New Construction Inspection


New Construction Inspection

Common Issues Found in New Homes

Though it would seem that new homes should be relatively error-free, according to many inspectors, they often have underlying issues at work.

Some common issues found during new construction home inspections include:

  • Structural defects, like foundation cracks, improper grading, and poor framing
  • Drainage and grading issues, which could cause water and structural damage later on
  • Window leaks
  • HVAC issues, including malfunctioning thermostats and loose connections
  • Electrical problems, such as improperly wired outlets, open grounds, and missing switch plates
  • Plumbing issues, including reversed hot/cold in faucets, improper piping, leaks, and more

We often find incomplete projects. This could include insufficient insulation, half-installed handrails or fixtures, or missing pieces of hardware.

What New Home Inspectors Look At

Home inspectors look at a wide variety of features in each stage of their inspections. They will also take into account local building code, which varies by municipality. Though this is not an exhaustive list, these are some of the items most inspectors will examine when evaluating a newly built home:

Pre-Pour Inspection

  • Drain, waste, and vent lines
  • Water lines
  • Plumbing and piping
  • Trenches and soil
  • Elevation, drainage, and grading

Framing Inspection

  • Beams, bearings, and other framing items
  • Nails, screws, studs, and plates
  • Stairwells
  • Fire blocking and draft stopping
  • Leaks, water intrusion and mold risks
  • Plumbing and wiring
  • HVAC and ducting

Final Inspection

  • Roof, chimney, and gutters
  • Doors and windows
  • Exterior items, like walkways, driveways, sheds, decks, patios, and garages
  • Foundation, basements, and crawlspaces
  • HVAC systems, including the thermostat
  • Plumbing, toilets, sinks, and sump pumps
  • Electrical conductors, circuit breakers, meters, and panel boards
  • Attic, insulation, and ventilation
  • Appliances, such as dishwashers, disposals, ovens, microwaves, and sprinkler systems

New home buyers can certainly skip the home inspection stage, as can any other homebuyer. The risk in this is that unknown issues with the home could crop up after move-in, when it’s too late for the builder to fix it (and pay for it).

Tip:  If you do skip a home inspection on your new property, make sure your builder has a warranty in place. This can protect you in the event something goes wrong after you’ve closed. These warranties usually last from one to ten years, depending on the type of workmanship or materials issue.