Why new construction houses need to be inspected by private home inspectors
I’ve compiled new-construction defect photos from the past six years into this one gigantic blog post. If you’re in the market for a new home and you’re not sure if a home inspection is worth doing, please look through these photos. If you’re a real estate agent who isn’t sold on the value of a home inspection on a new home, please look through these photos. If these don’t convince you, nothing will. hese were all taken during pre-drywall inspections, new construction inspections, or one-year warranty inspections. If you own a new home and didn’t have it inspected before you bought it, consider having it inspected before your one-year warranty is up.
Builders should welcome the opportunity to have their homes inspected by private home inspectors; it’s a chance for construction errors to be addressed before they become major problems. It doesn’t matter how thorough the municipal inspector is; mistakes are still missed.
A common design for new houses is to concentrate rain water from several roof surfaces to a small area, which greatly increases the potential for foundation and basement water problems. I marked up the images from some recent new construction inspections to help highlight where a lot of water gets concentrated.
In the last image shown above, all of the water from the upper roof surfaces dumps onto the lower roof, and from there, it dumps onto the corner of the deck right by the patio door. My company does a lot of invasive moisture testing in addition to home inspections, and without a doubt, one of the worst areas for water leakage is at the end of deck ledgerboards. I can almost guarantee that water is going to leak into this building before the year is up. Not only that, but this is also a recipe for basement water intrusion. To make things worse, the ground wasn’t properly pitched away from the building, and the soil was too close to the stone veneer siding.
I told the buyer to have gutters added, whether he had to pay for them out of his own pocket or not. The association wouldn’t allow gutters for aesthetic reasons, and less than a month after I inspected that building, four of the units in this association ended up with basement water intrusion. The association had gutters installed shortly after that.
Small Details To Make Sure You Remember When Building
Building a house is a big project made up of lots of different important details. If you’ve ever built a home before you know how important each decision becomes – even if its a small feature or detail about the house. We, just like you, want everything to turn out perfectly – which is why we DO sweat the small stuff.
What you’re about to read is compilation of seemingly small details that you should probably consider when planning and designing your dream home. These ideas come from other home owners that have already gone through the building process. These are a few “wish I would have” ideas.
A switch next to the head of the bed to turn off the lights once you’re in bed.
USB outlets near night stands to charge you variety of digital gadgets
Consider sound proofing walls, especially if you have a TV in your room, so as to not wake the little ones.
Think through counter space around sinks. Make sure you have enough for a blow dryer, straightener, etc – nothing worse (or more dangerous) than having to use the sink as a storage place for electrically charged items.
Same goes for outlets – make sure you have enough.
Think long and hard about privacy. If you feel like it, read this post on creating the perfect bathroom sanctuary
Don’t skimp on lighting! There is nothing worse than a dark, dingy house!
Put exterior lights on a photo cell (when the sun goes down, the lights come on automatically). Consider the same for any exterior Christmas light outlets.
Think about outlets you want controlled with a switch – like the outlet where you’ll plug your Christmas tree into.
Have the low voltage company that wires your house add internet hook ups in each room and consider pre-wiring for speakers or other things you may want down the road.
Consider having floor outlets installed – especially in open areas where lamps may not be next to a wall outlet.
Install outlets about waist high in the garage.
Have the electrician install a light or two in the attic with a switch somewhere accessible
Stop and Ask These Questions When Buying New Home Construction
A new construction home — yours from the ground up, with no prior owners — sparkles with possibility. From the fresh paint to the shiny flooring, it’s a blank slate to make your own without dealing with any inherited problems or repairs… or so you hope.
“Unfortunately, I’ve become involved in numerous new house horror stories, most due to poor workmanship or builders that failed to follow up on warranty work as promised,” said
What previous homes and subdivisions have you built? Do you have references from recent buyers?
Whether you’ve found your home in its early stages or you’ve seen the finished product, you’re wise to talk to other buyers.
Even if your real estate agent or the builder provides references, you might want to poke around on your own to get a random sample of opinions. Drive through a recently built subdivision on a weekend, when homeowners might be doing chores outside.
Do you offer a warranty program? What are the specifics?
Most home builders issue a limited warranty on their work, either within the sales contract or purchase agreement, or as a separate document. The type of work determines the length of time: typically one year for labor and materials; two years for defects to systems such as heating, plumbing, and electrical; and 10 years for structural defects.
mistakes new home buyers make
They fall in love with the show home
That, of course, is the result every builder is aiming for, explains, an industry insider with more than 20 years experience (we’ve changed his name to protect his privacy). “Most people fall in love with the show home, but you have to realize that everything you see in that model home is an upgrade,” he says. “And upgrades are a major portion of a builder’s 10% to 20% profit margin.”
They trust the floor plan
“That’s not unusual,” says, a real estate lawyer with over three decades experience in new build construction. “Condo sales staff will often include balcony or terrace measurements as part of the total square footage. New home sales staff will provide square footage based on measurements of external walls. You can’t rely on their verbal assurances, on the floor models, or on the sale pitch or brochure.”
Unfortunately, many new home decisions are based solely on brochures or artist renditions. For instance, a sales brochure sold the Saxons on upgrading to French doors for the entrance to their walkout patio. “We’d originally seen the sliding doors in the show home, but a brochure highlighted the double French doors and we loved the look,” says
They quickly paid the upgrade fee, but when they moved in they were surprised to find the doors didn’t have the little window panes with wooden slats between them that they had seen in the photo. Instead there was just one huge pane of glass in each door. “The price quoted by the builder’s sales rep didn’t include window slats, just clear glass. It would cost us more to get slats,”
They don’t get their contract lawyered
Whether you’re buying a new detached home or a condo, the purchase agreement is the legally binding document that spells out what you’re getting and the conditions of the sale. It’s full of fine print and legal-speak, and if you sign without legal representation, you risk being bound to terms you don’t understand or don’t want. More importantly, says Rumack, it destroys any chance of re-negotiating the terms of the sale.
Where to Start When Building a Custom Home
Have you ever asked the question, “I want to build a custom home where do I start?” There is plenty of confusing information available on how to go about the custom home building process. To simplify your journey, here are five things to consider in this simple checklist for building a custom home. We hope you find it helpful!
What is your budget?
Figure out what you need to spend for your perfect home. According to a 2019 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average price of a home in The United States (the overall home price will vary by location) is $485,125.00 (NAHB, 2019). Custom homes can be built affordably or lavishly depending on what you want. Many factors, such as amenities, building materials, labor, location, lot size, layout, and, the homebuilder will determine the overall cost. If you are planning on financing, don’t forget to include loan interest rates and understand your lender’s terms
Remember, custom homes are just that, “custom” and can be as affordable or expensive as your wants and needs. You begin building your custom home with a simple layout that becomes specific as you configure it to your tastes. Depending on where you are at researching building a custom home, it may take some time to figure out your budget. Do not get in a hurry. This step is one you want to get right. Many people skip this step or don’t take the time to research exactly what they want. This will cause many surprises, headaches and, unwanted delays down the road
Pick a location
Next to setting a budget, your location is the most important decision in this process. After all, this area will be your new home. It’s where you might raise kids, become involved in the community, make memories, or maybe build yourself a forever home. Become well informed about your new custom home and its potential location. If you are close enough take a drive through the area. If the location is further away study online and plan on taking a visit
Here are some items to keep in mind to help you narrow down the best location for your new custom home. Research and decide each item in order of importance to you.
Close to family or friends
Commute time to work
Cost of living
Cost of real estate
Distance from the airport
Proximity to hospitals or urgent care clinics
Reviews of the city/community