Even if you are not a professional builder, there are signs you can look for that tell you if a home was correctly constructed. When purchasing a property, whether you plan to live in it or use it as an investment property, you want to ensure it was built carefully. Otherwise, the property may cost you additional money after your purchase in the form of continuous repairs.
Here are some tips to help you identify if a home was built carefully or if someone attempted to save money by reducing the build quality.
If you are on the other side of an agreement and are a builder, you may also find these tips helpful, as following them ensures that your clients will be happy.
The Builders Used Quality Materials
The materials used dictate the quality of the final build. Reputable builders use materials that they know are durable, such as stone, brick, or cement.
However, this doesn’t mean that only expensive materials can be good quality. It is possible to use affordable materials that are also durable and beautiful materials, such as reclaimed wood and stone cladding. What matters is that the builders got a mix of materials suitable to save money when they could and used high-quality materials on parts of the home that are important structurally.
The Walls and Foundation Are Steady
It doesn’t matter if the home looks beautiful or the other parts are made with the finest quality. The whole house is not appropriately constructed if the foundation is not built correctly. The foundation holds up the rest of the house, and if it begins to cave in or sink, everything else will follow.
Signs of a foundation built improperly include cracks in the walls, separation between walls, floors, and joints, and uneven windows and doors. While these issues could be signs of more minor problems, if you notice consistent gapping or cracks around the home, ask the seller tough questions about their foundation.
The walls support the rest of your home, so they must also be sturdy. Ask the builders or sellers what materials were used for the walls. Concrete walls should be reinforced with rebar, a form of steel that provides additional support for more fragile materials such as concrete.
The Floors Are Even
It is usual for the floors to pick up some wear and tear, especially if you are buying a property that has been lived in previously. It is also normal for floors to be slightly uneven. This happens through normal usage or slight shifts in the house as it ages.
However, it would be best if you were careful of property with visibly bulging or severely uneven floors. These issues will cause problems for you in the future because you cannot install furniture or your flooring correctly. You may invest significant amounts of money in repairs.
Damage to the floors may also reveal other problems with the property, such as foundational damage or a history of flooding. It is always worth asking your seller about any problems with the flooring.
Many older homes in the UK only sometimes have the best insulation. Builders were used to our mild climate and did not consider the importance of insulation. However, as the summers got hotter and the cost of heating homes in winter rose, insulation is essential if you want to purchase a new property.
You can tell if the house is well insulated during a site visit. If the weather is mild enough that you cannot feel the heat or a chill, you can test with your ears if the house is well insulated. You will also feel the chill if you hear too much noise from outdoors. Well-insulated houses are often close to soundproof.
Improving the insulation in your home is possible with some investment, such as replacing the windows with insulated PVC. However, it is easier to insulate the walls if they were built with poor quality in mind.
Admire the Appearance
Appearance may seem like an unfair criterion to judge a new home when many more considerable criteria, such as foundational soundness, are listed. However, you want a new property to be one where you can enjoy the appearance and the atmosphere. Ensure you are happy with the design choices, especially ones you cannot easily alter yourself.
The appearance can also tell the quality of the overall build. If a builder ignored the details that make a house look beautiful, they may have skipped on other details that are harder to notice.