When to Have New Construction Inspected

When to Have New Construction Inspected

It’s important for home buyers building a new home to have it inspected at various phases throughout the building process, but especially at closing. Many home buyers instill a lot of faith and trust into the builder and local codes department to ensure that their new home is safe and sound; however, new build homes are at as much risk of faults as pre-existing homes. When it comes to such a large financial investment, it’s never a bad thing to be overly cautious.

When inspecting new construction homes, we find plumbing leaks, electrical wiring issues, sewer issues, missing insulation, missing roof flashing, poor caulking, and improperly installed fixtures.  All these issues can go undetected or be inadvertently ignored for years by the homeowner, which creates a more hazardous and expensive problem. Addressing these issues early is essential for preserving the life of the home and protecting the wellness of the family who resides within its walls.

That’s why we highly recommend getting a Pre-Drywall Inspection, New Construction Inspection, and One-Year Warranty Inspection. Each inspection serves a unique purpose, and all three services are vital in minimizing these key issues that are commonly found in newly built homes.

Paul Lopez of Property Sourced  suggests:

"A Pre-Drywall Inspection is conducted during the building process. Depending on the current stage of construction, the inspector assesses all the key components present in the home including the rough in electrical, plumbing, and HVAC along with the foundation, framing and insulation before the drywall is installed. Home buyers should not overlook this inspection because once the drywall goes up, issues that are hidden behind walls are harder to identify and much more costly to fix."

Once the home is ready to move in, a New Construction Inspection is a home buyer’s next play. This inspection is similar to a standard Full Home Inspection but focuses on some of the main concerns new construction homes present.

Just like they would when buying a pre-existing home, buyers should opt for an inspection before moving into their newly built home. The builder is motivated to fix any issues found before closing to keep the sale going forward. Once you move in, it becomes a lot harder to get issues with the home addressed. This inspection also equips new homeowners with insightful information into their home, such as where their mechanical systems are located, where all their utility shut offs can be accessed, and how to perform common maintenance tasks for these systems, and what signs to keep an eye out for.

George Gaves, WIN Home Inspection, Ann Arbor, MI offers this advice:

"While we focus on the functional and safety aspects of a home during these inspections, we look at virtually every aspect of the home. Aesthetic anomalies that home inspectors typically do not report on can be an indication that larger new construction issues are possible.  New construction buyers can mark drywall and paint imperfections that the builder will happily fix, but sometimes those cracks and imperfections are a symptom of a larger structural issue."

Finally, buyers should take advantage of a One-Year Warranty Inspection. Most builders offer a one-year warranty, which typically covers key areas of the home. It normally does not cover cosmetic issues, issues caused by the homeowner, or issues that arise after the one-year mark. What’s great about a One-Year Warranty Inspection, conducted 10 to 11 months after closing on the home, is that most issues found are addressed by the builder at no cost to the homeowner.

A few other key considerations for home buyers going through the building process:

  • Visit your home frequently to reduce issues arising during various stages of the building process. If you notice something that looks or seems “off”, don’t be afraid to ask questions with the builder and consider getting an unbiased opinion, like that provided from a home inspector.
  • Talk with your neighbors to learn if they faced any issues with the structure or systems of their home. If you’re using the same builder as them, this can help you do your due diligence to ensure your home is being built safely.
  • Don’t assume that since your home is new it’s immune to issues commonly reported with pre-existing homes. A new construction inspection is just as important as a standard home inspection.

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