Updated: Mar 3
According to the National Association of Home Builders, over 3,000 components and approximately 100 people work on each newly constructed home.
Given the number of components, workers, and work speed, brand new houses can have structural defects like foundation cracks, poor framing, and faulty grading that can lead to significant problems down the line.
Additional problems like skimping on the insulation, forgetting handrails or fixtures can also occur. We inspected one home where the plumbing vents were terminated into the attic instead of outside, leaving a large hole in the roof. This allowed water, snow, and birds to enter the attic area and provided the perfect breeding ground for mold. Several other inspections had the wrong thickness of insulation required, which would have cost the homeowners thousands of dollars in heating and air conditioning bills over time.
Three New Construction Inspections Recommended – Foundation, Framing, and Final
Foundation – this occurs just before the foundation is poured. The inspector will ensure the site has been excavated and appropriately graded and all anchors and footings are spaced out correctly.
Framing – this process involves the pre-drywall and sheetrock inspection. The roof and windows are installed, but the interior walls are not in place yet. An inspector looks at the beams, posts, studs, wiring, plumbing, and window flashing.
Final – this is to ensure your home is finished correctly, that systems and components perform as designed by the manufacturer, and that the work is completed in a quality manner. It is like a standard buyer home inspection.
You may be scratching your head, thinking the city’s building inspector should be doing this work. Yes, this person will come to your home during each phase, but the truth of the matter is they may be only spending a few minutes to a few hours at each home if several are being built in the development and within their city. Please remember, they work for the town, village, or township where your house is located, not for you. And also remember, that code is the bare minimum that they are allowed to build a house. The MINIMUM requirement, not the maximum!
This is not from a new construction however it is from a home in Macedonia Ohio that had an electrical service upgrade and was signed off by the city building inspection department. The meter is missing the glass dome that protects the system from water but more importantly, keeps small fingers from being electrocuted.
This is from an inspection on a new Twinsburg, Ohio home. The white pipe should extend through the roof and be flashed to protect from weather. This home had passed the city’s building inspection and had its certificate of occupancy. The inspection was performed at the end of March 2020 but had been vacant for several months waiting for a buyer.
This is from an inspection on a new home in Streetsboro, Ohio. The builder’s own project manager states that they are supposed to have 14 inches of insulation. This was the third house in 2 weeks’ time that did not have adequate insulation.
Well-timed inspections will allow your builder to fix all problems before they become real problems. The builder may discourage you from having independent inspections performed at these different phases of the building process by indicating that they have their inspection services to prevent these mishaps and protect you. The cold hard truth is that these independent inspections are paid for by the builder, and it is for the builder’s interest, not yours. Their inspections are NOT in-depth and detailed and do not typically identify structural, HVAC, electrical, house-wrap, and siding issues. Their inspections typically identify only items that do not meet the builder’s own or local code requirements. They don’t typically inspect according to the manufacturer’s stated requirements which is the final authority!
It is essential during the building process to hire an independent 3rd party inspection company that has no interest to the builder but to you. It will give you a much stronger position and voice with your builder when issues arise, which they always do.
Integrity Home Evaluation Services
Our goal is to make sure you are confident in your home buying decision from the ground up! Schedule your home inspection with us to ensure you are making the best decision.