New Construction Inspections: What Every Buyer Should Know

You may be asking yourself, “Do I need a home inspection for my new build?” Even though a newly-constructed home may appear perfect and free of defects or damage, honest mistakes and errors can occur during construction. A new construction inspection can identify potential problems before you close on your new home.

The new construction inspection is completed by a third-party, professionally-trained inspector who reviews the structural and systematic quality of the home to identify hidden or potential problems in the home’s construction. Some home buyers even schedule multiple inspections to occur at various stages along the home construction process to ensure they review each significant milestone along the way.

New construction inspections help the home buyer avoid costly repairs, inconvenient service appointments, and severe health and safety concerns in the future. They also make home buyers more confident in the construction quality as they move into their dream homes!

As you near the end of the new home building process, you may ask yourself, “If my home has never been lived in, why do I need a home inspection for my new build?” This common question has riddled many of our home buyers! Mortgage companies often require home inspections to close, and according to Porch, 9 out of 10 homebuyers used a home inspection service for their last home purchase.

It’s easy to understand why you want a home inspection on an older home; there could be underlying problems caused by years of water damage, or perhaps the HVAC system is on its last leg. You’ll rarely come across issues caused by aging systems or hidden defects in a newly constructed house–this is one of the many benefits of a new construction home! But that doesn’t mean you should skip the new construction inspection.

Before you cancel the new construction inspection, find out why keeping the appointment can help you save time, money, and energy in the future.

The Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Final Walkthrough

 

Your new construction contract will include a final walkthrough, but it may not include a home inspection. So what’s the difference between the two?

A final walkthrough is completed with the homebuyer and homebuilder together to ensure that the design selections, finishes, and floorplan is as expected per your contract. It’s also an opportunity for the builder to show you how to use installed in-home technology like smart lighting and security systems. Things that may come up during a final walkthrough include:

  • Incorrect paint selections
  • Unfinished cabinetry
  • Nail pops in the drywall
  • Doors that don’t close or lock properly

A new construction inspection is completed by a third-party home inspector who evaluates the quality of the structure and systems of the home to ensure that your home is free of hazards and other defects. The homebuyer typically pays for the home inspection out of their pocket and can select the home inspector of their choice.

Home inspectors are professionally trained to look for serious structural or systematic issues such as:

  • Cracks in foundation or driveway pavement
  • Interior humidity, water damage, leaks
  • Attic space, crawl space, and basements
  • Problems with appliances and whole-house systems (such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing)
  • Drainage and grading issues
  • Exterior patios, porches, and additions

The new construction inspection also differs from the appraisal. While the inspection will examine the property to ensure it’s ready for move-in, the appraisal examines the property to assign an estimated value to the home, often for mortgage approval purposes.

When to Schedule the Home Inspection

Most homebuyers schedule their new construction inspection once the home is complete, but about two weeks before closing. However, some homebuyers choose to schedule two to three home inspections: one before the foundation is laid, one before drywall is installed, and one upon completion of the entire home. 

  • Pre-Foundation: The inspector will review the grading and structural quality before the foundation is poured. 
  • Pre-Drywall: The inspector will review the framing, roofing, beams, studs, windows, and other structural details before the drywall is installed. 
  • Post-Construction: The inspector will review the fully completed home to ensure all systems and structures are working correctly and that the construction follows local building codes and standards.

Scheduling a home inspection at each stage will give you confidence that fewer issues have slipped between the cracks due to being hidden behind walls and below the concrete.

Will the New Construction Inspection Affect the Sale of the House?

Typically the new construction inspection will not affect the home’s sale, but it may affect the closing or move-in timeline if you require the home builder to make adjustments before agreeing to close on the house. The homebuilder wants you to be delighted with your home, so they are willing to work with you to make sure it looks–and runs–properly!

Final Takeaways

Despite the home being brand-new, never lived in, and recently constructed, human errors and honest mistakes do happen along the way. Home inspectors are qualified to spot issues hidden from the untrained eye or potential problems that could evolve into significant issues in the future.

A new construction inspection may save you money, time, and inconvenience in the future. Scheduling repairs and evaluations can become costly. Even if your new home includes a builder warranty, which covers most systems and appliances, it’s time-consuming and inconvenient to schedule repair services to come in and out of your home after you’ve moved in. Home inspections help identify the issues upfront so your home builder can resolve the concerns before you become solely responsible for repairs and upgrades.

We encourage new construction inspections on our properties because we care about our home buyers and want them to be satisfied with their home purchases. Our sales team can provide a list of our preferred home inspectors and help you establish a timeline for inspections that will keep you on track to close as expected.

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