A story that recently aired on ABC News illustrates perfectly why people building new homes would be well served to hire an experienced construction consultant during the construction.
Most people would never consider hiring a consultant when they’re building or renovating a home, although they would nearly always call one (home inspector) when buying an older home. Most people rely on their contractors to inspect their home while it is being built or renovated. Unfortunately, builders in West Virginia and Pennsylvania are not required to take continuing education courses, so they may not even be aware of the latest code requirements. In addition, a few home contractors may put profit above quality when constructing new homes or doing major renovations. The faster a home is finished the more profit a builder can make, and if a builder doesn’t attend continuing education classes, he or she will not be able to stay current with the frequently changing code requirements.
Given these facts, it is clearly in your best interest to hire an impartial, experienced third party to inspect your new home at various stages of construction. A home inspector with extensive experience in home construction consulting — and with the proper certifications and training — can often save you tens of thousands of dollars, years of headaches and delays in receiving installments from construction loans.
Some cities require inspections, but these inspections often focus on specific issues – certainly not a comprehensive assessment of how well the home is being built. What are some of the things an experienced construction consultant will examine while your home is being built or renovated?
Every single one of the issues identified in the ABC News report would have been easily discovered by a quality, experienced construction consultant. Sadly, instead of enjoying their “dream” homes, most of the homeowners in the ABC News report are facing years of nightmares in terms of litigation and aggravation.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Before choosing any contractor, a person should definitely talk with several of the contractor’s previous customers to see if shoddy work is the norm. Even if the builder does quality work, according to his or her references, an extra, experienced, impartial set of eyes can often uncover issues that won’t be discovered until years later – after the warranty has expired or the homeowner attempts to sell the home.
Today, more loan institutions are requiring that construction consultants inspect the home to ensure they are financing quality work built to the current, numerous code requirements. People building new homes may be surprised to learn during construction that their homes are not built to the current codes. In some cases, homeowners are not even aware of these issues, until they try to sell the home and an inspection reveals major issues preventing or delaying a sale.
Most people would wisely use the expertise of a trusted home inspector when they buy a home, but they should also remember to contact one with extensive experience in home construction when building a new home or renovating an older one.
Although hiring a construction consultant may cost a few extra dollars initially, knowing your home is well constructed, safe and built to code is priceless for any homeowner — and may actually save money and aggravation in the long run.