How to know That a New Home Was Built Right

There is nothing more disappointing than moving into a new home and finding flaws caused by suboptimal building work. The potential financial impact of serious construction problems can be devastating. When buying new homes, there are several things you can look for during a home tour to help reassure you that the craftsmanship is up to par.

Look for Cracks in the Concrete

Cracks in concrete, whether in the foundation, in the driveway, or on the sidewalk, can be a sign of a problem. Foundation cracks are especially worrisome. If they continue to grow in size, they can lead to much bigger issues in the future. A strong foundation is directly related to the overall condition of a house, so cracks there could eventually turn into uneven floors, insect infestations, or unwanted stress on the walls.

Cement cracks in the sidewalk or driveway are usually a little less serious but could still be tripping hazards. It is likely that visible cracks in these areas will continue to expand and chip away over time.

Pay Attention to the Walls

One possible consequence of shoddy building is walls that are not straight. Sometimes this problem is very obvious, but it can also be more subtle. There are a couple of easy ways to check the angles of the walls. One way to do it is to stand to one side of a door frame and look across it. If the angle is off, the sides of the door frame may look uneven. Another method of checking the walls is to bring a level with you. It may feel a little bit odd to walk through the home with a level, but it can be worth it to know that everything is straight and solid.

Check the Floors

Floors are another aspect of construction that should be examined very closely when house shopping, as they can sometimes be costly to repair. Look for warping or caving in of the floors, as these can be signs of foundational issues. Pay close attention to the trim and where the walls meet the floors. Gaps between the trim and the floor are a telltale sign of bad construction in a new home. In carpeted areas, watch for gaps between the carpet and the wall where floorboards or carpet padding are exposed. Gaps or other imperfections in the floor can become a major problem to fix. They can let moisture and/or pests into places that are difficult to see and nearly impossible to clean.

Examine the Countertops and Tile

Take a close look at the countertops (in the kitchen and the bathrooms) and any tile in the home. Seals in the corners of countertops should be unbroken and extended all the way to the wall. Check the backsplash in the kitchen, tiled floors, and any tiled showers. The tile should be sitting straight and flat with even and unbroken lines of grout in between each one. Flaws with seals and grout can lead to moisture damage and broken tiles. Similar to cement, a small crack can grow and become a big problem down the road.

Look for Water Damage

You would not expect water damage in a new house, but it can happen and it isn’t always noticeable. Check the condition of the pipes. Burst or loose pipes, as well as cracks or improper sealing, can lead to water leaking into unwanted spaces. When you are walking through a home, check for strong window drafts or cracks that may lead to water getting inside during a storm. Look for bubbling or cracked paint underneath the windowsills. In ceilings, look for swelling, cracking, or dark spots. In the kitchen and bathrooms, open the cabinets and check for water or hidden water stains.

Ask Questions When Touring New Homes

When walking through a new home, not every problem is visible right away. Look for warning signs such as cracks, gaps, water damage, uneven flooring, and broken seals. It is worth asking any questions that come to your mind as you tour new homes. Find out who built the home and how long it was under construction. Look at other homes in the same neighborhood or development to get an idea of how consistent the builders are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *