The fact is, a new home buyer can greatly benefit from using a professional home inspector during the construction and completion of their new home. If an inspection has not been done, protect yourself by scheduling one before closing.
We are often asked; "Why does a newly constructed home need an inspection?" "Isn't a newly constructed home perfect and safe?"
FACT: The majority of construction tasks (foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are usually subcontracted out to the lowest bidder, with speed, not quality being an important consideration for the builder. With many separate activities going on at the same time, it's nearly impossible for the builder / contractor to personally monitor all phases of the home construction.
Some people assume that the builder and contractors are overseen by state or local government officials, and that the local town or city building inspector checks the house out. This is true to some degree, however, few if any municipal inspectors spend anywhere near enough time in the home to fully check it out. While many or most municipal inspectors try their best to inspect new homes to the best of their ability, factors beyond their control make it difficult or impossible to provide the most thorough inspections they would like. For each 8 hour shift a municipal code inspector may have 5 hours on the road. The other three hours is spent on the phone, setting up schedules, reviewing plans, dealing with mountains of paper work and other administrative tasks. If the inspector is given seven code inspections, plus three new home inspections to perform in one day (this scenario is not uncommon) how much time does he or she have at each job site? Further, there could be problems with the home that are not necessarily code violations, yet have serious consequences for the new home owner.
Now, more and more local banks and mortgage companies contract with a professional inspector for documented, Stage of Construction Inspections before they complete the final draw. They request the construction project have inspections at four different stages or phases.
- The first inspection covers the footings and foundation.
- The second inspection is the exterior wall and roof frame system.
- The third inspection is the open wall or pre-drywall/pre-insulation inspection.
These three inspections allow visualization of specific areas that cannot be seen later.
- The last inspection is the Walk-Thru Inspection which should be done before closing.
Stage of construction inspections give a much better chance of finding and correcting any missed items or errors, however, it should be noted that some builders prevent private home inspectors from conducting stage of construction inspections. If you are in the process of buying a new home and the builder does not allow you to bring a private home inspector on site, this is a RED FLAG, and should pose a couple of questions; "Why won't the builder allow the home inspector on site?" What does the builder have to hide? At this point you should be thinking hard about proceeding with the purchase of this home.
If a home buyer has missed the opportunity to have an inspection during the construction phase and final walk through, there may be time to come in afterwards. Most new builders offer a warranty period for the new homeowner, however, there are usually many items not covered by the warranty, as well as limitations on those that are.
Remember, it’s never too early to begin a New Home Inspection, and we can service all of your needs including;
- Stage of Construction Inspections
- Final Walk-Thru Inspections
- Builders Warranty Inspections
Prices vary widely on these inspections, so please call us for further information.