What I'm Seeing Now

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If What You CAN See Doesn't Ring True, What About What You Can't See?

If what you CAN see doesn't ring true, what about what you can't see?

That's a pretty good motto on a home inspection. It is an ESPECIALLY good motto on new construction.

If something isn't done right in one place, why expect it to be right everywhere else?

If something was not installed the way it was advertised in one place, why expect it to be installed as advertised elsewhere?

Insulation advertised to be of a certain R-value, with vapor retardation and ALL stapled into place should be.

The insulation that was visible in the attic space behind a tall cathedral-ceiling wall had no vapor retarder (the waxy paper attached to it) and was certainly not stapled anywhere (that paper has flaps which fit over and are stapled to the wall studs).

THIS IS A VERY NEW HOUSE!  THE INSULATION IS ALREADY SLIPPING!  IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN OVER TIME AS GRAVITY GETS AHOLD OF IT!

This spot in the attic wasn't easy to get to, but I knew that if I could get over there it would be revealing.  And it revealed a lot of information!

So, my original question stands, and it is a good one:

If what you CAN see doesn't ring true, what about what you can't see?

My recommendation:  when things are advertised on new construction or flips - insulation, HVAC efficiency, water heater size, appliance quality - see if they can be proved!  If not, your best alternative would be to hire somebody to help figure it out!  Personally I think you should hire a home inspector, but, well, but that is just me.



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 20 commentsJay Markanich • July 13 2012 03:40AM

Comments

Thank you for the post. I thought builders are supposed to advertise  and instal the correct type of insulation in new construction . I would never have thought of checking the insulation

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay if one can see a flaw it begs one to wonder what has been done wrong that you can't see.  Tear it apart and let us know hat you found or didn't find. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 8 years ago

This builder did advertise it Gita!  And what I can see doesn't meet that advertisement.  What to do?

James - they know we inspectors can't do that!  It's like pulling up flowers to check the roots.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay. Always scares me a little when the patent defects are not noticed what is behind the pretty walls.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 8 years ago

Yes, if you can see issues easily, it really makes you wonder about what you can't see.   At least you have that thermal imaging equipment to help.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 8 years ago

Randy - if things are done right outside the walls, they will be done right inside.

Debbie - I recommend the thermal imaging just prior to the one-year walk through because by then the insulation will have had a year to slip if not done right.  That exam is usually VERY revealing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay,

So true - when there are problems that visually apparent, it should really make one think about what can't be seen!  Have a great weekend!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 8 years ago

I think Billy did this with faulty duct tape...where is he?  on vacation ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 8 years ago

PahPah Jay, What is the one-year walk through you refer to? Is that to address expiring warranties on new construction? Nana Kate

Posted by Kate Kate about 8 years ago

Jay, Good point. It certainly does raise a red flag and then makes you wonder how many more red flags you will find. Thanks for the insight.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 about 8 years ago

That is the key Lisa, and the real problem with inspections of flips, as they are very good at hiding things behind pretty walls.

S&D - when another fine product can be developed, he will be along!

Nana - yes, on new construction there is a one-year warranty period (which some builders change, sneakily, to 11 months) and after that is up they disclaim responsibility for anything.

Bobbie - what is seen in one place can be assumed to be in other places!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

PahPah, so it seems good advice to owners of new construction to schedule 10 months out with a top-notch home inspector the day their mortgage closes.

Posted by Kate Kate about 8 years ago

I'd go that route Nana.  For some it is a true one-year inspection, but some are slipping an 11 month clause in there.

And it isn't a Santa Claus.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago
Jay, A home inspector is always a good idea. He is arms length to the transaction and a professional set of eyes.
Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 8 years ago
Hi Jay, I couldn't agree more. Some builders today don't use the same care in monitoring the workman and re-verifying the workmanship and making things right.
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) about 8 years ago

I agree with that Debbie.  We are objective and don't gain anything when something gets identified.

William - people often ask me if this or that is a good builder and the answer depends on who the supervisor is on site every day and the subs they hire.  This kind of thing is caught pre-drywall by the supervisor.

Or should be...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay, This just proves again that EVERYTHING needs an inspection. How many inspections do you recommend during custom construction?

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 8 years ago

Only two Tom.  I do pre-drywall inspections and then a final walk through before closing.  Each is very important.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay, I am surprised that two is enough. I am a Jay Markanich disciple, but from the things I have read from you I thought it would be more.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 8 years ago

Some people request a foundation inspection.  I have done a few of those Tom.  But for the most part any more inspections are spurrious, in my opinion.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

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