Why Get a Home Inspection on a New Construction Home?
All too often I find that home buyers are waiving the home inspection on a recently constructed home. As I am sure a lot of buyers believe since its a new home there really shouldn't be anything wrong with it; that notion couldn't be farther from the truth. After all a home isn't like other consumer products. For example, you would probably want to have a used car looked over by your mechanic but wouldn't think twice about doing the same to a brand new car. However, many consumer products such as cars are built in a controlled environment. Houses on the other hand can take months to build, involve multiple contractors and most of the time there is some portion of the home exposed to the elements. In this article I'll hit on just a few of the reasons a new construction home should be inspected.
While a General Contractor typically manages the entire building process of your new construction home; it is important to remember there are many trade contractors working on the project as well. And one trade contractor can have a direct effect on another. For example; when a house has the ruff-ins complete such as the plumbing and HVAC. There are usually vent stacks that are cut through the roof sheathing. The local building inspector (depending on the local code) will typically inspect the ruff-in of the plumbing and HVAC. After ruff-in inspection, the roofing contractor is sent to install the roof and add more permanent flashing around plumbing and HVAC penetrations through the roof. On more than one occasion I found serious fire hazards where a fireplace flue was moved during roof installation. Leaving the metal flue in contact with roof sheathing. Most of these flue's have a 2 inch spacing requirement from combustibles. Now, in this example keep in mind the local building inspector has already inspected the installation of the flue and is typically not going to reinspect it.
I am also going to point out the cost of a home inspection vs the repairs. To date every inspection I have performed has had some type of deficiencies noted on the report. Typically those deficiencies have had a repair cost greater than the inspection cost. This is where a lot of naysayers will comment: wooooohhhh Mr home inspector! your not suppose to comment on the cost of repairs! Well I typically don't and Home Inspectors should not comment on cost of repairs. However, I still hold a general contractors license so I can (respectfully). My point is that if your paying $300-$500 for an inspection and the inspector finds deficiencies that typically cost more than $300-$500 to repair, then it seems like a no brainer to me. Now the home buyer can ask for those repairs to be made before closing and typically a builder (with crews readily available) can correct those issues without much protest. In addition, the home buyer should walk away from a detailed home inspection with a lot more knowledge and understanding of the property they're purchasing.