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Heartbreaking New Homes: Is the Construction Industry Failing?

Toward the end of November 2016, new homes were going up across the country at a record pace. While this should signify a strong economy, the people who are buying those homes are being met with heartbreak. Unfortunately, contractors seem to be rushing their way through the building process, which is causing some significant problems for buyers – even in luxury homes. Here’s what you need to know about the construction industry today.

A Growing List of Problems

Homeowners across the country are noticing problems with their brand-new homes, and in many cases, these issues are catastrophic. For example, a homeowner in Washington, DC, has a rodent infestation because of issues with her home’s foundation. An entire neighborhood filled with luxury homes in Virginia is also dealing with defects; some homeowners are experiencing significant roof leaks – in brand new homes – while others are watching nails retract from the woodwork and pop through the paint.

Why Is the Construction Industry Failing?

It’s the same story across the country. Numerous homes in new subdivisions are experiencing issues, and many homeowners believe these problems are the result of shoddy workmanship. In fact, they claim that with tens of thousands of homes going up each year across the country, the contractors are rushing through the work. That’s the only way to truly explain the seriousness and significance of the problems. However, even though construction companies claim their homes are of high quality, many of these companies, including D.R. Horton, are setting aside millions of dollars for legal claims and arbitration.

Why So Much for Legal Claims?

D.R. Horton, one of the largest and most prominent builders in the country, set aside $426 million in funds to use for arbitration in 2016 alone. Although the company says it builds high-quality homes, this dollar amount leads many homeowners to believe otherwise. Often, companies who are sued by homeowners will work to settle their cases out of court. Advocates for homeowners say it’s best to take these cases to court, especially when the problems are numerous. An out-of-court settlement may not pay for future problems, and if you don’t read the settlement carefully, you may be stuck with paying for further damages out of pocket.

How to Make Sure Your New Build is Up to Par

If you’re buying a new home, it’s vital to hire your own private inspector to look things over before you sign your contract. These individuals work for you – not for the contractor – so they’re more likely to point out potential issues. Next, hire a lawyer who will review your purchase contract, including any warranties on workmanship and materials. Finally, research your contractor very carefully before buying or agreeing to build. Choose a company with a solid reputation for quality, and pay attention to their typical response times when problems are reported.

Although buying a newly-built home – or building your own – is one of the most exciting experiences of your life, it’s important to be very careful about the construction company you choose. While these homes may look beautiful on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts, and as homeowners across the country have experienced, the inside may have some hidden flaws.

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