Unfortunately, there are a number of less-than-reputable new house builders out there who will try to convince their clients that there is no need for an inspection of their work. In order to help them in their argument, they will offer their client a one year warranty on the construction, stating that if anything goes wrong all they have to do is give them a call. Take a moment to think about this, however – if the builder is so sure that the construction is okay and that the project is finished, why are they so worried about having an independent inspection?
The answer to this question is simple – the builder knows that an inspection will uncover problems and that they will require their team to return to the site to make changes or repairs. It is important to understand that a builder ultimately makes money by moving their team from job to job; they will not financially benefit if the team has to linger at one job longer than necessary. Keep in mind that an inspector has your best interests in mind, so they will only point out a problem if it exists and needs immediate attention.
There are a number of complications that can arise if a client decides to count on a new house builder’s warranty rather than a home inspection, especially because many of these problems will take years to manifest themselves – after the warranty has well and truly expired. If you don’t regularly enter your crawl space, for example (and let’s be honest – who really does this?), you could be unaware that there is a significant amount of standing water there. This can cause the timber beneath your home to rot and even attract insects.
Sometimes, it can be possible to pick up on these issues within that one year warranty. Some client will employ an inspector in the tenth or eleventh month to check out the property and see if any problems have arisen. The client will then report these findings to the builder at the eleventh hour, expecting them to be fixed. Unfortunately, clients don’t have much “clout” once they have signed off on the project. Clout refers to their power over the builder, as before signing off they have control of the money they want.
There have been many cases where a client has undertaken a home inspection at a later date and, upon discovering that there is in fact an issue that has been around since the construction, contacted their new house builder seeking repairs or changes. Sometimes, the client is unable to find the company responsible for their house – they appear to have dropped off the face of the earth – and other times their requests are completely ignored. Going back through the paperwork, it is discovered that there is no written mention of a warranty.
This is why no client should put themselves in a situation where they could be up for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. And the best way to achieve this is to undertake a third party home inspection before the construction is signed off and money has changed hands, as this will ensure that the builder is responsible for rectifying any issues. Whilst it may cost you a little bit of money to employ an inspector for the time needed, it is important to remember that this could save you more in the long run.