February 20, 2015 |
Why a home inspection is essential for new construction –
If you’re building a new home, a home inspection might not be on the top of your to-do list. But if you forego this inspection it could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here, we explain why a home inspection is one of the most important elements of new construction.
Why should I have a home inspection performed on a newly constructed home when the house is built to code and inspected and approved by the building department?
- Building codes themselves are the bare minimum required to make a home safe for occupancy.
- Municipal inspections usually only last 20-30 minutes, which is evidence that they are nowhere near as thorough as a private home inspection by Inspect, Inc. When you hire Inspect, you can expect us to perform an exhaustive inspection of your home and be on site for 2 hours or more depending on the size of the property being inspected.
- A building inspection looks at the completed project, but does not test the operation of the built-in fixtures and appliances attached to the utilities.
- The utilities are not turned on until all have been signed off by the municipal inspector. Therefore, these components – such as gas, water, and electricity – are not actually inspected for proper function by the building department. The best time to check the operation of these functional components is during a home inspection, after the utilities have been activated.
- The best time to inspect a newly constructed home is when it is brand new, while the builder’s warranty is still in effect.
Some of the items that Inspect, Inc. will examine, which are often bypassed in new-construction inspections:
- We examine the operational flow of water, and check for proper installation of plumbing fixtures and faucets. We look for loose or leaking connections. Faucets are turned on and drains are tested for leaks. These items are not covered by a municipal inspection.
- We inspect for gas leaks at piping and appliances.
- Check for the correct polarity, proper grounding, and operation of GFCI and AFCI faults in the electrical system.
- We inspect the function of all built-in appliances, including garbage disposals, dishwashers, ovens, ranges, cook tops, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and garage door openers – all of which are not examined by municipal inspectors.
- Enter attics and crawl spaces, checking for proper ventilation and insulation value.
- Walk on roof to check for the proper installation of shingles, flashings, vents, etc, check for any damaged or missing components, weather permitting.
- Check for proper operation and installation of the heating and cooling systems, operation of the water heater(s), and evaluation of fireplace(s).
We understand that all new homes have some defects, usually minor, but potentially costly. Having us perform a home inspection on your new home gives you the best opportunity to take advantage of the builder’s warranty as well as learn what to expect in the future as the home settles into its new foundation. By not having a professional home inspection you may be putting yourself at risk for underlying problems that surface in the future.