New Construction Inspection
Why would someone need a home
inspection when the home is brand new?
What is a New Home Deficiency List?
The Home Inspection Report for a new home differs somewhat from that
of a standard inspection. If there are items which need to be repaired
or completed, a list is compiled and passed on to the builder.
A new home has none of the lived-in wear and tear that we expect to see in an
There is no disclosure declaration from the seller, because the home has
not been lived in. The new home is being sold not as-is, but
The expectation is for the new home to be complete and
cosmetically perfect, something you can proudly show to friends and family.
The new home should certainly meet or exceed the minimum building standards.
Home inspectors need to be well informed as to the latest changes in
standards, to insure that the buyer is getting the full benefits of new home
ownership. With new materials being developed and changing construction
techniques, education and a good grasp of building science is essential.
What does the New Construction Home Inspection cover?
The inspection covers all the major systems of the home in the same
way that a normal home inspection would be conducted.
On the roof, I will check shingle exposure and look for loose, poorly
nailed shingles and incorrect flashings techniques. Overhang at the eaves and
gutters should be correct and all shingle work should be to the standards
specified by the manufacturer.
Siding is inspected for exposed nails, poor butt joints, missing or
unpainted trim and exposed nails. Windows and door flashings are inspected
Hairline or small cracks are normal for concrete work, but there is a point
where a concrete crack becomes an indicator of a larger problem with the
foundation. An experienced home inspector can determine if further diagnosis
Retaining walls can be a major source of trouble if shortcuts were
taken during construction. A home inspection is limited to what is visible at
the time, but an experienced eye can pick up details that indicate there may be
trouble below the surface.
Inside the home, the garage door opener is operated and the
auto-reverse function is checked. The water heater specifics are recorded
and all visible plumbing is checked for leaks or crossed connections.
Plumbing vents are sometimes found to be incomplete or missing. Without good
venting, the drain may work, but there will be future problems with clogging
I will remove the cover from the electrical panel and inspect the
installation for incorrect wire sizing, equipment bonding, service grounding and
general workmanship. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and arc fault
interrupter breakers (AFCI) are checked for proper operation. The home must have
the required number of smoke alarms.
All plumbing fixtures
in all bathrooms are operated. Tile work is checked. Exhaust fans are
operated and exhaust vent pipes are located wherever possible. Vent
pipes in the attic should be wrapped with insulation to reduce
condensation problems, and they must be vented to the outdoors through their
own dedicated vent flashings.
In the attic, insulation depth and type is recorded and the attic area
is checked for missing or loose insulation. Plumbing vent pipes are often left
loose until the roofing is done. Sometimes the final connection is overlooked
and will only be discovered with a thorough attic inspection. Manufactured trusses are invariably used to support the roof deck
in this area.
knowledge of structure and construction standards is needed to determine
if the builders have followed the plans or resorted to shortcuts in areas that
are not normally visible.