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how much can you JUST overlook

Posted by kimgill (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 18, 10 at 9:42

Im still building and should be finished by sept 28, but there are several minor things that where done wrong and thats just what I SAW:
how much should I just overlook:
1. broken tiles in bathroom
2. My kitchen ceiling is wood and the security guy cut a stupid square hole to put a round fire alarm in it. well guess what the fire alarm does not cover the square hole.
3. I asked showed pictures of a nuck (not sure what it is called) I wanted above my tub for shampoo, didnt get it.
4. Someone put tape down on my floor knowing it was to be stained and now my son has like a 10 inch spot in his bedroom where the tape was stuck.
5.My vessel sink and faucet actually touch no space at all between them
A few others that are just really minor

Do I say something about all this or just go with it


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

You say something...broken tiles are unacceptable, they need to find a way that is acceptable to you to cover the hole in the wood ceiling, if you asked for a niche in your tub/shower area they need to fix that problem, they'll need to restain your son's bedroom floor, the vessel sink and faucet is a gray area for me...could be that it's because of the vessel sink and faucet you chose or could be installation error but it needs to be discussed and resolved.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

I'd be more concerned about what corners were cut that you're not seeing.

I would play hardball and withhold payment till these things get fixed On a new house this is unacceptable.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Im still building and should be finished by sept 28, but there are several minor things that where done wrong and thats just what I SAW:
I'd be very concerned and would also be wondering what else was done wrong that you are not seeing. I would get all my friends, relatives, and neighbors in to critique the place and try to find everything that is not up to par.

I'd make a list, give it to the builder asap, and withhold payment until everything was as it should be.

Sue


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

I would not "overlook" any of the things on your list.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

I'd get a licensed inspector go check everything with a fine-tooth comb before paying the builder.

I wish you the best.


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See what being out of school for a long time does to your brain?

I meant before *I* paid the builder, not before the inspector paid the builder.

Mrs Rushing would just weep if she read that sentence...


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

A licensed home inspector can only tell how well the house is performing in terms of load, leaks, electrical, etc. As the home is unoccupied, there is very little he can tell you, other than what you can see yourself. That is why most licensing regs don't categorize the inspection of new construction as a "home" inspection.

None of the things on the list above are included in a home inspection,and the HI would not be able to tell you much more....unless there are obvious construction defects.

If so, if your town has code inspectors, chances are they would have caught a glaring issue already.
However, hidden defects will not become evident until the home has been "used" for a while...about a year or so....sometimes longer.

That said, better bet is to build into your agreement that you reserve the right to have the home inspected for defects within the year, and the the builder will be obligated to repair or replace anyhting that is not performing as it should.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

I would *never* rely on a city inspector to find anything, even a glaring issue, & if he/she does miss something, neither the city nor the inspector has any responsibility to the homeowner.

OP should have the structure & systems checked, & a licensed inspector is the one to do the inspection.

& I'd be skeptical about collecting on defects after the contractor got his money.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

One of the reasons we never built was that we had seen our friends go thru it and unless you are there daily watching what the supposed professionals are doing you can have a mess on your hands when you are done.
I wouldn't let any of the issues you mention slide. Your paying the bill and you have a right to expect the job to be done and done well.
Hand the contractor the list of goofs and tell him he needs to fix them, you're not happy.
One unhappy customer can do more to ruin a reputation and a business than four happy ones and your contractor should if he's a smart business man know that!


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

"unless you are there daily watching what the supposed professionals are doing you can have a mess on your hands when you are done."

story from my ancient past:

It was at least 25 years ago, but I still remember it:

My buyer wanted a home exactly like the builder's model but with the bathroom laid out a little differently, so he opted to build.

Construction was under way, & the builder called me to complain that the buyer was out there on the site nearly every day. (uh-oh)

One day the buyer called to cancel the contract;
the builder's foreman had set the plumbing & poured the slab exactly like the model home.

The buyer had called the builder direct, & the builder said oh well, it was just one of those things, no big deal, he'd have the foreman correct it...
but he "couldn't" (deliberately didn't) make the buyer understand exactly *how* he was going to correct it.

Buyer goes out the next day & finds the crew sawing through the slab & sawing through plumbing pipes.

They were going to jackhammer out some of the concrete in another area so they could re-install the plumbing there, & then they'd fill it in with new concrete.

They said it wouldn't wouldn't affect the strength or stability of the foundation, etc.

Buyer just said it was the last straw.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

sylviatexas, while I am aware that the town/city inspectors may or may not do their job properly, as the house is already completed, the OP has no choice but to hope that they did their job as they should.

That said, please explain why you believe a home inspector would be able to find hidden defects? There is no structural load on the home in terms of furnishings and people; there is no extended use of the plumbing that would identify leaks, drainage issues, etc; there is no electrical load that engages the electrical system to a point any wiring issue would become evident...I could go on but hopefully you get the point.

Although the HI would be able to identify any surface issues, if there are hidden problems, the evidence will not show itself for months to come...if not longer.

Therefore, any advice to rely upon the HI to catch things that the code official did not catch should be tempered with an explanation of just how limited his ability to do so actually is on a brand new completed home, as the systems have not yet been used.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

so you wouldn't have an inspector check this house?


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

"so you wouldn't have an inspector check this house?'

Knowing what I do regarding the limitations of such an inspection...probably not.

HI's are not code inspectors...and as such can't reliably check for code issues, so that would not be of any help in that respect.

They are trained to determine if the systems of the house perform and to look for evidence that they are not performing properly or have not performed properly in the past. The house has no past...and the systems are not being used, so again, the worth of such an inspection is minimal at best.

In addition, not all new construction purchase agreements contain inspection clauses. If not, the builder has no obligation to allow an inspection.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

I always advise my new construction clients to get a HI. A lot of times, these inspections have as many issues as an older home... unconnected plumbing, switches wired incorrectly, grading issues, no weaterproofing on basement walls, incorrect flashing, etc.
Never rely on the county inspectors. They are just looking to see if a certain percentage of work has been done in order for the builder to get another draw.
If the home being built is a custom home, and being financed by the buyer, then the builder has no right to care if the buyer is on site everyday or not. If the builder is carrying the finance, he may have more say in the matter. If it is your lot and your financing, explain to the builder that this is your lot and home, and that he is working for you, on your property.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

ncrealestateguy: "unconnected plumbing, switches wired incorrectly, grading issues, no weaterproofing on basement walls, incorrect flashing, etc.'

If the water has been turned on in the house, water stains would be evident if there is disconnected plumbing...and a buyer will most assuredly have noticed such. However...no water service means that any disconnected plumbing...other than what might be visible in a finished basement, will not be found by an HI.

Switches wired incorrectly again requires that electricity be turned on...and even if so, there is no way to determine that as checking every outlet while simultaneous appliances or lamps are plugged in EVERYWHERE...aka, attempting to simulate normal use, which is not actually possible in any way that is conclusive... and would be very time consuming and would therefore cost a lot more money than most are willing to spend even on a complete home inspection.

Basement wall waterproofing on new construction happens prior to grading around the foundation, so the HI would have to dig out around it to see if it was done...as the inspection is VISIBLE, and not invasive, one would be hard pressed to find an HI who is willing to dig....nor would most sane builders allow such.

Grading issues can be evaluated...but only if the grading has been completed prior to closing...which is often not the case as in new developments, final grading does not happen sometimes until months afterward.

Last but not least, depending on the state, in those where new construction inspection is not categorized as a home inspection, the HI's insurance may not cover any of his errors or omissions.

That said, without being VERY clear with a buyer the severe limitations of such an inspection, it provides the buyer with a false sense of security that can do more harm than good.

However, that does not mean that there aren't many HI's willing to take the buyers money...especially in this market. However, that does not mean that the buyer is getting any meaningful value and should be advised of such by the REA and/or the HI.

If the buyer still wishes to move forward with such a minimal inspection, fine. However, they should do so based upon being fully educated on the the reality.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Licensed home inspectors are, in my opinion, some of the cheapest protection you can get & the money they cost is the best money you'll ever spend.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

1. broken tiles in bathroom

Unacceptable

2. My kitchen ceiling is wood and the security guy cut a stupid square hole to put a round fire alarm in it. well guess what the fire alarm does not cover the square hole.

Unacceptable - I would ask the security company to pay for the fix.

3. I asked showed pictures of a nuck (not sure what it is called) I wanted above my tub for shampoo, didnt get it.

Is this on any list/checklist that you gave the contractor? If it was just verbal, you aren't owed this. If the tile is done it would be a major job to create the nook now.

4. Someone put tape down on my floor knowing it was to be stained and now my son has like a 10 inch spot in his bedroom where the tape was stuck.

Unacceptable

5.My vessel sink and faucet actually touch no space at all between them

Is the faucet in granite? Tough luck. Tile? Could be fixed.

A few others that are just really minor

You should put together a final punchlist of all the broken items and go over it with the GC ASAP.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

sylviatexas: "Licensed home inspectors are, in my opinion, some of the cheapest protection you can get & the money they cost is the best money you'll ever spend."

Agreed...for what they are trained to do...which is not new construction inspection.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Probably a good thing that the shower niche was not put in. Given the poor work elsewhere, the niche most likely would have leaked.

The rest need correcting. Go over electrical, plumbing and heating systems carefully to look for more issues. I don't know if a HI is the answer, but definitely don't rely on the county inspectors.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Mechanics work on new & used cars,
Realtors sell new & used homes,
inspectors inspect new & used construction.

Inspectors are trained & tested & licensed to check condition & function regardless of whether the construction is pre-owned or new.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

sylviatexas: "Inspectors are trained & tested & licensed to check condition & function regardless of whether the construction is pre-owned or new."

That may be true in some states, but none that I am aware of, for the very reasons mentioned above. For example, your statement is entirely untrue as it pertains to home inspection training in both New Jersey or New York (see below).

Therefore, please tell us what states categorize new construction as a home inspection, and provide details on what type of training those inspectors have in order to inspect new construction. Thanks.

See the excerpts from the NJ & NY laws as follows:

New Jersey:
"Residential building" means a structure consisting of from one to four family dwelling units that has been
occupied as such prior to the time when a home inspection is requested or contracted for in accordance with this
act, but shall not include any such structure newly constructed and not previously occupied.

"Home inspection" means a visual, functional, non-invasive inspection conducted without moving personal
property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris, using the mandatory equipment and including the
preparation of a home inspection report of the readily-accessible elements of the following components of a
residential building: structural components, exterior components, roofing system, plumbing system, electrical
system, heating system, cooling system, interior components, insulation components and
ventilation system, fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances, or any other related residential housing component
as determined by the Board, in consultation with the Committee, by rule, but excluding recreational facilities
and outbuildings other than garages or carports.

New York:
"What is Home Inspection?

Home Inspection is defined as the process by which a home inspector observes and provides a written report of the systems and components of a residential building

What do you mean by residential buildings?

A Residential Building means a structure consisting of 1 to 4 dwelling units and their garages and carports, but shall not include any such structure newly constructed or not previously occupied as a dwelling unit."


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

As I understand it, if the Home Inspector does a lousy job, your only recourse is to get the HI fee you paid returned to you. They cannot be held responsible for the needed repairs that they missed. So I think a HI is of a limited value, and using the realtor's HI is very limited.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

In some states, NJ being one, Tennessee another, and the third escapes me at the moment, that was successfully challenged in court. Therefore, in those states, the recourse for a true error or omission on a home inspection can't be limited to the fee cost.

That said, it is important for buyers to familiarize themselves with their state law, if it does regulate the profession, in order to be fully aware of what is and is not included in an inspection...and to carefully read the home inspection agreement as well to make certain the HI intends to inspect what is required by law.

Absent regulation, they should review the SOP's and COE's of NAHI, NACHI, ASHI etc to understand exactly what is and isn't included in a home inspection in accordance with nationally accepted standards.

All this should be done before they choose the HI...which should not be done at the last minute when their choices will be limited by time constraints.

Last but not least, the Texas home inspection profession is regulated by TREC, the Texas Real Estate Commission, which is an inherent conflict of interest. Therefore, any rules that govern the Texas HI's are suspect at best as in effect, they are ALL the real estate professions' HI's.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

LOL, Logic, you couldn't be more wrong.

The Texas Real Estate Commission is not affiliated with Realtors or real estate practitioners at all, more like the opposite;
it's the state body that governs the licensing of real estate practitioners & home inspectors.

You may be thinking of the National Association of Realtors or the Texas Association of Realtors;
those are trade organizations, not governmental bodies, & they have nothing to do with regulations, licensing, or liability of real estate inspectors.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

sylviatexas, I am well aware of what TREC is...and it has been the butt of jokes in the HI profession ever since Texas decided that having the same people who have oversight over the real estate profession should also have oversight over the HI profession. It is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house...as Texas was the first state to do so.

There is wide perception that HI's are often the lackeys of the REA's. Texas merely enforced that perception by the above decision.

By contrast, the HI profession in NJ is under the auspices of the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, which reports to Law & Public Safety, which is under the auspices of the AG's office.

In NYS, the HI's are under the auspices of the Secretary of State.
CT..under the Dept of Consumer Protection

NAR is extremely influential as one of they largest, if not THE largest PAC contributors. They have managed to use their clout to finagle five other states aside from Texas into having the RE profession control the HI profession.

It is what it is.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

"Licensed home inspectors are, in my opinion, some of the cheapest protection you can get & the money they cost is the best money you'll ever spend."

Sorry...can't even read the rest of this thread b/c I'm laughing too hard. ARE you being serious?
Anyway, OP- this should be on the building a home forum. You'd get more advice and better...


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

"fox guarding the henhouse"???

TREC exists solely to safeguard the public, & real estate brokers & errors & omissions insurance carriers strongly advise agents against recommending one inspector over another.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

TREC mandates that the HI use a check list as a report...which is the least informative reporting methodology. Safeguarding the public? NOT.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Hoooooh boy !
Is reform and improvement ever needed here - on all levels!
The home inspector must know the building codes, otherwise what good is he??
In the olden days, if a man built a house for a prince and the house fell down, the builder would pay with his life!
True or not, but this could explain why the old houses are so well built.
Today, a problem exists with so many builders using cheap inexperienced help.
Are the contractors greedy ?
And home buyers have a lot to learn about the process.
I have been both an inspector and an assembler of military vehicles.
There are many similarities, many things identical.
Yes, I do know that when the government is involved, costs escalate..
So, we must be careful.
If the man who cut the square hole for a round object was an independent and had to pay for a new dining room ceiling($10,000) for his mistake.....he had best find a new line of work..
As I say, attitudes must be improved; legislation is needed to improve this situation.
We need better people.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

earthworm, there is BOCA (national code), ICC (international code) state code, city code, residential code, commercial code, etc., etc.

Within those disciplines there are specialties, such as structure, electrical, plumbing, etc.

In addition, each town can add code requirements of their own.

It is not possible in any way, shape matter or form for any one person to have all of this knowledge and be licensed in all do these disciplines for every town and city in his/her state.

One would need a team of "code inspectors", who would need at least a couple of days if not more, and which would cost a fortune, and relegate a home inspection to being a luxury only for the wealthy...IF a seller would even allow such an inspection.

Last but not least, regardless of how much code someone may know, they still can't see through walls...which is the ONLY way to know what code violations lurk within.

It is only when those systems malfunction that a problem becomes known....and a problem can only become known if the system is used.

That is why a home inspection is only truly meaningful after the house has been used as a home. Hence the title HOME inspection...not "HOUSE" inspection.

A home inspection performed properly coupled with a comprehensive report provides far more info than most home buyers could ever learn on their own...for a price that is extremely affordable.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

Unification(of the codes) is happening, slowly.
I think its a good thing, but the improvement must be quicker, people must get off their dead arses and WORK, not accept the mess we have now.
I believe that with organization and the computer, the home inspection process can be greatly improved...
I was an inspector at one time, and I know that things can be better, much better.
And, having been on both sides of the fence, more than once, I was not impressed at all.
60 plus pages, when 6 pages would suffice.....and government inspection is just as bad.


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RE: how much can you JUST overlook

earthworm: "And, having been on both sides of the fence, more than once, I was not impressed at all.
60 plus pages, when 6 pages would suffice."

Unification of code will probably not happen, as each town/city/state has varied needs and requirements due to environmental and other issues, to say nothing of their desire to have autonomy...so I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening in the next few lifetimes.

As far as the HI's are concerned,the problem is liability. Home inspectors are the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of litigation. Our society is far more litigious today than it was in the past....and home inspectors pay through the nose for E&O insurance, the rates of which continue to rise due too many inspectors being sued. The higher the insurance cost, the higher the price of the inspection goes..direclty impacting the consumer's pocket.

The insurance companies that insure home inspectors for E&O, as well as the NJ licensing board have gone on record stating that the majority of home buyer complaints and/or law suits stem from reports that are not thorough enough.

Hence, 60 page reports...


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