We consider clear communications essential in achieving a successful homebuilding project. Construction industry jargon can cause confusion and muddy the waters, so here are a few additional terms to help bridge the language barrier:

  • Punch list: There are literally thousands of details that go into the construction and finishing of every new home. Although we monitor every phase of the building process to ensure each new home reflects our promise of excellence, there are always a few final details that need extra attention before our buyers take ownership of their new home.To take care of these final details before close of escrow and move-in, we schedule a final home inspection with our clients, from which a “punch list” of incomplete or unsatisfactory items may develop. Our goal is to address every item on the punch list as soon as possible.Many people are familiar with punch lists that are developed just before or after they move into a new house. However, punch lists are often used throughout the building process to track items that need additional attention. In this way, an absolute minimum of finish items remain when a house is completed and ready for final inspection with the ownerCastle Williams #3
  • Certificate of Occupancy (or CO): Before any homeowner can move in to a new home, we must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, or CO. This is a required approval by the local building authority certifying that the house meets all code requirements and is ready to occupy. We provide the CO to each homeowner during the process of closing escrow. It’s a good idea to keep the Certificate of Occupancy in a safe and secure place, such as a safe deposit box.
  • Implied warranty: Under state law, an implied warranty makes the builder responsible for the condition and building code compliance of each new house the builder completes. Put another way, an implied warranty provides assurance that the home has been built to basic safety and health standards.
  • Expressed (or explicit) warranty: In addition to the implied warranty, high-quality builders across the country also offer an expressed (or explicit) warranty. This warranty, which differs builder to builder, outlines the terms, procedures, and responsibilities for maintaining the home after the sale. The warranty also offers a procedure to be followed if the homeowner experiences problems with the structure, finishes, or mechanical systems of the house within a specified time frame, which may be anywhere from one to perhaps 20 years.
  • “Closing” is the slang term for ‘close of escrow’ — the process for transferring the deed and title to the house and property from us to our homebuyers. Before closing, we make sure we have completed the house to everyone’s satisfaction. The closing marks the end of the home building and buying process.

These terms only scratch the surface of the builder’s vocabulary. Read Part 1 in our series and visit the free online glossary at contractorslicense.com to add to your housing language skills.