Have you just moved into a newly built home? Maybe it’s got everything you ever dreamed of. It could have a big garden, a hot tub, and plenty of space with an easy commute to work. However, the truth is no home is perfect.

But some houses are built poorly while others have minor defects. How can you tell the difference?  Here are some tips on how to inspect your newly built or partially built home for signs that its construction is of poor quality. 

Monitor The Construction 

Once construction is complete and you move in, you may notice minor problems if you live there. These could include splotches where they should not be or uneven tile joints.

You may also notice important problems that are legally considered structural defects worth pursuing, such as incorrect installation of windows that lead to water leakage. Find finished surfaces in your home, such as improper or incomplete paper or metal windows and doors, structural defects, or poor roof installation. 

How do you stop your dream home from turning into a home from hell overnight?

Some of the problems described above are red flags that should have been found earlier in the process. First of all, screen the contractors on day one by asking some key questions and examining common signs. 

Hiring an Outside Contractor

If you are unhappy, retain a professional contractor from the start to investigate the home independently.  

They can advise you if these problems indicate possible structural defects and can be remedied with simple repairs and maintenance. Without this help, you could end up paying higher heating bills thanks to bad work.

If you do not get satisfactory answers to your questions along the way, you should consider hiring a contractor to oversee the completion of the works.

This allows you to address issues directly with the contractor where you have maximum influence.

Planned Communities 

If your house was built by the developer as part of a planned community, you could arrange for someone to conduct a final inspection of the house before the completion date.

When a developer builds a bespoke house for you, you should ask questions during the ongoing work and have the opportunity to take a tour of the house. During this time, you can call a professional inspector to identify any problems in a written report.

If you have completed the purchase and have not had the opportunity to view the house before closing or at the end of construction, it is not too late to take action. In fact, you may not become aware of water intrusion problems until you have lived in the house for a while, or at least after one or two rainstorms. 

Inspect Your House 

There is another way to check the quality of the end product. Walk around the outside of your home with a camera or notepad in your hand.

When it comes to sealed exterior surfaces, such as windows, doors, patios, decks, and concrete coverings, look out for cracks. 

Check wood cladding on doors, windows, and other places to see if joints are open and cracks are forming in the wood.

Watch out for significant ripples in the boards, especially if it has rained since the building of the house, and see if the ends or edges of the boards appear swollen due to penetrating moisture. These conditions can develop over time.

If you have an outdoor deck or terrace, watch out for cracks in the walking surface at the interface between the deck and house wall. Look for gaps in the stucco around windows, doors, hoses, bibs, pipes, ducts, and electrical fittings. These gaps can be a source of water penetration.

Roof Issues 

Problems with your roof can be difficult to observe and require the help of a trained professional. If your roof is actually made of tiles, you can revoke the manufacturer’s warranty. You don’t have to walk on the roof.

Your next task is to check inside your house. Look out for water stains on windows, doors, wood paneling, drywall, sills, and the underside of exterior doors. Watch for signs of water penetrating ceilings and walls.

Cracks in concrete walkways, driveways, garage floors, and retaining walls indicate that the floor was not prepared or the concrete structure was not properly installed.

Suppose you have severe issues that will take tens of thousands of dollars to repair. You might want to consider the nuclear option. Sometimes selling a house in poor condition is not as bad as it sounds.  Houses in bad shape can still make money.

Drywall and Rot

Check interior walls and ceiling surfaces for cracks in drywall that may indicate floor movement or structural frame problems. In some cases, bathroom and kitchen doors, top and bottom, cannot be painted properly because moisture has caused the wood to expand. Doors can be glued shut during installation.

Check for floor problems such as uneven wood floorboards, cracks to tiles, broken floorboards, water stains on carpets or lino, doors, showers, discolored or wavy linoleum. Pay attention to water stains around the sink.


See if electrical plugs or switches are not working. If they have failed, your next step will depend on what you agree with the contractor and whether you notice them or provide an opportunity for repair.

If the repair does not work, you may need to sue the relevant party or report them. Remember, electrical problems cannot be ignored as they can result in death.

How to Spot a Poor-Quality House? Inspect It 

Building a house is not as easy as simply signing off on the project and hoping for the best. It would help if you oversaw it to make sure the project is always on track and standards remain high.

There are so many things you need to check, from the electrics to drywall. If you are interested in learning more about how to spot a poor-quality house, be sure to check out the rest of our site.