-square-foot home in its place.

Mitt Romney purchased a $12 million, 3,000-square-foot home in San Diego's La Jolla community. But in 2011, he decided it was simply too small for his five children and 18 grandchildren to enjoy. He released plans to raze the house and build an 11,000-square-foot home in its place. The new home will also have a split-level four-car garage with a $55,000 car elevator.

Romney can at least enjoy his other homes during the construction.

Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper purchased this Sagaponack, Long Island, estate in 2010 for $43.5 million, the most expensive transaction of the year in that area. But instead of enjoying the 6,000 square foot estate, he chose to go in a different direction.

He leveled it! Tepper not only destroyed the main house, but he razed the tennis court, filled the swimming pool and destroyed the guesthouse. His plan? Build an even bigger home.

David Schwimmer purchased this restored 1852 townhouse in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan for $4.1 million in 2010. However, it hadn't yet been designated a historical landmark by the city. Schwimmer quickly knocked down the property, much to the chagrin of his neighbors.

Elin Nordgren, the former wife of golf superstar Tiger Woods, purchased this Palm Beach, Fla., mansion in March 2011 for $12 million. The home was originally built in the 1920s, but it was infested with termites and wasn't built up to modern hurricane codes. So should she try and fix it up? Nah.

Why not knock it down? Builders determined that it actually made more financial sense just to destroy the old house. The new home will come with ultra-modern amenities and include a wine room, gym and a theater.


The new home was being built to replace the $2.478 million house that the Friedbergs bought in May 2011 and demolished. Apparently, the original three-bedroom, two-bathroom home built in 1997 wasn't up to snuff. So in true Hamptons fashion, they had the 1,674-square-foot home (with cathedral ceilings and heated backyard pool) demolished to make way for an upgraded pad.

About $150,000 worth of work had been done on the new home -- and the second floor was already taking shape -- when the Friedbergs noticed that the house wasn't situated where it was supposed to be.

Besides dismantling and removing the complete framing of the first floor and partial framing of the second, the Post reported, the 45-by-45-foot concrete foundation had to be smashed and carted away.

For all the hassle, the Friedbergs don't seem too upset.

"Mistakes happen" Margaret told the Post. "I love my architect and my builder. This was a surveyor's problem."

Read more about the botched construction job on NYPost.com.

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