New Construction - Is A Home Inspection
Homebuyers of newly constructed homes may not be aware they may
have an inspection clause included with their new home contract.
Fact is, a new homebuyer can greatly benefit from using a
professional home inspector during the construction and completion
of their new home.
The picture to the right was taken at a new house. This is the
chimney flue pipe which was left uncompleted and the top of the
chimney enclosure was sealed. If this defect was not found a
serious or deadly situation would likely have occurred. (Photo by Bill Loden of Insight Professional
Many people ask; "Why does a newly constructed home need an
inspection?" "Isn't a newly constructed home perfect and safe?"
Some people assume that the builder and contractors are overseen by
state or local government officials and that the local town or city
building inspector checks the house out. This is true to some
degree, however, few if any municipal inspectors spend anywhere
near enough time in the home to fully check it out. Further, there
could be problems with the home that are not necessarily code
violations, yet have serious consequences for the new home owner.
Ask any private home inspector about the deficiencies and safety
issues discovered in newly constructed homes.
The photo to the left shows a plumber's "craftsmanship." In the
process of soldering the water pipe, the plumber melted a hole in
the PVC drain line and fused the water pipe to it. (Photo by Bill Loden of Insight Professional
If the buyer of a newly constructed home takes advantage of the
inspection clause, the first line of defense is the exterior wall
and roof frame inspection followed by the open wall or pre-drywall
/ pre-insulation inspection which would be followed by the final
walk through inspection. Be aware that some builders have prevented
private 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 private 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? At this
point you should be thinking hard about proceeding with the
purchase and you should also be consulting with your
The photo to the right shows a roof rafter cut / damaged by a
carpenter so that the attic door could swing open, one of the roof
stud supports was also cut off. (Photo
by Travis Grubbs of All American Home Inspection, Inc.)
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
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
The two photos below are different corners of the same GA house, a
steel re-bar was used to check the foundation depth. Building Code
requires that footings (in GA) be a minimum of 12" below grade with
8" above grade. That's a total of 20", this slab was 8" thick at
its thickest point. This house was inspected when NEW...(about 18
months ago.) Slab has since cracked severely across garage and at
rear corner of kitchen.
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