Home Inspections Play a Pivotal Role in New-Home Construction

Client’s often ask if a real estate professional is needed when building a new home. The answer is “yes” because the real estate professional will look out for the client’s interests before and during the building process. Client’s also ask if a home inspector is needed when building a new home. The answer to that question is also “yes” and your clients should make sure that a home inspection contingency is written into their offer.

A home inspector will perform several Phase Inspections during the building process and ensure that your client’s dream home has been thoroughly inspected. With a new construction home, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends that you have two or three inspections of the property during the building process. Most often, an inspection is performed before the foundation is poured, after the framing has been built and before the final walk through.

What type of inspections are needed during the home construction process?

Pre-pour Inspection:

During this phase, the inspector will physically and visually inspect the foundation and verify compliance with the engineered drawings, review the proper placement, support, sizing and spacing of graded rebar and ensure that it is supported using proper beam depth, width and placement. The vapor/moisture barrier placement will also be checked.

Framing Inspection:

During the framing inspection, the inspector will physically and visually verify compliance with building standards or, if applicable, an engineered design. Specifically, the inspector will ensure proper door and window egress placement, framing members are properly attached, spaced, graded and aligned, and that joints are not stressed and are fastened with the proper materials. Additionally, the plumbing, electrical wiring and duct installations along with the roof structure and roof surface will be inspected.

Final Inspection:

The final inspection is like a standard home inspection and will include all appliances, doors and windows, the exterior of the home, the roof and attic, plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems. This phase will prepare you for the final walk-through with your home builder.

Why does someone need an inspection when building a new home?

These inspections assist in monitoring the building process by providing an unbiased, third-party evaluation of construction. Skilled home inspectors from a respected national brand like HomeTeam Inspection Service will inspect the important structural and mechanical components of the home, before they are covered in concrete and drywall. Not only will the report include areas of concern, but it will also introduce you to your new home’s features and systems. Occasionally, significant problems are uncovered that can save the homebuyer and builder thousands of dollars in costly repairs.

Common issues found in newly constructed homes are:

• Incorrect installation of the roof shingles, which may cause water penetration.
• The mechanical room or space being built too small so it cannot adequately fit all the appliances, including the furnace, water heater, pressure tank, etc.
• The home is not correctly insulated, which may cause the removal of finished walls and ceilings to add insulation. This can be especially true in some inaccessible sections of the roof.
• The siding of the house is improperly installed and needs to be replaced.
• Improperly installed electrical systems such as open grounds, missing switch plates and poorly installed wiring and electrical panels.
• Crawl space ventilation is not installed, resulting in water from condensation to build up and cause mold or moisture damage.
• Improper insulation around recessed lighting, which may cause air leaks and heat loss.
• Drainage and grading issues, which could cause water intrusion and future structural damage.
• Structural issues, such as a damaged roof truss system or an unusual floor frame configuration, which may require structural engineers to be called in to evaluate.

Adam Long is the President at HomeTeam Inspection Service. For more information, please visit www.hometeam.com.