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  1. #1
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    Default inspecting new homes

    When you do new home, one that is finished, how much more do you scrutinize with regard to cosmetics?

    Is there a different standard that can be applied to new homes with regard to cosmetics? If so, where is such standard written?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    When you do new home, one that is finished, how much more do you scrutinize with regard to cosmetics?

    Is there a different standard that can be applied to new homes with regard to cosmetics? If so, where is such standard written?
    I didn't.

    I always told my clients that if they wanted me to do cosmetic items that I could easily have hundreds and hundreds of items, most of which they would not have seen, and most of which the builder would not correct anyway, only now they (my client) now knows the cosmetic items are there - forever ... isn't it better for me to leave the cosmetic items to you so you can address what *you* see and leave me to doing the other non-cosmetic stuff?

    The answer was always 'Yes, do not worry about cosmetics.'

    Here is a reason NOT to do cosmetic items: let's say you intentionally do not write something up because, to *YOU* it is a real small item, after your report is done and the builder has fixed things, your client asks you why you did not write up so-and-so, because that one item is the reason they hired you and YOU MISSED IT!

    I did not want to go there. It could be that $30,000 stair railing, which they are now expecting you to take care of.

    Cosmetics? "Nope, here is a pad and pen, and some blue painters tape to put on them for the builder to see."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    When you do new home, one that is finished, how much more do you scrutinize with regard to cosmetics?

    Is there a different standard that can be applied to new homes with regard to cosmetics? If so, where is such standard written?
    It is all in the eye of the beholder. What one person might see as an issue another might not. For this reason I hand my client a roll of blue painters tape and tell them to have fun marking whatever they don't like or have a problem with. I'm constantly amazed at how the walls of the home tend to turn into a contemporary form of mosaic art by the time I'm done with my inspection.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    When you do new home, one that is finished, how much more do you scrutinize with regard to cosmetics?

    Is there a different standard that can be applied to new homes with regard to cosmetics? If so, where is such standard written?
    John: I tell my clients to use a flashlight and removable painter's tape. Walk through the house in one direction shining the light obliquely across the walls to illuminate texture and paint imperfections. Then tape them. Once finished, repeat the process walking the house in the reverse direction. Once all has been marked use a digital camera or a camcorder to photograph all of the walls.

    If the cheesy builder removes the tape without fixing the problems they can then hand him a copy of the photo disk and tell him to replace the tape and start all over again with the repairs.

    As it has been said by others here, subjectivity should be avoided in inspection reports. Stick to the facts. Now, in Texas, where the TRCC has provided very minimal guidelines for egregious "cosmetic" issues, I do write them up since I now have an official benchmark to juxtapose with and it is no longer a subjective call.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    As others have already posted, I have a roll of blue painters tape. I suggest the buyer mark any cosmetic items they see with the tape. I do not report on cosmetic items.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    When you do new home, one that is finished, how much more do you scrutinize with regard to cosmetics?

    Is there a different standard that can be applied to new homes with regard to cosmetics? If so, where is such standard written?
    John, I think you mean guideline - a standard is adopted into law.

    Anyway, maybe this will help. In an existing home there's always some wear & tear. In a new home there's none - systems and components should perform as new.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  7. #7
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    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    I write up what I call "major cosmetics" on new homes and teach my clients how to deal with it and what to expect (they will see more flaws while living there). You do need some experience with finish type work to know what is reasonable and what is not. It used to take me much longer on a new home but now its only about an extra 15 minutes on the report to type those extra 20-30 items.

    The builders are very accomodating and my clients end up with a much nicer home. The blue tape can just be pulled off, the report is an ongoing document. The state SOP's are a minimum you are allowed to do extra work for your client.


    I get many referalls from this and zero complaints. Some agents send me their new home clients but not the older homes since I always find about 30 more defects on older homes than the driveby guys.

    Some builders have even asked me to "do what you did on that one, on this one before I pay these subs ok" I say yessir!

    The only builders that are a problem are usually the older guy that knows the code inspectors and has a realtor for a wife. They don't even know basic building codes and have never read an instruction manual (or maybe they just forgot or don't care).


  8. #8
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    New home cosmetics = final occupancy and punchlist inspection. For me, different inspection, different price, different criteria. Not a regular HI.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: inspecting new homes

    I do tend to treat a new home different than an existing home - to a point. Since there is no wear & tear, and usually no tell-tale signs ongoing problems, I look very carefully at manufacturer's installation instructions and specs (besides the usual IRC code type stuff).

    But there is a 'standard' of a sort available for the more cosmetic issues. The NAHB (National Assoc of Home Builders) has a little book available, "Residential Construction Performance Guidelines". Granted, it is published by a builders group, but it does at least set some guidelines that generally make sense to me. I am careful to point most of these type of items out as "Cosmetic Issues" and then let the buyer and builder duke it out.


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