Common Defects Found in the 1-Year Warranty Inspection

You bought a new home. It’s perfect. No issues. Right? Well, after a few months, you start to notice little things here and there. It’s natural. But as your 1-year builders inspection starts to come to its expiration date, it’s a great idea to have an expert come in and check for common defects found in a 1-year warranty inspection. What might we find? How can we protect your home’s future?

The 1-Year Builder Warranty Home Inspection

The 1-Year Builders Warranty Home Inspection is a technical inspection. For example, we use thermal imaging sonar for missing insulation, plumbing leaks, and roof leaks.  Since the homeowner already owns the home, we’re looking for construction defects, not hidden defects. This isn’t about making a decision on buying a home. It’s all about making sure you have an opportunity to fix any defects before the warranty expires.

Forward Looking infrared camera (FLIR) camera to check equal air temperaturesForward Looking infrared camera (FLIR) camera to check equal air temperaturesForward Looking infrared camera (FLIR) camera to check equal air temperaturesForward Looking infrared camera (FLIR) camera to check equal air temperatures

We use a Forward Looking infrared camera (FLIR) camera to check equal air temperatures in each room, walls and ceiling for hot/cold spots, as well as plumbing and roof leaks. The inspection report includes our FLIR color photos.

The Inspection Report: 1-Year Warranty

The defects found in this inspection get documented in the Inspection Report. It’s an easy way for the homeowner officially to inform the contractor of any concerns they have about the home.  The contractor may remedy the defects, or they may not. In either case, if something turns into a bigger issue down the road, at least the homeowner has a record of the defects. 

Now, normally, the 1-Year Warranty will cover any and all defects the homeowner finds or asks about, just like a new car warranty. There may be imperfections we discover that the builder chooses not to fix, especially if it doesn’t violate any codes. For example, cracks in stucco are passable, as long as they don’t exceed 1/16th of an inch. However, what if there are a bunch of cracks in a small area? That could lead to future problems, such as moisture intrusion or even mold. It’s best to have that documented and presented to your builder.

Read more: What is a Warranty Inspection? | What is covered under a builder’s warranty?

What Defects Might Be Found in a 1-Year Warranty Inspection?

Here are some common defects found here in Arizona with the 1-Year Builders Warranty Home Inspection:

  1. Electrical: We find missing safety components like Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), redundant GFCI’s and missing Arc-Fault breakers, undersized wires to Appliances , and Air conditioner problems from undersized wire. Outlets may not be working. Kitchen Appliances may be wired to the wrong breakers. Refrigerators are sometimes wired to GFCI outlet. And we find light switches wired improperly. 
  2. Stucco: As a house settles and the exterior forms, cracks form in the stucco. We nearly always find these, and it’s important to get them documented. 
  3. The Roof and Attic: Most builders will not allow an inspector on a roof at the final walk-through inspection and request that we not walk the roof at the 1 year. We use a Drone with a 4K camera. Often find missing or broken Roof tiles, damaged metal flashing and missing vent caps. Sometimes, there’s no access to the attic! Attic ventilation may be missing or covered by roofing materials. We’ve even found attics with absolutely no insulation!
  4. Heating Venting Air conditioning (HVAC): We almost always find restricted air flow in ducting. We find open ducts, blowing air into the attic and sucking air from the attic. There may be excessive duct run’s causing weak air flow. Rooms may be out of balance (hot/cold). We’ve found homes with two HVAC systems with the upstairs system cooling a downstairs room or vice versa. 
  5. The Yard: Grading issues for natural drainage and moist soil. We sometimes find areas where moisture builds up rather than draining away from the home. This is especially troublesome when the wet area butts up against the home. At closing you sign a contract with the State agreeing not to alter the Grade of the Lot but the Builders Landscaper may have gone off-plan with a tree or mounds. We find installed paver walkways without proper drainage. Once, we even found a community’s lake was leaking, saturating the yards, damaging the foundation. A home built before soil is settled can sink. We’ve even found the wrong home was built or the house was built on the wrong lot!
  6. The Kitchen: We find dishwashers with cold/hot water feeds mixed up. There have been cook tops that are too close to bottom of microwaves. The over the stove vents with improper ventilation or venting to the Interior when it could have or should have been vented to the exterior. There may be water leaks found.
  7. Windows: Moisture buildup around windows and other evidence of water leakage are common. We’ll also check for heat transfer (window insulation) issues. Most new homes have Low-e coated window glass. We have test equipment to confirm that the Low-e was installed and placed in the correct location. 
  8. Insulation: Using an infrared camera, we find whole sections in the attic with no insulation, missing wall insulation and low insulation.
  9. Structural Issues: From the foundation to the framing of the house, problems in the structure of your new home are vital to its overall integrity. The most common defects found in the structure are damage done by subcontractors like Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electrical contractors. We might also find cracks in the foundation. We often find cut structural roof trusses, at which point we need a structural truss engineer to evaluate and write up a repair order with a Seal (Stamp) from a structural engineer. 
  10. Garage: We find overhead garage door frames that aren’t bolted properly to the header. Sometimes, pressure sensors are not working, which is a safety item. Side or service doors missing thresholds, missing threshold will allow moisture and or critters into the garage are also common. We also find gas water heaters without proper venting, which is a health hazard.
  11. Exterior Paint: Your exterior paint is more than aesthetics, it helps protect your home. We sometimes find issues with trim painting, which can lead to problems later on.
  12. Anything You Notice: You live in the house. You may find dings in the walls, interior paint issues, cabinets or drawers that just aren’t right…whatever. You can add any and all of these to your report.

The key thing in a warranty inspection is to get any and all defects documented for you and your builder. Don’t let a small defect today turn into a major repair later.

Schedule Your Builders Warranty Inspection

Are you coming up on your first year in your new home? Give yourself peace of mind, and schedule a 1-Year Builders Warranty Home Inspection. A little time and money spent now could save much more in the future.

Call us now at (480) 507-2775 to get a free inspection estimate.

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