With a tight Real Estate market in Northern Colorado, many home buyers are purchasing new construction and forgoing the traditional home inspection. They feel secure doing it because they are told that the home has been “inspected” by the city several times during the construction process. This is a VERY risky way to invest hard earned savings and a giant liability for the Realtors involved. Here’s why:
- The city does a code compliance inspections during the inspection. The look at a few of the components during several short visits to the property. They only sample components and take absolutely NO responsibility for any defects that may later rear their ugly head.
- Many of the defects that we Home Inspectors find several years later start out as new construction defects and cause additional collateral damage.
- After the one year warranty is up on new construction, the builder has NO responsibility to fix anything. You are on your own. If a Realtor advises a home buyer to forgo the home inspection to get a better terms on a house, they may be liable.
Recently I inspected a house that was less that 3 years old. It had all of it’s code compliance inspections by the City of Greeley and was given it’s certificate of occupancy. There was no remodeling done since the original construction. It had several defects that were immediately apparent. All these defects are on one home and would have been visible at the time of the code compliance inspections.
1. The floor joist under the toilet flange was cut almost all the way through. This floor joist now has lost all of its strength and the OSB (Oriented Strand Board) decking is over spanned (30″). This is fairly common and very obvious to any code compliance inspector. At the time of the code compliance inspection, the solution would have been pretty straight forward. Add another floor joist next to this one. The problem is much harder to solve now because of all the mechanical components that have been installed. But it gets better! The same floor joist is cut a second time under the bath tub. This time it is the flange and part of the middle, but this destroys the strength of a truss joist. Even worse the weight under a tub and toilet is about the highest per square foot in the entire home. This will cause problems and possibly a catastrophic failure.
2. The builder installed a steel girder on an unbanded support post. Typically these type of girders are installed in a foundation or wall beam pocket. It looks like the girder was ordered to short to go into a beam pocket so they put it on five 2×4’s. In the photos you can see how they forgot to put the band on the first support but remembered on the second one. They put this band on the support to prevent the boards from separating. If these pull apart there would be a complete failure of the floor system or worse. Once again this area was easy to view and completely missed by the City of Greeley code compliance inspector.
3. This photo shows a support post that held up the back porch roof. It was it was attached to the deck but the support post underneath it was not positioned under the post. This will likely cause the porch roof to sag. or worse. Once again this was an obvious defect that a code compliance inspector should catch.
4. The photo at the right shows a loose baluster on the deck stairs. While this defect is not super significant, it indicates that the code compliance inspector wasn’t very careful. Typically these guys are sticklers on anything stair related because of the obvious safety aspects.