Who would think that new construction homes need independent third party inspection? On the surface one would think that new homes should have no defects because of the fact that they are brand new. County inspectors inspect them don’t they? Builders are all meticulous aren’t they? Well the answer to both questions is “not always”. In homes that are not inspected, many defects go undiscovered until they cause a problem sometime down the road. County code inspectors are very busy and may not always as thorough as they should be. And builders may be rushing to get the house built so they can move on to the next. Furthermore, the different trades on the job may undo/compromise each others work. And yes, some honest mistakes do happen, everyone is not perfect in the work they do.
Here is a short list of some of the items I’ve found in new construction homes.
- The crawl space drain is not installed properly which resulted in 6 inches of standing water in the crawl space.
- Cut sewer pipe resulting in raw sewage in the crawl space.
- Insulation not installed in the attic and crawl space.
- Improper venting of gas water heaters/furnaces which could have resulted in carbon monoxide buildup in the dwelling.
- Heat ducts full of construction debris and water laden ducts from laying in standing water in the crawl space.
- Improperly installed siding which would have allowed water to penetrate the structure and cause rot.
- Improperly cut framing from plumbing pipe installation.
- Improperly installed roofing materials which may have resulted in roof leaks.
And the list goes on….!
Sure many home builders give the buyer a one year warranty but it would be much better to find the problem before you pay the builder and move in. I have done numerous one year warranty inspections which uncovered issues that were present when the home was brand new. These home buyers would have benefited greatly by having their new construction home inspected. Not all builders willingly rectify problems uncovered at the one year mark, often blaming the owner for lack of maintenance. Furthermore, the builder may not be in business in a year … so much for your warranty.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many very fine builders out there and yours may very well be one. Why take the risk? An independent inspection of your new home is cheap insurance, which should give you, the buyer, peace of mind.
Scott Says... Contributed by Scott Wagar, Scott Wagar Home Inspections