– Phase 3 – Final Phase Inspection

What’s The Purpose of a Final Phase Home Inspection?

The third and final phase of the new construction process is conducted when the home is substantially complete, generally around the time the builder is prepared to do a final walk-through with the home buyer.

The purpose of the final inspection is to ensure the major systems and components in the home were installed in accordance with common model building standards and that there are no observable major defects present prior to you purchasing the home from the builder. The final inspection is vital and highly recommended.

Why should you get your new home inspected? 

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is their expectations of the house being free from any issues that would otherwise be found in an aging house — like outdated electrical, plumbing, roofing and even cosmetic flaws.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 fastsometimes too fastbuilding to the bare minimum of code and subcontracting out to vendors with varying range of competence and diligence.  Sometimes, mistakes just happen.   Don’t assume a newly constructed home will be flawless just because it’s new. 

 

Is a new construction home inspection standard? 

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.

Why might a new construction home inspection potentially be a bad idea?

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.

New Construction Home Inspection.  Why it’s important. 

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?

When’s the best time to get your newly constructed home inspected?

For a 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 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 expires.

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. 

WHAT’S INSPECTED DURING A NEW CONSTRUCTION FINAL PHASE HOME INSPECTION?

 

  • Roof (Covering, Flashing, Drainage Systems, Chimney, Flues)

  • Interior (Walls, Windows, Doors, Flooring, Ceiling, Fixtures)

  • Electrical (Main/Sub Panel, Receptacles, Fixtures, presence of Fire & Smoke Alarms Carbon / Monoxide Detectors)

  • Full Thermal Image Scanning of the Electrical Panel and all of the walls, ceilings and floors of every room.

  • Exterior (Siding, Driveway, Walkway, Decks, Vegetation, Trees, Grade)

  • Limited Structure (Foundation, Basement, Walls, Floors, Attic)

  • Attached Garage (Foundation, Windows, Doors, Walls, Ceiling)

  • Attic (Ventilation, Insulation)

  • Heating and Cooling Systems (Equipment, Operation, Distribution, Vents, Flues)

  • Plumbing (Main Valve, Drainage, Vents)

  • Built-in Appliances (Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator)

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