Recently we passed our 2 year build anniversary! This was an important anniversary as it also meant the end of our ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty. Most builders give a one year overall building warranty before the warranties default to whatever individual systems have longer warranties and a simple structural warranty that lasts longer. However our builder, Wayne Homes, has a 2 year overall building warranty. This extended warranty was one of the big things that set them apart from other builders.
Get a Home Inspection
One of the big things we were determined to do when we got towards the end of our warranty was to hire a home inspector in case there were additional things that they might find that we didn’t. For a while I waffled on it because in some ways it seems like a potential waste of money if they don’t find anything significant that you haven’t already found. In the end though we went through with getting an inspector for the peace of mind it would bring to know that we had done all of our due diligence.
We checked around for several companies in the area and chose one with good reviews. Sometimes it’s a pretty small world though and the inspector who ultimately was assigned to our house was a man from our new church. We knew he was a home inspector, but didn’t know what company he worked through or anything, but knew it was him as soon as we saw the last name on the appointment.
He came out and we showed him the things we had already planned to ask Wayne Homes to fix, the things we knew about and some things we knew about that weren’t the builder’s responsibility. He then thoroughly went through each room, each of the systems and the outside elevation. Overall he seemed to be pretty impressed with our builder and we got a report later that evening.
The Inspection Report
Being as we had been through selling our previous house and had seen an inspection report before we knew there would be a lot of things that we would consider ticky tacky on the report. Things that were not major issues, but inspections are incredibly thorough. Honestly if the report is too squeaky clean I would question the thoroughness of my inspection.
What we found from our report was that much of the items were either things we already planned to bring up to the builder or were things we knew about, but were not the builder’s responsibility. Case in point, as our ground has settled we have had to have some of our downspouts and underground pipes realigned as the settling had bent out the pipes underground slightly. This gets worse as more settling happens until eventually the water from the downspouts are so misaligned with the underground piping that the water just pours out on the ground around your foundation.
Earlier this year we fixed one of these and was keeping an eye on a couple others, but he found a total of three that needed to fixed. He also found another pipe that due to settling had come unglued and separated and we needed to fix that pipe as well. He did find all the same issues we knew about and some others that were helpful to bring up to Wayne Homes. Again nothing major that we didn’t already know other than a slight external crack in one basement wall.
Wayne Homes Warranty Remedies
After receiving the report and discussing which items needed to be sent to Wayne Homes for warranty support, we put in the call to the builder. One of the major things we knew we had to have done was drywall repair in a few areas. Over all these were not significant cracking except for one threshold and once scheduled the workman was able to get us all patched up in a hour or so. Our issues included a couple of nail pops, a slight cracking on our stairwell wall, another slight cracking where two pieces of drywall comes together in our foyer and the major settling/cracking by a large walkway into our kitchen and dining area. That last one is in the same corner as the settling that has caused the crack in the basement wall so I am not at all surprised that it had the most significant damage.
When it comes to drywall repair, they simply fix the damage. It is then up to you to wait until it dries and to sand it properly and repaint with your own left over paint. I believe they only repaint for you if it is significant enough to have damaged a whole wall, which ours was not. This is not really hard for someone who has done drywall repair before and knows how to sand it properly before painting, which I have done before. If you have never done this before and think the patch looks great and you can just paint over it…resist the urge! If you don’t sand it the paint will look different and pick up the light making the repair glaringly obvious.
Doors and Adjustments
Some other things we had them fix were a couple of upstairs doors as my son’s door was too loose and after it was closed it would open back up on it’s own fairly easily. This was a quick fix as was getting my son’s folding closet door adjusted so it would shut properly. Our warranty person even helped educate us on our towel bar that my son managed to pull out that we had difficulty putting back together. He showed us how it worked and put it back on and tightened it up for us which he didn’t have to do since that was definitely not a fault of the builder. We also had an issue with one of our window screens that were not flush in one area from the time we moved in. We had tried to figure it out ourselves without success. While we assumed there was something wrong with the window or the screen it turns out someone just didn’t properly install it. With him showing us how they work, he helped us adjust it and fix that issue as well.
The crack on the outside of the basement wall was fairly small and was determined not a structural issue at this point, so for now we’re just going to take the inspector’s advice and put some outdoor caulk in that crack for now. The internal crack on the same corner we will continue to monitor as the foundation is covered under the longer term structural warranty. Do I wish we didn’t have the crack? Sure. Does it still make me a little uneasy? Sure. But we have quite a bit of time left on that structural warranty so I am confident that if it gets worse and becomes a problem that Wayne Homes will live up to their warranty and remedy it.
One of the things that the inspector brought up was the handrail on our large staircase has a little more wiggle in it than it should. We also have noticed this and our warranty manager said he would see what could be done as it was out of his range of expertise. Unfortunately he was deployed shortly after he was at our house and we recently had a new warranty manager come out to take a look at it. He agreed that the bottom post seems to be a little loose and causing the wiggle at the middle to bottom of the handrail and is going to try to see what can be done as he doesn’t know if it was attached to the subfloor in a way that they can just put some extra screws up through it from the basement. This is the only outstanding item left on our two year warranty problem list. We were assured though that even though our two years has passed, because it was turned in before the warranty period expired it will still be addressed.
So there you have it. Those were the items on our warranty punch list that we were looking to get fixed and over all we are pretty happy with the results. Many of the things were simple cosmetic fixes and were able to be completed to little fan fair. The only true structural concerns were the basement cracks which are still covered under the foundation warranty that we still have many years on and the wiggle in our staircase handrail. Most everything else found in the inspection is our own issues to deal with or are not worth addressing at all at this time.
We are still very happy with our Wayne Homes home and would recommend them (and do) to anyone looking to build a house. They build quality, customized family homes for a affordable price. They stand by what they build and they see things through to the end. And with rare exception, those employees that we have had business with have been helpful, courteous and take a lot of pride in their work. From the love of our New Home Consultant, Julie Hurtt, to our Field Manager, Butch Munday, to the various warranty personnel we have worked with, we have encountered extremely competent, friendly experts in their roles working hard to make our dreams come true. We love you Wayne Homes!
If you didn’t follow our build process you can find it here!Thanks for reading!