Many buyers skip a home inspection with a new build because there is municipal or county building inspections at most phases of construction. For example, municipal inspections will occur when the foundation is completed, when the framing is done, and when the electrical systems and plumbing are roughed in. These early construction phases are all essential points where an inspection should be conducted.
There may also be a drywall inspection when the plastering is completed. Municipal inspectors will also come back when the electrical and plumbing is finished. The inspectors ensure that local building codes are followed.
Unlike municipal inspectors, professional certified home inspectors are trained to look for anomalies such as missing electrical outlets on a wall that may have been covered over with sheet rock or missing roof vents.
All of us are human including inspectors and builders. Even if your builder is trying to make sure your new home is flawless, mistakes can and will happen. Also, your builder will likely subcontract some of the work to other vendors. The work of these subcontractors isn’t necessarily going to be to the standards expected with new construction, and mistakes or errors can be challenging to spot after walls, ceilings, and floors are closed in.
Many times, contractors rush to meet deadlines which can create problems because of unfinished work. Perhaps they need to move on to another job and are hurrying to complete your home. But whatever the reason, deficiencies need to be found so that they don’t become your responsibility after you close on your new home.
When preparing a home inspection report for a newly constructed home, we include deficiencies in the following areas:
· A punch list for builders to perform touch-up painting.
· Things missed in the building process, like missing insulation.
· Damage to the siding or exterior walls. Dents in the vinyl siding or garage doors.
· Insufficient drainage that could cause water damage.
· Cracking concrete.
· Improperly installed plumbing.
· HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system installation.
· Undetected natural or propane gas leaks.
· Proper installation of water heater.
· Installation of roof materials, vents, and flashing.
· Roof truss and rafter installation.
· Construction debris in the ducts, drains, sinks, and traps.
· Cracks in the drywall, nail pops, and water stains that need to be repaired.
· Electrical outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures.
· Electrical service entry, panel, meter, and breakers.
· Floor installation, carpet, wood, vinyl, and ceramic tile.
· Check appliances for appliances for proper installation and function.
· Proper function and installation of doors and windows.
· Decks, porches, and railings for proper installation and function.
· Countertops chips, cracks, and proper installation.
· Kitchen and bathroom cabinets, chips, pulls, and hinges.
These are just some potential problems a Home Inspector could uncover during a new home inspection. Though the downside to a home inspection is the cost at a time when your finances are unlikely to be in the best shape, not having a home inspection could end up costing you more.
Even if you have a warranty from the builder, it will be better to get these things taken care of before closing. This will prevent these problems from gradually causing unnecessary damage to the home. You could put your faith in your warranty, but then you’ll have to hope that the damage is fully covered under the terms of the contract. You will also have the hassle of dealing with getting quotes and the inconvenience of contractors on your property. This could create safety and privacy concerns if it happens when you live in the home. Better to deal with these issues before closing on your new home.
John Schuler, Certified Home Inspector
J & H Home Inspections, LLC