New Construction Inspections 3 - Phase Home Inspection Process

  • Hey! Hover These Boxes

– Phase 1 –

Pre-Pour

Foundation

Inspection

 

 

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– Phase 2 –

PreDrywall

Inspection

 

 

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– Phase 3 –

Final Phase

Inspection

 

 

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Builder’s

Warranty

Inspections

 

 

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“Some of the most significant defects we’ve ever detected were found during the new construction process.”

How to Keep Your Builder Honest!

Over the years, buyers of new homes repeat the same three reasons over and over again
as to why they didn’t get a home inspection for their new home.

REASON #1

I TRUST MY BUILDER!

The reality today is that most home builders are investors more than they are builders and the fact of the matter is… your builder, those investors, use sub-contractors to build your home; that means using workers who don’t work directly for your builder and may not even be on the same “page”.

On top of that, the quality and competence from one subcontractor to the other can vary greatly and also the competence of the workers within that subcontracted company.

You have every right to be concerned about corners getting cut. Who’s making sure the installation practices for all the major systems being installed in and on your newly constructed home is being done right?

Today’s building practices have project managers who are spread way too thin; sometimes managing multiple projects / subdivisions with hundreds of homes. They cannot possibly see everything and most of them only have time to become concerned about the quantity of completion and not the quality of completion. Are you going to leave the quality of your new home to the “builder’s guy”, who gets their check from the builder, or should you have your own unbiased third-party inspector who only has your best interest?

REASON #2

THE HOUSE IS NEW…

WHAT COULD BE WRONG?

Your new home probably looks great, and everything appears to be in working order, but the truth is… most homeowners don’t have the knowledge or skill to evaluate all of the  components.

If you skip any phase of a new construction home inspection, you miss out on the chance to hold the builder responsible before that issue can be discovered and it then becomes your problem alone.

So… What could go wrong?

(see more below on this page.)

REASON #3

THE CITY BUILDING INSPECTOR INSPECTED THE HOUSE!

Here is a true consumer safeguard that has sadly gone wrong! Many Municipal Building Inspectors are forced to conduct 40 to 70 inspections daily. These inspections have been reduced from quality checks to “drive by” glances; they’re not “inspecting” but simply checking boxes as to whether or not the component is there.

Many home builders in the State of South Carolina provide a 1 Year Builder’s Warranty which means they will make certain repairs to the home at no cost to you up to one year after closing.

Here’s the risk you take when you don’t have your newly built home inspected by an unbiased 3rd party inspector. Several years from now, when you go to sell your home, the interested buyer will have their own inspection completed by an unbiased 3rd party inspector and wouldn’t you know it… the buyer’s home inspector finds lots of things that were done improperly by your builder’s sub-contractors and now your buyer wants you to make the necessary repairs.

Get our Exclusive, 5 Star Rated, Final Phase New Construction Inspection and then we’ll come back 10-11 months later to perform an 11th Month Builder’s Warranty Inspection and give you a $100 discount on the fee for that inspection! Head over to our Builder’s Warranty Inspection page for more information.

If you skip a new construction phase inspection, you miss out on the chance to hold the builder responsible before that issue can be discovered and it then becomes your problem alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Usually, the misconception for someone buying a new home is their expectations of the house being free from any issues that would otherwise be found in an aging house — like outdated electrical, plumbing, roofing and even cosmetic flaws.  The reality is there can sometimes be many issues found within a newly constructed home; in fact, a lot of times these issues exist because — it’s a newly constructed home.

 

Contractors work so fast, sometimes too fast, building to the bare minimum of code using substandard material and subcontracting out to vendors with a varying range of competence and diligence.  Sometimes, mistakes just happen and mechanical or material components may fail for one reason or another. Don't assume a newly constructed home will be flawless just because it’s new. 

Newly constructed homes will always include a “final walk-through,” but rarely will it include a complete home inspection.  Usually, a builder will try to assure the buyer, their guy will always be inspecting each phase of the building process and may even suggest that a home inspection isn’t necessary.  But let’s examine that analogy more closely.  The “builder’s guy” is usually the GM or the Project Manager who works for the builder, getting paid by the builder and has the builder’s best interest, not necessarily your best interest.  Buyers should always ask to include in their contract an independent, unbiased 3rd party home inspection as part of their contingency for buying the home.

About two-thirds of home buyers will do an inspection. It often times depends on how savvy the buyer is. If a buyer is really involved in a new construction project, a lot of times they’ve been with the builder or they’ve significantly contributed to the construction, and then in those cases, they know enough about what’s going on and they may not be too concerned. Still it’s a smart decision to get one anyway.

“As an agent, I have always encouraged my buyers, whether it’s new construction or a hundred-year-old house, to do an inspection.” Jase Norsworthy, Remax.

Is this question keeping you up at night?  Experts say… it shouldn’t. That’s because the decision to get a home inspection on a newly constructed home should be a clear and obvious choice.

If there is a downside, it’s paying for the home inspection out of your own pocket and if the budget is “really tight” for the buyer, the extra expense could make it financially uncomfortable.

However, consider this... a new construction home inspection is a good investment, because in the scheme of a 30-year mortgage, when you’re looking at the overall long term investment for a property... to only spend $400-$500 for an inspection now rather than thousands of dollars for unexpected or unknown issues the builder would have been responsible for, is such a minor expense.

When you’re buying a home of any age, there’s no doubt that you’d want a home inspection.  You absolutely want to know its condition and any safety issues before you make that final commitment to purchase that home with your hard-earned money. 

However, if you’re buying a brand-new house, committing to that decision might not seem so obvious.  Should you consider getting a home inspection for a newly constructed house?  Why would you need one since everything is brand-new — and, in some cases, a custom home built to just your preferred specifications; even perhaps under your own supervision?

The answer is a resounding, yes.  Top experts will tell you that new home construction should always get a home inspection.  With the exception of paying a home inspector to do this for you, every consideration lends itself to simply leaving it “all up to the professionals, right?”  But then there’s always the possibility of the inspector finding an issue or several issues.  Wouldn’t that be information you’d want to know on the front end, — BEFORE all of your warranties run out?

Some would say it’s a good idea to have three inspections done. One, just before the concrete is poured, called a Phase 1 Pre-Pour Foundation Inspection. If a home's foundation is not done correctly, that home will evidently have ongoing issues. Once the concrete is placed / poured those hidden issues may not be discovered until it's too late; and that could cost thousands of dollars to the homeowner.

The second inspection is called a Phase 2 Pre-Drywall Inspection and this inspection is done just before the drywall and insulation  are installed so the inspector can see all of the framing, plumbing and electrical.

For a Phase 3, Final Phase Inspection, we recommend waiting as late as possible after all of the construction has been completed and usually after the city has done their final approvals; this time frame is typically about 10 to 15 days away from your closing date. That said, we advise not scheduling the inspection so late that it could potentially cause a delay in closing because the builder may have a punch-list to correct from our inspection. So maybe the painting isn’t quite done, or maybe there are a few little details that need to be finished, but as a general rule, try to schedule your Final Phase Inspection, without triggering a delay in your closing date.

If your builder gives you any push-back or hesitates to do anything less than encourage a home inspection, this should be a major red flag to you.  Why would the builder want to cover up their work, rather than allowing an unbiased 3rd party home inspector to “kick the tires” and take a comprehensive look at the quality of the project?

Usually, builders have no problem with 3rd party inspectors because it's another set of eyes on their work to catch potential issues they missed and if they stand by their product, they’re going to welcome a home inspector to come in.

As the buyer, you want to find out if there are any issues with the newly constructed home on the front end to make sure the builder takes full responsibility to correct those issues before you close on the home, move in and your builder's warranty expires. Check out our page on why you need a Builder's Warranty Inspection.

If the inspector finds something... the builder is not done building yet. All repairs are going to fall on the shoulders of the builder and there’s not a whole lot of negotiating.  It’s not like you’re debating over whether this item is something the seller is willing to fix: it’s brand-new construction and they're legally obligated to stand by their product.

Yes and no. You are not required to have a re-inspection after an inspection. However, in some cases, you may opt to do so or need to.  After repairs have been made on a home you are purchasing, you may opt to have a re-inspection to verify the seller or builder had the repairs completed professionally. 

We do charge for re-inspections for a nominal fee.

The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find...

The More Money You Save!

So, what could go wrong?

  • Grading and drainage issues
  • Driveway and sidewalk cracks
  • Incorrectly applied siding
  • Decks not properly constructed
  • Gaps and cracks in decks and patios
  • Incorrectly installed roof flashing
  • Incorrectly installed shingles
  • Insufficient insulation
  • Incorrectly installed plumbing
  • Leaks in plumbing due to nails penetrating the piping behind drywall
  • Incorrect wiring and electrical panel issues
  • Incorrectly installed door and window framing
  • Flooring issues
  • Water and moisture issues
  • Cracks in drywall
  • Truss rise
  • An overabundance of nail pops
  • Incorrectly installed appliances, which are often the last to be installed; these should always be inspected
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