Highlights from our home inspections and news you can use as you buy or sell a home.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Do I need an inspection for new construction homes?
In short, YES!
With the amount of new construction going on in this area, an inspection on new construction is critical. First and foremost, outside of the major cities, there isn’t any code enforcement. In other words, the city or county doesn’t inspect the builders work. Some builders will hire their own inspectors to check up on their work, but this is really not sufficient. I have seen these inspectors on site, and to be honest, I was not impressed. They work for the builder, and therefore, are beholden to them. Some have even outright lied and tried to tell buyers that the city inspected it, when they are outside city limits.
Most new construction contracts allow for 2-3 inspections throughout the building process. The most common are pre-drywall and pre-closing (or final) inspection. Some will also allow for slab inspections. Make sure you get an inspector in at every opportunity, as we always find issues. If you are presented with a contract that limits inspections to less than these, don’t sign it. Also, beware of clauses that may restrict the inspector. One large builder recently tried to prevent inspectors from things like inspecting the roof, opening the electric panel, and running appliances. I think they were publicly shamed into changing their stance on that though (but if you get something like this, let me know). Also, make sure you can pick your inspector. Some will try to steer you to the blind inspector that never finds anything major. We’ve had a couple builders try to blacklist us because we found too much, but thankfully (for our customers) they didn’t succeed.
So, what do we find on new construction? Just over the last few months we’ve found issues with just about every major component. Missing rebar in the foundation, damaged and improperly installed roofs, framing deficiencies, improper gas lines, electrical issues galore, heat registers that weren’t hooked up, plumbing leaks too numerous to count, missing insulation, and dangerous decks.
Another inspection that people are starting to get more frequently, is the 11-month warranty inspection. Almost every new home comes with a 1-year warranty. Make sure you get an inspection at the 11 month mark, so that we can not only find hidden issues that may have popped up, but we can also document that they were there before the warranty expired.
We know that you are spending a lot of money for your new home, and an inspection is just one more expense. I can honestly say though, that we have never found less in needed repairs than our fee. We do offer discounted packages for more than one inspection on a new construction house.
To schedule your new construction home inspection, call 210-202-1974 or visit www.vhillc.com to schedule online.