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Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Jay Gregg, Director of Marketing with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Q: What are the top defects found in new-construction homes?

A: Many homebuyers think new homes are problem free, but that’s a big misconception. Although there are many perks to purchasing a newly constructed home, they’re not impervious to installation defects, and on many occasions, these defects can be overlooked by municipal inspectors. Defects can occur in the design, the materials, the installation of prefabricated items or appliances, or the carpentry and construction itself.

The residential construction industry has been on the rise as of late in many regions across the country, attracting many homebuyers to beautiful, newly-constructed homes. Although many new homes are built from scratch, some houses on the market are built after the tear down of an old house. This means the new houses are substantially bigger than the houses they replace. These larger homes tend to have unique needs, especially in regard to the electrical system, requiring larger electrical service. If the person installing the electrical fixtures is an amateur, or simply doesn’t have experience in larger electrical wiring, many things could go wrong.

The majority of construction tasks, including foundation, framing, plumbing and electrical work, are usually subcontracted out to the lowest bidder, with speed—not quality—being an important consideration for the builder. With many tasks occurring at similar times during the building process, it’s impossible for the builder or contractor to personally monitor all phases of the home construction, leading to mishaps.

While older homes have their own list of probable issues, the top defects found in new-construction homes typically involve incomplete work, damaged systems, or even missing pieces of key materials and imperfect workmanship. These issues might seem minor to a homebuyer purchasing a home for the first time, but a skilled and experienced home inspector can catch these flaws and prevent major structural defects in the future.

New homes are never constructed perfectly, but a proper home inspection shouldn’t hurt your wallet. Knowing upfront what issues your home has could end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. The most reliable way to prevent spending thousands on home repairs is by hiring an unbiased, third-party home inspector.

For more information, visit www.pillartopost.com.

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