New Construction Inspections
We offer 3 types of inspections for Home Buyers buying new construction:
Pre-Drywall Inspections, New Construction Inspections, and 1-Year Builder’s Warranty Inspections
The Pre-Drywall Inspection is conducted prior to the Builder installing drywall and insulation. This enables us to look at the structure prior to it getting covered over. We are able to easier identify load points and visually see how the structure carries itself. If there are structural issues with the foundation, beams, Engineered I-joists, Engineered floor trusses, traditional lumber joists, exterior walls, fire wall, attic rafters & bracing, truss rafters, hurricane strapping or ties, etc., then we are able to bring those issues to light during the build process so the Builder can address them before it’s too late. We can look at the rough-ins for the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC and identify any issues to be easily corrected before the drywall goes in. During the pre-drywall, inspection, the roof has been installed so we are able to inspect the roof looking for any installation errors. We can find over driven nails a lot easier if the shingles were freshly installed vs waiting until just before closing when the shingles have fully adhered. Many times, the concrete has been poured for the driveway, sidewalks, steps, stoops, patio, garage floor, and basement floor. This allows us to make sure the concrete slopes properly and that mistakes weren’t made. Because the sod hasn’t been installed, we can usually see the sides of the concrete flat work to determine if it’s the proper thickness. You’ll be amazed how many times the concrete slopes towards the house, has improper expansion joints, the steps aren’t uniform, the driveway or sidewalk is too thin, or the concrete floor in the garage fails to slope towards the floor drain. Finding these issues up front gives the Builder plenty of time to have the sub-contractor return to fix the mistakes.
New Construction Inspection
The New Construction Inspection is a whole house inspection conducted typically a few days to a week prior to close. You’ll want to work with the Builder to determine the best day for this inspection. They have a flood of sub-contractors racing to finish the build in the final days and it doesn’t work out to have your home inspection before the toilets, faucets, fixtures, appliances, or cabinets are installed. The best time to have your New Construction Inspection is typically the day before or the day of your Builder Walk Through. When only cosmetic paint touch-ups and cleaning are left to be done, that’s the perfect time to do the Home Inspection. There’s nothing worse than showing up to perform your Home Inspection to an unfinished product. We’ve had plenty times where we’ve shown up, canceled the inspection, and returned weeks later when the Builder was actually ready. There are unforeseen delays with the weather, shipping, lack of available subs, etc. Work with your Builder and we’ll show up when they are ready.
The New Construction Inspection is designed to have a trained, unbiased 3rd party inspect the various components and test systems of the home. If we find issues, we bring them to light documenting them in a detailed, custom inspection report complete with photographs. This report is intended to be shared with the Builder so they can correct any issues prior to closing. Most issues found are mistakes by sub-contractors that the Builder may not have been aware of or was so busy that they didn’t have time to find yet. The New Construction Inspection should be seen as a form of checks-n-balances for the build process.
The New Construction Inspection is similar to having the Code Inspections conducted, but more in-depth and more time-consuming…keeping in mind that we are not performing Code Inspections. We are not citing code and are not there to red tag items like the Code Enforcement Officers are. When a Builder claims everything has passed code, they are stating that the Code Enforcement Officers have passed all of the phase inspections and have issued the Certificate of Occupancy. Any red tag items that were found by the Code Enforcement Officers have been corrected and they now passed. Meeting code is the equivalent of you getting a D in grade school. It’s the bare minimum standard to build a house by. There are numerous items the Code Enforcement Officers don’t even look at and in all fairness, those guys are banging out around 30 inspections per day. There’s no way they can find everything. Check out our New Construction Photo Gallery to better understand what we find after the house has “passed code.”
Once the New Construction Inspection has been conducted, you typically will share the inspection report with the Builder and await their response. As with every profession, there are good Builders and not-so-good Builders. How they handle issues found during the Home Inspection reflects how good they are. A reputable Builder will simply call the sub-contractors and have the items corrected. If they don’t agree with some of our findings, hear them out, then give us a call to discuss. We’ve had legit reasons a Builder can’t make changes or corrections and once explained, then it could be ok. That’s not the case most times though and you may need to hire an attorney to force items to be corrected if relations go south with your Builder. We always hope the Build process is smooth and simple, but remember, we are there to help you through the process so you can move into your dream home without Builder/Sub-Contractor mistakes.
Home Buyers that have the Home Inspection conducted after closing are at the mercy of the Builder to address any issues we find if and when they feel like it. Having the Home Inspection done before closing can make the issues contractual…meaning the Builder will be forced to fix them because it’s a legally binding contract. Remember, the Home Inspection is for your protection.
1-Year Builder's Warranty Inspection
The 1-year Builder’s Warranty Inspection is typically a whole house inspection conducted around the 11th month after you close on your new construction home. This is the last chance you have to identify any issues with your home to bring them to the Builder to have them addressed before they are no longer obligated to correct anything…with exception to structural issues that are typically a 10 year warranty. This inspection is usually conducted for Homeowners that did not have a New Construction Inspection prior to closing or for Homeowners that are seeing issues with their house and want a detailed & itemized list of the issues to present to their Builder before the deadline runs out.
The main electric panel had water dripping off of it onto an outlet below on this new home. During this recent cold weather, moisture from inside the house was freezing to the top corner of the panel cover, then melting down. The top corner was freezing because the Builder forgot to insulate the raceway where the main service entrance cables ran through the foundation into the panel. A large volume of cold air was just blowing right through.
The entire N side of the attic was soaked and dripping from eave to peak as the frost melted off this new construction home. The homeowners had lived there 2 months and were already seeing paint bubble in the room below from water running down the walls. The Builder forgot to install soffit vents at the eaves to match up with the baffles that were installed.
Explosion hazard: This CSST (corrugated stainless steel tubing) gas line is not bonded on this new construction home. If the house were to be struck by lightning, then there is a risk of the CSST gas line bursting potentially leading to a fire or an explosion. The gas line wasn’t bonded where it came into the home, at the manifold, or anywhere else on the line across the entire basement. The sheathing was also trimmed up too far and now needs the exposed stainless steel tubing to be wrapped with Silicone tape.
This new acreage has a long 1-car wide concrete driveway. The Concrete Contractor failed to install expansion joints out at the concrete street, where the front entry sidewalk joints into it, at 1/3 intervals up the length of the driveway, in front of the front entry steps, and where the driveway widens in front of the garage. As the freeze-thaw cycles happen, this concrete will be highly prone to cracking without those joints to absorb the movement.
New construction being sold without garage doors because the Builder can’t get any in due to the supply chain backlog. Some Builders are delaying closing until the garage doors arrive.