Common Defects Found in New Home Construction

Theoretically speaking, new houses should be free from any defects, but contrary to what most of us think, newly-built homes don’t guarantee that no problems will arise. Sometimes, minor things go unnoticed, while major things have been overlooked. You might be wondering, “What could possibly go wrong with a brand new house?” To the untrained eye, these construction errors are not always in plain sight. Here are some of the common defects our experienced professional inspectors at Kern River Home Inspections often find:


Grading– One of the most common problems seen in new homes in Ridgecrest and Bakersfield areas is improper grading. Landscaping and grading should always be taken into consideration, not just for a beautiful appearance of your home, but also to keep the foundation dry.  The grade should slope away from the home, not towards it so that the surface water will flow away from the home and foundation. Improper grading allows the water to pool near the house, causing the moisture to flow back towards the home and seep into the soil. Over time, water intrusion in the basement and crawlspace can result in substantial damages and expensive repairs.

Exterior Defects – These include exterior bricks, stucco, vinyl, and siding. To be considered a defect, cracks in the exterior walls have to be 1/8” to ¼” of an inch wide. Some of the common defects seen are improper clearance between the stucco weep screed and the grade or settling cracks on stucco or bricks.

Windows – Improperly installed windows often lead to moisture build-up and mold formation. Water might leak around the windows and even into the wall, which can cause bigger problems and costly repairs if left undetected.

Roofing Issues – Faulty roofing is a common area of defect seen during an 11-month warranty inspection in a new home construction. Sometimes, shingles are found to be incorrectly installed. Other problems seen are improper perimeter nailing of concrete roofing tiles, roof leaks, defective/no flashings, nail pops and no ventilation installed, which can cause premature deterioration of roof.

Plumbing Problems – Plumbing issues are something that shouldn’t be ignored or overlooked. Leaks can cause serious damages and mold problems, which can be absolutely hazardous to our health. Some of the defects commonly seen by our home inspectors include hot and cold reversed water supply lines, leaking fixtures, dripping faucets, slow or clogged drains, toilets not secure or leaks into the subfloor, improperly glued PVC pipe connections, etc. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible to save you from spending thousands of dollars on repairs.

Electrical Safety Issues – Electrical concerns are probably the most prevalent defects or complaints found in homes old or new. These defects should be taken seriously, for most of them are a fire and/or a safety hazard. Examples of electrical concerns in a new home construction to watch out for are improperly wired outlets, outlets which should be GFCI protected but were not, reversed polarity, missing switch plates or receptacle covers, receptacles or switches that don’t work, etc.


No house is perfect. Even homes built by the best builders will always have a few items in less than perfect condition. It’s always better to identify these construction deficiencies before it’s too late! A top home inspection company like Kern River Home Inspections offers 11th month warranty inspection for homeowners who are living in newly-constructed homes as they near the end of their 1-year builder’s warranty period. This service provided by our best home inspectors will certainly give you the peace of mind you deserve. Contact Kern River Home Inspections TODAY at or you can call or text 661-205-9172.


This article was created by Kern River HomeInspections, providing home inspections, commercial inspections and mold inspections to Bakersfield and all of Kern County.