New construction woes

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wahnfried
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New construction woes

Post by wahnfried » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:38 am

Dear fellow bogleheads,
Maybe you’re able to give me some thought on my problem.
We built a custom home , moved in and continue to find faults such as drafty fireplace, unoperable windows , showers that run cold water only , leaks in the hot air ducts etc etc.
This is a 600 k custom home and the builder now drags his feet and is hesitant to address these issues.
Money already changed hands , part cash, part mortgage.
How would you proceed?
We are still on friendly terms and did not have a “come to Jesus “talk yet.
Should I get a home inspection to generate a paper trail?
The builder gives a one year warranty on the house , is it worth the paper it’s written on if he is so hesitant to address issues?
Please let me know your what you think , any insight is highly appreciated.
Wahnfried

ShowMeTheER
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Re: New construction woes

Post by ShowMeTheER » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:51 am

I would get the inspection to document at this point in time - as well as for piece of mind. Common mistake that I am guilty of as well is not having an independent inspection prior to taking possession of new build.

It may not be a game changer but seems well worth the money to support a warranty claim. In absence of it, it certainly seems like you won't have success with resolution. With it, maybe you have a shot.

denovo
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Re: New construction woes

Post by denovo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:42 am

You didn't have an inspector or construction manager monitor the home while it was being built? Did you have an inspection before remitting final payment when home was built?
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RVosen
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Re: New construction woes

Post by RVosen » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:41 am

A good contractor will stand by that warranty. Probably worth getting an inspection and anything wrong written up. I work in the mechanical trades and our company does a lot of work on new model and custom homes. Most contractors have a pretty strict test they put everything through before the home owner moves in.

fishmonger
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Re: New construction woes

Post by fishmonger » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:27 am

First questions is why are you still on friendly terms? Problems like that are unacceptable in a new, quality built home.

I would make it very well known that you are extremely unhappy and want to give the GC the chance to make things right. No threats, but I would make it clear that you will look into other remedies (i.e. legal action) if it's not addressed in a timely manner. Being nice will likely get you nowhere

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rustymutt
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Re: New construction woes

Post by rustymutt » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:09 am

Never build a home without hiring an Architect. They can make sure it's built to a higher standard. :moneybag
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Toons
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Re: New construction woes

Post by Toons » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:20 am

Still On Friendly Terms?
This is about business,
Not Friendship,
The clock is ticking on your year.
Take charge,Home inspection ,whatever it takes to rectify the situation.
The builder NEEDS to know that you are Serious.

I rarely if ever have posted one of these :annoyed
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rgs92
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Re: New construction woes

Post by rgs92 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:22 am

Just do a punch list and see what happens. A house is a complex beast and these things always happen.
As long as it's not structural or something that can't be easily repaired, I wouldn't worry too much.

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hand
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Re: New construction woes

Post by hand » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:01 am

Not clear as to whether this is a true custom house (your site, architect, builder etc.) or a production built house where you had some input on design and finishes (confusingly also marketed as "custom").

If you worked with a production builder (Toll Bros. or similar), they likely have a set of formal processes to address "punch list" items (likely at 30 days and 11 months). First and foremost avail yourself of the formal remediation processes and be sure to document every single issue in their preferred format.

Recognize however, that every fix reduces profit, so there's an incentive for the builder to either cheap out on repairs or drag feet and not action; given the scope of the problems, it would seem prudent to formally document the issues and perhaps have a preliminary meeting with a lawyer with expertise in holding builders accountable to minimum quality standards.

If you have a true custom house and managed the construction, it appears something has gone terribly wrong in the typical periodic inspection and milestone payments - While I'd likely give the builder the opportunity to correct, I'd jump straight to a discussion with a lawyer to get input on how to properly document so you're prepared to hold the builder accountable if needed.

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Sandtrap
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Re: New construction woes

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:58 am

It is very obvious that:
1 You are not being take seriously.
2 The builder is not responsive to your needs in a timely manner (meaning immediately)
3 The workmanship on your home is very poor in critical areas.

Hopefully you have documented everything up to this point.
Such as:

Construction contract.
Plans and Specs agreed upon. (blueprints, plans, permits, spec book)
Record of all materials purchased.
Record of all inspection dates, who the inspector was, certificate of occupancy, etc.
Record of payments.
Conversation recaps (verbal, in person, phone, texts, etc.) on hardcopy with date and specifics. If not, do this right away as you remember.
Record of Emails.
Photographs of each stage of construction and dates taken.
Record of research on the Building Contractor, subcontractors, and other entities that you did research on prior to signing a contract.
IE: BBB, Contractors Licensing, etc.
Copy of Contractor and subcontractor's insurance statements, licensing documents, etc.

If not, get on it and put a file together, and then continue to document everything from this point on. Get everything in hard copy.
Try to get conversations through email vs in person, or if conversation then send a conversation recap to the Contractor and CC yourself in the letter.

Hire legal counsel asap.
Make a detailed "punch list" of all discrepancies.
Have your legal counsel send that punch list along with a completion date requirement to the General Contractor.
If the punch list is not done within the deadline then you can hire another general contractor or other professionals to complete the work and then charge the General Contractor for it. This is the "gist" of it.

Of course, the contractor may be offended and will call or communicate that the legal counsel letter was not needed and he would make it right anyway. Ignore that. Everyone says that. It means nothing. You want tangible action and results. You paid for it. If the other party doesn't deliver, it's stealing.

However, these are not small problems nor are they normal punch list problems on a quality build.
We built a custom home , moved in and continue to find faults such as drafty fireplace, unoperable windows , showers that run cold water only , leaks in the hot air ducts etc etc
Normally, you can withhold up to 10% or more (depending on local area law) of the total contract price until the final "punch list" is completed and have 30-90 days (depending on local law) beyond that "first punch list completion" to make that final payment. This does not stop you from making additional punch lists so the process can be cyclical until you are satisfied, within reason. It seems that this hasn't been done.

Actionably: This is a business contractual arrangement. It matters not about "friendliness" or keeping things copacetic. Courtesy is fine. But whether your or either are liked and "getting along" matters not.

The goal now is to remedy my first points.
1. You must be taken seriously, now.
2. The builder must be responsive to your needs as much as he was in selling you his services the first day.
3. Everything must be fixed asap.
And, hire a home inspector as needed to make sure you cover all discrepencies.
***You can also bring in several General Building Contractors to inspect the home and give you a price to fix all the discrepancies. It will cost nothing. They will be glad to have a chance to get the work. And, their proposals will be added documentation of the discrepancies to give your legal counsel.

Every week that goes by without action is not good for you.
Unresponsiveness further encourages more unresponsiveness.
Hire a professional to take care of this.
Legal counsel. ASAP.
Most of the time it will only take one letter with your punch list and one follow up letter.
***At this time, you are not engaging legal counsel to "sue" (litigate) the Builder.
You are doing so, for professional advice, to be taken seriously, and prompt immediate action.
The majority of time, "legal counsel" does not mean a road to lawsuit.

I have been a Commercial Building Contractor and Project Manager for nearly 40 years and have been on both side of this issue. :shock:
The steps to follow for successful project completion, building construction from concept to real are well documented and proven.
The steps you have to follow "now" for recourse are also proven and well travelled. (just like Bogle Financial basics.)
Some may feel that what I have outlined is "overkill" or reactive" but it is better to be prepared and forearmed and have good result than not.

These are some of the many options available to you.
Good luck.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: New construction woes

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:05 am

Hiring an inspector is a great idea. Point out the things you're unhappy with but give him free reign on the entire house. He may find issues you don't even know about. His final, dated report gives you something to give to the builder and when the warranty runs out, gives you a leg to stand on to say "I documented what was wrong, dragging your feet doesn't run the clock out, you still need to fix it".
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michaeljc70
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Re: New construction woes

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:10 am

I would come up with a punch list and send it to them. If that doesn't get results, I would contact an attorney. You could get a professional inspection, but that would be more to find more things than to give your claims credence (a window that doesn't open seems pretty clear to me).

One issue that many people encounter is suing is very expensive and it is hard to recover a judgement. Some contractors create an LLC for each large project and when the project is done, there is nothing left to go after. Hopefully your contractor will backup his work and the warranty.

I would have had the inspection (professional or myself) before remitting final payment. That is what I did when I had a house built.

staythecourse
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Re: New construction woes

Post by staythecourse » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:24 am

We built a custom built home as well so know what you are going through. I am assuming I read correct and you have the usual 1 year home warranty. I would just let them know you are starting a punch list. The rule/ law is they have up to 1 year to get it done. Some of it is likely the builder not being difficult, but wanting to wait to the last minute so they can get the subs each in once. If they send them each time to correct a fault they are paying them each time. It is more cost effective to do it this way. The problem with the construction industry is how POOR they are in communicating. I don't understand it as they lose THOUSANDS of dollars due to this, but it is prevalent in their field.

I will say for a custom builder their reputation is EVERYTHING. When stuff wasn't getting done I politely told them I understand the cost and efficiency factor from their side, but in the end if stuff like having only cold water out of one shower is not corrected quickly it will affect their final reviews on yelp and houzz. You can't be expected to have cold water for 1 year until they get around to it.

I would recommend stay on good terms as you may need them for a SERIOUS issue not only in the next 1 year, but after. No one knows your house (good or bad) as the builder themselves.

Good luck.
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barnaclebob
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Re: New construction woes

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am

I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.

forgeblast
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Re: New construction woes

Post by forgeblast » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.

Our home remodel is going the other way, our contractor and electrician are finding things done wrong and needing to fix and replace what the original builder did (we did not build the home, just bought it.)
Having someone double check the work at this point is a need to. The windows need to open (fire hazard) and probably framed wrong or out of square, cold water only leaks in the ducts that is costing you money. fireplace etc get it checked out.

stan1
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Re: New construction woes

Post by stan1 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:52 am

Many people consider their home to be custom built. Sometimes people buy a lot, choose a plan, and pick their finishes from a national developer such as H. Hovnanian and consider that to be custom. The other end of the spectrum is buying a lot, hiring an architect to design something unique to you, and then hiring a local builder/craftsman who will personally spend two years building your house (at most 1 or 2 others at the same time).

There's a range in the middle such as buying a lot from the builder and using an online plan or taking a builder's slock plan and then having a draftsperson make modifications.

You should make a list of the items you are aware of. This is called a punch list. If you want a second set of eyes getting an inspection report may help you build the list of what needs to be done. Present that to the builder in a meeting and have them address the issues. Some issues are normal but a shower that NEVER gets hot water is a major problem.

If that doesn't work you'll probably need to hire an attorney unfortunately. I expect you'll be well over the dollar limits of small claims court.

barnaclebob
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Re: New construction woes

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm

forgeblast wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.
I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors. It would be better to try to get individual contractor specialties out there to state what they would do to fix it. Otherwise the builder might just slap some tape on the ducts instead of doing the proper fix...or maybe tape on the ducts is the proper fix.

wahnfried
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Re: New construction woes

Post by wahnfried » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:12 am

Dear friends,
Thank you for your thoughtful replies!
We had a walkthrough with the builder and he seems responsive, so maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel .
I will get a home inspector , if only to generate a paper trail....Again , I’m grateful for your help !
Wahnfried

mouses
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Re: New construction woes

Post by mouses » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:36 am

I hope things go well. I am a little shocked to read how many things are wrong with your house.

I have worked with two home inspectors. One was everything you could ask for, detailed report, went around the house with me explaining things. The other was literally useless, even though he came highly recommended.

RetiredCSProf
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Re: New construction woes

Post by RetiredCSProf » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:18 am

I feel your pain. I am in the midst of a legal dispute over a major renovation of my home in California. Laws vary by state. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Do not pay the contractor another penny until or unless you are completely satisfied.

2) Find the website for your state's Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and read all the information that they provide on protecting consumers in your state. Pay particular attention to statutes of limitation. Filing a complaint through the CSLB does not provide financial recovery, but an owner's threat to file a complaint can motivate a contractor.

3) Contact a local attorney who specializes in construction defect laws. Most attorneys will offer a free phone consultation. Paying for a couple hours of consultation with an attorney may help clarify what recourse you have.

4) Litigation is very expensive and can take years to resolve. It's a last resort.

5) If cases go to court, then the cost of damages is calculated as follows: ( a) the cost of repairing the defect or (b) if repair is not feasible, than the difference between the value of the home without the defect versus the value with the defect

fundseeker
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Re: New construction woes

Post by fundseeker » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:48 am

OP,

I feel your pain, and from our experience 20 years ago, the builder will continue to be nice until your year is up, and then he'll be harder to reach. And, I believe builders have the MO (modus operandi, for the acronym haters :) ) of putting you off until you just get tired of asking him to fix things or you get used to them. We still have trouble closing our back door!

And for any future home buyers, I believe there is the option of retainage, meaning for a period of time after you move in, you keep part of the money that you owe the builder. Some of them need that incentive to fix things that only surface after you move in.

(MO = modus operandi - a distinct pattern or method of operation that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crime.)
Last edited by fundseeker on Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

ji.isaacs
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Re: New construction woes

Post by ji.isaacs » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:12 am

I would not recommend a hostile or negative attitude towards the builder unless he has already expressed the same to you.

We moved into a brand new custom built house, not subdivision model type, and after home inspection and closing found several major items wrong.

No hot water, flooding whenever water was turned on in one bathroom, stove didn't work, etc. Home inspector passed everything.

I called and spoke with the builder directly, asking him to fix the major items and we'd take care of the small items. He promptly fixed everything. I think even he was surprised at the obvious incompetency of the inspector, who was recommended by the realtor. That was a lesson well learned.

Years ago, on another new build in a subdivision, there were numerous flaws though none as major as above. The builder representatives were not responsive so I drove around to all the other models under construction and spoke with the workmen directly. I suppose because these weren't major items they came and fixed everything.

doss
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Re: New construction woes

Post by doss » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:25 am

wahnfried wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:38 am
Dear fellow bogleheads,
Maybe you’re able to give me some thought on my problem.
We built a custom home , moved in and continue to find faults such as drafty fireplace, unoperable windows , showers that run cold water only , leaks in the hot air ducts etc etc.
This is a 600 k custom home and the builder now drags his feet and is hesitant to address these issues.
Money already changed hands , part cash, part mortgage.
How would you proceed?
We are still on friendly terms and did not have a “come to Jesus “talk yet.
Should I get a home inspection to generate a paper trail?
The builder gives a one year warranty on the house , is it worth the paper it’s written on if he is so hesitant to address issues?
Please let me know your what you think , any insight is highly appreciated.
Wahnfried
Some of those issues are typical new home issues. For example, "showers that run cold water only" are common --- are you sure you are letting the water run long enough so the dormant cold can get through all the pipes? We had this issue and had to wait about 10mins or so for the hot water to push through the first time we used it. Also check the electrical box...maybe breaker tripped there and it's not sending current to water heater (common).

Unoperable windows....you would think they would be tested after installation. Are you sure you know how to open them correctly? When we moved in to our house, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to open the windows! Turned out to be I had to push it a certain way.

Drafty fireplace probably needs some tweaking from the installer. Leaks in hot air ducts can be easily fixed by the installer.

Good luck! Personally, it doesn't sound that bad. What sounds bad is the builder's lack of concern for your concerns.

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rustymutt
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Re: New construction woes

Post by rustymutt » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:07 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm
forgeblast wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.
I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors. It would be better to try to get individual contractor specialties out there to state what they would do to fix it. Otherwise the builder might just slap some tape on the ducts instead of doing the proper fix...or maybe tape on the ducts is the proper fix.

"I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors.'" Me either.

They have ties to the building trade industry, which doesn't really care about you, but about getting this done.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

renue74
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Re: New construction woes

Post by renue74 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:14 am

rustymutt wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:07 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm
forgeblast wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.
I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors. It would be better to try to get individual contractor specialties out there to state what they would do to fix it. Otherwise the builder might just slap some tape on the ducts instead of doing the proper fix...or maybe tape on the ducts is the proper fix.

"I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors.'" Me either.

They have ties to the building trade industry, which doesn't really care about you, but about getting this done.
+2

I've bought several rental properties over the last few years and used inspectors on them. They never really take full responsibility for anything. For example, "The roof appears to be near it's end of life usability. For more details, please consult a professional roofing contractor."

OK...so I spent $400 on an inspector who tells me to go ask somebody else?!?

I know it's a different animal, but recently I've been selling my rentals off and the buyers always bring in inspectors and give us long reports about what we need to fix. I stopped looking at them and simply tell the buyer's agent if they don't want the property, 5 people behind them do.

pshonore
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Re: New construction woes

Post by pshonore » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:01 am

forgeblast wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.

Our home remodel is going the other way, our contractor and electrician are finding things done wrong and needing to fix and replace what the original builder did (we did not build the home, just bought it.)
Having someone double check the work at this point is a need to. The windows need to open (fire hazard) and probably framed wrong or out of square, cold water only leaks in the ducts that is costing you money. fireplace etc get it checked out.
In most places, you can't get a CO without a final inspection by the local building dept. Code issues should be identified at that time and during interim inspections during construction. Now there are good local building officials and clueless ones as well. Same with inspectors. I agree with BarnacleBob.

michaeljc70
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Re: New construction woes

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:16 am

rustymutt wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:07 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:03 pm
forgeblast wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:40 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am
I don't see why you would hire an inspector when you already know whats wrong. Like others have said, write up a punch list and the conversation with the builder should be about what they are going to do to get these items resolved and when. Get timelines in writing and if they don't follow through or refuse then get ready to lawyer up, go to small claims court, or pay for it yourself if its not worth that.
Because they may not know what is code. The inspector will be able to see or hopefully have a better understanding of local codes and if the contractor followed them. The issues they are having may just be the tip of the iceberg (do not want to scare you but you want to find out).
Follow what Sandlot wrote.
I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors. It would be better to try to get individual contractor specialties out there to state what they would do to fix it. Otherwise the builder might just slap some tape on the ducts instead of doing the proper fix...or maybe tape on the ducts is the proper fix.

"I haven't been too impressed with home inspectors.'" Me either.

They have ties to the building trade industry, which doesn't really care about you, but about getting this done.
Inspectors can generally only find visible defects. Some have thermal cameras and can look for poor insulation and things like that. Most of what they do can be done by anyone. Turn on every faucet, test appliances, turn furnace on, plug an outlet tester in every outlet, open the garage door opener, etc. One that has a background in construction can be more useful in finding defects especially if there is an attic/basement where they can see exposed elements.

The inspector I hired last time told me the insulation was to code, but he would add more. He also told me the patio door wasn't flashed properly. I wouldn't have known those things. The rest was pretty minor stuff I saw.

staythecourse
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Re: New construction woes

Post by staythecourse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:29 am

In regards to inspectors keep in mind that they (as mentioned) are only responsible for VISIBLE defects. Also keep in mind that you want to get an independent inspector. Don't use one that is recommended by ANYONE who is part of the home buying process. The best ones are the ones that have online reviews that are NEGATIVE from real estate agents complaining about how they sunk their deals.

Also, keep in mind that the builder or seller does NOT have to do ANYTHING the inspector says outside of code violations. My area there are city inspectors who do multiple evals during the different stages of home building so that is not a common issue on new home builds.

After all said and done we had an excellent inspection company eval our custom home pre drywall and prior to closing. In retrospect, it was a waste of time as they did not really offer anything new (maybe a good thing in relation to the quality of house build?).

What I would do if buying a used house is still get an inspector, but then get a window contractor and roof contractor and foundation guy as well. Costs more, but that would be more useful to figure out if there are any MAJOR issues. Heck, may be best to just hir a contractor who does gut rehabs to come in for 3 hours and snoop around. That would be the best and most cost efficient.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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gasdoc
Posts: 1549
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:26 am

Re: New construction woes

Post by gasdoc » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:02 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:05 am
Hiring an inspector is a great idea. Point out the things you're unhappy with but give him free reign on the entire house. He may find issues you don't even know about. His final, dated report gives you something to give to the builder and when the warranty runs out, gives you a leg to stand on to say "I documented what was wrong, dragging your feet doesn't run the clock out, you still need to fix it".
We have used home inspectors several times, with good results. The most recent time was after we purchased our second home in Florida. We found an inspector that was recommended by others in the neighborhood (not the realtors), and he found things we had seen as well as things we hadn't noticed. He then helped us decide what to put on the "punch list" and what to leave off. Our experience with home inspectors has been more positive than that of some of the other posters here, as in each experience, they made it easy to generate a "to-do" list and the contractor simply went down the list, fixing everything.

gasdoc

Murgatroyd
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: New construction woes

Post by Murgatroyd » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:26 pm

wahnfried wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:12 am
Dear friends,
Thank you for your thoughtful replies!
We had a walkthrough with the builder and he seems responsive, so maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel .
I will get a home inspector , if only to generate a paper trail....Again , I’m grateful for your help !
Wahnfried
OP, great you have his attention. It could be short. Suggest you prioritize the repairs with the most important being those requiring the highest skill and matching materials first. Be ready to handle the simplest ones yourself after he’s off to the next complaint.

This is my voice of experience from 3 semi-custom and 2 high custom builds.
Best of luck

riverguy
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 10:33 pm

Re: New construction woes

Post by riverguy » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:52 am

Why would you approve a final draw without inspecting the house? Windows not opening and no hot water seem like some extremely basic things that any reasonable person should find inspecting their new 600k house.

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