We understand production home building. Purchasing, sales, customer relations, construction management, warranty, finance and administrative disciplines must perform as a system. Our independent inspection program can assist you with three of these primary components – Customer Relations, Construction Management and Warranty. Improving any of these areas will most certainly assist with the other departments.
We recognize the reluctance by a builder to allow an unknown home inspector into their process. We understand because we have built homes. Far too many home inspectors claim they have the knowledge to inspect new construction and you have certainly learned otherwise. An inexperienced home inspector creates chaos and undermines customer relationships. We have seen this many times.
Builders need to recognize buyers want independent inspections of their new home investment. Far too often, new and innovative building products/materials have failed or recommended installation practices were not followed by tradesmen. Buyers are aware of class action filings and news reports of problem subdivisions where property values declined due to construction defects. Buyers are also aware of problems in getting their claims resolved with builders or third party warranty providers.
While you may not like the idea of an independent inspector and while you may have legal merit in denying an independent inspection of the home, buyers may not accept your position. Home inspectors and customers who are being denied this protection are eager to post your position on the internet. As home inspectors, we often see posts on message boards and review sites where the builder is listed as being difficult or non-responsive to the inspection. We can attest to more than one customer who chose a different builder over this issue. We encourage you to take note of the market change and to consider how an independent inspection may actually help your company. You can hear, “we love living here” or you can hear, “at what point did you become aware of this problem with the home? What have you done to correct it?”.
Our firm is ideally suited to assist both the builder and the buyer with a qualified inspection of the home. We will alert you, in a meaningful way, of any issue we find at our inspection. We do not create havoc or point fingers. We understand construction schedules and quality checks. Often, we find the builder is appreciative of our notice of a potential defect. Over driven nailing in wall claddings, faulty windows, crimped ducts, floor elevations outside of the allowance, drainage piping filled with sand/tile cuttings, missing insulation, open exhaust vents/flues….we find these things almost daily. If we can alert you to any of these before they get covered up, we may have saved you an expensive repair and avoided frustration with your customer.
We can alert you to shoddy workmanship by your subcontractor or provide evidence of a growing trend you should be aware of. We also can report unsafe work practices by your trades which could result in unnecessary liability and negative press. Builders can use this information to remove poor subcontractors or to implement additional training. You may also use our reports as legal defense against future claims should subcontractors fail to correct work they alleged they did.
Smart builders will use our Repair Addendum feature in our reports. Buyers/builder can easily pull items from the inspection report to create a Repair/Punch list of repairs they can agree upon. The Addendum is simply saved as a pdf file and can be emailed directly from our report. Builders may share this feature with other departments such as Sales or Warranty.
At some point, if not already, you will need to develop a policy regarding independent home inspections ordered by your customer. We see many builders “dealing” with inspectors/inspections without a clear definition of “who” should be allowed to inspect their homes. Some are simply requiring membership in a home inspector association and this is unfortunately, a misguided belief that all members in the association are qualified. We believe any inspector who is inspecting new construction should hold an active general or residential contractor license, as a minimum. Further, the firm should have $1 million in E&O insurance as well as statutory general liability, commercial automobile and either worker compensation or an exemption. We see/hear of some builders who are demanding $5 million in automobile coverage or general liability and we encourage you to not do this. It is excessive coverage for an inspector and many inspectors cannot purchase that amount even if they could afford it. It sends a signal to the customer that you are trying to stop the inspection and the affected inspector will certainly encourage those thoughts.
We hope you will consider our firm as a potential benefit to your product and above all else, recognize the right of your customer to get peace of mind in one of the largest investments of their lifetime.
Please call us to discuss how our program can benefit your company by reducing claims, improving subcontractor performance, promoting goodwill and improving quality in your homes.
Our team includes a Certified General Contractor and a Certified Safety Professional.
All inspectors are a Certified Building Consultant®, as a minimum. We know building code and we understand the NAHB tolerance guidelines. We will alert you to problems we find which may relate to claims/warranty repairs after closing. We will alert you to unsafe work practices or other OSHA violations if we are a preferred member of your home building team. We strive to help builders deliver a quality product. If you would like to focus on building homes rather than repairing homes, we can help you.