“Should I hire a home inspector for new construction?”
It’s not the most common question property owners ask, but it should be.
Many people who build new homes don’t even think about hiring a home inspector. And many of the rest find themselves asking, “should you hire a home inspector for new construction?”
After all, it’s brand new. Maybe you were even directly involved in the construction process. You know what’s there, right? What could go wrong?
Well, let’s just say “welcome to real life.” You might be surprised how many brand new homes show up with issues. Even major, costly ones.
Hiring a home inspector before you buy a home is a no-brainer. It makes sense to want first-hand knowledge of any issues that might be wrong with the old house. In this blog, we explore exactly why hiring a home inspector for new construction is a good idea.
Reasons You Should Hire A Home Inspector For New Construction
1. New Homes Are Not Perfect
One reason you should hire a home inspector for new construction is that new homes are not perfect.
New homes may not have issues from wear and age like older homes. But they may still have problems due to neglect or human error. If you’re not aware of these issues right away, they can cause severe problems in the future.
2. Not All Houses Are Built To The Highest Standard
This could be due to several reasons.
Sometimes the builder may not be very experienced. Other times, he may be trying to cut corners. It happens more often than you even want to know.
Also, builders often outsource parts of the building to other contractors. These contractors’ skill and competence can affect the overall standard of the property.
Lastly, some builders only stick to the barest of building codes. While it may be good enough to pass municipality inspection, they might overlook some basic yet vital aspects while building.
New home building inspections make it easier to hold the builder responsible for their errors. Using a home inspector takes the pressure off of you if there is an issue. You don’t have to be the “bad guy.” Let the home inspector play that role, so you can preserve your good relationship with your contractor and work any issues out together.
New construction home inspection also makes any builder’s errors easier to correct since the builder is still on hand.
3. Human Error Is Always A Factor
Humans are prone to errors. Even the most skilled builders make mistakes.
These errors can be caused by tight deadlines, unexpected distractions, or fatigue.
New home inspections allow you to spot and fix these errors before they escalate.
Common Faults Found In New Houses
Some issues you might find when you hire a home inspector for new construction include:
- Damaged or improperly applied siding. The exterior walls or siding could crack or swell because of moisture.
- Cracking concrete. Concrete not mixed in the right proportion will crack with time.
- Improperly installed heating and cooling systems. Heating systems that aren’t correctly installed can develop more issues over time.
- Damaged walls and scratched floors. This is caused by moving heavy equipment around the house. It also occurs while the contractors are fixing appliances.
- Faulty plumbing systems. There might be problems with the plumbing system. For example, the hot and cold water faucets could get mixed up.
- Improper grading and drainage. Faulty drainage or improper grading causes water damage and cracks in the foundation.
- Some parts of the home might not be properly painted. This is common in areas/rooms that aren’t used or seen often, e.g., the utility room, basement, or closets.
- Gaps in the wood flooring. Gaps are caused by improper flooring installation. Rushing the installation process can also be a factor.
- Poorly fitted windows and doors. Poorly fitted windows will lead to drafts. A poorly fitted door will have gaps and might be unable to close.
- Incorrectly installed appliances. Appliances that are not well installed will develop faults over time.
- Incomplete construction. Incomplete construction, such as missing insulation or incompleted tiling, are common faults in new homes.
- Nail pops. Shrinking wood over time causes popping nails.
- Leaking pipes. Surprisingly, this is a common defect found in new homes.
When Should You Schedule Your New Home Building Inspection?
New home inspections can be carried out at any point. However, it’s best if you carry it out at least twice: just before the drywall goes up, and right after the house is completed.
As an extra precaution, you can also inspect it before the builders pour the foundation.
These three points are critical parts of the building process. Mistakes that are not detected here might be hard to correct afterward.
New Home Construction Phase Inspections
The foundation inspection is also called the pre-pour inspection. Here the inspector will check that the site has been excavated and graded correctly. He will also confirm that the anchors and footing are properly arranged.
This inspection usually takes place before the foundation is poured. Once the foundation is poured, mistakes with the grading, excavation, footing, and anchors can not be corrected.
Framing, Pre-drywall, Or Sheetrock Inspection
This phase of a new home inspection is mainly concerned with the property’s structural components, e.g., studs and beams.
It usually happens before the walls go up. By this time, the roofs and windows ought to have been installed.
The inspector will check the plumbing, window glazing, wiring, and other components that will be invisible once the walls go up.
The final inspection is the last walk-through before closing.
It’s often best to delay this inspection as much as possible. If possible, you should wait until the city has done its approval before going in for your inspection.
Here the inspector will be looking for any indication that the property isn’t safe.
Is a Home Inspection for New Construction the Same as a Code Inspection?
Please note that there is a difference between a home inspector and a code inspector.
Building code inspection is a specialized job that is performed by a professional code inspector. Most code inspectors are city or county employees. Their job is to ensure that the new construction is finished according to the local code and building standards.
As part of the building permitting process, a code inspector is required to put their stamp of approval on all the major systems of your home. These include foundation, plumbing, electrical, septic, and the engineering of your building structure.
So why would you hire a home inspector for new construction if you know the code inspector is going to go through your house anyway?
The answer is simple: there is a LOT that can go wrong in a home that falls outside the scope of code. Most if not all of the common faults listed above can pass undetected in a typical code inspection. We recommend having your new construction home inspector go through the house from top to bottom AFTER your code inspector has approved the building. That way, you’ll have all your bases covered.
Hiring a home inspector for new construction may not be as compulsory as hiring one for an old home.
Some homeowners may see it as an added expense. Some even consider it unnecessary at a time when they might have already stretched their budget.
However, skipping a home inspection means it may be very difficult to hold the builders responsible for any mistakes made in the construction process that show up down the line.
Whatever unknown issues crop up will be your cross to bear, financially and otherwise.
A home inspector for new construction can spot defects that might be invisible to untrained eyes. Hiring a new construction inspector will save you the trouble of costly repairs later on.
Is your new construction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?
Then save yourself from future complications by contacting InterNACHI certified home inspector Rich Beasley or scheduling your new construction inspection online today.
It might cost an extra penny, but it will save you tons of cash in the long run.
Remember, hiring a home inspector for new construction is an investment, not an expense!