By Dan Steward
Every home—whether it’s a resale or new—has some kind of an issue, and the reality is that there is no “perfect” house. Many homebuyers embark on their search for a home with the belief that new homes should be flawless, when this is never actually the case.
Problems are found in all homes, but the issues with new homes are totally different than the defects found in resale homes. When evaluating a resale home, most problems are often related to older systems that are near the end of their service life. On the other hand, problems in new homes typically involve incomplete work, damaged systems, missing pieces of key materials and imperfect workmanship.
Unfortunately, many people who purchase new construction homes put a lot of trust in their builder and opt not to perform a home inspection. REALTORS® can help their clients take a proactive approach to identifying underlying problems in new homes by recommending a reliable home inspection company that goes beyond the basics to provide thorough home inspections that catch even the smallest of problems. Hiring a home inspection company prior to the closing of a new home can help save homebuyers money and prevent headaches due to unexpected home repairs down the road.
New home construction problems primarily fall into four categories:
1. Incomplete work: Many new home construction projects aren’t completed properly. The incomplete work may be as simple as a layer of paint on a wall that was accidentally skipped, or a room that has no air ducting. In many cases, the unfinished or imperfect work isn’t detected until the homebuyer moves in. A home inspection company will uncover these issues prior to the move-in date.
2. Damaged systems and finishes: Homes often incur damage during construction as a result of rain, snow, impact damage and stacking and storage damage. An example of this is ducting that gets compacted under attic insulation.
3. Missing elements: Oversights during construction due to human error are more common than many REALTORS® and homebuyers think. For example, the construction team may have forgotten to install insulation in the attic. Taking a proactive approach to identify issues before moving in can prevent costly problems that could arise in the future.
4. Imperfect or sloppy workmanship: While perfect workmanship is ideal, it’s nearly impossible. In reality, any number of things can go wrong on the construction site of a new home. A contractor could get delayed by work on another site and has to hurry to finish the current home he’s working on; rain and other elements can damage a home before it’s closed in; tradesmen could be diverted to another site, etc.
Other common problems with new homes include interior and exterior finish issues, tile and floor damage, water damage, buckled siding, roofing issues and structural problems. All new homes should be inspected to uncover possible defects. Knowing upfront what issues might arise in the future can save homebuyers thousands of dollars in the long term. The most reliable way to uncover problems is by hiring an unbiased third-party home inspector.
Dan Steward is the president of Pillar to Post Home Inspections.
For more information, visit www.pillartopost.com.
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