How do you know if your Sequim home builder will really build your retirement home with the kind of quality you have dreamed about for years? Of course, one answer is that you won’t until you are living in it for a while. The other answer, which is the better one is to find a home builder whom you are certain can guarantee that you will get the custom home you have dreamed about for so long.
You will know right away if your home was built with quality and attention to detail right after you move in, and typically you will have an opportunity to give the builder a checklist up to the point at which the one year warranty period ends. In this article I’m going to share a little insider knowledge with you, but I think you will see the clear logic of what I share.
Some home builders around the country advertise that their home warranty team will come after you move in and fix anything that wasn’t built right the first time. That’s not how they phrase it. The advertisements make it sound like this is a special benefit that only this builder offers, and that you should realize how lucky you are to have this warranty team to fix your home. Frankly, if I was a builder, I wouldn’t be advertising that I couldn’t get it right the first time. The fact that a builder has to send carpenters to fix things in your home, and that this is part of his business model ought to tell you something. Apparently there are so many things wrong in so many of their homes, they have to have a regular repair team. (By the way, you don’t need a home warranty team to fix standard fixes like screw heads that have punched through Sheetrock.)
If you hire the best custom home builder, your home will be nearly perfect when you move in. There simply won’t be a list of problems to fix, because the quality builder has his own quality control right up to the walk-through before you move in. Once you’ve been living in your new home for up to a year, you may have things that need to be fixed, but with a quality builder these will not be construction defects. They will be simple things like a screw head that has popped through the plaster. New homes do expand and shrink, and minor Sheetrock repair is normal. The other noticeable issue will be small hairline cracks in the concrete floor in the garage. In fact, a few small cracks in concrete are to be expected–this is the rule rather than the exception. Concrete shrinkage is normal, but major cracks or droppage by a quarter of an inch is not normal. That would indicate the subsurface was not properly filled and/or compacted.
Most builders do offer a one year home warranty. That’s good because there may be some normal things that do need fixing. But we’re not talking about major problems because the home wasn’t built right. A one year warranty checklist might include an examination of the following items: driveway, sidewalk, front stoop, patio, landscape/grading, siding, trim, windows, doors (including threshold, weatherstripping, locks), roof shingles, gutters and downspouts, flashings, deck, caulking, heat and a/c, electrical, and any Sheetrock issues in the house.
When you are interviewing builders in Sequim or Port Angeles, I recommend asking about their warranty, but it should be a red flag for you if the builder starts talking about how he has a regular crew of repairmen who come to fix all of your home’s problems right after you move in. If that’s a standard practice, then defects are also standard.
Looking for a quality custom home builder? Call me or email me for a referral. You will not be disappointed.
Last Updated on July 27, 2012 by Chuck Marunde