What I'm Seeing Now

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This Is New Construction - And You Call This Finish Work?

This is new construction - and you call this finish work?

There were so many problems on this house that within a couple of months the homeowners knew they had huge problems.  The builder is no where to be found.  Disappeared!  The phone answering machine is "full."  Nobody responds to emails - company or individual. 

Builder warranty?  A builder warranty is only as good as the promise to honor it.  This couple was told all along the way that they did not need a private home inspector as so many other inspections were being done daily by the builder "professionals" and county. 

They were told, "Home inspectors are not experts in anything.  Our people are all experts in each of their professions."

Alrighty then.

There are leaks coming in from many places on the siding, windows and roof.  The siding, James Hardie, was finished very unprofessionally.   The homeowners did not know about JH quality standards - what they call "GuildQuality," or the special training one really needs to install this material.

The balconies and roof are covered with a rubber membrane, which is a fine product if installed properly and not compromised by punctures and poor attachment.

Look at a couple of examples of what I call "finish work."  Understand that this is a small sample of the problems faced by these homeowners.

These are two different vents.  They exit at the wrong place on the wall.  The wrong caulking is used.  It is awful.  Holes and gaps are rife.  This is amateur work.

Penetrations through James Hardie siding must be done properly.

The electrical service line on the left is "waterproofed," and aside from ugly, uses the wrong materials and wrong technique.

The right photo is the actual attachment of a guardrail post on a balcony 25' high!  It is held in place with two finish nails!  And the post is nailed through the rubber membrane roof material.  Look at how the wood was finished!  This installation is only five months old.  Aside from amateur and wrong, this is stupid work.  It is nonsensical.  It is dangerous.

I could go on.  This is most disappointing.  And this house had ALL the county inspection approvals!

My recommendation:  home inspectors may be experts in somethings, but certainly not in every profession of work that goes into home construction.  But while that may be a true statement, it is specious at best.  "Specious means something that appears to have merit, but is actually wrong.  It is a statement that is intentionally attractive and misleading.  A home inspector who is diligent in learning his craft, and develops techniques, and has investigative tools, is a most VALUABLE asset to home buyers and homeowners, and is an EXPERT in his field.  Find a bull dog home inspector and see for yourself.

 

 

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 25 commentsJay Markanich • May 30 2015 03:01AM

Comments

Looks like the county inspectors need to go back to class or be replaced.  Not likely but it is something that needs to be addressed.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, this is a mess for those poor homeowners. If the builders are unresponsive, let's define "lawsuit"!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 3 years ago

I continue to be amazed at the shoddy findings from home inspections on new construction. "New" is a perfect opportunity to do it right the first time.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 3 years ago

James - they are involved mostly with "the code."  And anything more than that would be very time consuming...

Tom - I was contacted by a lawyer who has referred me for many years and asked to help these people develop an idea of what they were in for in terms of repairs to this new construction.  There is no builder to sue!  And the individuals of the corporation are not individually liable.  This is a tough circumstance for everyone.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This is beyond shoddy, Kat (not to disagree with you).  I felt badly for these folks the whole time I was there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

What a mess! and the fact that it passed county inspection and still is this bad is the best reason for a home inspection

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

This is a mess in every regard Lise.  The architect is still around and involved, but at this point things are beyond his purview.  And the county is beyond responsibility as well.  They look for code things.  This is a huge chicken bone to swallow.  It's a mess all around.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

County code inspectors are not home inspectors.
County code inspectors are not home inspectors.
County code inspectors are not home inspectors.
County code inspectors are not home inspectors.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 3 years ago

They are basically interested in smoke detectors and GFI receptacles, Lenn.  The rest?  Too much time.  They don't have that kind of time.  There aren't many of them, and there are many units to look at.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I have always been amazed when a home buyer will spend $500,000 for new construction, but won't spend $500 to have it inspected.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 3 years ago

This house was well over $1M, Lenn.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich These poor homeowners are is for some serious money outlay. I can't imagine they bought this house without a proper home inspection BEFORE buying it. I smell a big expensive lawsuit.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) over 3 years ago

Yikes, you see more and more of this poor quality work. I always warn my clients the cheapest price is not always the best one. 

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

That is for sure S&N.  At minimum new siding all over and reflashing all the windows and doors.  Inside there are other issues.  No lawsuit if there is no party to sue.  And there is no party to sue.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

That goes in just about every regard David.  But, live and learn.  Some life lessons are really hard.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Don't get me started on code inspectors.... Actually, I guess they are smarter than I think, they can actually see that everything is to code from their cars!! These people are amazing Jay!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

I was in a house once when the county inspector showed up Fred.  He had a broom stick, which he used to push a smoke detector button.  Then he went to the kitchen and tripped one GFI.  Then he left!

To code!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Wish I'd had known you when I purchased my new construction home in 2004.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 3 years ago

Chris Ann - I knew me when we built our house in 1998 and it had a zillion things wrong!  The builder had my list before closing and they did nothing.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich, I tell people the best time to hire me is on a new home ;) Funny I was doing a draw inspection for the bank the other day and I run into the owner who is putting literally a little sweat equity into the home (it was almost 90).


As I am doing my biz I noticed  that there was no drip edge installed. I say to the owner, you know you are missing a drip edge and it is required now. He looks at me and says, I was wondering about that. Now he does not have to wonder no more ;)

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Don - when I built my backyard shed 25 years ago I installed a drip edge!  And it wasn't "required."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Trust the builder to inspect his own work?  No way.

Home inspectors are independent auditors and are absolutely necessary.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

I agree Stephen - independent, observant and financially objective.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

If I were that home owner, I would demand that the county write a report on how this could happen when the county inspector inspected the house?  In our county the only thing that needs to be inspected is electrical and roofing (and for roofing that is only if you have a mortgage or home insurance). Then I would proceed to report that inspector to the State.

I don't know how it works in your area but I'd be kicking some kind of behind right about now. 

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) over 3 years ago

This house was a mess Sussie, and so many people fell short of their jobs!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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