So you are building a new home. People believe that a new home will be free from defects. This just is not true. Contractors and manufactures have time constraints, make mistakes or cut corners, and sometimes cover up defects rather than correct them. Most new home buyers don't have the knowledge or the time to look for the defects. In most cases, when a contractor knows the buyer hired an inspector, the quality of workmanship greatly improves. For this reason, many homeowners now choose to have an independent review of their new construction project while it is in progress. Our normal new construction inspection is divided into four phases. Each inspection may take 2 to 4 hours to complete. Wilkerson & Company Home Inspection offers a range of services that are certain to reduce your anxiety during the home building process.
FIRST PHASE: Foundation Inspection
A foundation inspection is conducted after the foot and foundation are formed, but before the dirt is backfilled against the foundation. This inspection takes place before the concrete is poured. This allows us to visually inspect rebar, excavations, and vapor barriers. The visual inspection of foundation components is performed and foundation measurements are spot checked against the building plans. An objective comprehensive report based on our findings will be given to you at the end of this phase. It is important to make repairs at this stage before the concrete has set.
SECOND PHASE: Framing and Rough-In Inspection
This inspection should take place before the insulation and sheetrock are installed. This visual review is referred to as the "pre-drywall" inspection. It is performed after the basic structure of the house is complete; the framing is in place, the windows are up, and the plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems are installed but still exposed. This is the most important inspection that can be performed on your new home. Once the finish wall and ceiling coverings are installed, these components are no longer visible for inspection. It is less expensive to make corrections at this stage than it will be after the walls and floors are covered.
THIRD PHASE: Final Inspection
The Final Inspection is the most frequently requested service for a newly constructed home. This phase is basically the same as a pre-existing home inspection. The inspection is typically conducted prior to closing, when all systems are functional and available for testing. We will perform a room-by-room operational and visual inspection of all the components that make up the home. A visually check the foundation, the windows and doors, the exterior and interior wall coverings, flooring, insulation, each plumbing fixture, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, each electrical outlet, switch, and fixture, kitchen appliances, ventilation and insulation, air-conditioning and heating, as well as, exterior grading, driveways, and garages. The timing of the final inspection may depend on the level of access granted by the contractor. If contract restrictions do not permit full access, this inspection should take place before the final walk thru. This will allow you to talk about concerns with an independent unbiased third party. Common sense will tell you that it is very important to get the repairs needed before you make that last payment.
FOURTH PHASE: End of One Year Builder’s Warranty.
The first year anniversary Inspection is most frequently referred to as a End of One Year Builder’s Warranty or 11 Month Inspection. The first year anniversary of your new home is approaching and your Builder's Warranty is about to expire. It is wise to have a thorough inspection performed prior to the expiration of this warranty. This is your last chance to have any faults in your new home’s construction corrected at the builder's cost. The Wilkerson & Company builder’s warranty inspection is the same as our standard inspection and we place detailed emphasis on concerns of our client. A written report will prove invaluable when you sit down with your builder to report and negotiate the repair of unsatisfactory conditions. This inspection ultimately could save you hundred to thousands of dollars if a defect is found and needs to be corrected under warranty.
It makes sense to learn as much as you can about the quality of your new home. For a relatively small fee, a professional inspection of your new dream home can pay big dividends and peace of mind.