When my partner first suggested we get a second inspector on our brand-new home, I scrunched up my nose and rolled my eyes. “You’re being paranoid,” I insisted, still running off the adrenaline that came with the thrill of owning our first home. “That is a completely unnecessary expense.” We’d already had an inspection from our province-appointed new-home warranty construction company that seemed adequately sufficient. And yet, he persisted.
After much back and forth, I acquiesced and told him if it was that important to him, he could arrange the whole thing himself — which was exactly what he did.
You can imagine my utter shock and dismay when several days after the subsequent inspection, we were handed a 64-page report listing nearly 100 different concerns, ranging from obvious, albeit inconsequential, items like broken tiles, to more alarming things like an improperly installed roof.
Homebuyers anticipate roof issues when buying a resale home, but when you purchase a new build that provides a 25-year guarantee, you are not expecting shingles to be lifting or for flashings to be MIA. From a worm’s-eye view, it seemed like a perfectly sound roof. A bird’s-eye view revealed otherwise, with tabs that were lifting and valleys that ran too short, thus increasing the possibility of ice damming. Translation: bad, really bad.
Several of our windows and a side door were missing caulking. Although it wasn’t an immediate concern with mild weather, once Mother Nature’s glacial child came out to play for the season, the missing caulking would contribute to heat loss and, who likes paying those utility bills to begin with particularly an unnecessarily super-high one?
Have you ever given a second thought to the foundation of your home? No? Same here. The inspector, on the other hand, had plenty to say about it. The foundation wrap, which improves water drainage around a house, was questionably installed he said, leaving it susceptible to basement leaks in the future.
Mould is one of those words that immediately incites feelings of disgust. Yet, if it’s not in plain sight, we don’t give it second thought because we’re not actively looking for it. Say for instance when said mould makes an appearance under your basement stairs. If it weren’t for the secondary inspection, we would have been none the wiser until it had consumed the entirety of the stair riser – or worse, made us seriously ill.
Hiring a second inspector for our new-build was an ideal way of protecting ourselves and our home. We were able to take our concerns back to our builder and have the issues addressed. Prevention and education are key. Builders are not inherently nefarious, and stand by their commitment to build quality, safe homes, but many contract out construction services to third parties, so quality control can become an issue.
While a secondary inspection may seem gratuitous in nature, as the old adage goes: knowledge is power. Yes, in the immediate aftermath, our wallets hurt, my ego stung, and my stomach was full from having to eat my own words. Nonetheless, there was an immediate sense of security knowing that we understood everything about our house, good and bad, and could work with our builder’s site supervisors to have the almost 100 issues resolved.