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  • Writer's picturegdevarshi

The Vital Role of Home Inspections in New Construction Homes

A newly built house in unlanscaped yard with clouds in the sky.

In the realm of real estate, there exists a prevalent misconception - that the creation of a new construction home signals the absence of any issues. After all, a brand-new structure should be flawless, right? However, this assumption couldn't be farther from the truth. A pre-closing inspection holds equal importance for a new build as it does for older residences, and here's why: beneath the surface of a freshly minted home lies a realm of potential problems that only a skilled home inspector can unveil. Contrary to another common belief, even the most capable contractors, with their technical expertise, don't always possess the keen eye and specific training of licensed home inspectors. In this exploration, we delve into the critical role of pre-closing inspections for new construction homes, unraveling the layers of assurance they bring to homebuyers and builders alike. A major benefit to getting a home inspection on a new construction home is that it allows a chance for issues, such as moisture intrusion or poor foundation conditions, to be caught before they cause lasting damage to your home. We see items like missing flashing, exposed fasteners, improperly installed gutters or missing splashblocks, and gaps that require caulking/sealing in new construction homes just like any other home. These issues can eventually result in expensive water damage repairs in the future.

Two photos of a roof with arrows pointing to missing flashing.

There also comes the small but crucial items that may be overlooked - which is where your home inspection comes in. Inspectors are trained to find both the obvious and the more subtle issues; there could be small but crucial things missed, such as a lack of weeping holes, improperly fitted doors and windows, improper drainage and grading, and even debris left over from construction potentially causing blockages in areas such as your vents or gutters. These can all lead to repairs being needed if left without remediation, which is why it is important to have a professional home inspector who can help identify these issues before you close on your new home.

Why a home inspector is needed: While contractors are knowledgeable and skilled, their knowledge and skills differ from that of home inspectors. Home inspectors serve as impartial third parties with no vested interest in the successful selling of or purchasing of a property. They offer a comprehensive perspective on a property, understanding how each system functions and their interconnections. This unique vantage point sets them apart from other professionals who focus on individual aspects of a home's construction. Home inspectors provide insights into a home's systems, maintenance requirements, and anticipated performance. Equipped with specialized tools such as moisture meters, thermal guns, and infrared sensors, they diligently seek out potential trouble spots. Contractors, in contrast, typically will not go about inspecting the entire system as a whole. Home inspectors, driven by a proactive approach, aim to identify and address issues early, thus averting major and costly repairs down the line.

"Home inspectors view a home in all of the separate systems individually, but also how those systems work together to form the big picture." - Dave Ganatra

As a side note, a lot of people are also under the impression that one year warranty inspections are unnecessary, as they can tell their builder the issues they have found themselves. This is true- they can tell the builders the issues they have had in their own home; however, the vast majority of homeowners don't walk on their roof. They don't typically check the insulation in the attic, or crawl into the crawlspace to check for leaks, organic growth or gaps between the piping and the subfloor. Inspectors are highly trained to spot both obvious and subtle issues that other people would not notice or consider to be an issue.

In conclusion, the value of home inspections in the context of new construction homes cannot be overstated. Contrary to the misconception that brand-new homes are flawless, these inspections reveal that issues requiring attention are just as common in new builds as they are in older constructions. Home inspectors, as unbiased third parties, offer a comprehensive understanding of a property, and their expertise goes beyond what contractors can provide. The inspection report not only aids in negotiations but also serves as a vital document for future reference. It is particularly essential for new construction inspections, apart from pre-drywall assessments, to occur when the home is fully completed but with some time before closing. This window allows the builder to address any concerns, ensuring that the home is in pristine working order before the homeowner takes possession. In this way, new construction inspections not only protect the investment but also provide peace of mind for those embarking on the journey of homeownership.

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