Reasons why some home buyers aren't having their new construction homes inspected by a professional inspector:
- 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.
Why new construction homes should be third party inspected, just like used homes:
- Cities/municipal governments do not guarantee a new home is built correctly, even though the city official inspected the home throughout the construction process.
- The very best builder is only as good as his/her worst contractor.
- There is not any government enforced inspection process for homes built outside the city limits, in the country.
- Code Violations – Not all builders build a home according to current building codes.
- Code Violations – Not all city building inspectors will thoroughly inspect the structures. Yes “Drive By” Inspections really do happen in the inspection industry.
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 financier 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.
Let the builder know at the outset that you will be getting third party phase inspections done throughout the building process.
You may hear (from the builder or others) that this is unnecessary, that city inspections will be done, that this is an unusual step, etc. Stand your ground on the inspection decision.
After you have let the builder know that you will be getting inspections, send an email or written note clarifying when your inspections will be done. Make it clear that you will need to have the utilities connected for your final inspection.
Allow enough time after the final inspection for corrections to be made before closing. Check with your inspector about which inspections he recommends. The three that come to mind are: foundation, pre-sheetrock, and final inspection.
Phase I: Pre-pour Foundation Inspection
In the Pre-Pour Foundation Inspection, the following systems are inspected prior to covering them with the concrete slab:
- Beam Trenches
- Post Tension Cables
- Vapor Barrier
- Concrete Form Boards
- Any Plumbing and Electric Components that will be covered by the concrete slab
Phase II: Pre-Sheetrock Framing and Rough-In Inspection
Framing and Rough-in Inspection will inspect the following systems prior to covering them with insulation and drywall:
- Framing of Entire Structure – Interior/Exterior Walls and Roof
- Electrical System – Wiring and Junction Boxes
- Plumbing System – Supply and Drain Pipes, Shower Drain Pan
- Mechanical HVAC System – HVAC Ducts, Dryer/Exhaust
You will need to have all utilities on in order to complete this inspection.
- Inspection follows TREC Standards of Practice – the same as any home inspection. The report is on the standard TREC report form.
- Includes all systems found in the home – Structure, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Built-in Appliances
- May include – Sprinkler System, Septic System, or Other Optional Systems.
1-year Warranty Inspection
Most builders give a 1-year Warranty on new construction homes. Between 10-11 months after closing, it is a good idea to have your home inspected regardless if you had it inspected prior to closing or if you opted not to have your new home inspected previously. After living in the home for nearly a year, you are using almost every aspect of your new home. It is recommended to have everything thoroughly inspected one last time before the 1-year builder’s warranty expires.
At some point you will sell your home, and your buyer will likely have your home inspected.
Some of the items the inspector catches now may seem minor, but they will come up later in your buyer’s home inspection if they are not corrected. It is in your best interest to have everything nailed down now.
If there are items that cannot be fixed before closing, and you cannot delay closing, ask the builder to sign a written list of items to be repaired or completed.
Building a new home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. A new home can deliver the right floor plan and finishes for you.
It is a complicated project and huge investment. The support, advice and information that you will gain from a third-party inspection is invaluable.
Do not leave out this important step in the building process. It is well worth the investment.
Give Blackland Home Inspections a call at 972-854-7328 today for your complete Dallas Phase to 1-Year Warranty Inspections. We will help protect you from buying The Money Pit!
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