Evaluating Home Construction in NM
March 22, 2006 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Evaluating Home Construction: We're considering buying a home in NM, where construction is very different from here in MN. Anyone have any good sources (online or otherwise) to help home buyers evaluate quality of construction in Southwest style homes -- especially stucco homes? We're looking at pueblo/adobe style places.
posted by nancoix to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I don't know about the southwest, but here in the southeast there's one rule I know of-- if you see mold anywhere inside, it's a deal breaker. You'll never get rid of it. Mold outside, like a little on the stucco, is usually caused by sprinkler systems, etc., and is easily removed. But if you find it in the corner of the closet, or along a baseboard, or in a bathroom, run fast.
posted by orangemiles at 1:16 PM on March 22, 2006

Mold is not a problem here in NM.

With the flat-roofed adobe houses, roof leaks are a common problem. That's the one thing you should ask about that you may not have thought of.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:34 PM on March 22, 2006

Best answer: Also, be sure to check for long thin cracks in the stucco. This is usually a tell tale sign of settling that sellers will often try to cover up with paint / re-pointing stucco. Check the exterior walls carefully for discoloration due to water infiltration. Water is stucco's natural enemy, but very easily spotted in most residential applications. If the stucco system has been applied properly, it will discolor when wet, but dry out with a consistent finish. Staining is a sign that somewhere the system has failed, and could be very costly to track down.

As mentioned above, the roof is the main problem with stucco or true adobe homes. They are often constructed with a a tar / single ply membrane system that is easily penetrated with minimal contact. Check the interior walls of the house carefully for any staining or warping of the gypsum or interior stucco.

True adobe homes are very rare in NM these days, but are amazing finds. I grew up in Southern NM in a true adaobe ranch style home, and we didn't have air conditioning. It worked that well. The climate is very dry which works amazingly well with the great tempature shifts that occur between day and night.
posted by Benway at 5:54 PM on March 22, 2006

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