New Construction Inspections
We have called poor on a roof on a new construction home and 60 things on a Million dollar Home. We are not talking cosmetic items (the buyer can put the Blue Tape on). Again, the quality of the trades has changed throughout the years and 1 bad supervisor is all it takes. It is up to you.
As parents age decisions need to be made and it can get difficult (especially for a house that has been in the family for a while) on how to take the next step i.e. what defects should be repaired and which should be disclosed when selling.
1 Year Builder Walkthrough
By all means if you have been in your house and are nearing the 1 year period we recommend having a Home inspector walk through to document issues (not cosmetic) and provide items that can be added to your punch list for the builder.
Advice to Sellers
Disclose, Disclose, Disclose the history of the home. It is to your advantage to put everything in the disclosure thereby taking those items off the table when the buyer inspects the house. The sales process when selling a home is not a game about hiding things until the inspector finds them. If the house had termites, just disclose it, this way when the inspector finds them (many times) it will save you the cost of repairing or treating the home. If you disclose something and the buyer wants it repaired they should ask for it up front.
TV has brought on a whole new group of individuals that believe that a house with New Carpet, Granite counter tops, Kitchen Cabinets and Hardwood floors makes the home “new” again. One of the criteria that we use when setting the price for an inspection is age and many buyers will tell us that the house is 50 years old but it has been “completely” renovated top to bottom and is basically “new”. Often the buyers are very excited until they find out that there are Foundation, Moisture, Heat/A.C (HVAC) problems, Sewer Line issues, Plumbing Issues, Roofing and Window issues.
While there certainly are exceptions, the goal for flippers is profit so consequently much of the work that is completed is performed by contractors that are only partially qualified in many fields (not professionals). When that “Darn Home Inspector” points it out it is a real eye opener for the buyer. Also remember that Inspectors cannot see hidden defects and often flippers will simply cover a problem (termites, leaks). Many flippers will pull out the old Hot Water boiler and install a Heat Pump to gain A.C. in the summer, originally the radiator heat came from the exterior walls near the floor and now it comes from the ceiling which is great for A.C. (cold air falls) not heat (hot air rises), remember that a house only needs to be cooled from 100 in the summer to 75 (25 degrees), but in the winter it needs to be heated from -5 to 75 (80 Degrees) , Huge Difference and most of these older boiler heated homes have very little insulation.
Many flippers will also finish a basement that should not have been finished in the first place because of water issues, to their defense they do not have knowledge of the issue because it only happens during the spring or fall and they are in and out in a few months. By all means if you are buying a Flipper House Have it inspected by a Seasoned Inspector with years and years and thousands of inspections under their belt. Many roofs on these homes are “new” but were improperly installed because the “roofer” was actually an unskilled laborer that also did the plumbing and electric. I have seen dryer receptacles with the ground leg of the receptacle connected to the hot side, this is truly scary 240v.
Honestly I’ve debated adding an extra $100 to the cost of “flipper” inspections because of issues with these homes. Don’t get me wrong, it has been my experience that 20% of flippers do a GREAT Job, it is 80% that are still learning or simply do not care that are giving that industry a bad name.
List of wild finds over the years Most of which are outside the scope of a home inspection but we still found them.
Main Supply Pipe leaking into the front area beneath the driveway outside the foundation (before the meter) and making its way into the foundation drain creating wetlands in the back yard though the French drain/sump pump system. (There were little flags delineating the new wetlands that should not be disturbed, kind of hard for the fish/wild life to flourish in the chlorine laden water)
Main Waste Pipe leaking beneath the slab into the sump pump crock and pumping sewage into the back yard, Yuck (at least 1 dozen times)
Crawl space beneath a Crawl space, the inspector before us did not find this because they did not physically enter the crawl space. The house was raised 40 years ago because of water. Major issues because all of the supports beneath the slab were made of wood and totally compromised by termites. Very, Very Dangerous repair, I don’t know how it was resolved.
Gas leak behind wall with turkey buzzards sitting on the roof at a condo complex (they can smell the chemical in the gas). The technician called and said that it was not leaking, when asked if he had a sniffer he said no that he only had soap. He then said it didn’t matter because it was a condo issue because it was behind the wall. Honestly I don’t care whose issue it is but there were over 12 units in the building.
While dropping a radon test the owner (who was an EMT) came to the door to let me in holding his head complaining of a headache, I took one smell and stated that there were exhaust gasses entering the home and I suspected that he had carbon monoxide poisoning. I went to the truck grabbed my carbon monoxide meter and located it in about 5 minutes, shut down the furnace opened the windows and told him to call an HVAC technician.
Water issues in basements - Check the Gutters, Downspout and Grade around the home, I have observed many homes with a $6,000 French drain that was added because the gutter had leaves or the elbows had fallen off the downspout in the corner. One time I saw a house with an egress window in the basement and they installed a French drain inside to catch the water entering room beneath the window, I scraped away the gravel and there was a drain installed by the builder beneath with a cap on top that was not removed. The seller was upset that they just spent $2,000 to correct the issue on a prelist home inspection.
Improper SharkBite Fittings on PB, Expansion Tanks missing on Water Heaters with newer Water Meters, TJI issues, defective windows, aluminum wiring melt downs, Saddle valve fittings on PB plumbing, flex drain lines, roof cement used inside an attic to try and repair a roof leak, defective FRT plywood, cracked fireplace wall, flying splice in the attic, electric laying on the floor of the crawl space, snake, raccoon, mouse or rat encounter, plugged TPR valve on a water heater to stop the drip, pan beneath the leak in the attic that the seller did not know about etc.)
They Epoxied the Drain Pipe beneath the Floor Closed and Flooded the Crawl Space.
No Cleanout Door
Back Up Drain not connected
No wall to hold back the crawl space dirt
3 Sump pumps 1 discharge
Entirely Concrete Floor Walls Steps Ceilings
Ethics and Standards
Home inspectors Ethics and Standards
Verifying Delaware Home Inspection Licensure
First State ASHI
Depending on the time of year we may be busy if we cannot accommodate please go to the ASHI.org website and choose a “Certified Inspector” that is also licensed. As info there are 3 levels of experience with the Certified “ACI” inspector being the best of the best.