Meritage Homes access agreement

I am looking at doing a phase inspection on a build by Meritage Homes.
They have supplied me with a contract that I ahave to sign that I feel elliminates alot of the protections put in place in my agreement to inspect and I am looking at turning the work away.

Anyone else have any experience with this?


Email it to me and I’ll see if it looks different than the ones I sign.
You can get my email from the site listed below.

Dale, are you doing the Construction Phase Inspection for builder or buyer. I’m guessing for builder, since they want you to sign, if not you don’t need to sign it. Your client has the right to hire you. I specialize in construction phase inspections. Please call me or email me for any assistance I may be able to offer you; or 210.559.3236. I’ve never signed an agreement except my own.

Hey Dale,
I’ve inspected many Meritage and never had to sign anything from them.
If you haven’t called Joe yet you are missing out! I’ll call you when I’m back in Houston.

I too have done several Meritage homes and never signed anything. I have though cost them a LOT of money…They are really suck a s s builders in my book.

I ran into unusual behavior last year in a particular Meritage development, after the first new construction final inspection I did there. They were rude and emailed that I was not allowed on the roof, to remove any panels (electrical, HVAC etc.) I explained to my clients that it was strange and moved on. Did about 12 inspections in the neighborhood under those rules. Honestly did not bother me too much, as I was able to disclaiim those systems and explain why to my clients.

I happen to be inspecting a Meritage home in another neighborhood tomorrow. I have been going back and forth with them for a couple weeks over the contract they sent me. They want proof of insurance (including auto) and have a contract they require me to sign. 99% of the contract seems aimed at protecting them from me suing them. I did balk at one particular item that started out talking about how they were not responsible if I was hurt, and ended with me being responsible for any damages to the resulting from the inspection. (paraphrased)

I pushed back. All the while my clients and their realtor were constantly on them about getting things through for me to inspect. I refused to sign until I had a written statement from them saying that I would only be responsible for damages to the home “resulting from malicious behavior on my part” that “any damage resulting from construction flaws would be their responsibility.”

They also insist that their super be onsite the whole time. (we will see if that actually happens tomorrow.)

This is the first builder in DFW that I have run into this from, and I have done NC inspections for most. In the end I will just have to modifiy my procedure and document why. I will charge a premium to inspect their homes because of the PIA factor.

I don’t have a particular issue with the idea of the contract, but I think they are doing it to discourage third party inspections. Which is sad considering their general level of quality.

I do not know what version of the agreement you are receiving but the one I have been presented is not only to protect them from you suing them, but to provide full responsibility for their errors on you as well.

What is important about the agreement they are trying to force on both Inspectors and the buyer is the final statement that the buyer has to agree to. As Inspectors we can turn down the work when they refuse to to allow us on site if we do not sign their agreement. However if the buyer wants an inspection they will be forced to sign, and there is a statement there that essentially removes the buyers’ rights to have any problem repaired whether or not it was found in your inspection or some other inspection, by the buyer, or anyone else other than the AHJ’s. And we know the AHJ inspections won’t catch what we do.

I just ran into a situation with Taylor Morrison Homes where they want proof of insurance to the tune of more than the state requires and various other stuff. I gave the buyer two choices. 1. They tell the builder to go jump rope and 2. They take possession of the home and the very next day I do the inspection before they start moving in. We are going with option #2.

That works for any builder. Tell buyer to turn “items” over to builder via the warranty dept. asap.

Can tell buyer the extra $$$$ insurance will cost them up front or
normal fee after closing.

George, I would also recommend to the buyers on your option 2, that they require the title company to hold back a few thousand in escrow from the builders funding along with having a signed agreement stating that builder has a certain amount of time after closing to make corrections from the pre move in inspection report.
This would work with the move in inspection. But of course not with the different phase inspections during construction.
I’ve attached a copy of the Meritage agreement that was emailed to me by another Texas inspector (Wes H).
I have never signed one of these nor even seen one before.

I received one of these from Meritage a few months ago and told them to put it in a dark place behind and a bit below their belt. They have a new and improved version out (attached) now that is a bit more tolerable. I, of course, object to a few things on even the newer version:
(1) The non-disclosure clause.
(2) Prohibiting access to the roof.
(3) Demanding a copy of the report.

Just another Texas builder BS maneuver attempting to avoid proper inspections. Their construction practices are about on par with Grand and their ilk. So, I guess I can’t blame them.:mrgreen:

I spoke to one of the salespeople about it last month and told them I wasn’t going to sign it without crossing out the majority of the clauses in the contract - roof, insurance, giving them a copy in 2 days, etc. They said to sent it through and they would forward to Meritage Corporate. I never heard anything back. They probably threw it away.

They should welcome us to do these new home inspections. It creates a punch list in my mind that eliminates the warranty headaches for the sales and superintendent.
I had a ( well known builder) yesterday that the builder had completely failed to install stucco at one rake wall that was not visible from the ground. Just saved that builder from spending on mold remediation.
A (well known builder) today that a supply duct was not installed and blowing cold air in the attic, three outlets without power, dishwasher not assembled, and four cabinet issues, etc.
The builder should be paying us as we are doing their job in alot of these instances.

I’ve had a few offer to pay me not to inspect . . .:smiley:

Sorry, I had to delete an earlier post in this thread. One of the more observant members pointed out to me that a client’s name was on the form posted. Though it was not my client, the powers that be, d.b.a. Mama WREK in Austin, or Decoupage Homes might seize the opportunity to slap a $5K fine on me or claim a slander suit for grins. If anyone wants a copy of it, let me know.