If you have a legitimate problem with your builder and they have been
unresponsive, we are here to assist you. We will document the issues and
if necessary we are willing to be called as expert witnesses in court proceedings.
We never encourage litigation and this is a last resort, but it is
When we inspected a new home in C----- C---- Estates we found several
problems, a few of these included:
disconnected duct work in attic, furnace in attic in error state, (4 red flashes
of the diagnostics LED), wood debris and construction trash left in crawlspace,
bare earth in crawlspace, poor caulking of the siding, and slight gas leak at
the supply line to the furnace.
inspecting the crawlspace we found wood debris (form board not removed) and bare
earth. These are conducive conditions for structural pests (carpenter
ants, termites and wood destroying beetles, etc). According to WSDA conducive conditions for an infestation of wood destroying
organisms includes cellulose debris. " Where wood by-product material can be raked or is larger than can
be raked, or where any stumps, roots, form boards, etc., are on the ground of a crawl space.
the attic inspection we found the ductwork disconnected and furnace was in a
error state. The pictures to the right are of 2 different ducts in the attic
that were not connected at the time of our initial inspection. These are
warm air ducts that were laying in the insulation, not connected to the ceiling
diagnostics fault codes were printed right on the front of the furnace (see
picture) It was blinking the red LED 4 times. I didn't know that at the
time but upon further research I found this.
"Four Red Flashes - High limit switch open or 24 volt fuse is open. This may be caused by a dirty air filter, improperly sized duct system, faulty blower motor, restricted circulating airflow or an open fuse on the control
addition to these items, I detected a slight gas leak at the furnace. I
use very sensitive tool (See a
description here) when diagnosing flammable gas leaks. It is so
sensitive that I only report the ones that are repeatable, consistent and
those that I can also detect by their odor. All but one connection was
tight (see the picture at the right.)
I did a little research and found that there were several home in this
development with warranties that were approaching expiration. I made a
mailing to the owners of these homes informing them of our warranty inspections,
and I soon booked an inspection of a home down the street. At this home we
found a few significant problems. This included bare
earth and wood debris in the crawl space, missing
gutter and downspout, poor
caulking of the siding and incomplete repairs of the roof.
customer had a roof leak in her home, and the contractor made this
"repair". Does this look complete to you? She was told the
roof leak was fixed, and it looks like it was. But the contractor never
finished the siding, trim, flashing, stonework at the corners, a disconnected
downspout not to mention the painting and caulking. This incomplete
repair was only visible from the roof, on the 2nd story. When I came off this
roof with the pictures for my customer, she was quite upset, and rightly so.
After looking at this I realized the repair was required because of a very
low slope of the valley between the tower and the slope of the roof. The
original roofing was an architectural laminated shingle and it performed poorly due to the low slope. I made a note of this repair.
About a week later, I got a call from my first customer, she wanted me to
re-inspect the repairs to her new home before she would close the deal.
When I came back to C----- C---- Estates to re-inspect her house I was greeted
by the builder as I drove into the development. Dennis the contractor was very
hostile. He said that if I inspect homes in his development I
must have his permission and that he will have his employee follow us throughout the inspection. The employee that followed us was also hostile.
Now I don't know about you but it strikes me as the height of arrogance to have
your builder tell me as an independent inspector that I must get his permission
to inspect homes in this development. These are PRIVATE HOMES, and
their antagonistic builder has no right to set restrictions on who they choose to
inspect their property!
So on with the first customers re-inspection.
The duct work was fixed, but the furnace was
now reporting a new error! 11 red LED
flashes. According to the
"Eleven Red Flashes - Main blower failure - This flash code occurs when the
main limit opens and fails to re-close within five minutes, indicating that the
blower motor or blower wheel has failed."
re-checked that gas line and it still had a slight leak. My detector
found it, I could smell it, and so did his own employee that shadowed
me throughout the inspection. I proceeded to inspect the crawlspace.
The bare earth was still there, and so
was that form board. The employee called Dennis the contractor.
While I was under the house he came to the site and he was irate. Like I
said earlier, our Tif 8800 is
sensitive. He squirted soapy water on the hose and insinuated we were
making the problem up. Maybe instead of being so difficult he should have
brought a wrench. One twist of a tool and we would have nothing to
report. Heck I am a builder too, if I had a wrench with me I would have
fixed it myself just to avoid that hassle. I stand by our inspections,
that hose is leaking, positively! Granted it may be a small leak,
but it is leaking.
So up to the roof. This customer has the same valley
on the roof that customer #2 had, and with the same roof covering that failed on
the other home. As I am going up the ladder, Dennis's employee yells up to
me that they are going to repair that valley that leaked on the other
home! Just as I suspected, that very low sloped valley had architectural
the back side of that entry tower.
C----- C---- Estates mission statement is, "Expectations
being met, promises delivered. It’s all about you!" I don't
think so! These home owners bought beautiful homes for more
then a half a million dollars. We don't work for contractor Dennis or C----- C---- Estates, that is
why they don't want us to do our job. I will not be intimidated by a
hostile contractor, and don't you be either!
Make sure you get the value you paid
Inspections of Puget Sound
See our Home
Inspection Newsletter for great articles on home maintenance and repairs