What I'm Seeing Now

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Shake, Rattle and Blow

One thing to check for in new construction is proper installations.  For a home inspector that can be daunting.  The building supervisor has been on site for 100 or 120 days.  The inspector only gets a couple of hours.

You would think everything would be installed properly!  After all, there are various subcontractors coming in, each a specialist in their field, and they are putting things together piece by piece.

Certainly one of my jobs is to test equipment.  I always cross my fingers that no serious damage will result - dishwashers not connected, sparking electrical, overflowing toilets or washing machines (each of which has happened to me on new home inspections).

On this particular inspection, when the basement furnace was turned on, there was a serious vibration sound through the returns.  My client's eyes bulged a bit, "What is that!?"  I knew immediately.

"Walk this way."  Then I do the Mel Brooks thing with a cute, albeit obnoxious, sashé toward the basement stairs.  Sure, tell me you don't do this...

Furnace connections are made up of two basic sections.  The gas burner, AC and air handler are on the bottom, and immediately above is the main exhaust duct which services the house with hot and cold air.

Those two sections are separated by what is called a vibration damper.  It is made up of two pieces which attach to the ducts and are separated by a rubber membrane.

Properly installed, no vibration or sound from the mechanisms below transfer through the house via the other duct work.

A bit hard to see in this photo, that membrane has been crushed and the two sections are touching.  More too, the membrane was split during installation and air was pouring out!

THIS IS MY SECOND SUCH TOUCHING VIBRATION DAMPER ON NEW CONSTRUCTION THIS WEEK!

The vibration sound we heard will only get worse with time.  Why?  Because gravity works.

I'll bet that when my clients pointed this out to the supervisor his response was that it was already on his list...

My recommendation:  Even though it's new construction, don't assume anything!  You know what happens when you assume...  Oh, and hire a home inspector!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 13 commentsJay Markanich • March 25 2010 06:15AM

Comments

Oh You are so right, I never assume anything on new construction...  My clients always say " ah there si a home warrenty, why do I have to pay for an inspection?"  They are always thankful later!

Posted by Barbara Kornegay, Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes (REMAX Essential) about 9 years ago

Well, Barbara, home inspections pay for themselves in more ways than one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

This is just one of a dozen reasons why I always recommend an independent inspection of new construction.  You just never know what you might find.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 9 years ago

Cindy - I am doing a lot of pre-drywall and then final inspections on new construction.  Two or three a week.  And it is amazing the things I come up with.  But they are always already on the supervisor's list!  He is amazing...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

we are listing agents and are always relieved when the buyers' agent wants a home inspection for the buyer.....it saves alot of problems after closing.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 9 years ago

Barbara T - well, hopefully!  And, I might say, I bet it usually does!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I can count the times on 2 fingers in over a decade when inspections were not done...new isn't "goof proof" and the buyer beware caution still applies.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 9 years ago

This week I saw a vibration damper that was "repaired" using denim. Now that's getting a few extra miles out of those old jeans.

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) about 9 years ago

New or old, an inspection should be done.

Please keep in mind the size of the investment..... compared to the cost of the inspection.

Priceless

Enjoy your day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) about 9 years ago

Been saying that for years S&D!

Vince - recycling with a flair!  Well, if they were bell-bottomed jeans, that is.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Thanks Don!  I agree.  Priceless?  Wow!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay,

There are those, unwise, who cannot understand the point in inspecting new construction.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Steve - we pay for ourselves!  Wait til you see today's post, same house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

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