I am asked this question quite often and my answer is you should NEVER buy a new home without a thorough home inspection performed by an experienced, certified professional home inspector. Preferably an inspector with new construction background.
Most builders work hard at building a nice home. A good builder will use best practices during the construction process to mitigate potential problems. A good builder will have quality assurance procedures in place and perform daily quality control inspections on each home that is built, during the construction process. A good builder will understand the manufacturers installation specifications on each product installed in your new home, not just that it meets code. Your builder should have a site manager that is on site every day performing quality control inspections. Even the best builders may have underperforming subcontractors and if not properly managed, completion of their work can get overlooked.
Most of the new construction home inspections that I perform require minor repairs and have small items that need to be completed. However, I am finding that more and more new construction home inspections are uncovering defects that if not corrected will have major consequences in just a few years. One new construction home inspection uncovered active leaks behind the siding visible from the crawlspace and missing head flashings at the windows. Another new construction home inspection uncovered missing attic insulation and disconnected bathroom exhaust fan ducts in the attic. Another new construction home inspection uncovered an uninsulated water supply pipe in the attic above the second floor master bathroom and missing vapor barrier in the crawlspace.
Don’t get me wrong, I think new construction homes are generally better built and have less worries than most older homes, IF the construction process was properly managed.
The price of a new construction home inspection is some of the best insurance and peace of mind you can buy. Compare the cost of your inspection to siding replacement, moisture damage, excess heating bills, mold growth in the attic, frozen or broken water pipes in the attic or mold growth in the crawlspace. These are all items that I have uncovered in new construction home inspections in the last 9 months…..
Still unsure about your new construction home inspection?
More to come….