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New construction problems. Need advice, please!

RaspberryLatte's picture

We're having our new house being built in Florida. We have hired an inspector and he did a pre-drywall inspection and found a couple dozen issues. The builder rep said they will fix them all and our inspector was supposed to come over again to see if these issues were corrected before they would install the drywall. But they installed the deywall before he could inspect all the fixes! Now we don't know what do to... We're not sure how serious these issues are, that's why we need help from knowledgeable people here as some of the issues sound pretty serious. Here's what these issues are:

Raised Shingles

The Boot Vents have not been installed

The House Wrap was damaged (the house has the the siding already installed)

The Windows were not installed level

The Spacing between the windows were not consistent. Variation was a 1/2" or more difference.

Incorrect window installed (The Window was not the proper type.)

The Truss Chord was damaged/cut (actually, it was broken)

The Roof Sheathing was damaged

Missing support hangers (The Joist Hangers were missing)

Fire Stop was missing in various areas

Insulation was missing on the exterior wall behind tub shower wall

Nail Guards were missing in various locations

The Room appears to have inadequate light wired

The Bathroom Vent Pipe was damaged

The Framing was not level at the time of inspection. This can cause a visual defect if not corrected.

Bowed studs (The Framed Wall had bows in various areas)

The Wall was not installed plumb

The Door Opening Header was not level

The Cabinet Blocking was outside the wall line

Several Wall cavities had exposed nails. Some nails were close to electrical wire also.

We are concerned because most of these are now covered by drywall. The builder rep says they have fixed them but they knew very well that our inspector will be coming again and didn't wait nor notified us about putting up the drywall. What should we do? Is there a way to verify if the issues were indeed fixed?

Thank you!

P.S. I have more photos to post if that may help.




You can check things like the (post #216004, reply #1 of 10)

You can check things like the windows.  Check anything you can, and if any problems are found scream bloody murder.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

HI there,     Wow that is (post #216004, reply #2 of 10)

HI there,

    Wow that is quite a list!  When you say you "hired" an inspector I assume that is a third party inspector?  Your municipality's building inspector needs to inspect and sign off on your permit before the walls are covered.  Did he or she do that?  If not, when he/she shows up to do the rough inspection all that drywall is coming down for sure.  The building inspector would definitely make sure items like joist hangers, fire blocking, and structural members were correct.  The inspector will not (isn't required) to measure window spacing or check for level and plumb etc.  This is a very strange situation.  It sounds like you are willing to spend the money for a third party inspector, but did you find the cheapest builder in town?  Sorry to hear about this.  Sounds like a disaster.

The builder is a very big (post #216004, reply #3 of 10)

The builder is a very big company, not the cheapest one but not the most expensive one. Our inspector is a third party. The county also had an inspection and the builder said the county inspection is a public record but didn't say where to find that report. We're currently out of the country for another month and can't go to the city hall, but I was unable to find anything on the St. Johns county website. The builder swears they have fixed everything but seeing so many flaws and such a sloppy job, we don't believe a word! Sure, they have fixed maybe some things but probably not all. I only don't know if the county inspector would come back to verify that everything he has found wrong has been fixed, or his inspection is just a suggestion what to fix to the code. Do you know if he would come back to check all the fixes before he signs anything?

Depends on the inspector, the (post #216004, reply #4 of 10)

Depends on the inspector, the county, and what the contractor has in his palm when he shakes the inspector's hand.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

That's not the way that it works. (post #216004, reply #6 of 10)

Leave the money on the groound and when the inspector comes near it you say "Did you just drop this?"

The county inspector only (post #216004, reply #9 of 10)

The county inspector only verified it meets minimum code, not workmanship and they should verfy any failing inspection item was fixed. There will also be a record of that follow up inspection if there was a failure. That is really all you can expect to see in the public record. It will not be any detail on the inspection, only what phase was inspected and whether it passed or failed. They might add a note but not usually.

These days permits and inspections are usually on line but I might behard to find. You usually can't navigate straight to that page from the county home page unless you know the URL.

Where in Florida?


Wouldnt be too hard to verify (post #216004, reply #5 of 10)

Wouldnt be too hard to verify insulation behind the tub, small hole and inspection camera would prove if he is lying about that even if it is tiled you can pop out a tile as long as you have a replacement.  Should be able to go up in the attic and inspect the truss and see if he is lying.  If you have vinyl siding you can unzip the siding and inspect housewrap.  I wouldnt bust someones balls over windows a 1/2" off from plan spec thats just an inspector trying to be a Richard in my opinion.  As long as the windows look okay from the street and from the inside, who the hell cares?  No on that visits your house is coming in with a tape measure.  Now if the windows are supposed to be stacked in a two story and they dont line up nearly exactly, almost anyone can notice it.  Out of level windows can be checked.  An incorrect window type is readily apparent.  Raised Shingles and missing boots can be checked.

Long and short its going to be a lot more effort but if you want to push it, you can find out if he is lying with an inspection camera and little extra work..  A quarter inch hole is all you would need to see behind drywall with most inspection/boroscope cameras.  and if you inspector doesnt have one you can get them now for $30 that bluetooth to your phone so offer to buy him one.

Thank you! This gives us some (post #216004, reply #7 of 10)

Thank you! This gives us some hope that at least some problems can be checked. We're still waiting for the builder to send us a copy of their engineer's calculation report (whatever that is) so we could forward it to our inspector and see what he says. Problem is we have no knowledge about house building and feel like blind kittens. The builder's rep said they won't remove the drywall to prove they've fixed the issues. This makes us suspect they haven't fixed the structural flaws. 

If it were me the builder (post #216004, reply #8 of 10)

If it were me the builder would not be getting paid until you are satisdied with objective proof that the issues were remedied even if the builder had to remove every last peice of drywall at their cost. But as someone else said there may be a lot easier ways to verify some of the issues were remedied. Some things like the windows being off 1/2" may not be of any concern. A broken truss chord certainly is of great concern.

agreed. if they 're not (post #216004, reply #10 of 10)

agreed. if they 're not willing it's probably crap.