New Construction Inspections – Is A Home Inspection Really Needed?

crooked house cartoon
Common issues in the first year

Buyers of re-sale homes almost always have their homes inspected by a professional inspector. Buyers of new homes, however, often do not take this important step. There are several reasons for this:

  • The buyer is getting a brand new home, and thinks that the inspection is an unnecessary added cost.
  • The buyer feels that they are protected by the builder’s one-year warranty for workmanship, plus extended structural warranty.
  • In many cases, the home is inspected by city inspectors as a part of the permitting process.
  • Buyers believe that they can rely on the builder’s reputation.
  • The builder is resistant to idea of third party inspections.
  • Buyers are not aware that a home inspection is a recommended alternative.
  • The buyer plans to “keep an eye” on the construction.

If you think newly constructed homes are perfect look at our Hall of Shame

A Business Relationship

The construction of a home is a big project involving many contractors and suppliers. As the buyer and homeowner you are the financer and recipient of the final product. If you are like most people, this is your biggest investment. Understandably, most people want to establish a good rapport with their builder. They must rely on the builder throughout the job, and for warranty and service work after completion. They feel that they need the builder’s friendship and good will, and do not want to risk damaging the relationship.

You will need to come to terms with this in your own mind. Do not allow your anxiety about the construction process to obscure the fact that you have a business relationship with your builder. You are working together under a contract. It is possible to be cordial and respectful, while maintaining the right to bring up problems and concerns. It is best to establish the ground rules for your relationship at the beginning of the project. At some point, you may need to tell the builder that something is not acceptable to you.

There are three phased inspections that are done in new homes:

  1. Exterior wall and roof frame inspection
  2. Pre-drywall / inspection -this can be with or without insulation
  3. Final walk through inspection.- This occurs as close to closing as possible and is best done when all the work is complete.

Be aware that some builders have prevented home inspectors from inspecting newly built houses. If you are in the process of buying a new home and the builder does not allow you to bring a home inspector on site, this poses a couple of questions; “Why won’t the builder allow the home inspector on site?” What does the builder have to hide? Refusal to allow a home inspector on the property is legally questionable and ethically reprehensible. Any builder who does business in this manner is not likely to provide responsive service if problems develop after the close of escrow. You might view this circumstance as a welcome warning and reconsider the wisdom of doing business with these people. At this point you should be thinking hard about proceeding with the purchase and pondering “is this the kind of contractor you want to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with”?

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. Potential leverage is also gone as builders make there money “building” home not fixing problems

Even if the contractor you choose for building your house is known for quality work, the one following fact should motivate every new homebuyer to have a home inspection clause written into their contract to purchase.

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.

We Inspect new homes from: Portalis LLC Centex Homes Quadrant Home Polygon Northwest Wildwood Community Mietzner Group Cambria Homes LLC Forsaker Real Estate The Burnsteads Mosiac Landed Gentry Development Chaffey Homes

Warranty Inspections (prior to 1st anniversary)

Why have an inspection prior to the anniversary? Most builders only offer a comprehensive warranty for the first 12 months, thereafter warranty structural only. Having Pacific Crest Inspection’s conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all visible and accessible portions of the premises, including the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, the roof, built-in appliances, fireplace, general quality of materials and workmanship will help you document any issues that are covered under the builders warranty. Our inspector’s will definitely reveal problems that you may not know about. Call today!