New homes and builders

Home Inspector with About the House - Home Inspections

I had the pleasure today of inspecting a brand new home for a repeat client. I've Made several inspections for these folks over the years and have a pretty good feel for what they are concerned with.

The house is in a new Fairhope neighborhood near the new Walmart. The builder picked a nice floor plan and executed the construction with care... to a point.

Some kitchen ceramic floor tiles were a different color. Close, but probably a different lot # of the same stock #. Tile sub contractor admitted his mistake and promised to fix.

Closing the door between the kitchen and a hallway prevented the AC return air from getting any return. A grill could be added to the door, everyone agreed.

Of course wall & ceiling paint flaws would be touched up.

Everything was going well until the kitchen cabinets were inspected. The finish on the cabinet doors was beginning to flake off. Not just one or two doors, but most. Not just the kitchen, but the master bath as well. The builder was now very unhappy... and it was my fault.

I am sympathetic to his plight. He has a lot at risk and thousands of details to square away to build a house on spec. But, it's my clients who will be living there for the rest of their lives (they hope). They deserve the house they are paying for. If ever a house should be perfect, it's the day before they move in.

So, again, somebody doesn't like me. But, hey, I just looking out for my clients. That's my job.

Oh, and my clients were thrilled and felt very looked-after.

Tom Sinclair

About the House - Home Inspections

Fairhope, Alabama

(251) 990-3169


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Michael Ross
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Beverly, MA
North Shore of Boston
Swap out the cabinets and the manufacturer picks up the dime on the additional labor! No biggie!
Apr 30, 2007 05:58 PM #1
Jason Vombaur
Keller Williams - Vancouver, WA
I have a done inspected a number of home.  They all have problems from paint, molding, siding and more.  I spoke with one person and house did not even insulation in the attic.
Apr 30, 2007 06:18 PM #2
Steve Dalton
219-465-8352 - Valparaiso, IN
Northwest Indiana Home Builder

Outside of the cabinets, this sounds like a pretty good inspection.  The cabinets should have been caught by the builder I agree.  When my staff reports such an incident to me I tend to think that we didn't do a thorough trim inspection. 

The key inspections for our company are:  pre-pour concrete, last day of framing, drywall prime, post trim, and quality week (one week before closing).  Maybe I'll post those checklists at some point over at Home Builders of America for real estate professionals to use too? 


Apr 30, 2007 11:56 PM #3
Teresa Cox King
RE/MAX of Orange Beach - Orange Beach, AL
Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama

Hi Tom,

Great post and very appropriate for this area.  Two years ago when we couldn't find a new home available to put a client in, I do think that it seemed the norm for the details to be overlooked and seemingly less important (to the contractors) at times. Buyers couldn't afford to be picky, because there was a line of others behind them to purchase that same home if they refused it.  Most homes sold without any contingencies of home inspections, because you'd be beaten out on every deal if you required it.  I am glad to see a return to a'normal' market where the homebuyer's needs are catered to. In an area where home prices are elevated to begin with, it is important for a buyer to get "the house they are paying for".

May 01, 2007 12:08 AM #4
Christina Lackey
Coldwell Banker Prime Properties - North Syracuse, NY
Syracuse Central New York Real Estate

Your posts are always informative and interesting.  Thank you for sharing your story.  No one ever likes to have money issues, do they?

May 01, 2007 09:03 AM #5
Tom Sinclair
About the House - Home Inspections - Fairhope, AL


Thanks for your note. Yes, it is nice to see things get back to "normal." In a red-hot market, too many folks bypass me and my services much to their later dismay.

Having said that, I expect the market to heat up again very soon. Perhaps not as scorching as before, but busy, busy.

I chatted with the sale manager of a large local real estate agency today and he commented how very busy he and his agents were. In at 7, out at 6. SOunds pretty busy to me.


May 01, 2007 04:29 PM #6
Jerome Cartier
Cartier Fine Home Inspections, LLC - Fairhope, AL
Cartier Fine Home Inspections


I know what you mean. I was in that neighborhood last week. There are times when contractors do not check close enough behind their Subs. The contractor agreed to make all the necessary repairs and the client was greatful for my services.

May 02, 2007 05:05 PM #7
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