New Construction Inspections
There are some home inspectors who will revisit a property when the groundworks are laid, and the footings are poured and then again when the framing starts to go up. It is our experience that this is when the local jurisdictions are at their most vigilant. We recommend only two inspections as part of the building process—a Predrywall Inspection later followed by a Presettlement Inspection.
The Predrywall Inspection is done typically within the last 24 hours of the time before the builder starts hanging drywall. This is the point when the roof is on, all the basic framing is finished, the pipes are in, heating and a/c ductwork is in place and electrical/cable/telephone wiring has been run. Windows and exterior doors are all in and operable and it’s time to put in the insulation and start the finish work. You should have two different Predrywall Inspections on a property: one with the builder and one with us. Each of us will go through the house with you looking at it from a different perspective and you need to know both perspectives. When we do our inspection we are looking at the house to see if it appears to meet current building standards of acceptability and structural integrity, as we understand them. When you do your inspection with the builder this is your final opportunity to do a blueprint check and make changes without having it cost you a lot of money. Look hard at the rooms, I know it’s hard because they look strange with no drywall, but if that’s where your computer is going to go do you have enough electrical capacity? Should there be a cable/telephone hook-up for Internet access? Did you need multiple phone lines for a fax machine also? Did you ask that the garage be 4’ longer than standard? Is it? Were you looking forward to a tray ceiling in the master bedroom? Is it framed for that? You’d better be sure…
Very little notice is given by the builder to tell us that a house is ready for a Predrywall. We understand that and accommodate it as well as we can but if too little notice is given it is possible that we will not be able to help you and the builder will not delay hanging drywall so it is to your benefit to monitor the process as closely as you can.
There are good reasons to have a professional inspection performed on the brand new home you are buying before you go to settlement.
Buying a new house is likely one of, if not, the largest purchase decisions you'll ever make. The whole process is fraught with emotion and stress. A professional home inspection will substantially reduce the risk for your large investment in a new home. It just makes sense to learn as much as you can about the quality of your new home, before signing off on everything and turning over the money.
Building a new home is a tremendously complex endeavor. It involves many people, usually split up into sub-contractor groups, each working on different parts and systems of the house. Even for the best builders, it's nearly impossible to complete this process without missing something. Maybe it's a plumbing fixture that didn't get tested for leaks, maybe it's an electrical box that isn't working, or any one of dozens of minor problems that can easily be overlooked in such a major undertaking. We will find such problems while it is still early enough for you to bring them up with the builder and have them corrected before you sign-off and start moving in.
For the relatively small cost, a professional inspection of your new dream home can pay big dividends in peace of mind and getting any problems identified and corrected before they can become an unpleasant surprise.