Looking for a New Gut Rehabbed Condo in Chicago | Inspect it!

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If you are looking for a new gut rehabbed condo in Chicago, or even a 100% brand new property – make sure that you inspect it before the purchase.

Ask your real estate agent, call friends and find a home inspector with recommendations. Make sure that your home inspector will be able to check your new gut rehabbed condominium for violations of the Chicago building code.

I’ve inspected hundreds of such properties in Chicago, by different developers, and with various quality of workmanship. The buyer has often no idea about even the most basic quality standards that developers should follow (I think they should). He or she simply assumes that many of the poorly finished components of the property are something normal, that this is how it should be.

In many of my Chicago new condo home inspections quality is far from being even considered as “poor” workmanship – everything used to sell … but this isn’t the most important issue.

  • The biggest problem is with Chicago building code violations that in some cases create serious safety conditions for the owners of those new construction & new gut rehabbed condos or any real estate properties.

There are developers cooperating and correcting problems while others simply drag the issue for as long as possible. The trick (for the developer of course) is to extend this “correction” process beyond the new home warranty period (usually 1 year), at which point it might become your building association liability or your own.

There’s of course another (sometimes the only) way to remediate this problem, rather an expensive and often painful solution – a lawsuit.

So before closing on your brand new gut rehabbed condo in Chicago, make sure that you inspect it. If you are already after the closing, and problems start piling up, or you just want to make sure that everything is safe, please read the list of the most common problems in Chicago new and got rehabbed condominiums.

All of the items below are immediate hazards and a very common issues.


– Heating system:

  • Improperly installed furnace vent pipe
  • Missing bottom closure panel in furnace air return compartment
  • Missing or inadequate number of combustion air ports (combustion air is required for a proper, carbon monoxide free fuel burning process)

– Water heater:

  • Improperly installed water heater vent pipe / combustion issues

– Gaps in fire wall separation between the furnace / water heater room and other apartments

– Missing bathroom window safety glass

– Electrical issues:

  • Improper electrical panel grounding / bonding
  • missing hydro spa motor grounding
  • missing hydro spa GFCI protection
  • Circuit breakers serving undersized wires
  • Improper type of circuit breakers used / missing AFCI type breakers
  • Inadequate number of outlets installed through the property
  • Improper rating of bathroom, kitchen, and laundry outlets
  • missing or partial GFCI protection for kitchen, bathroom and laundry area

– Improperly assembled building porches

Some of the building code requirements (not covered on the list above) are not necessarily placing you in the immediate danger. However, if you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, you should expect your brand new or new gut rehabbed condo in Chicago to be in a perfect, up to your current local code and safe condition.

Where are Chicago building inspectors?

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