Is an Inspection Really Necessary?
Well, what could possibly go wrong with new construction? It’s new right? So it should be perfect. Everyone wants a new home to be as perfect as possible. There are bumps that can happen along the way.
The builder hires contractors to work under him. That would be the plumber, electrician, HVAC, carpenters, sheet rockers, roofers, window installers, siding installers, cement work, painters, tile installers, carpet installers, wood flooring installers, and more. It does take a village to build your new home. The builder’s job is schedule all the trades’ people to work in tandem according on a preset schedule, and supervise them. It is a constant juggling act of schedules, materials, and labor.
We’re all so used to reality TV making things happen in 45 minutes that we gloss right over planning, permits, schedules, inspections and materials to make it real. Technology is changing the way we live, and the way built our homes. Some technology is so new that it hasn’t been thoroughly tested in residential homes.
A contractor told me about a homeowner who chose professional kitchen equipment, with a top of the line fan hood over the stove. The layout was a great room with a stone surround gas fireplace at one end of the home and an open kitchen with the range and a Santa Clause fits into it sized hood on the other side of the home. It was exactly what the homeowner wanted, he was delighted. The gas fireplace was on, it was warm and cozy. Proudly, the homeowner switched on super hood, and to their shock, it not only sucked air above the stovetop, but air from the fireplace causing a blue flame to dance above the newly installed carpet across the living room toward the hood. Both men held their breath open mouthed until one of them snapped super hood off. The flame twirled back into the fireplace.
A darling newlywed couple from Pennsylvania bought a model home in Plymouth from a national builder, and requested an inspection for due diligence. The inspector found two walls of never been used windows badly leaking air. Not only were those windows defective, but the manufacturer had to repair leaky windows in about one third of the development.
Blueprints are a working guide, and can be updated during the process. Although it’s hard to believe, a custom builder added a porch to the wrong side of the house. The crew had an old version of the blueprint.
There are light switches everywhere in a new home, they are all mapped out on the blueprint. Locations are not always intuitive. You want to make sure you are turning on what you expect to turn on.
These are exceptions. Your builder usually does several walk through with you before closing to assure all the lighting is where you want it, that there are no dangling wires, cabinets close smoothly, appliances and utilities are in tip top working order. There is a beehive of activity on your home just before closing, and the super will do a final walk through explain how your home functions, and how to maintain it. If you’ve had an inspection, you’ll have a clue what he is talking about because your inspector would have explained if there were details to attend, and given you a guide on maintenance.
All new homes in Minnesota are required to have a 10 year warranty on the structure and two years on the interior. Every builder will schedule a first year inspection with you to check off nail pops, settling cracks, minor shifts. New homes don’t require much maintenance, but no home is set it and forget it.