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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to do a new build in a new small sub here in Florida however I'm no more experienced in construction than the average guy on the street. I'm building with one of the big three home builders and I'm considering hiring a professional home inspector to check things out a few times during and after construction.

Basically I want to ensure it isn't 4pm on a Saturday and one of the guys working for the sub contractor decides he's close enough to done with applying sealant to the stucco and I won't notice if he "forgets" to finish the back end of the house and takes off. The first major storm we have and I have a swimming pool in my bedroom and that expensive laminate I put down is now ruined.

Unfortunately I've heard a few times of people in and around the area having issues with their homes after purchase only to be met with minimal repose from the builder. Yes one of them was water intrusion inside their CBS home. Another was stucco that cracked extensively all over the structure which was patched with caulk then painted which eventually cracked again.

I want to ensure all is good with the construction and I've a good solid home when they are done. It isn't that I don't trust the builder or even the sub contractor. I don't trust people to not cut corners or skip things.

Thoughts, suggestions would be most welcome.
 

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Just my opinion, but even the best home inspector will not protect you from the fine print and big lawyers those big builders have on payroll. Even if you spot a problem, will they stop to fix it and if they do, what will they do after you pi$$ them off. You might actually be better off showing up with half a dozen pizzas for the crew.

If you do intend to have an inspector on site at various times, be sure the builder is aware of it and approves. I did a walk through for a friend years ago and almost stopped the job. They wanted nothing to do with someone looking over their shoulder while they worked. And forget taking a camera along.

I agree with wanting to make sure all is done correctly, but big builders are used to building houses their way and I'm certain the contract you will sign will give them the right to do that. If you challenge them with inspectors and lawyers, well, you may never know what gets hidden inside those walls.

Pizza,
Bud
 

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In theory it sounds like a good idea, but good luck finding a home inspector that knows what there even looking at.
There few and far between.
Unless there every day to see what's going on in most cases it will be done before they catch the short cuts.
I used to work for a guy that built 6 houses a year, he hired me to be on site everyday to just over see what was going on.
I never told anyone why I was there and they thought I was the yard monkey cleaning up the site.
Amazing the things I would see.
Plans call for 6 nails in collar ties, they would use three or four.
No perlins in the attic.
Siding was installed so wrong even after I told them what they where doing wrong and they refused to stop doing it that they had to come back and remove every inch of it and redo it.
 

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Good example Joe.
I was on a commercial job at a new bank branch and the teller line drawings clearly specified access panels in each knee well. All of the contractors who had to do wiring work after the steel cabinets were installed would need to remove those access panels to do so. But, here was the cabinet crew getting ready to install one continuous sheet of paneling. I pointed out that they needed individual access panels and he ignored me with a few nasty words. I had to bring in the clerk overseeing the work and she stopped their work and made them remove what they had done and do it as the drawings specified. I thought she was going to get a a 5 knuckle reply. They did as told, but they were steamed. She had to stand there for the remainder of their work.

Contractors don't like interference or being told to do other than what they want to do. And with big builders, those contractors have work lined up days in advance. Delays on one job puts them behind on all of the others.

More pizza. I joke about the pizza, but I have often, depending upon who I'm dealing with, showed up with coffee and doughnuts, candy, soda and beer, and yes pizza. You make friends and they may do a better job. And, having started my building in NJ, I'm sure other locations do this, I greased a few palms. Sometimes a lot of grease, but that is another story.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a good idea, pizza! I might actually do that! I don't want anyone there telling them how to do their jobs. I thought it's a good idea to have someone on site maybe someone that worked as a contractor before that would be able to spot things that my inexperienced eye would miss. Your correct the builder would have to give that the ok. I just want to ensure I've a solid home which I'm sure 9 times out of 10 I'd have. I do plan to check out the site when the crews are gone with a camera after they have it framed out. I'd like those images in case anything ever happens years down the line I know what's behind what walls. I've a friend that's building and he's there a lot and seems to be worrying about all sorts of things. I'm expecting a mess, I expect there to be trash all over during construction. I expect things won't be perfect or someone will make a hole in the wrong wall. I also expect they fix the hole etc.
 

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When you purchase an existing home you can only judge what you will get from what you see. If you have visited other homes that this builder has built and talked to the current home owners that is the best you can do.

Now, here is a strange suggestion, take a vacation and return when the house is completed as opposed to becoming obsessed with all of the little problems. You want to be happy with this house and if you see problems before they are covered up, your xray memory will never allow you to be perfectly satisfied with what you get. I built the house I'm living in and I can see through the drywall. Fortunately I didn't cut a lot of corners so the view is good, but I have seen many other homes under construction where that view would be depressing. Not necessarily bad, but a rounded corner.

You are going to have a wonderful new home that will stand up for years.
Enjoy,
Bud
 
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