Hi, I was on your website page today New Home Inspections Are They Needed? and agree that new homes do need independent inspections, during construction. People simply MUST be made aware that they can’t rely on “the law,” city inspectors, or a builder’s concern for his reputation.

Like most buyers, we had no idea how bad things were until we became the owners of a severely defective new home. We bought it in 2000, as a spec house, from a builder we DID research. It’s missing roofing felt, and at least some of the reinforcement in our foundation. Our builder faked city inspection documents with regards to the code-required material. There were other problems too, but these were the major ones. The builder’s shortcuts—money WE paid, that went into HIS pocket—are costing us many thousands now in engineering fees, legal costs, etc; repairs are high enough that “salvageability” of the house is in question. Amazingly, I know of other homes in our state that are as bad or worse, and due to confidentiality of consumer complaints here, it’s very hard for buyers doing their research to find anything, or find it in time.

Our state is just one of many that has almost no regulation of the construction industry, and it is going to be equally hard to get quality work done on repairs. Most home buyers don’t realize that less than half the states even license contractors. Builders thumb their nose at building codes, lobby at the capitol to halt citizen’s efforts to install regulation, and try to scare people into thinking they will never be able to afford a home if builders are forced to do things right. People here think piering a foundation is a normal thing that everybody does. Builders cite the clay soil as the fault of it all, but refuse to build the right foundation for the soils. The excuses builders come up with are laughable, or would be if it wasn’t such a serious matter. I have even received threats for voicing my opinion on this.

As a result of the outrage I felt over our case, and the many people I realized were in the same boat, I became a volunteer for the non profit organization that provided information to fight our case more effectively, and “moral support” to help us stick with it. I’m now trying to help other home buyers avoid this, (and if it’s too late for that, help them to fight it). When anyone says they don’t think a new home needs an inspection, you can guess what I tell them.

 

Thank you,

Cindy Schnackel

Oklahoma Chapter, Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings

HADD is a national non profit organization

Member, Oklahomans for Quality in Residential Construction (OQRC)