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kcrossley2 01-01-2007 07:19 AM

New Home Construction?
I'm having a new home built in southern VA by a reputable tract home builder. I'm monitoring the progress of construction but quite frankly aside from cosmetic stuff, I don't know what I should be looking for. The house is a 3,500 sq. ft. colonial built on a crawl-space foundation.

What are the critical things I need to watch out for?

the man 01-01-2007 09:47 AM

Home being built

1st most important

What do you do for a living ?

I'll answer when I receive this reply:laughing:

kcrossley2 01-01-2007 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by the man (Post 28375)

1st most important

What do you do for a living ?

I'll answer when I receive this reply:laughing:

I have my own marketing/graphic design company. Why? :)

concretemasonry 01-01-2007 02:41 PM

New Home Construction?
You are apparently concerned about the quality of construction and progress. You also mentioned you do not have the background and time to watch everything.

You can always hire a home inspector (construction generalist) to look over the construction for you. You can agree on a schedule (daily, twice a week, weekly, etc.) and the times (one hour, two hours per session, etc.). He can also take progress photos for your records.

This will provide you with eyes and ears and let the builder know you are concrened.

snmhanson 01-01-2007 03:37 PM

If the builder is reputable and has a track record of building quality homes then that gives you a leg up right there. Of course it doens't guarantee you anything but it is generally better than having an inexperienced or unknown builder working on your home. The next step you could take if you don't want to hire a construction manager or whatever they're called to oversee the contractor would be to go out and buy one of the books on building your own home. They will give you many things to look at and educate you on standard building techniques. Of course just becuase the contractor doesn't do something the way the book shows it doesn't mean he is doing it wrong but a book can serve as a good guide and help you be able to have a somewhat intelligent conversation with your builder. One of the books that we used when we built our home was The Complete Guide To Contracting Your Home by Dave McGuerty & Kent Lester.

I'll also add that in the construction process if you notice something that bugs you (especially in the finish work) I would recommend discussing it with the builder. Those little things you notice (which may not seem like a big deal to the contractor) when the home is being constructed can turn into major annoyances after the home is finished. For example, one of our windows in a bank of five windows in our house is off-center by about one inch. While our guests don't generally notice it unless I point it out to them it bugs the crap out of me every time I see it. It was a simple mistake by the builder and would have been very easy to fix when I initially noticed it but now it would be a fairly major undertaking that would involve removing and replacing siding, drywall, and the window and is just not worth it. You don't want to pester the builder about every little detail but if you see something that you think will bug you after the house is finished make sure to talk to him about it.

Good luck and have fun.


mitzi56 01-02-2007 05:52 PM

well to begin with make sure any changes you make no matter how small are all put into writing and signed by both you and your contractor, i dont know if you have already gotten all your legal assistance in order but trust me have a lawyer or a real estate rep with you on every thing done . i just got screwed royaly due to not doing this and it costs me 16,000 xtra dollars in the end. as far as watching out for things well just watch and take lots of pictures as your construction is being done

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