New Construction Inspections

New Construction Inspections

US Inspect evaluates many newly constructed homes each year, often finding as many issues with these homes as with older homes. Sometimes, the issues are primarily related to fit and finish and are minor in nature. Other times, the issues are more significant and would create long term problems if not identified early and corrected by the builder.Many new home buyers obtain peace of mind by having the home inspected 3 times during construction. These “phase inspections” occur at pre-determined times in the construction process and are called foundation inspection, framing inspection (a.k.a. pre-drywall inspection), and final inspection. These inspections are conducted by US Inspect’s ICC (International Code Council) certified inspectors.

Phase inspections require close coordination between the buyer and their builder. Once the home is ready for drywall installation, the builder will not hesitate to begin this stage of the process, thus eliminating the opportunity for a framing inspection. Communicate early and often with your builder to ensure they know which inspections you intend to have performed. Also, notify us of the anticipated inspection dates, as they are likely to change due to the builder’s schedule and any weather related delays.

Foundation Inspection

Foundation inspections are usually performed after the forms have been removed from the foundation and just prior to backfilling the soil against the foundation walls. This allows for inspection of the sewer and drain lines prior to laying the slab. Additionally, the footings, drain tiles, waterproofing, etc. can be inspected at this time.

Framing / Pre-Drywall Inspection

Framing inspections are conducted just prior to the sheetrock being installed. This allows inspection of the mechanical and electrical rough-in, including HVAC equipment, structure/framing, electrical wiring, etc. Typical flaws found include cracked and/or warped framing, damaged/crimped ductwork, improper notching of floor joists, and inadequate fire stop material between floors of the home. These items must be identified at this stage of construction if they are to be remedied. Once drywall is installed, the defect will likely never be found. If it is found in the future, it is typically due to problems created by the initial oversight. At this stage, the defect is much more costly to remedy and creates headaches for the homeowner.

Final Inspection

The final inspection is just as it sounds… the full home inspection (including infrared thermography) which most buyers are familiar with. It is conducted after the home is 100% complete, but before your builder walk-through prior to closing. This allows items to be added to the builder’s final punchlist for repairs before closing. This inspection follows the guidelines of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and covers the following items (Structure, Roof, Exterior, Interior, Attics, Foundation, Decks and Porches, Plumbing and Fixtures, Heating and Cooling Systems, Electrical Systems, and others). US Inspect also performs infrared thermal imaging at no additional cost.

KEEP IN MIND

  • Do not rely solely upon municipal code inspections which might have occurred. While beneficial, these inspections are not nearly as comprehensive as US Inspect’s phase inspections.
  • Code is the minimum standard to which a new home has to be built.
  • Many builders are not ICC code certified for structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical like US Inspect’s inspectors.
  • Homebuilding is a complex, multi-stage process with many moving parts involving many subcontractors. There is significant opportunity for items to be overlooked, installed incorrectly, or for the process to get out of order.