10 Problems to Look For in New Builds
Although older homes get a bad reputation for requiring costly maintenance and repairs, newly constructed homes have their fair share of problems, too. If you are purchasing new construction, you should be aware of some possible issues. Here are 10 problems you might see with new construction.
1. Foundation and Structure Problems
New construction means newly poured concrete that dries out as the water ingredients evaporate. With this in mind, be aware of cracks in sidewalks and driveways caused by shrinkage and ground movement. If the new construction was built quickly, you should also watch out for uneven floor or roof trusses.
2. Dirty Duct Systems
Building a new home is messy, and during the course of construction and installation, heating and air ducts are bound to get dirty. If the HVAC was installed first and was turned on during the rest of construction, it’s possible that dust, dirt, and debris from the remaining construction process were sucked into the ducts.
3. Grading and Drainage Mistakes
Ideally, water should flow away from your home; but, if new construction was not properly done, water can move toward a new build’s foundation. The ground around a newly constructed home should be highest near the foundation and then slope down to prevent water build-up. An incorrect slope could result in water and moisture build-up in basements or crawlspaces.
4. Poor Electrical Wiring
Newly constructed homes may have issues with incorrect wire size, improperly secured wiring, unprotected wiring, and poor connections. It’s important to make sure your newly built home is wired to provide enough light and power for your needs.
5. Plumbing Issues
Some plumbing problems that newly constructed homes encounter are leaky or clogged pipes, running toilets, or blocked drains. Many of these issues result from rushed and improper installation, and sometimes pipes get clogged when construction debris builds up in the plumbing system. Faulty or poorly installed water heaters can also lead to plumbing problems in new construction.
6. Siding Installation Problems
Vinyl siding warps and buckles if not installed correctly in new homes. Vinyl siding also reacts to heat, so homes newly built during hot summer months could experience problems. If the siding was installed quickly without proper insulation, it can affect the temperature inside your newly built home (and your electric bills!)
7. Door Problems
New builds may have problems with improperly fitted doors that can let in hot or cold air. It’s also possible that exterior doors may not latch properly. Other issues to be aware of include crooked door panels, creaking sounds, or floor marks from the door being imbalanced or unlevel.
8. Window Installation Issues
Window issues typically occur in new builds when windows are installed after the siding. The main issue to look for is air leakage, which can be caused by improper window openings, no caulk at the nailing flange (or at mitered window corners), poor nailing fastening, or the windows not being level.
9. Common Wall Problems
Nail pops are a common problem in newly constructed homes. As the house settles and undergoes a normal drying process, the heads of nails can protrude from the drywall. While it’s not a great look for a new home, it’s not a huge issue and can be easily fixed.
10. Flooring Issues
Poorly laid floors are a common issue in newly constructed homes. If wooden floors are not laid properly, they can buckle and warp with changes in temperature and humidity. You should also look out for scratches and drag marks that occur after heavy construction equipment was moved around the floor during the building process.
Even if you’re buying a newly constructed home, it’s still worth getting a qualified home inspector like South Sound Inspectionsto check out these common issues before you move in.