5 Myths About Builders and New Construction

New Homes under Construction

As a Licensed Home Inspector, I see the good and bad of the Industry. This industry is just like many others out there today, it exist to make money. There is nothing wrong with that, until the industry starts to short change the consumer in favor of the dollar. Quality Measures don’t get practiced until it starts interfering with the bottom line. For the price consumers pay for a new home today, the lack of quality in many of today’s home is horrendous. Our Hall of Shame has some of the examples of what we see.

With the population moving up to the Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom, San Juan and Island Counties, subdivisions have been busting at the seams with the new home construction. Builders are hard pressed for sub-contractors, subs are short on skilled workers. Un-skilled day laborers are hired to fill the ranks of sub-contracting companies so that builders can get these homes built and closed on! its not a Covid thing, builders have been dealing with this for years.

There are some really good homes built in the area. You can not solely pick your building company on name alone for the simple fact that it is usually the site superintendent and the sub-contractors who build a home and not the office staff back at your builders office! Below are some myths I hear all the time about building companies. It’s time to set some things straight!

Home Builder Myths Debunked for Washington State Homebuyers

Myth #1: National builders are always reliable.

Fact: While some national builders have good reputations, news reports frequently expose issues with cutting corners and poor building practices across the industry, regardless of brand. Research the builder’s specific performance in your area and talk to existing homeowners about their experiences. Don’t hesitate to hire an independent home inspector, regardless of the builder’s reputation.

Myth #2: New homes are problem-free.

Fact: New homes can have various issues, from unskilled labor leading to construction mistakes to unforeseen challenges during the building process. A thorough inspection remains crucial even for new constructions.

Myth #3: City inspections guarantee quality.

Fact: City inspectors are often overloaded, limiting their inspection time per house. They may miss crucial details, and some builders exploit these limitations to bypass proper procedures. Don’t rely solely on city inspections; prioritize an independent home inspection for peace of mind.

Myth #4: Being picky about repairs during construction is unreasonable.

Fact: You have the right to expect high-quality work for your investment. Don’t settle for visible flaws or defects. While minor imperfections may be inevitable, address significant concerns promptly. Remember, it’s easier to address issues during construction than after you’ve moved in.

Myth #5: A builder’s warranty replaces the need for an inspection.

Fact: Warranties typically cover major issues, not minor defects. An independent inspection helps identify these smaller problems early on, allowing for timely repairs and preventing them from turning into bigger issues later.

Additional considerations for Washington State:

  • Unlike some states, Washington doesn’t require any testing to become a general contractor. Do your research on the people you want to build your home.
  • Rural areas lack even the limited oversight of city inspectors, making an independent home inspection even more critical.