What I'm Seeing Now

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"'My Guy' Looked At It, And He Says It's Okay..." Said The Builder Rep

My client complained more than once about a leaking front porch roof, and finally heard this - "My guy looked at it, and he says it's okay..." said the builder rep.

Interesting.  Of course the roof was looked at when the homeowner was known not to be home, but that is an aside.

Just a little later, and before the one-year warranty expires, I was called to look at it.  This is a small, flat roof, approximately 8'x6', and covered with a rubber membrane called EPDM.

REMEMBER, A HOME INSPECTOR IS AN OBJECTIVE EVALUATOR AND HAS NO FINANCIAL INTEREST BEYOND THE HOME INSPECTION FEE.

This front porch roof had been dripping underneath every time it rained for nearly a year.  Despite many phone calls the builder did nothing about it, until the approach of the one-year warranty.  Then they sent out "my guy."

Were they hoping to deflect any further communication until after the warranty expires?  Were they hoping to be able to say that it had already been looked at when the one-year walk through takes place?

Well, "the homeowner's guy" saw the following.  Let's compare and contrast.

"The homeowner's guy" found two tears at the back side where the EPDM roofing meets the house.

Score:  "the homeowner's guy" 2, the builder's "my guy" 0.

"The homeowner's guy" found wrinkles and bubbles all over the place.  It appeared to him that the single-membrane, synthetic-rubber roofing was never glued!  Those bubbles and wrinkles were causing puddles all over the roof, a big NO NO with EPDM roofing.  "The homeowner's guy" also found that the roofing that abuts the brick wall of the house was never flashed!  It is wide open behind (which is why he could stick his hand back there to take a photo of his cute fingers).

Score:  "the homeowner's guy" 4, the builder's "my guy" 0.

"The homeowner's guy" could plainly see that the edge of the roof where it abuts the house was never finished, was wide open to the weather, had two nails in it, and the corner and edge were never flashed.  "The homeowner's guy" could also see that every single brad, THAT'S EVERY SINGLE BRAD, was rusting and the holes had never been filled with putty.  Why are they rusting you ask?  Because they are made for interior applications and are not galvanized.  "The homeoner's guy" suspects that the "professional contractor"  picked up at the 7-11 parking lot to install the guardrail and trim has never heard of "galvanized" anything.  Yes, "the homeowner's guy" can get sarcastic when he gets disgusted.

Score: "the homeowner's guy" 6, the builder's "my guy" 0.

Now, "the homeowner's guy" remembers from ping pong and air hockey that 7-0 is a skunk.  And "the homeowner's guy" was a little disappointed that the score here was not a true skunk.

But still, we all know there's a skunk here anyway.

My recommendation:  if ever the builder sends out "my guy" to have a look at something you are complaining about, and you don't get satisfaction because they want you to feel like an uninformed homeowner, call for your own guy!  You might find that your own guy, "the homeowner's guy," can skunk the builder's "my guy" even though the final score isn't 7-0.  Remember, the home inspector is an objective evaluator and has no financial interest beyond his fee.

AND THE HOME INSPECTOR WILL MAKE HIS CASE AND PUT HIS FINDINGS IN WRITING!

 

 

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 54 commentsJay Markanich • September 14 2014 03:13AM

Comments

 Good morning, Jay. It seems as if the builders rep must've looked at it from the curb. I have seen some real shady stuff in my time.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

The old drive-by inspection Michael!  Would I be surprised?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Yes, somehow I'm thinking that one is objective and the other isn't.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this story. This is very good advice for home owners!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

Debbie - I would love to be a fly on the wall when the builder's rep delivers the blather about what a dope I am and then does a River Dance all around this problem to smooth out the circumstance.

Roy - thanks!  All my advice is good for homeowners!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Jay, it definitely sounds like he is trying to run the clock out. Good for your for finding the problem. Now, will they fix it?

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 4 years ago

I'm not sure this homeowner will give up Mike.  I expect to be out there again...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

You point out a very good reason homeowners need THEIR GUY to make assessments.  That is especially true when builders are slow to respond to warranty issues.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 4 years ago

This is a perfect example of why you need your own guy (YOU!) to look at these things objectively.  Good stuff as always Jay!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 4 years ago

Interesting their guy and you need to get together and I'll make a wager on who gets the win....

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 4 years ago

So true, Jay, as in every endeavor - it's always good to have an "our guy" in our corner!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 4 years ago

Of course the time to discover these DEFECTS is before closing.  A pre-settlement home inspection by an objective inspector would save a lot of time and angest and there's time to show the builder in writing what needs to be fixed.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Get the inspection to the builder ASAP and documented since time is running out!  Of course notice was given to him within the time frame since he had 'his guy' look at it.

My guess is 'your guy' would pick up #7 from a judge.  Score 7-0.

Posted by Barbara Calwhite, 417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation (Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri) almost 4 years ago

Can I just copy Lenn Harley's comment?  Amazing what people wil try to get away with!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 4 years ago

During warranty period "my guy" has a biased opinion all day long.

I'm sure after warranty period the biased opinion will remain when they find a list of expensive repairs that the homeowner now has to pay for. Who knows, when it's not on their dime anymore maybe my guy could find that 7th item...he has to have seen similar leaks on other properties the builder took short cuts on.

Posted by Jason Potrzeba, Private Money & Commercial Mortgage Broker - MA/RI (Acadia Advisory Group) almost 4 years ago

Funny, there's a lot of sellers and seller's agents around here that also have a "my guy"  that "knows how" to tackle every Home Inspection repair.  

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Another reason why new construction should be inspected as well....before the drywall goes up and afterward!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) almost 4 years ago

I am glad that the homeowner finally got smart and called his own guy- when it looks like a skunk, walks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, it is a skunk!  Even if it was just 6 to 0

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 4 years ago

How you say.......BUSTED!!! My guy is going to have a good old time wishing he was honest and would maybe, just maybe get a chance for some work to repair the mess. But I knoiw I wouldnt hire him. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 4 years ago

MY GUY will call your guy and we'll do lunch...AFTER THE REPAIRS

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

Home owners should find it odd that the builder sends out their guy to inspect and finds everything ok. It's better to hire an un-biased third party to inspect. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 4 years ago

So after my guy looks at it and finds everything that we see here, we will call you one more time.  If it's not repaired correctly, then I will call my other guy who happens to be an attorney.  Then it will get expensive.

Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) almost 4 years ago

A clever and objective way to demonstrate the lack of objectivity by the builder's guy. No surprise. Hopefully your objective approach will get the problem solved by the builder for the homeowner and a new roof. Too bad the inspection was not done earlier

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 4 years ago

Did you say that you get sarcastic when disgusted Jay? I think you underestimate yourself! 

Great job of pointing out the benefits of using a three party to fairly assess the problems in a home.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 4 years ago

Jay,

And just try to get them back once that one year warranty expires...HA!

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

Like Lenn said in a comment above, this could have been caught by a "third party" inspector before closing.  Nonetheless, the homeowner's guy wins here, and it better be before the one year is up.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) almost 4 years ago

Umm, it leaks.....how can anyone say it is fine? I get "my guy" is working for the builder, but good grief, it LEAKS!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 4 years ago

They did wait Myrl.  In my opinion to try to drag things out beyond the warranty period.

I had a little fun with the post A&J.

The builder's "my guy" is doing a River Dance right now James, trying to divert attention away from that roof.

Brian - the objective corner is always the place to be.

Lenn - this guy was a referral from someone I actually did a pre-drywall and final walk through for.  I had not met this client before today.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Thanks Barbara.  I always like skunking people.

Yes, Susan, you can.  And add your own!  Showing up is comment enough.  Thanks.

Of course Jason!  Nail hit on head.  He's the same guy who fixes the nail pops by just tapping them back in and putting spackle.

After trashing the home inspector, right Joshua?  I'll put my inspection report and photos up against anything "my guy" had to say.

Agreed Gary.  I've been doing pre-drywall inspections for a long time.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Thanks Lise.  He did because of a referral from a friend for whom I did a pre-drywall and final inspection a while ago.  My client took his advice, and called me!

Scott - do they think this sort of thing will just go away based on some comment from someone who may or may not have really had a look?  For anyone builder connected to say this was okay is ludicrous.

Thanks Richie, but the builder's "my guy" doesn't want to have lunch with me.

Thanks Pamela.  But my client didn't find it odd - he got madder!  He could see it was leaking.  Ummmm... that's something of an indicator that things are wrong.

Geoff - I don't know, but what do you bet I am called back to see the "repairs" after they're done?

 

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hindsight is 20/20 Jeff.  We'll see about the repairs!

When I say we home inspectors are objective, I mean it Tom.  And it's a fair comment.

Now is truly the time to do this Rich.

Calling for an objective opinion is the best practice a homeowner can take Athina.  Thanks.

Exactly Than.  What does the builder think the homeowner should do?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

Wow, do they think they won't be found out?  What about their reputation?  Only comment I was not sure about was "cute fingers".
Mel

 

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Jay, you prove over and over how important it is to get a home inspection for new construction AND forever after, certainly before the builder's warranty expires. I'd like to be a fly on the wall to witness the homeowner's next conversation with the builder's rep...

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Hello Jay,

Congratulations on the great feature. 

I find it hard to believe the the "homeowner's guy (wink) can get sarcastic when disgusted ().  The builder needs to consider a new career.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 4 years ago

Oh well if their "guy" looked at it...then never mind? Ridiculous!

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 4 years ago

That is just terrible! I  hope it all got fixed and all is well by this time.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 4 years ago

I am dealing with a similar issue right now with a past client. I told them they needed to make arrangements for "their guy" to look at it and not the builder's guy.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 4 years ago

Mel - dems my fingers!  Dems cute!

Me too Margaret!  I'd buzz'em!

Thanks Lisa.  Sarcasm is getting to be a frequent trait.

He has the last word Karen.  Yeah, that's it.

Not yet Sussie!  My inspection was late Friday afternoon!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Tammie - that's the ticket!  Their guy will do good...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Jay~ The question remains, are they going to do anything about it? Hopefully now that it's documented, they will!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 4 years ago

Donna - my client was fully informed as to what he should be seeing when they are done.  I do expect to be called back, however.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

If it is any comfort, I am right there with you...maybe we should collaborate on a book of "Best Sarcastic Quips" 

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 4 years ago

It looks as if the Homeowner's guy threw a no hitter and the builder's guy shouldl go back to A ball

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Jay Markanich - isn't it essential to do a home inspection even for a new construction? That's what I suggest - always! So never to worry about 'my guy'!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago

Builder's "My Guy" seems to be blind! It's interesting what happens when a third party gets involved. This might be why some builders don't like outside agents or inspections.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 4 years ago

I can get sarcastic for sure Lisa.  It helps with my therapy.

It looks like the builder's "my guy" did not even make the league Ed.

It is in my opinion Praful, but this homeowner didn't go there then.  But better late than never.

Gerard - I think the builder thought they could just shut the homeowner up.  Didn't work.  And I actually looked at it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hopefully now the builder will read your report and realize "my guy" isn't competent at his job.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 4 years ago

Cindy - the builder will say I caused all the problems to have something to report and then ban me from any future inspections in that neighborhood.

Once a builder accused me of squishing the insulation in an entire attic down to 7".  Sure... and then I do snow angels.  That's my way of marking my territory.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Can I have "your guys" business card.  I need to know his name, so I can let everybody know he does sloppy work and stay away.

Posted by Raymond Denton, Simple Man (Academy Mortgage Corporation) almost 4 years ago

It makes sense to have someone who's not associated with the build of the home to inspect the work. I wouldn't trust "my guy" as far as I could throw him and I'm betting that's not far. 

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) almost 4 years ago

I don't know who it is Raymond, but would love to be there if he should show up to explain his work!

Suzanne - he bears scrutiny!  I think the builder thought that this "inspection" he did was all the homeowner needed to hear and would go away.  Well, nope!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

We always suggest having "your own guy" make a list for the Builder's guy....and like Santa...check it twice !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

Good morning, Jay..... how do these builders get away with sending their "front guy" to replace the actual builder.... good thing you're their "front guy" who tells the true story ....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 4 years ago

S&D - that is the only way to go.

Barbara - not to slight your comment, but they get away with it because people accept it!  Oh, it's okay, the builders guy says so.  Well, maybe the dripping will stop now.  And when homeowners do what this one did, call for independent observation, the builder trashes that person.  Why?  Because they have been exposed.  My case is made with knowledge and photos.  The builder's case was not made, it was stated.  Big difference.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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