Walkthrough?

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007, 05:48 AM
Becky Becky is offline
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Default Walkthrough?

I have a walkthrough with the builder before closing next week. It has been 32 years since I bought a house. Can anyone give me any ideas of what to ask, watch for, or know about, from the builder? I have read of siding problems and AC problems and just want to make sure I am prepared! Thanks and love the board- has answered a ton of questions!

Becky
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2007, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Walkthrough?

Beckyl,

It was our experience that the walkthrough for our house was pretty well self contained. There was not much to ask, as I remember. The warranty department in the Villages was wonderful. For a full year, anything that we called about was taken care of immediately. Unless that has changed over the past four years, there is very little to worry about. Just enjoy your new house. Others here may have a different view.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Walkthrough?

Becky.... I bought last summer; the initial walkthrough with the builder's supt is actually somewhat cursory....ours lasted no more than an hour. They pretty much show you where everything is and how things work. They ask that you live in the house for about a week and keep your list of initial items and send them all in at once. As talkhost said, the Villages HOW dept is extremely efficient. Once you report your issues, the various subs have less than 5 days to contact you and make the repairs. It all works very efficiently. This process works throughout the first year. As I now approach my 1 year anniversary, I hired a certified building inspector to do a once over....he found 2 significant things and a bunch of little stuff....several things we would not have noticed. The Villages HOW dept responded to all his items. You can always hire an inspector for your initial punchlist too. Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2007, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Walkthrough?

Thank you! And excellent idea about the inspector. Since I won't be down full-time, that makes sense!

Becky
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Walkthrough?

Becky, Vilages07 is quite accurate about the walk-through being a non-event. The builder is the guy with the license and insurance and has several superintendants or foreman who actually oversee the construction of dozens of houses at any one time. If you discover anything at all before or during the walk-through, it's quite common for the builder\foreman to call the subcontractors right on the spot to come right over and fix the problem. The walk-through takes less than an hour and is intended to be informational. The Villages Warranty office is very eager (and very efficient) at this point to cooperate and fix anything reasonable. The problem is, you're able to see only the obvious deficiencies. Other stuff, like vinyl siding issues are a little harder for a layman to identify.

The suggestion to hire a professional is an excellent idea because the Villages strictly adheres to the 1 year rule and generally won't honor your claim, even a day beyond the 1 year anniversary. An article in The Reporter may be of interest to you because it mentions a professional siding expert for $70. http://www.ocala.com/article/2007070.../1131/REPORTER

Last week while visiting my brother in law in Virginia Trace, he asked Ray Micucci (who is the subject of the article in The Reporter) to inspect his vinyl siding. Needless to say, Ray found dozens of defects with the vinyl siding which unfortunately are consistent with vinyl siding problems observed in Duval. Some folks have naively believed that the vinyl subcontractors started doing slipshod work in Duval. I suspect Duval is no better or no worse than the vinyl siding in thousands of homes throughout the Villages. The problem is the Villages (and Sumter County) did not inspect the work, and now there are just too many homes to even consider correcting the problem.

Getting back to your walk-through, like any large project, break up your home into byte-size chunks. For example, take your kitchen cabinets.
1) Are all the cabinet doors (and hardware pulls if any) the same style. We've seen one designer home where every cabinet door except one was a raised panel and yet no one seemed to notice.
2) Do the cabinets (and doors) line up correctly or are some doors higher than others.
3) Is the countertop free of defects, especially the edges. Is there caulking wherever the counter meets the backsplash. I've seen a countertop where the glue may not have been applied evenly and a small area, maybe a 4' circle had lifted. Shining a light across the surface would expose this defect. Is the sink installed squarely with the front and back of the counter top and caulked around the perimeter of the sink.

I think you get the point. Take one room at a time and look critically; and make notes. For example, we checked all of our electric outlets. In the bedrooms and living rooms, some of the outlets are spilt: one-half controlled by a wall switch, the other is hot always. In spite of our initial testing, we missed the fact that for one outlet, the half controlled by the switch worked just fine but the other half which was supposed to be hot all of the time was dead all of the time but they fixed it 9 months into our ownership.

Good luck. This post is not intended to make you anxious; only to encourage you to consider a professional inspection especially if you have vinyl siding on your home.
  #6  
Old 07-16-2007, 08:52 AM
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Default Lists And Private Inspectors

I prepared a four-page list of questions that I sent to my Builder about a week before our walkthrough. He had dutifully prepared answers to every single question and took as long as we wanted to inspect everything. Having said that, I'll admit that I've done several remodeling/home addition projects and think I know a little more than the average bear about home construction.

Having said that, there can be a huge difference in building codes between where you came from and The Villages. The use of steel studs, Romex wiring instead of conduit and wire, and stucco over block are examples of differences between old and new homes.

I hired a private home inspector to prepare a report about a month before my warranty expired. I then submitted his report to TV Warranty office and they responded to every single item. I'd recommend that at some time, either before closing or before your warranty expires, the use of a private and experienced inspector for a couple hundred bucks is worth the investment.
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Walkthrough?

Thank you VK! Seems the inspector is the way to go. Am closing on Thur so will have to do it after that. I know I am constructually challenged when it comes to homes! Any recommendations on inspectors? You guys on this board are great! Very helpful!

Becky
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2007, 10:40 PM
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Default Inspectors

I used A-1 Villages Inspections. Phone numbers are 352-205-0180 (Cell) and 352-751-1075 (Home). Ask for Pat.

He's licensed and has over 20 years experience as a house inspector. He inspected about 15 homes on our street within the few weeks before our warranties expired. No complaints that I heard.
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