Top 10 Most Important Things To Look For In Quality Construction

Top 10 Most Important Things To Look For In Quality Construction

Top 10 Most Important Things to Look for in Quality Construction

Being married to a contractor who’s been in construction for over 15 years really has taught me a lot about what to look for in a quality constructed new build. Add having seen close to 1,000 homes in the 8+ years I’ve been in real estate, I feel it would be beneficial to share what, in my opinion, are the top 10 things to look for in a well-built new construction.

With SO many new ‘builders’ coming out of the woodwork and trying their hands at constructing entire homes due to the market demand, as a buyer you need to know what questions to ask and what to notice. Here are my top 10 suggested things to watch for from the ground up:

  • Foundation/Concrete – when was it poured? Was is during freezing weather when the ground may have been frozen? If so, were proper measures taken to ensure the ground it was poured on wasn’t frozen enough to shift and change once thawed? Were sufficient reinforcements installed during construction (rebar, wire mesh, etc.). You do not want to discover cracks after you own the home due to improper methods.

  • Siding – Look for proper flashing above all windows & trim that may be exposed to the weather. Also, gaps in the siding larger than the typical width of a pinky may be problematic in the future. Flashing should’ve been installed behind these gaps as well, but just in case. *Quality tip: Enclosed soffits (where you cannot see the 2x4 in the eaves) are a bonus, usually deters bees from making hives and are more aesthetically pleasing.

  • Exterior posts – were they installed w/concrete poured right around them? Anywhere concrete meets wood it will eventually rot it out if it was not properly flashed. Same goes for garage overhead door trim where it meets the garage & driveway concrete.

  • Flooring – any tile/wood/laminate should only be laid over sanded plywood flooring. Any bows/bulges in the subfloor (flooring under your finishes) may cause squeaks/shifting in your flooring surface after installed. Membranes can help w/this as well.

  • Windows – test that they open and shut with ease. If they were not shimmed properly when installed, they may be pinched when opening/closing or be difficult to open/shut.

  • Interior trim – especially if painted white trim, are the corners all mitered together closely, are all the edges where it meets the wall caulked, are the holes filled? This is of course just cosmetic, but when you’re buying and paying for brand new this should be done right.

  • Cabinets – Usually a main focus in a home, proper install is key. Are the doors hung square, is the crown mitered and installed correctly, do they have crown, are the drawers dovetail or stapled/glued, is there door hardware, does the island move/shake (if there is one), are they tall enough for you in the bathrooms? Soft close doors & drawers are a nice feature if included. Extra tall upper cabinets can add desired storage as well.

  • Tile – tile can be very tricky to install and grout properly. This should always be done by a professional when new construction. Tile showers should always have a waterproof membrane painted on before tiling & a special additive in the grout for protection. Grout where it meets counters/walls should be caulk instead, otherwise it nearly always cracks over time.

  • Warranty – It is commonly believed there is a WA state required 1 year warranty for new construction. While there is a ‘limited implied warranty of habitability’ in WA state, there are many requirements for it to be applicable & it can be difficult to enforce. Many builders freely offer their own Builder’s Warranty. Be sure to ask if one is included with your purchase.  

  • Last, but not least – Find out about the builder. Google them. Have they built other homes before? Are they licensed & bonded? Do they have references from past buyers/customers?

Feel free to reach out with questions anytime. Buying in general can be very overwhelming, having the right knowledge and expertise available to guide you in one of the largest purchases you will ever make is VERY important!

Thanks for reading! 

Disclaimer: Danielle Groeneweg has written this article as an informative opinion only.


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Phone: 360-483-6490
Dated: January 26th 2017
Views: 697
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