When building a new home, it's critical to have an inspection before the drywall goes up. A Pre-Drywall Inspection can identify potential problems with the framing, plumbing, and electrical systems in the home before it’s too late. It's also a good way to get an idea of what repairs may need to be made at this stage of the building process. By catching problems early, you can save yourself time and money down the road.  

 What is Pre-Drywall Inspection?

Pre-drywall inspections are one way to make sure that a house was built in accordance with the plans. During the construction of a home, a pre-drywall inspection is completed immediately after the installation of the doors, windows, foundation, flooring, wall framing, roof, plumbing, and electrical rough-in, but before the drywall is hung. This construction-phase inspection is essential because once the new home is finished, drywall can cover up structural issues and wrong interior features, making detecting or addressing issues both challenging and expensive. 

What areas of the home are inspected in the Pre-Drywall Inspection?

The inspector can assess the following parts of the home during a Pre-Drywall Inspection: 

  1. The plumbing system: Your plumbing system is a crucial component to your home. Examining this system during a pre-drywall inspection will help identify and mitigate any issues that could arise after you move in. A WIN home inspector has a trained eye to address:
    • Damage to the framing 
    • Concerns with water temperature 
    • Leaks in the house 
    • Blocked vents 
    • Incorrect draining angles 
    • A high shower drain (above floor level) 
    • By inspecting these potential problems now, you can avoid damage and costly repairs later. 
  1. The HVAC system: During your Pre-Drywall Inspection, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are carefully inspected.

This is a crucial factor for your comfort, health and overall well-being in your home because HVAC units regulate the temperature and air quality in your home. 

When doing a Pre-Drywall Inspection, several concerns with HVAC systems may arise including: 

  • Leaky gas pipes 
  • Improper venting for burners that are blocked or positioned wrongly 
  • Placing too many units too close together  
  • Having vents that aren't completely sealed into the wall or cabinets 
  • Insulation problems 

Inspecting HVAC systems as part of your Pre-Drywall Inspection results in a home that is safer, cleaner and more comfortable. 

  1. The Dishwasher: Dishwasher repairs are both time-consuming and costly, yet it is often an overlooked area of the home. During a pre-drywall inspection, your trained and certified home inspector will evaluate the working condition of your dishwasher, saving you time and money while giving you peace of mind.
  2. Electrical issues: Before the drywall is installed, it’s imperative that you make sure that there are no electrical issues because one the drywall is up, repairs and rewiring may require tearing through the drywall. 

Your thorough home inspector will: 

  • Look at the location of electrical outlets and electrical boxes throughout the house 
  • Make sure the wires for the ceiling fan and cable boxes are appropriately connected 
  • Find any electrical outlets that are not working 
  • Check to ensure that the ground wire is connected to the grounding rod 
  • See if any electrical shield plates are missing 

It may be beneficial to have an electrician join you during the inspection to make sure there aren’t any electrical issues that could result in a fire. 

  1. Problems with the floor: Before your carpet, hardwood or any other flooring is installed, the inspector will ensure that: 
  • The floor-to-floor tiles are suitably positioned 
  • The floor joints are correctly built, evenly spaced, and sturdy  
  • The foundation, floor, and walls are correctly positioned 

Always refer to the original floor plan to make sure everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be.  

  1. Wall Issues: The inspector will check the walls to make sure that:
  • They are completely sealed from the outside and are straight 
  • The insulation has been correctly installed  
  • The positioning of objects on the walls, such as HVAC systems, has been accurately surveyed and planned 

Keep in mind that the inspector will want to inspect the walls from both the inside and the outside.  

  1. Roof Issues: During the Pre-Drywall Inspection, your inspector will want to look for issues with the roof, specifically:
  • Uncovered nails 
  • Issues with how it was sealed 
  • Concerns with waterproofing 
  • Problems with the frames or bracing 

By paying close attention to these potential issues now, you can avoid structural damage or leaks later. 

  1. Foundation concerns: The foundation supports the entire structure; thus, it must be well-planned and constructed. The inspector would want to look for issues including:
  • The house's elevation, such as is it leveled?
  • Uncovered land underneath the home, which would have to be covered with an additional foundation 
  • Anything that could jeopardize the house's structural integrity 

In addition, the home inspector will check for issues with the crawlspace, windows, doors, and other parts of the house, to ensure that everything is installed correctly, and your home is safe, sound, and ready for drywall. 

What should I expect after a Pre-Drywall Inspection?

After your pre-drywall inspection is complete, your property will need to pass a number of additional examinations to ensure that it is ready for the next stage in the building process. Keep your floor plans and design plans handy through the building process, so you can refer to them to make sure your home is being built to your expectations.  

Pre-Drywall Inspection FAQs 

Q1. How long does Pre-Drywall Inspection take?

It depends on the size of the property, but it is usually between one and two hours. If any major issues are identified, they will need to be corrected before proceeding with the drywall installation. This could add additional time to the overall project timeline. 

Q2. What should I ask at the Pre-Drywall Inspection?

Consider asking: 

  • What is the gauge of the steel used in the studs? The lower the gauge, the thicker and stronger the metal. 
  • Are all the seams and joints taped and sealed properly? Any leaks or gaps could lead to moisture damage. 
  • What type of insulation is being used? Fiberglass insulation can cause health problems over time, so you may want to opt for a safer insulation option like cellulose or rock wool. 
  • How many electrical outlets are being installed per square foot? You'll want to make sure there's enough power to comfortably accommodate all your electronics. 
  • What type of drywall is being used? Be sure to have the best quality drywall for your home. 

Q3. When can I expect the reports after the pre-drywall inspection? 

After the WIN home inspector completes the thorough inspection, they will draft a detailed report and deliver it to you within 24 hours. 

At WIN, we are trained and certified to inspect your home in every stage, including pre-drywall. We also provide actionable insights and recommendations for you to address before it’s too late. Contact your local WIN home inspector to learn more about this critical service and schedule your Pre-Drywall Inspection today.