What is a Warranty Inspection?
February 10, 2023
An 11-month Warranty Inspection is completed on a newly constructed home just before the builder’s warranty expires. This inspection is critical to finding defects in the home that might have happened before you closed on the home or over the past 11 months. Sometimes not all defects are identifiable until after the home is occupied.
Common Defects identified during this inspection include:
• Improper Roof Vent Installation. • Cracked/Damaged Shingles/ missing shingles. • Kitchen and bath vents that are not vented to the outdoors. • Missing Insulation • Leaking Plumbing • Loose Toilets • Missing Grout • Loose siding • Improper Flashing around window and door openings. • Cabinet Damage • Appliance Damage • Poor drainage • And the list goes on….
What do we review and inspect during a Warranty Inspection: Exterior
• Examine around all windows, doors, and other penetrations for proper paint/caulk and flashing. Check window weep holes to make sure they are not plugged. • Check siding for proper installation, and damage. • Check for damaged soffits and make sure there are no gaps/cracks as this allows for pest intrusion. • Check plumbing fixtures and electrical equipment/outlets. • Check around the foundation for proper grading. Ensure grading is sloped away from home. Check for signs of flooding/ponding. • Check “Mulch” It should not be in contact with the home. Leave a 6-8-inch gap between mulch, rocks, or grass. • Check for loose/missing/damaged shingles on the roof, inspect vents and other roof penetrations for flashing, and drip edge for damage. • Check GFI outlets for functionality. • Check the driveway and walkways.
Garage • Check for proper operation of the garage door opener and that it reverses when hit with resistance and if something is in front of the sensor. • Check the garage door for proper alignment. • Check for water staining, and damaged walls/ceilings. • Check GFI outlets for functionality or if they are missing. Interior • Inspect walls, windows, outlets, floors, and ceilings for damage and functionality. I Like to start the interior inspection in the room furthest from the entry door. • Check flooring for level and proper installation. • Inspect cabinets for damage and functionality. • Inspect appliances for damage and functionality. • Check light switches as you enter rooms. Check power outlets for damage and functionality. • Check ceiling fans.
Bathrooms & Kitchens • Check tub and sinks for drainage and proper installation. • Check hot water temperature at all fixtures. (Should not exceed 120 Degrees Fahrenheit) • Check underneath sinks for leaks. • Check toilets to make sure there are no leaks internally or externally. Check to make sure the toilet is secured to the floor. • Check bathroom fans/vents. • Check tiles/grout for cracks/damage. Small cracks can let a lot of moisture in over time. • Check for GFCI outlets in both kitchen and bathrooms for proper functionality.
Heating and Airconditioning Equipment and Appliances • Take air temperature at all Supply and return registers. • Check for properly installed drain pans and float switches for proper operation. • Check for damaged or improperly installed ductwork. • Check for the proper functionality of the thermostat.
Hot Water Heater
• Check the water heater for proper installation and for leaks. • Check for proper installation of a TPR valve and drain. • Check for expansion devices. • Check for proper venting, piping, drip leg, and shut-off valve (Gas)
Electrical • Remove the Panel Cover and check for proper grounding and bonding. • Check all CFCI breakers for proper functionality. • Check all AFCI Breakers for proper functionality. • CFCI outlets should be installed in all bathrooms, garages, kitchens, basements, and exterior locations. • AFCI breakers should cover all bedroom areas.
Plumbing • Check for proper water pressure at the hose bib, with minimum and a maximum pressure of 40-60 pounds. • Check supply and drain lines for proper installation and leaks. • Check water volume at all faucets, bathtubs, and showers.
Attic • Check for damaged trusses and any onsite alterations, such as nailing/scissoring boards together. On-site alterations need to be approved by a certified engineer. • Check for insulation in all areas. • Check for proper ventilation. • Check to see if all interior vents are properly vented to the outside. • Check for water stains and roof leaks.
Basement/ Crawl Space • Check for moisture intrusion. • Check for vapor retarders. • Check for vent openings around the exterior walls. • Check for pest and pest damage. • Check drainage piping for proper pitch. • Check water supply lines. • Check all electrical components. • Check sump pump operation.
Buying a new home can be a thrilling and terrifying adventure. During the process, you’ll need to address dozens of details regarding your new abode, including potential problems with the foundation, structure, appliances, fixtures, electricity, plumbing, and more. But, thankfully, there’s a simple and effective solution to ensure your new dwelling doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare by getting a home inspection.
We recommend that a new home be inspected at least twice before closing, a pre-drywall and siding inspection, and a full house inspection a few days prior to closing. In addition, a warranty inspection should be done prior to the builder’s warranty expiration, and then an annual inspection thereafter to help you keep your home well-maintained.
By John Schuler, Certified Home Inspector
J & H Home Inspections john@jhhomeinsp