There are plenty of potential pitfalls with new construction; there are hundreds of nightmare stories of new homes that have gone terribly wrong. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure you do not suffer the same fate.
Visit the construction site regularly
There are lots of unnerving unknowns when it comes to new construction. Maybe your lumber has been left out in bad weather and is starting to show signs of wood rot, or a miscommunication with a subcontractor leads to your new home facing the wrong way!
The best way to ease your nerves, and ensure these problems don’t happen, is to visit the construction site very often to keep an eye on the progress. Don’t leave it until the final walk through before you see everything thats been going on there.
Try to visit the construction site for a walk through at least three times.
The first time should be after the home has been staked out and surveyed as it gives you the opportunity to ensure it is situated correctly.
Once the framing is complete and mechanical installation has begun. This is the ideal time to address any issues, such as ventilation or the electrical wiring.
The last time to visit is for the final walk through; at this stage you will review the punch list. Try to visit as often as possible to address problems as soon as they arise and have more chance to be quickly corrected.
Builders and contractors are human, so mistakes can happen. There is nothing wrong with bringing to their attention any issues or problems you have with the construction. Be aware that some things may appear to be problems, but may just be incomplete construction. Bring any problems to your builder’s attention and they should advise you as to whether it is yet to be finished or something that needs to be fixed.
Keep an eye on your punch list
You will do a final walk through of your newly constructed home with your builder before closing on your property. They will give you the opportunity to point out any issues, imperfections, or defects that need to be corrected before you can move in. You can check for anything from scratches on the wall to poorly fitted light switches and bring it to your builder’s attention.
Make sure you have an in-depth look around the property and compile a checklist before hand to take with you, some construction companies even offer software designed to help you create your punch list.
Make sure to be vocal about any problems. Your builder won’t be able to fix issues he doesn’t know about.
If you have been through your checklist and your builder has fixed any problems, you can feel confident and content closing on your new home.
Know your warranty
Most states require a construction warranty with new homes, with builders providing backing from one to several years.
Claiming on your warranty is the simplest way to correct any underlying issues with your home, caused by construction errors, poor workmanship, or just rotten luck.
Some problems take time to appear so it is worth getting a professional inspection of your property when it approaching the end of your warranty. They can point out any problems, such as slow leaks or mold, that can be resolved before your warranty expires. Think of it as the final walk through.
Try to be flexible with your time frame
You may be eager to move in to your new home, but construction takes time and can easily take longer than estimated to be completed.
Lots of potential pitfalls can delay construction, a freak hail storm or heavy rain over the summer months can result in time frames being shifted over the course of a projects completion.
There are not many builders that will agree to tight deadlines with penalties for late completion. It is best to try and agree on timeframes for construction landmarks, such as framing or roof completion.
You may have to pay a higher price for quick construction, but you will have a deadline for completion. However, it is advisable to have a flexible deadline on the project if possible. By allowing your builders a flexible time frame to work on the construction you might ensure that your property suffers from fewer long term errors.
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