Why Get A Home Inspection ?


 When inspecting pre-owned homes, I consider some conditions as cosmetic or part of the house’s character, such as, small cracks, nicks, and gouges in trim, and doors that rub slightly.  However, when I am inspecting a brand-new home, I will hold them to a higher standard, and these conditions become a sign of the level of workmanship and oversight.  A new home is a very complicated structure with many systems that have to work together.  The general contractor builds a new home from scratch on-site with many different sub-contractors coming and going. With schedules and budgets to maintain, they inevitably are forced to make compromise choices. When a functional issue is found, or a cosmetic issue is obvious, the builder should and usually does agree to fix it.  The homebuyer needs to know that “new” does not mean “perfect”.Often the builder has suggested that a home inspection is not necessary for a new home, but here is a list of issues that I have found and should be looked for in new home construction. List of issues found during recent new home inspections:

Structural Issues:

  • Improper or missing nails in joist hangers
  • Missing the hanger entirely
  • Incorrect joist hanger for the type of joist
  • Broken roof trusses and rafters
  • Gusset or nailing plate for the roof truss is damaged or not installed correctly
  • The top chord of an engineered floor joist cut
  • End joints in top plates at wall framing are not offset at least 24 inches as required.
  • Entire engineered floor joist cut through
  • Anchor bolts missing at the bottom plate or the nut and washer not installed
  • Foundation cracks
  • Large cracks in the garage floor

Exterior Issues:

  • Miss matched brickwork
  • Patio sloped toward the house
  • Pooling in the yard for more than 24 hours after rain
  • Grading around the house is neutral or negatively sloped toward the foundation
  • Siding installed incorrectly
  • Housewrap installation issues
  • Decks not bolted to the house
  • Deck joist hangers missing proper nails
  • Decks with no ledger board or joist hangers
  • Deck steps and stairways are not attached properly
  • Decking boards not nailed in place
  • No guardrails for a porch that is over 30” high
  • Splintered wood stair rails
  • Downspouts discharge at the foundation
  • Over-driven fasteners into the siding
  • Housewrap is not installed around windows and doors correctly
  • The insufficient gap between flashing and siding over windows, doors, and other penetrations
  • Siding and trim not painted at cut ends
  • Non-continuous J-channel
  • Stone veneer below grade
  • Stone veneer without weep screed or screen holes plugged up with cement
  • Stone veneer in contact with siding directly
  • Wall Penetrations not sealed
  • Missing weep holes
  • Brick window ledge installed flat or sloped toward the house – and not sealed
  • Garage door auto-reverse sensors too high

Interior Issues:

  • Carpet seams visible
  • Walls/trim  are not plumb/straight or are significantly bowed
  • Windows and Interior doors that were not installed square: will not open and close properly
  • Cabinet doors and drawers are not aligned properly
  • The dishwasher is not attached to the countertop
  • The dishwasher drain line was not installed properly
  • No anti-tip bracket for the range
  • Broken windows
  • Cracked stair treads

Plumbing Issues:

  • The shower floor has a low spot, not near the drain
  • The plumbing vent did not exit the attic (Forgot to extend it through the roof)
  • Plumbing leaks in crawl space
  • Plumbing vents are still capped off
  • Drain lines sloped in the wrong direction
  • Water temperature adjusted too high or too low
  • Frost-free faucets are not sloped down to drain the water
  • Damaged bathtubs
  • Unsupported bathroom sinks
  • Gas water heater not protected from vehicle impact

Insulation and Ventilation Issues:

  • Unventilated or inadequately ventilated attic
  • Missing or inadequate insulation in large sections of the attic
  • Missing insulation in walls in some areas
  • Soffit vents with no opening behind the vent
  • Bathroom exhaust vent dampers do not open or close properly
  • The bathroom fan exhausts into the attic

HVAC Issues:

  • Uneven-conditioned air distribution throughout the house
  • HVAC units installed too close together
  • Venting for High-Efficiency furnaces incorrectly sloped/terminated
  • The exterior heat pump unit is not level
  • Unsupported supply and return ducts
  • Direct vent/sealed gas furnace with holes in the cabinet not sealed
  • Gas pipe leaks
  • Heat Pump large suction lines not insulated

Environmental Issues: 

  • Mold in the crawl space
  • Disconnected drier ducts in crawl space – not taped together
  • High Radon Levels
  • The Radon pipe was not installed correctly

Electrical Issues: 

  • Non-functional or wired incorrectly electrical outlets
  • Missing GFCI outlets
  • Double-tapped neutral wires in the main panel
  • Ground wire not attached to a grounding rod
  • Unused knock-out holes on side of the panel
  • The main electrical panel is not flush with the drywall
  • Exterior outlet weatherproof box installed upside down
  • Electrical shield plates missing on a wall stud
  • Missing required exterior outlet (1 required at front and back exteriors of the house)

Roofing Issues: 

  • Roof shingle damage due to construction traffic (usually lower roof and roof valleys)
  • Roof leaks
  • No Kickout flashing or splash guards
  • Gutters sloped the wrong way
  • Incorrectly sized gutter for the amount of water during a heavy downpour
  • No gap between the siding and the roof shingles
  • Shingles not lying flat – nail pops and/or improper installation
  • Nail heads not sealed
  • Roof shingle caps not installed
  • Roof design channels water toward an exterior wall

My best advice is to make sure that you hire a professional company that has the experience to identify these defects.

Post a Comment