Be Aware of the Little Things that Might Slip Past the Builders To-Do List
By John Focht
Buying a new home is an exciting time for any home buyer, but for me, building a new home only added to the excitement, and nervousness, of the home buying experience. Just because the house is new doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to keep your eye on as the frame goes up and the house gets built. Missing the little things today can cost you big tomorrow.
Keep a Watchful Eye on the Process
The best way for me to keep tabs on my new construction property was unannounced visits to the property to ensure everything was up to snuff. Builders typically do not like having you show up unannounced to check up on the status, but keep in mind, they are building your house.
Doing a drive-by and a pop-in was my way of keeping the builder and his crew on their toes. They never really knew when I was showing up so it kept them pretty occupied with ensuring the job was done right.
Builder’s Punch List
As the home buyer, one of the single most important items I needed was the builder’s punch list. The punch list, which is basically a to-do list of items for the builder to complete, is created during the final phase of the construction process. This gave me my opportunity to walk through the house and note any deficiencies or things not complete in the house.
Prior to settlement, I did another walk-through with the builder, with the punch-list in-hand, to make sure all outstanding issues had been resolved, or an acceptable completion date had been agreed upon by me and the builder. A documented and agreed-upon punch list kept me and the builder on the same page.
Expect the Unexpected
Despite a thorough punch list, and enough drive-by’s and pop-in’s to keep my builder’s eye’s open, somehow things still managed to slip through. Incredibly though it wasn’t even the little things.
I settled on my new construction property in the spring of 2001, and everything looked and felt great. It was an exciting time to see this project, my home, finally complete.
It was only later that winter when I realized the builder did not put insulation between the garage ceiling and bedroom floor above. I found out because it was a cold winter and the bedroom above the garage was freezing all winter long. That next spring, I was putting insulation in my garage.