What I'm Seeing Now

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Anything Missing?

On new construction everything needs to be looked at.

Even after the house has "passed" all the County inspections and is ready to be turned over to the buyer.

This is the water main servicing this house.

Above it is the pressure-reduction valve and the two pipes that will service the outdoor hose bibs.

Anything missing?

In the winter it is important to turn off the water supplying the outdoor hose bibs.

Those shut-off valves are indoors.

Turning them off inside, opening the hose bibs outside, and loosening the air-bleeder valve, will eliminate the water in the pipes.

That way the plumbing can freeze, but without water pressure it will not expand and break, leaking when the thaw comes.

In new construction, typically, these shut-off valves are near the water main.  They can be elsewhere too, but typically you would see them on the tubing above that supporting 2x4.

Searching elsewhere they were not found.

Many home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, do not know about winterizing pipes and would not think to look for these valves.

As I said, on new construction everything needs to be inspected.

And investigate it all carefully, even if the building supervisor has been looking at things for many weeks and the County has signed off on the system!

My recommendation:  an independent home inspection, another set of eyes, is essential on new construction!  And look everywhere!  You never know what might be missing!

 

 

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 43 commentsJay Markanich • September 10 2012 01:33AM

Comments

Great catch.  Sometimes people just check what is there and don't even realize that something is missing.  This is one of the many reasons that it is important to have a professional home inspector, even on new construction.

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

Nice share. You can never be too careful and take that second and their check to be sure everything is there and that it is safe and properly installed.  Its only right!

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) over 8 years ago

Thanks Debbie, and that is all true!

Rosemary - and thank you too.  All those things are important, and checking even more so.

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

Jay * I'm getting a lot of newER construction townhouses in my management portfolio as HOMEowners are now moving and can not sell them since there are BRAND new homes in the area...I'm not seeing this - just sloppy "finish" work that BUYERS are not catching 

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

  A word to the wise...from a homeowner now wiser...just because it says "frost proof"....doesn't mean it is...urgh.

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

Sloppy finish work is one thing and pretty common Wallace.  Utterly missing stuff that should be there is something else.  NewER usually means those things that were missed have been remedied.

S&D - that is true!  I don't trust those here and it's colder there!

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

Morning Jay even if it were there I would not know what to do with it.  I have two outside faucets and put a covering on them when it gets cold. 

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

James - that may be enough where you are, but not where it gets real cold. 

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

Excellent catch!  I love these posts because they are so good at illustrating the value of a good home inspector.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 8 years ago

Kathryn - when you see the same thing over and over and then once it isn't the same, it's noticeable!

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

Home inspections on new construction are very important..

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay,

Looking at the set up, I ask why? There are simpler ways of doing things. Is this a "round house" for all the cutting corners? Or is this a simple fix?

Have a great day and get a home inspection on any new construction.

Have a really good week in Bristow, Virginia.

Best, Clint Mckie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 8 years ago

Jay,

Once again, an inexpensive fix during installation. A bit more costly now, but absolutely required in our weather zone.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Jay, what does it take to put in a couple of shut-off valves? Ours are conveniently located in the utility closet above the hot water heater.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

Totally agree with you on the additional eyes comment.  In all honesty...the builder most likely hires a plumber...who who most likely hires an employee...who actually does the install.  So the property should already have 3 sets of eyes on the work before the county or city inspector...but lets face it...they are looking for leaks...not whether or not someone forgot a shutoff....so yes a home inspection on a new property is a very wise investment!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) over 8 years ago

This is another great example why people need to obtain a home inspection whether new or existing home

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 8 years ago

Good morning and good call Jay. Here in Michigan we know what winterizing pipes is all about and always look to see how and where to drain lines. I have had agents say to just "cut a line". lol. Worse yet is when it is winterized in February. Sorry guys, damage is already done. I always recommend a pre drywall inspection.

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

Jay, don't they use frost free hose bibs in your area?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Wow...it makes one wonder who to trust now a days...Supervision failed, work is shoddy...owner alert here...good one Jay

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 8 years ago

ALWAYS use a home inspector, no matter what the seller, builder or listing agent says. Things happen!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 8 years ago

New construction is no different than an existing home when it comes to the need for an inspector!   The builder I represent as part of my real estate business welcomes buyers to have an inspection!  He gets a third pair of eyes in the house and can get any repairs done before closing, which cuts down on the need for call back repairs after closing.  It's a win-win for builders if they will just see it that way.  

Posted by Mary Ann Daniell Realtor, Delivering Successful Results Since 1999 (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC ) over 8 years ago

Good catch!  This would be a disaster for folks like myself living in Colorado.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Always good taking a second look at things to make a 100% guarantee on the situation.

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay -- you mean you don't think the buyers want to be without running water for several months?  And now someone will have to drain the system to put in the shut offs that should have been put there originally.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay,  Great advice.  Inspections for new construction are just as important as for older homes !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

I agree Edward, and do a lot of them!

Clint - I don't think it's a round house!  I have a pretty mean round house in karate!  A couple of valves is all it needs.

Yes it is Rich.  Every year, almost, we have those snaps with the 0 - 5 degree range!

Mike - these typically would be right above!  Easy to do, but not done!

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

Mike - it might just be that the "employee" hired to do the work was picked up at 7-11 that day.

Harry - it is what it is.  And inspections are essential.

Randy - I think they are essential, having learned so much over the years.  Around here we winterize in November or so.  You all much earlier than that.

Not on new construction Frost Free Shadow.  I see them on retro-fits, but have also seen them fail.

 

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

Richie - they were going to get to it after lunch that day, but got transferred to another house!

Yeah, that's it...

They do Donald.  I have seen the bumper stickers.

Mary Ann - I find so much stuff you would think the builders would be grateful!

Charlie - when do you all winterize - August?    ;>)

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

Kevin - often I am the LAST look!  And an important one, I think.

Steven - plenty of time to come back to it later, but no time to do it right the first time.

I think so too Bill.  I have learned a lot doing them, especially about their necessity.

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

Jay, we winterize around Christmas and dewinterize around New Years :)

Seriously though, I don't think I have ever seen an interior shut off additional to a frost free type faucet.  I certainly never installed any in Syracuse NY where it gets to 30 below at times.  Of course leaving hoses on is a problem anywhere :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Jay, I never see interior shut-offs for hose bibbs here. We use frost free bibbs. So as long as you remove the hose you should be good to go ;)

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Ooops I see Mr B said the same thing we must be posting about the same time.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Don you big copy cat :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

I see stiff, frozen hoses, full of water, wrapped around azaleas all the time Charlie.

Too cold here for that.  Those frost frees are retrofits here Don.  Thinking alike, and in the same state.  Something is following something here...

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

He cayn't hep it!  He wuz bourn wid a seelver pauw een his maut!

(That's perfect southern Virginian English - iff'n you can call it English)

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

New construction inspections are just as important as those for resale homes.  There are thousands of items that go into a house and a trained set of eyes can pick up an important missed item that buyers and contractors can overlook. 

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay, Excellent advise. IMHO, If I were a legislator, I would think that beside the builder, the county or city inspectors that so carelessly pass on new constructions, these inspectors should be held at least partially liable for any damage and repairs. I think they might in the future be a bit tougher in insuring that things are built to code and they would be held responsible to see that is. Otherwise why are they needed and on the city or county payroll. 

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 8 years ago

All inspections are critical....but....I will say that you do need them even for....new construction.  Good advice!!!

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 8 years ago

And I do it all the time Athina.  Thanks!

William - that was the subject of the first builder's code!  This is the first paragraph from a blog on my website:

"Building codes have been around for a long time. Sometime in the 1700’s BC, in Babylonia, Hammurabi’s Code stipulated that a builder be slain if he built a house that fell on and killed somebody. During the Dark Ages, London planners tried to reduce fires by stipulating a fire stop between row houses. And in 1791, Mr. Washington put forth legislation for the first United States building code."

http://www.jaymarinspect.com/home-inspector-codes-one-of-four.html

Larry - it is amazing sometimes what I come up with on new construction inspections!

 


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

I'm with the Washington boys, with a correctly installed frost free spigot, there should be no need for a shut off. I also agree about the hoses, I had a frozen, cracked frost free spigot earlier this year from a hose left on the spigot. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

Leaving the hose attached is a common problem Jim.  And NOT inclining the tube so water drains out...

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

Hmmmm.  I live in a more temperate climate, so this is not really an issue I have to contend with.  But, as always Jay, I find your posts very informative.  I learned something new all the time, and this will be handy to know when I eventually get my mountain cabin.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 8 years ago

Get it Gary!  How fun!  And when you do I will personally come and show you how to winterize your hose bibs, and maybe stay a couple of days!

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

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