Most Common Defects Found on New Construction

Most Common Defects Found on New Construction

While inspecting new homes in the Clarksville area, similar issues seem to come up over and  over again. To assist you during the buying process, we’ve compiled a list of the most common  things we see should you choose not to hire an inspector. Some of the items are legitimate  defects while others are cosmetic flaws that you might find during your punch list inspection.  While inspecting the house, be sure to take pictures and document the conditions you find to  support any repair requests. A downloadable PDF version of this list is attached for your  convenience.

Exterior Siding, Flashing, & Trim  

  • Cracks in brick or stone veneer siding.
  • Stone veneer siding that’s lacking mortar, missing a weep screed, and/or is in contact with the roof surface.
  • Fiber cement siding that’s lacking sealant.
  • Warped or damaged vinyl siding.
  • Vinyl siding panels that aren’t overlapped at the ends.
  • Exposed wooden framing due to missing flashing.
  • Missing box trim around outdoor faucets.


Driveway, Sidewalk, & Garage Floor  

  • Surface cracks.
  • Flaking or peeling concrete.


Exterior Grading & Drainage  

  • Level grade around the home’s perimeter.
  • Missing downspout extensions or splash blocks.
  • Foundation vents located at or below the finished grade.


Decks, Porches, & Patios  

  • Wooden posts that are improperly fastened to the patio or deck overhang.
  • Excessively warped or bowed posts.
  • Surface cracks on concrete slabs.



  • Debris on surface (i.e., scrap shingles, flashing materials, nails).
  • Missing or improperly installed kickout flashing.
  • Inadequate shingle overhang above covered patios.
  • Improperly installed shingles near roof penetrations.


Exterior Doors  

  • Missing, unsecured, or inadequate weatherstripping.
  • Unsealed door casings & thresholds.
  • Interference between doors and side jambs while closing.
  • Misaligned strike plates that prevent the door from latching or locking with the deadbolt.
  • Loose or missing hardware.
  • Exposed garage door side jambs.



  • Unsealed window frames.
  • Missing or poorly fitted glazing beads.
  • Cracked glass.
  • Damaged tilt latches or sash vent stops.
  • Windows that are difficult to open or fully lock.
  • Missing screens.



  • Debris in garbage disposal.
  • Missing high loop along dishwasher drain hose.
  • Missing dishwasher toe plate.
  • Interference between the cabinets and dishwasher door.
  • Missing charcoal filters on the microwave.
  • Loose built-in cooktop.


Counters & Cabinets  

  • Unsealed countertops.
  • Unsecured side splashes on bathroom vanity tops.
  • Interference between cabinet doors while opening/closing.
  • Loose cabinet door hardware.


Interior Doors

  • Loose or missing hardware.
  • Door interference while opening/closing.
  • Doors that won’t latch or lock properly.
  • Material damage.


Interior Walls & Ceilings  

  • Drywall cracks, nail pops, and separation along seams.
  • Missing box trim around the refrigerator & washing machine shutoff valves.
  • Bowed walls.



  • Cracked or loose tiles.
  • Missing or separated tile grout.
  • Missing baseboard or quarter-round moulding.
  • Squeaky or springy floors.
  • Material damage.



  • Loose or missing handrail.
  • Loose or squeaky stair treads.
  • Unsecured baluster shoes.



  • Shower head leaks.
  • Drain pipe leaks.
  • Leaks at water distribution pipe fittings.
  • Unsecured distribution pipes in crawl spaces.
  • Missing distribution pipe insulation in crawl spaces and garages.
  • Unsecured plumbing fixtures.
  • Missing or incorrectly sized drain tube for the water heater temperature-pressure relief valve.
  • Missing or separated tile grout in showers.
  • Low water pressure at whirlpool tub jets.
  • Unsecured whirlpool tub motor.
  • Unsealed shower door frames.



  • Missing or cracked light fixture globes.
  • Missing light bulbs.
  • Exposed and/or loose service ground wire.
  • Unlabeled circuit breakers.
  • Missing smoke detector batteries.
  • Loose receptacles.
  • Missing receptacle or light switch cover plates.
  • Missing conduit on exposed electrical cables.
  • Missing cable clamps or bushings.
  • Nuisance tripping of GFCI receptacles or breakers
  • Poorly secured electrical cables in crawl spaces.
  • Flickering lights.
  • Loose Ceiling fans.


Heating & Cooling  

  • Low heating/cooling efficiency in bonus rooms.
  • Poorly sealed ductwork.
  • Debris in floor vents (mainly found near tile flooring).
  • Condensate drip tubes that terminate next to the home’s foundation.
  • Dirty air filters.
  • Unsecured equipment disconnects and sub-panels.
  • Unsealed exterior duct shrouds.
  • Missing vent registers.


Insulation & Ventilation 

  • Missing or unsecured floor, attic, and wall insulation.
  • Dryer vent hoods equipped with screens.
  • Soffit vents blocked by insulation.
  • Bathroom exhaust fans that aren’t vented to the home’s exterior.



  • Weak rafter and ridge board connections.
  • Missing floor joist hangers.
  • Improperly sistered rafters.
  • Missing rafter collar ties.


Slab Foundations  

  • Exposed foundation aggregate or rebar.


Crawl space Foundations 

  • Unsealed wall penetrations.
  • Missing positive drain.
  • Standing water along foundation walls.
  • Missing or incomplete vapor barrier.
  • Discarded wood on the crawl space floor.
  • Missing or undersized floor girder shims.
  • Missing or loose nuts on foundation anchor bolts.
  • Concrete block cracks and mortar joint separation.
  • Poorly fastened steel columns.
  • Column base plates that are in contact with the soil.
  • Tilted concrete block piers.
  • Poor crawlspace grading.


Basement Foundations 

  • Unsealed wall penetrations.
  • Signs of moisture intrusion or efflorescence along walls.
  • Concrete block cracks and mortar joint separation.
  • Poorly fastened steel columns.

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