Three Times to Hire a Home Inspector for New Construction

Posted on: 12 March 2019

Everyone knows — or should know — that hiring a home inspector to evaluate a house before you finalize the purchase agreement is a good idea. In fact, it is essential to the home buying process. You want to know every little detail about the house, from how old the furnace is to the fact that a GFCI plug is missing from the downstairs bathroom.  Older homes, particularly those with many previous owners, have secrets that only a qualified inspector can discover. Less well-known is the fact that you should also hire a home inspector when you are buying new construction or building a new home. Paying for that extra set of neutral, third-party eyes is important for several reasons. 

1. Pre-Drywall

 Schedule a home inspection before the drywall goes up. This will allow the inspector to see the framing, wiring, plumbing, and HVAC, which are all usually hidden beneath the drywall. While the sub-contractor's work will have been examined by both the builder's general contractor as well as the county's code inspection officer, mistakes can be made and, more importantly, your home inspector is the only person there representing your best interests. 

2. Prior to Final Walk-Thru

Most builders schedule a walk-thru with the buyer a week or so before closing to note any last touch-ups, missing light switch covers, a cracked tile in the bathroom, or a door that won't shut right. Have your inspector walk through the home the day before and create a list for you to bring to your walk-thru. This list is often called a 'punch list' and can help you communicate everything effectively to the builder's team.

3. Before 12-Month Warranty Date

 Most builders offer a 12-month warranty on new construction. They are happy to come back and look at anything that needs to be repaired. Usually this includes simple repairs, like a nail pop in the drywall or a light switch that is not wired properly. The average homeowner, however, won't be able to identify any major problems, like structural defects. Hire a home inspector to come in at the eleven month mark and identify what needs to be repaired. Present his or her findings to the builder before your 12-month warranty expires. 

You can usually use the same inspector for all three occasions as they will be familiar with your home and may even offer a multi-inspection discount. A home inspector is often the best money spent during the home buying process because it affords homeowners peace of mind, both with older homes and with new construction. 


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