Getting a home inspection for an older home has always been standard practice. But do you need an inspector for your new home? Yes, you definitely do, because even a newly built home can have quite a few issues that could be proactively addressed through an inspection conducted by a qualified and certified home inspector. A new home inspection is the best way to ensure that you will be purchasing a home that won't surprise you later with a major issue.
Buying a new house can certainly be exciting, but don’t let the allure of a shiny new kitchen, pristine wood hardwood flooring, or a lavishly big bedroom distract you from the fact that there could be many hidden defects. Get a new home inspection and avoid the problems that may come from shoddy construction or genuine oversight.
When to Have a New Home Inspection Performed
As with any standard home purchase, you will have the chance to have a new home inspection performed shortly after you enter the mortgage process. If the home is still being constructed, you can even have two home inspections performed—one during the construction process, and one after the new home has been finished. This enables the home inspector to discover potential problems both during construction and/or afterward.
Why is it Important to Have a New Home Inspection?
You need an inspection of your new home because even new homes can contain flaws, and sometimes serious issues. A new home that has just been built or is in the process of being built has a great number of people working on it. Sheetrock crews, electricians, plumbers, roofers, carpenters, masons, painters, and many more all play a part in the construction of a new home.
Any one individual can make a mistake during the construction. Cost-cutting can sometimes be a factor in the choice of inferior materials or construction by other than highly qualified individuals.
Obviously, this means there can be many problems that initially go undetectedunless a reputable and experienced home inspector inspects the new home. Otherwise, you’re taking a chance on discovering flaws in the construction while already living there, and some issues might not even be discovered until after the warranty has expired.
Doesn’t the County Building Inspector Check The Houses?
Of course they do, but even they can miss something. Besides, county building inspectors aren’t working for you the way a private home inspector is—and they’re only required to ensure that the building meets the minimum code requirements.
Common Issues Found in New Homes in the First Year
If you are still uncertain as to why you need an inspector for your new home, consider the fact that it is nearly impossible to find a new home that doesn't have some type of defect. Common problems found in the first year in many new homes include:
- Window or Facade Leaks—A common construction defect due to improperly installed windows or defective materials, which could lead to serious problems.
- Warped Wood Flooring—Wood flooring can be attractive, but if the builders did not allow time for the material to acclimate before installation, it can expand and contract to the point that it becomes warped.
- Roofing Installed Improperly—If the roofing wasn’t installed properly or the materials are inferior, it could cause leaks.
- Nail Pops—As a result of new lumber shrinkage, you’ll often see what is referred to as nail pops—the head of the nail appears to be popping out of the drywall.
- Moisture & Condensation—When new building materials dry, they lose a bit of their weight in water, causing excess moisture that can affect drywall and interior finish materials. There can also be the presence of condensation between windowpanes, or too much moisture in the basement or crawlspace.
- Drainage Issues—A drainage problem can cause serious issues with basements and crawlspaces, and possibly even the siding depending on how severe the issue is.
- Heating & Cooling Issues—If the HVAC system isn’t properly balanced it will cause an uneven distribution of air and result in high energy bills.
- Electrical Defects—Faulty electric is dangerous, and needs to be addressed.
- Siding Issues—Improperly installed siding or faulty materials can lead to problems with the structure of the home.
A new home inspection will discover many of these problems including possibly issues the code inspectors may have missed, even though a home inspector is not responsible for identifying code violations. The findings will enable you to make a more informed buying decision.
What if I Didn’t Get a New Home Inspection During Construction?
Don’t worry, a new home inspection will still be a worthwhile and highly necessary expenditure, potentially saving you a significant amount of money in the future if the inspector alerts you to defects in the home before the purchase is complete. Even if the inspector did not get the chance to do a walkthrough before the drywall was in place, he or she is still trained to discover many details that someone without new home inspection experience would never notice.
You may also have the option to add a new home inspection contingency to your contract, much like when someone is buying an older house. The sale is only final contingent on issues with the home being fixed properly and to code.
Note: Home inspectors can spot several issues with many aspects of the house, but do not actually validate whether something is built to code or not.
Warranties Don’t Always Cover Everything
Another very important reason that you need to consider a home inspection for your new home is that the warranties offered by the builders don’t always cover everything you think it should. Some warranties only offer limited coverage on various materials and workmanship. Some costs associated with major construction defects may not be covered at all.
And the roof, siding, and exterior materials are rarely under warranty for more than a year on a newly built home. Be sure to read your warranty thoroughly and make yourself aware of your state’s builder’s warranty claim laws.
Demographic shifts and an influx of first-time home buyers entering the marketplace have resulted in increased growth and demand for new home construction. However, this also means increased potential for construction defects as builders race to meet buyer demands.
A home inspection for a new home can uncover many potential issues, such as roofing problems, issues with the HVAC, or leaks. New homes are usually under warranty, so getting the inspection and discovering any problems that can be fixed now may save you a lot of stress and expense later.
For more information or for help with a new home inspection, click here to find a WIN Home Inspection expert near you. Alternatively, call or email us at email@example.com and one of our experts will contact you promptly.