Building a home from scratch has lots of perks. You can personalise the layout and details to suit your own lifestyle and taste, and if everything is brand-new then you can be confident everything will be in perfect running order…. Or can you? While more modern homes are unlikely to face the same costly issues that older homes can, new buildings still have their own unique issues that are important to spot early on. Usually these issues relate to the quality of the build or not meeting the standards laid out in the initial contract. Unfortunately, these issues might not be immediately visible to you, which is why it’s as important as ever to get a house inspection performed by a professional building inspector to make sure you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.
Speedy builds and quality control
A house inspection is a no brainer when buying an older home to check things like the roof’s condition, the home’s weather tightness, and potential issues with the house. When buying a new home, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a step you can afford to skip. However, as the population grows in New Zealand and the demand for housing increases, we are seeing new homes, subdivisions, and even new suburbs springing up faster than ever before.
This speed in delivery means the issues facing new homes are less ‘wear and tear’ related but are down to quality control, or the finer details being overlooked by rushed contractors or council inspectors. They might not be as costly to repair as issues in older homes, but are worth spotting before moving in and parting with your hard-earned cash.
It’s costing all of us money…
And this isn’t a problem affecting just individual homes. Councils play an important role in all building work in New Zealand, issuing building consents and inspecting the building process at key times before finally issuing a CCC – a Certificate of Code of Compliance. This is to give the purchaser and future owners peace of mind that they are buying a safe and secure home, built to New Zealand building standards. Unfortunately, I have personally inspected many houses which should not have been issued with a CCC due to various defects. Some weren’t serious but should have been identified.
Sadly, in some circumstances a council CCC can’t be relied on to ensure that the building complies with the Building Act or the consent obtained to build the property.
Recently, despite these supposed safeguards, the Tauranga City Council let homeowners down in 2018 when 21 homes in a new housing development were deemed unsafe. These homes were proven in court to be shoddily built and should never have been signed off. As a result, the council was forced to buy back all 21 homes from the owners at a huge cost to the council and, indirectly, to ratepayers.
Luckily, it’s not all bad news. In most cases, your builder or developer is legally obliged to remedy any building issues within your property within 12 months of the completed build and Masters Builders offer a 10-year warranty. Defects might not be immediately obvious to a homeowner, which is why a house inspection performed by a professional building inspector will highlight any areas of concern. That way you’ll get the opportunity to have these fixed by the primary contractor right away at no cost to yourself.
Get a house inspection before moving day
The advantages of a brand-new home go beyond just the new home smell. By choosing a reputable builder or developer, there’s every chance your dream home will be just that – a dream! However, to avoid a nightmare and to be sure you’re getting exactly what you expect, a building inspection will spot any issues big or small and allow you to get these sorted before moving day. Unfortunately, not all new houses are built to a high standard.
Buying a new home? Do your due diligence with a house inspection. Get a free quote today.