New Home Construction Inspection
New Home Phase Inspections are an invaluable service for anyone who is looking to have a reliable and nonbiased professional opinion regarding the quality and installation practices being utilized in their new home during the building process.
Most builders welcome the opportunity to have their homes inspected by a private home inspector – it’s a chance for construction errors to be addressed before they become major problems. It doesn’t matter how thorough the municipal inspector is – mistakes are still missed. Both of our inspectors are Virginia New Residential Structure (NRS) Certified Home Inspectors, State Licensed, Insured and under Virginia Law are able to provide the following services during your new home construction:
New Home Foundation Inspection
Your home can only be as good as the foundation that it sits on. The foundation of your home, or any building for that matter, is by far the highest priority when it comes to your home due to the fact that if your foundation isn’t adequately constructed, your home will not be either.
Call to discuss when to schedule your foundation inspection as there are multiple types of foundations that homeowners and builders can choose from (slab, crawlspace, basement, permanent wood foundations, concrete masonry units, insulated concrete forms, etc.), with different components, and different time tables / phases which need to be inspected.
Typically, our inspectors will schedule the New Home Foundation Inspection after the footers have been installed, block wall built, and all metal, pipe casings &/or liners have been put into place, but before pouring the concrete flooring.
New Home Pre-Drywall Inspection
Sometimes referred to as the “Framing Inspection” or “Pre-Cover Inspection”, the Pre-Drywall Inspection should be done prior to the insulation being installed, but not before the homebuilder’s trades (i.e. HVAC, plumber, electrician, etc) have completed their “Rough-In” work. This ensures that the framing is exposed to view so our inspector can see all the different types of construction techniques used to build your new home.
According to Realtor.com, while county building inspectors are to ensure that construction on a new home is “up to snuff . . but that doesn’t always happen in reality. County inspectors work for the municipality and make sure new construction lives up to a minimum building code—repeat, minimum—plus these public servants don’t work for you. And unless you’re a general contractor or know nailed drywall as opposed to screwed, well, you just might be screwed yourself.”
One important thing we would like to point out is the importance of letting your builder know as far in advance as possible that you will be bringing in your own inspector for the pre-drywall. The value of this is that someone will be looking over their work. This can possibly yield a better managed project & subsequently a better built home. Be sure to inform the builder that you would like your inspection scheduled to be pre-insulation as described above. This will also let the builder give you their policy concerning home inspectors & inspections.
An example of items our inspector will be looking for are:
- excessively warped framing – missing hardware
- headers &/or beams shimmed – crowning of floor joists
- sill plate properly seated – ducts & pipes properly secured
- ducts & pipes properly secured – waterproofing measures utilized
- wiring & holes wire passing through
- nail protector plates for wiring & pipes, etc.
Your inspector can prepare a list for the builder to review & correct as necessary. This is valuable for all parties as many times things are caught and save the builder a great deal more expense to remedy at this stage of construction.
New Home Final Inspection
Prior to closing on the home, you will have a Final Walk Through Inspection with the builder so that you can compile a punch-list of items that your builder will correct prior to settlement. In addition to blue tap, one of the most important tools at your disposal prior to closing is using &/or adding a “a home inspection contingency to your sales contract and hire an inspector to review the property before closing” (Realtor.com).
Our inspectors approach this inspection with the assumption that nothing is working until we can prove it, looking at everything (all systems are checked, including structure, exterior, roof, floors, ceilings, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, appliances etc.) and as well as possible workmanship issues.
Examples of deficiencies include:
- Missing air seals;
- cut trusses;
- missing roof insulation &/or vents;
- inadequately sealed window & stucco details;
- poorly installed vinyl soffits, fascia’s & eave drip;
- air conditioning duct leakage;
- poorly installed stucco/siding;
- poor yard drainage;
- uncut roof vent openings;
- improper circuit breaker protection;
- mismatched circuit breakers; &,
- improperly wired switches/receptacles. . .
. . . To Mention A Few.
New Home 11 Month (Warranty) Inspection
In addition to the cosmetic issues, this type of inspection can shed light on many defects normally found during the 1st year of home ownership. There are many factors in how a house settles in its 1st – 5th year of existence, with common problems resulting from just plain old shrinkage of building materials after installation.
Most builders do a very good job in most cases accounting for the weather, timing, working in adverse conditions, etc. However, having a third party examine the quality of workmanship, material, proper installations as well as performance of all components inside & outside of the home as per industry standards & manufacturer(s) specifications, is another tool in your homeowner’s toolbox.
Lee Taylor, Realtor in Decatur, GA, recommends getting this inspection, if only to ensure that your able to assemble a detailed punch-out list to present to your builder prior to the end of your “craftsmanship” warranty to have repaired prior to its end.