OK. You are finally buying a brand new home. It was just built and everything about it is new and clean and perfect. You may be buying from a developer or you might have had the house specially designed by your own architect, exactly to your own specifications. Either way, you are getting a brand new house and you shouldn’t have any problems with it for some time. There is no need for a home inspection. Right?
Wrong! Especially in Illinois, where a recent court ruling has held that municipal building inspectors have no liability for personal injury or property damage caused by a house not being in compliance with local building codes.
While most builders are reputable, there are also some who cut corners, use inferior materials or hire less than qualified tradesmen. With the increase of ‘tear down’ construction, many contractors are new and you may be buying their first house. I have personally seen brand new houses municipal code inspections (with a prices well over a million dollars!) that started to fall over the first week after it was built!
A New Construction Inspection will check the house for the commonly made mistakes that can turn your brand new home into a nightmare.
- Improperly dried construction timbers, joists and roof decking material. Even new wood contains fungus spores, laying dormant until the moisture content of the wood reaches a certain point. Did your contractor properly cover the wood framing to protect it from rain and snow while he was building it? Did the contractor buy only kiln-dried wood?
- Are all the seemingly new appliances, furnace, air-conditioner and water heater really new, or simply bought at a home demolition sale? With the increasing numbers of ‘tear-downs’, some contractors simply recycle the used equipment from other demolished homes.
- Did the sub-contractors cut corners in their haste to complete the work and get paid? A recently built new home (Priced at $1.2 Million) had to be completely torn down only 11 months after it was built. The reason? A plumbing subcontractor forgot to install one toilet’s wax seal gasket. The result? 11 months worth of human waste seeped into the ceiling and wall spaces. Fortunately for the new home owner, this error was found during a Builder’s Warranty Inspection done by a Licensed, Certified and Professional Home Inspector. The entire house was torn down and rebuilt at no cost to the owner. If this error had been discovered only a few weeks later, the owner would have lost everything and had the liability of owning a biological waste site!
- Small things, like improperly caulked window frames, sidewalk settling, bathroom exhaust fans vented directly to the attic and causing wood rot and mold, landscaping covering the foundation lip or slight water pipe leaks are best found before they become a major problem and cause more expensive damage.
- A Home Inspector can also do phased inspections during the construction, making sure that everything is done exactly the way you want it done and before changing it would add additional cost. A Professional Home Inspector knows all of new techniques. That can actually save you money. Make sure that the drywall sub-contractor actually puts up the vapor barrier, that the foundation people use the most current methods of installing the drainage tiles, that the electrician runs actual ground wires to each outlet instead of just relying on the conduit conductivity. Make sure it is done right the first time.
A New Construction Home Inspection can pay for itself many times over. Why not be sure.