So you are having a new home constructed to your own specifications. What could go wrong? The builder schedules a walk through and you fill out a punch list for them to complete. Everything should be perfect right? Everything is new. Nothing is worn out. Building Inspectors sign off that everything is to code, right? Why should I spend a few hundred dollars on a Home Inspection?
The Power of an Unbiased Third Party
When you hire an independent Home Inspector to review your home, that inspector has no skin in the game, no dog in the hunt, or whatever cliché you prefer. The inspector has no financial or other interest in his findings other than to report the unvarnished truth. In my years of inspecting homes one of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is that clients don’t want me to find anything wrong with the house I am inspecting. Incredibly it goes beyond simple optimism. Clients have already envisioned themselves living in the home they selected and to support that vision they will actually justify things found wrong with the house. “Well, that’s not so bad…” “My brother is a contractor and can fix that…” “That wasn’t code when the house was built; it would be grandfathered in now right?” On the other hand builders and realtors want to close the sale and move on to the next. On new construction you will hear justifications such as, “That meets minimum code standard…” “Work is completed to industry standard…” “That’s a manufacturers issue…” By using an independent third party you eliminate bias and get the whole story.
Just Because it’s New, Doesn’t Mean it’s Right
The misconception out there is that if a house is built new from scratch, everything is perfect. It’s not. First of all, building a house is a big project with many parties involved. From Architects to Builders to subcontractors to employees of each of these entities, there’s a lot to coordinate and oversee. Things get missed. Even when the local building authority inspectors are involved, things get missed. Every person who works on your new home is human and is prone to mistakes as well. Last week I inspected a new construction home and every single interior door was poorly or improperly installed. The doors all had specialty finish and it is very improbable that the builder is going to willingly replace ever single door. When it comes right down to it, builders maximize their profits my minimizing their losses. If making a correction would cost more than the hit to their reputation, they’re not fixing it unless someone else holds them accountable. Hiring an inspector is how you hold them accountable.
How to Protect Yourself
First and foremost do your research before choosing a builder. Go online and read reviews. Ask for references that you can personally visit and check out their workmanship. Do not assume a model home is indicative of the builder’s quality control. Solicit opinions on social media then ask to be able to see someone’s home that has been built by the company you are considering. Check with your states licensing board. You can learn about previous complaints and or judgements against the builder.
Let the builder know up front you will be having the home inspected. Home Inspectors such as myself can even do inspections at different stages throughout the construction so you know what beneath the veneer so to speak. Many builders discourage this type of inspection either by saying they don’t allow it or by putting extreme restrictions on what the inspector can see and when they can access the site. Be firm and tell them you won’t use them if they don’t allow you to have the house inspected.
Just Be Smart
Having a new home built to your own specifications should be an exciting and pleasurable experience. It certainly can be if you do your research and verify along the way. A good Home Inspector can be a great ally during this process. At The Peerless Service Company we can certainly help you through the process and make sure the home of your dreams doesn’t become the home of your nightmares.