Any walkthrough tips?

autumn201February 20, 2010

I cross-posted this on the Building a Home forum, but thought I might get some good feedback here as well:

We've been building for the last 7 months and have our walkthrough/inspection coming up next week! We have a checklist provided by the builder that we will be going through, but we wanted to see if anyone else has any tips on what to bring, what to look for, etc. that you wouldn't normally think of? Thanks in advance for your help!

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mariend

Could you google a site to see if there are any list from other companies? Are you in an area that building permits are required? If so, your bulding inspector may help you or may have lists too.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 4:19PM
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Carol_from_ny

Treat the walk thru as though you are buying a new house you never saw before. Open every door, every cabinet. Take a lamp with you that has a good bulb and test every outlet. Turn on the water let it run. Flush the toilets to see that they work properly. Fill up the tub and drain it. If you have a garage door opener open and close the door a few times. Test all the locks from both sides. Bring a flashlight and check under the sinks for leaks or water damage before and after running the sinks.
Turn on and off all fans. Open and close all windows. Walk around the outside of the house look for cracks in the foundation, check the gutters to make sure they are on securely and properly.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 4:39PM
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sparksals

Have a certified inspector do an inspection. An average homeowner does not have the ability to detect major problems.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 7:21PM
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marybird0804

Mariend, are there areas in which building permits are not required for building? Just curious, seems hard to imagine to me :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 7:24PM
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cocontom

This is hard to eloquently describe, but here goes. If you have outlets or fixtures with multiple switches (like opposite ends of a hallway), test both while the other is turned off and on to make sure it works in all configurations. It's really common for those to get wired wrong.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 8:33PM
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brickeyee

"Have a certified inspector do an inspection. An average homeowner does not have the ability to detect major problems."

The major national home inspection groups consider new home inspections 'out of scope.'

Home inspectors do not know enough to tell anything beyond cosmetic defects.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:13PM
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mariend

As to permits, yes there are many places that do not require permits, except electric is required everywhere because that is a federal requirment. The town I live in now in ND only requires electric permit. Nothing else and this drove my DH up a wall when we did extensive remodeling as we came from los Angeles Country. Curious though why do you need a home owner inspector on a new house? If you are getting permits your building inspectors should be more qualified to do so. Also you should be getting at least a years guarantee on work done on a new home. Hopefully your contractor is certified, bonded and insured. The main thing is to require that all materials brought on the property were paid for. Get copies of the paid material from your general contractor and make sure all sub contractors were paid--get proof in writing also.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:50PM
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Carol_from_ny

NEVER assume your contractor did the work himself even if you have work permits for every bit of work you had done saying so.
MANY contractors have multiple crews that work for them, not all of the men in the crew are of the same caliber. It's very easy for something to get missed when you have many people doing many things at once.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 5:58PM
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berniek

"The major national home inspection groups consider new home inspections 'out of scope.'

Home inspectors do not know enough to tell anything beyond cosmetic defects."

I disagree!!!
A professional home inspection, even with a completed new construction is better than no inspection.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:52PM
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dreamgarden

The last thing you want is any problems with liens, etc, after you sign off. The rest of the article for "Don't pay builder until home's built right" has a lot of good links to further info. You might even want to consider taking a checklist and a camera with you in the event that you need to document any problems. Good luck with your new house!

Building a Home - GardenWeb
30 posts
2 Cents from a Contractor in these times
Posted by rrmuphy88 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 21, 09 at 20:28

I am in the process of building my own house and have been on this site getting ideas etc. I am a Contractor who does heavy construction/commercial work. My advice is if you are going to spend 500k on a house, please ask for a bond. The ability of a contractor to get a bond is a direct indication of the contractors financial situation. If he is stable he can get a bond. If not, no bonding company will touch him. It will cost you a small fee, but well worth it to sleep at night. Also, get lien releases with every payment you make to the builder. I know it is not common in residential construction, but any builder can get one if he has a good track record and is has a stable company. If the builder is put off by this, move on! We offer a bond on every project we do. No matter the size. I have bonded projects under $50,000. There are to many contractors going broke right now. The bond will protect you and also let you know what kind of situation your builder is in. Even if you don't get the bond, find out if he can get bonded.
-----------------------------------------------------

# Contractor Refused to Complete Job...Then Liened My House!

* Posted by: vineyard on Fri, Mar 13, 09 at 21:08
o 23 follow-ups, last one posted on Fri, Mar 27, 09 at 21:03

-----------------------------------------------------

Don't pay builder until home's built right
By Steve McLinden • Bankrate.com

Dear Steve,
My builder can only obtain a 30-day temporary certificate of occupancy due to code deficiencies noted by the city. He claims he cannot correct deficiencies until materials arrive that are on order. He wants to go ahead and close on the sale. He claims he is liable, as the builder, to correct the deficiencies. I am concerned the liability will transfer to me upon closing. What are your thoughts, and how can I protect myself? Thanks.
-- Suspicious Stacy

Dear Stacy,
If you're looking for a brief answer on whether you should close your deal based on the builder's promises, here it is in three words: No, no, no! If you close and hand over your money, you may relinquish the only leverage you have in this matter and possibly be stuck with a home that's at least temporarily uninhabitable and may even require thousands of dollars to fix.......more good stuff at link below

Links that might be useful:

www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20041002a1.asp

ths.gardenweb.com/forums/build/nph-ind.cgi?n=1380

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:05AM
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