In this day and age, everything is fast pace. Rain or shine, workers need to meet deadlines. Workers are working hard and fast. Building houses takes time, and new built home construction process should not be rushed. Big problems often result from small details left behind by builders and now require thousands of dollars to remediate. This needs to stop! House curing processes are skipped, workers are not being supervised, and the customer is the one who ultimately pays the consequence.
So, what callbacks/defects are most common in new construction?
1. Wet Framing Issues
Wood framing needs to be less than 12% moisture content before closing walls. Closing walls and installing drywall right away will cause open joints, nails pops, and drywall cracking. Fast construction does not allow any time for the house framing to dry on its own before the next stage begins.
2. Drywall Aesthetic Issues
Drywallers are taking shortcuts like skipping coats, not taping drywall joints, and not allowing drying time between coats. This creates superficial cosmetic hairline cracks.
3. Ripple Roofs
Exposed to the weather, plywood sheathing swells and may not return to its original size. With Florida’s high humidity levels and occasional afternoon rain falls, those framing members can’t dry out completely before the underlayment is installed. I see roofers rushing the process during rainy days and installing underlayment on top right away. The sheathing then swells at the edge and buckles, telegraphing waves through the roof.
4. Poor Stucco Application
The industry has lost their best craftsmen. Stucco joints are often left out, sealant is not installed where the stucco meets another material, and stucco mud is poorly mixed which makes the siding prone to cracking, eventually letting water into the structure.
5. Poor Flashing Installation
Flashings are major components preventing water intrusion. Flashing where brick or stone veneer meets another type of siding, windows/doors flashing, through-wall penetration flashing, and kick-out flashings are often left out or not installed properly. This problem results in thousands of dollars in mold remediation issues. Poor detailing and missing flashing leads to catastrophic failure in many cases.
6. Poor Roof Design
Many new built homes have “fancy” roof lines. It looks appealing, but it is not practical. In fact, it might even be problematic. Valleys are directing rain water into side walls, above windows or doors, and gutters are not installed. Over time, this causes water intrusion behind the cladding material and causes rot of the framing members.
To conclude, if you intend on buying a new built home, don’t forget to hire a licensed inspector, prior to or after purchasing the property. New homes are NOT perfect! They need to be inspected like any other home. Buy the property from a reputable builder offering a 12 month home warranty. This warranty usually covers any defects found by your home inspector.
Florida Wisdom Home Inspections is here for you. We provide exceptional inspection services at a reasonable price. Contact us today for a free quote!