Do I need a Home Inspection with New Construction?

    Do I need a Home Inspection with New Construction?

    Sep 03, 2020

    So you’ve just spent money to buy the custom-built home of your dreams. Once the house is finally built, it is only natural that you will be in a major rush to enjoy your new home. But... hold on a minute! Before you put the finishing touches on this whole deal and proceed to move in, you have to think about one more little question: Do you get a home inspection on this new construction or not?

    Does the Law Require a Home Inspection?

    In most cases, the answer is would be no. Although the law does require a code inspection in most places, this is not the same thing as a private home inspection. A code inspector is generally concerned with one thing and one thing only: Whether or not your building is in compliance with the local and state laws. They don’t care about whether or not you have bought a quality home.

    Of course, hiring a home inspector will cost you more money at a time when you probably can’t afford to spend any more or simply would rather not.

    Before you do any of that, you should tell your builder that you want to do a walk-through. This means that you and the builder will take a quick tour of the premises, looking at key areas to ensure that the customer’s standards have been met.

    The Walk Through

    Hopefully, you have chosen an honest home builder who won’t try to sneak any substandard work into your project. Sometimes, dishonest contractors and builders will cut corners on cost so that they can pocket the cost savings. For instance, they charge you for $200 worth of materials…then they do the job with substandard materials, bringing the cost down to about $100. Thus, they can pocket the extra $100. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens more than you would believe. This is why you should not take your builder’s word for anything. Your concern should be on your home and making sure you get all the years you expect from this major investment with as little unexpected issues as possible in the future.

    Here are the things you should look for as you do the walk-through:

    • Make sure that water flows away from the house rather than pooling up and forming small puddles or ponds.
    • Make sure that all the shingles look flat, smooth, and uniform
    • Use a tiny bit of smoke and a small fan to test the seals on the windows and doors
    • Make sure that the paint has not been sloppily applied (note: always ask for extra paint cans in every color used around the house for future touch up. Also get the color information for buying again in the future.)
    • Pull on the trim and moldings a little bit
    • Use a small handheld level to check the walls and floors
    • Ensure that the plumbing fixtures are new and shiny
    • Test the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems
    • Check the attic, basement, and/or the crawl space for leaks
    • Demand proof that the building has passed a code inspection
    • If you aren’t confident in your judgement, hire a home inspector to accompany you on the walk-through

    What Might the Home Inspector Find?

    A good home inspector will check your home for a variety of things. Although it is frustrating to think about this fact after spending so much money for a custom home, construction mistakes happen all the time. It might be something small that can be corrected easily, or it might be a serious problem that calls the worth of the home into question. Here are some of the more common mistakes that an inspector might find.

    • Improper roof drainage
    • uneven floors, walls, or other surfaces
    • Foundation issues
    • Improper use of screws, nails, or other mountings
    • Unsafe stairways
    • Use of substandard lumber
    • Loose or improperly nailed shingles
    • Poor ventilation
    • Improper ductwork
    • Excessive air leakage at any number of possible spots

    The Cost of NO Inspection

    This is where you play a major guessing game and attempt to predict the future. If you choose against getting the inspection, you are placing a lot of faith, and trust in your builder. You are also placing a lot of trust in any contractors that they might have hired (Remember all the sub contractors that come and go under the builder's umbrella). You are assuming that they will provide the quality work to your chosen plan in a way that is acceptable to your parameters. Considering the amount of money on the line, that’s a lot of trust to place in anyone.

    At this point, it is a gamble. If you choose to go without a home inspection, you might be fine. Your home might be well-made and up to all necessary standards, and if this is the case, you saved $300-$450. However, if you are wrong, the repair costs can end up costing you far more than an inspection ever would have hit your wallet for.

    For one example, let’s say that the shingles on your roof have not been properly installed. Whatever the reason, they must be replaced. The cost of replacing a roof can easily reach the $10,000 mark, and could even be as high as $16,000.

    Conclusion

    When we lay out all the facts, we are forced to conclude that yes, you do need a home inspection with new construction. Although such inspections are not exactly cheap, they can be an extremely reliable way to see if you have gotten your money’s worth in terms of quality. The potential cost of not doing an inspection is far higher than any home inspection has ever cost. 

    Who Do I Call with More Questions and Concerns?

    As always, I am always open to help anyone with anymore questions and concerns when it comes to their real estate needs. Just reach out to me at jacobmsaenz@gmail.com or give me a direct call at 985-231-2125.