New Construction Customer Complaint 4 months later

I received an email from a previous client regarding items he feels I missed during a new construction finished inspection.

Copy and past from his email:

For the inspection you have done, there are few major things you didn’t cover or report. I thought I sent this email long back but on checking it was in my drafts
folder, which is my bad.

  1. Hardwood flooring:

    There are lot of areas on the hardwood floor where while walking the hardwood just goes up and down and this is not at just one or two places. There are many spots like that and also makes different sound while walking.

  2. Carpet flooring:

There are lot of creepy sounds while walking on the carpet floor which is not a normal behavior. There are lot of sounds heard in the downstairs even when small kids are walking in the upstairs. So basically there are lot of sounds even when the people are just walking. As per my investigations and search it looks like the builder forgot to screw or missing some parts while construction.

These two are more kind of construction errors which are not covered on detailed report or why they are not caught during inspection. I would like to know response to this.

Any advise would be helpful. In 3 1/2 years and almost 1000 inspections this is my 1st complaint. I am going over Monday for a walk through.


New homes settle and wood can shrink. This was a point in time inspection, if there is a 12 month new home waranty (required in MD) have him discuss his concerns with the builder. You are not responsible or liable. Some people are just complainers.

I usually recommend new home owners call me at the 11 month interval for just this reason. 11 months gives the occupants time to notice concerns which you can document for the builders warranty.

You might also consider directing new home buyers to the NAHB performance guidelines for a suitable reference between builder and buyer.


Ha ha, do you normally have kids with during an inspection. I believe there are child labor laws in most states. :joy:

No seriously, I would respond that there can be seasonal fluctuations in the materials used in construction, especially with new builds. As Bob stated, recommend they note their concerns during the first 11 months and report them to the builder. Offer an 11th month inspection (for a fee of course) to help them identify items that may have changed or fluctuated.

Some builders will take care of items anytime during the 1st year, they don’t necessarily have to wait until the 11th month to report everything.

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Go back and do a reinspection.
Notify the developer.
Likely the subflooring has something to do with this.

Type of construction. Concrete?

@rkenney and @afrydenlund have it covered. With new builds, many things can change in the first few months. Besides, you shouldn’t have to walk every square inch of a home just to listen for squeeks. Just saying…

Where are you located? Hardwood will shrink and swell with the seasons. Cold months are much more likely to cause noise, as the wood shrinks, and leaves gaps.
But you should be fine. The builder has a 1 year warranty, so any complaints he has need to be reported and corrected.
Worst case, offer to the do the 11th month for free, and that will go a long way to prevent a bad review

Changes in indoor humidity can greatly effect hardwood flooring, buckling, curling, shrinkage and expansion. Sounds like the flooring expanded due to high indoor humidity. Do you know if the subfloor was glued to the floor joists? Squeaking sounds typically are caused by the subfloor nails, especially if the subfloor was not glued down. I had one house that made an oil can sound where the return air panning popped when walking on the floor.

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I have the best security system during the winter months when my floors squeak in many places. No intruder will get past those, however in the warmer Spring and Summer months, most all go away. As most stated, expansion and contraction and depending on the seasonal time when the home is inspected, the conditions may not be prevalent.

Squeaking 2nd floor subfloor (wood or carpet) is so common I have a narrative saved for it. I always point it out in new construction, it tends to get worse with use & time.

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Welcome back to our forum, James!..enjoy participating. :smiley: