Is there such a thing? To a reasonable, well informed person there are no "perfectly constructed" homes. To the unreasonable, misinformed person, the term causes a big headache in our industry.
Let's elaborate on the term "reasonable". Is it reasonable in a newly constructed home to expect there to be no drywall cracks throughout the walls? Yes. To expect that the doors don't hit the frame when closing? Indeed. To expect that the wood flooring isn't missing boards? Absolutely.
Now, is it unreasonable to expect the garage floor slab to not have any hairline cracks? Yes. To expect that there won't be a 1/16 inch gap between the baseboard and drywall? Indeed. To expect that there won't be any wood putty filling the nail holes in the trim? Absolutely.
Of course, there are many, many different styles of homes with different materials used by different trade contractors. However, the expectation of workmanship should stay consistent across the field.
New home construction is one of the last, truly man made products. For this reason, we should, and I must say most people do, expect that there is a certain margin of error in construction or what we consider "tolerances".
What I ask of agents is to study up on these tolerances so that you can set a proper expectation for your clients when purchasing a newly constructed home. Would I expect you to read it front to back and memorize every acceptable tolerance? Of course not. However, speaking from experience, there are still people out there expecting perfection in construction and a preliminary discussion prior to the "walk through" can help to produce a more seamless transaction for all parties involved.
A great resource for this information is the "Residential Construction Performance Guidelines" written by the NAHB Remodelors Councel and Business Management.
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