Choose to be informed and educated before building or buying a new home in Houston.
About Houston Home Builder
Consumer Information Page
This website was created to inform and educate the general public about building and buying New Homes in Houston.
Our goal is to make each consumer an educated Buyer. When you choose to be educated about buying a new home, your're taking control of the building process. By having a consultant/inspector working for you and using good home inspection report software, you have taken the control of the building process away from the builder.
The simple reality is, Bob Vila is not going to be on the job site building your home or supervising every aspect of construction. Most of the time, your home is going to be built by the cheapest bidder with the cheapest labor.
Many home inspectors and home inspection companies will gladly boast about inspecting your new home to TREC SOP standards.
What they fail to tell their Clients is that builders ARE NOT required to build homes to the TREC SOP standards! TREC SOP standards are intended for inspections on pre-existing homes. Even most Professional Engineers will only inspect your newly constructed home to TREC SOP standards!
Your builder IS required to be building your home to the 2000 IRC, NEC, Energy Code and industry standards, not to mention manufacturers installation instructions. I'm a certified building inspector for the new IRC Texas Building Code. I also document any code violations I find in my reports, something most other inspectors will not do.
Try telling your builder your home does not meet TREC SOP standards and see what they say!
The information on this site and all pages of www.best2inspect.com are for entertainment purposes only.By accessing this site you agree to contact the owner, Bob Lovelace, to report any incorrect data or misrepresentation of facts. Links to other sites are for informational purposes only and should not be considered an endorsement for those sites. Furthermore, by using this site and any information on it, you agree to accept all responsibility for any actions you may take and hold harmless, best2inspect.com, Bob Lovelace and all asigns.
This one article sums up the building industry in the Houston area and probably the rest of Texas.
WARNING: Read this before buying a new home
If you're thinking about buying a new home, then you need to be aware of the new law that the Texas Legislature passed last year. House Bill 730 was touted as a consumer protection bill. What it turned out to be was a Builder protection bill that makes it harder for consumers to get their homes fixed when problems arise.
The law established the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). This commission was established to help resolve problems between home buyers and home builders.
The Residential Construction Liability Act (passed in 1989), which was replaced by the new law, was supposed to have done this also. The RCLA was supposed to create its own commission, set performance standards for builders and adopt a resolution process that included state sponsored inspections and dispute resolution to help consumers get their problems fixed. Oh yeah, that really happended.
Now we have the TRCC that is suppose to do the same thing. The commission is made up of 9 Commissioners appointed by the Govenor. Here's the run down of the Board. 3 Builders, 3 Lawyers/Politician (one who represents Builders), 1 Engineer (who belongs to numerous builder associations), a Telephone executive and a guy who works for the company that subs building inspectors in North Texas. Now, what do you think your chances are of getting a fair deal with your builder in front of these guys?
Don't worry, the way the dispute resolution is set up, chances are your complaint will never make it that far.
You have to follow a specific resolution process. The process is even longer than before with more hurdles and loopholes. Oh, yeah, if you don't follow the process just perfectly, you have to start all over plus you can be fined. This is their idea of consumer protection.
It's clear that the builders know that the average homeowner does not have the finances or time to follow the dispute procedure from beginning to end. This is what they are counting on.
Now, more than ever, you can see why it's important to get your home inspected during the different stages of construction. Whether it's my company or someone elses, choose your inspector wisely and get that new home inspected before closing!
Texas Adopts the IRC as the statewide building Code.
(No, they did not exempt your builder from these codes, I don't care what your builder said)
Has your Realtor or Builder told you that you shouldn't hire a third party inspector because the City inspected it? Click here and read this.
We get Emails!
Now you don't have to take our word for it, listen to what homeowners across Houston have to say about their new homes.
Dear Mr. Lovelace
We purchased a home in the Katy area in Oct. of 2003 and have had several problems with it.
**Major water leak in our Master Bedroom due to the roof flashing being flattened during construction. Mold was discovered in the wall behind the sheetrock, on the baseboards and crown molding. The flashing, sheetrock, insulation, baseboards and crown molding were replaced. The carpet and affected padding were replaced. I treated the wall frame and concrete with bleach/water and Kilz.
**Major water leak in the living room. The three upper eyebrow windows were "defective", which caused water and mold to show up on all the windows. They replaced all three windows, the sheetrock, and insulation. They supposedly treated for mold.
**Strong gas odor when the downstairs heating unit shuts off. They replaced the control valve twice. After continuing to smell the gas, they discovered that one of the "vent pipes" on the roof was too low and was sucking the gas fumes back into the house. They supposedly raised them to the proper height.
**Standing water in the fireplace. They wrapped material around the chimney screen to prevent rain from coming in again.
**Other various items that were pointed out by different trades that come out included: gas meter installed incorrectly, electrical box not secure to the house, gas drip line extended well behond the proper length in the attic, inside door missing to one of the water heaters, minor gas leak in the kitchen under on of the cabinets.
The builder is JUST NOW finished "fixing" everthing. Due to having all of these problems, we now know the house wasn't inspected properly during the construction phases like the builder had claimed. We no longer trust the builder when they tell us everything is now "okay". Im sure there is more to find!
What days are you able to come out and how long will your inspection take?
R.G. Katy Texas
Texas Residential Construction Commission Realeases Proposed New Home Warranty Standards
Should you ever have to file a cliam against the builder, here are just a few of the guidelines your home may be subjected to.
Section 202.3.2 Says your cooling system only has to maintain a 78 degree room temperature plus if the outside temperature is 95 degrees or above, you A/C only has to cool the home off 15 degrees from the outside temperature. Better hope we don't get too many 105 degree days in August!
Section 100.2.1 Says that your foundation floor must have a crack larger than 1/8ths of an inch or be 1/16ths vertically displaced to be considered serious. A 1/8ths inch crack in your slab is a large crack!
Here are just a few of the "exclusions". 400.3 says "Builder does not warrant and shall not be responsible for, and the Warranty described in this chapter shall not extend to or include, or be applicable to, any loss or damage caused by or made worse by any of the following:
400.3.20 Minor IRC Code violations (guess who's gonna decide if it's a "minor" violation or not. Remember, the code is the MINIMUM a home should be built to. The TRCC just said the builders don't have to build to a minimum standard.
400.3.19 Any condition which does not result in actual physical damage to the home, including, but not limited to, inhabitability or health risk due to the presence or consequence of radon gas, formaldehyde or other pollutants or contaminants, or the presence or effect of mold, mildew, toxic material, or volatile organic compound, unless such condition is a direct result of a Construction Defect.
Are you beginning to see the loopholes? There are a bunch of statements that say "excessive" this or "excessive" that. While it sounds good now, nowhere is there a definition of "excessive". Guess who will be defining "excessive"?
There is also a bunch of things that will allow the builder to escape their responsibilities if you do not due things like control the humidity in your home. Do you know what your humidity level is or where it should be? Do you know how to adjust your HVAC system for humidity control? Wouldn't you think the builder would design these systems into your home and have the system adjusted before you moved in? Do you know what the proper watering schedule is to prevent expansion and contraction in unstalbe soils? Better find out because the TRCC says the homeowner is responsible for these and other items and all bets are off if they are not followed!
If the TRCC really had Texas Consumers best interest at stake, they'd adopt the IRC as the statewide building performance and warranty standards. But what do you expect from politicians and builder lobbyist? Home builder responsibility? Yeah...get real!
Texas Comptroller Rips The Texas Residential Construction Commisssion
Texas Comptroller Carol Keetan Strayhorn blast the TRCC stating "After reviewing the TRCC and its enabling statue, it is clear that the agency functions as a builder protection agency." In conclusion of the report, she stated "...if it was up to me personally, I would blast this TRCC builder-protection agency off the bureaucratic books"
Well, it looks like at least on Texas Politicain "Gets It"
There's a slab crack on the other side of the home just like this one. It runs from one side to the other. The Builders says "This is Typical" and refuses to fix the problem. This home is only 10 months old.