While there are always issues that need to be addressed, the list does not go on and on endlessly or without possible resolution. It is pretty rare to have a New Construction deal go south because of the inspection. For one thing there is usually a builder willing to make things right, as opposed to a regular seller that might be more willing to dig in their heels. For a builder it is generally just business and he will have crews of guys that attend to the typical concerns that come up on an inspection. He also likely has a bunch of sub-contractors that are looking to maintain their relationships with the builder.
At a recent inspection, I am sure that much of what I found was already on the Builder’s punch list, but a couple of things were likely not on his list.
One simple thing was electrical. The panel had numerous stickers signing off the installation by the jurisdictional inspectors and yet the simple bonding strap that connects the panel itself to the electrical grounding system had never gotten installed.
It is a super simple fix, but an example of the kinds of things that can be found at a new construction inspection, in spite of all the sign-off by the municipal inspectors.
There was another bigger issue that frankly is going to be a pain in the butt for someone. Floors over vented crawl spaces are required to be insulated to R-30. As you can see in the following picture the insulation looks pretty nicely installed all nice and even with the bottom of the 9-3/8” I-joists.
Typically a 10 thick fiberglass batt will fill this entire cavity. There was a very small area of missing insulation where I could see that the batt insulation did not fill the entire cavity. In fact there was an approximately 3” gap everywhere above the insulation.
Looking into the space with my camera tells the story.
The code requirement for installation of floor insulation is for it to be in “permanent” contact with the sub-floor. Not only is this not in contact with the sub-floor, I have to question whether the batt is even R-30.
Now you might ask what is the big deal? Well if insulation is not is substantial contact with the sub-floor, cold air will infiltrate the space and make the floors feel much colder than they would otherwise. Also if air can move into the space, so can moisture. We want warm floors and we don’t want air movement.
These sorts of things do indeed get by the builder and the jurisdictional inspectors in the construction process and having the home inspected prior to purchase—even New Construction—should be a no-brainer.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board