Buying a new home is always exciting, and buyers feel especially confident when purchasing a brand new home. Nothing can go wrong in a home that was just completed and has all new materials, features, systems, and finishes, right? Wrong.
Even new construction homes can have issues that crop up in the days, weeks, months, and even years after the close of escrow. This is why a professional home inspection by a third-party professional is a worthwhile investment before you step into your home for the first time.
Why Schedule a Home Inspection For a Brand New Home?
Did you know Florida builder warranties only last for a single calendar year? After that, any builder errors that arise in the second and third years – or beyond – are often up to the owner to repair/replace. Even if certain manufacturer warranties last for longer than a year, parts reimbursement or fixture/system replacements rarely include the associated labor charges. One year may seem like a long time at the outset of your homeownership but time flies when you’re settling into a new home and life.
While certain contractor errors, like malfunctioning three-way switches or a reversed hot/cold water cartridge in a faucet, get identified pretty quickly after moving in, more serious building errors that reside in interior wall spaces – or in attics and soffits – may take time to reveal themselves. Then there are more complex issues – such as poor slope and water drainage – that are almost impossible for the typical homeowner to identify at the outset.
Professional home inspections by licensed and qualified professionals are a simple and affordable investment that quickly identify contractor errors so they can be fixed before or immediately after purchasing your home.
Read 5 Tips for Choosing a Home Inspector to make sure you retain a company that knows what they are doing and provides fast turnaround services.
Above and beyond peace of mind and savings on unnecessary future repairs/replacements, comprehensive new construction home inspections can notably reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums.
A Professional Home Inspection Assesses Key Construction Elements
There are several different types of home inspections to choose from. In the case of a new construction home, we recommend looking into a 4-Point Inspection or a comprehensive home inspection.
Basic 4-Point Building Inspection
The simplest home inspection option is called a 4-Point Inspection. The inspector walks the home and inspects major structural and operational home components to ensure they are built to code without error.
The four components we evaluate are:
- Roofing. Why would a brand new roof need to be inspected? First and foremost, our inspectors hop onto the roof and then into the attic space to take a meticulous look at how the roof components were installed. We’re looking for starter shingles that are mislaid, incorrect nailing/fastening techniques, improper installation of wind mitigation, incorrect shingle alignment, overhang or exposure, etc. Any of these mistakes, even a single nail that is misaligned or that penetrates through the rafter or roof truss, can lead to thousands of dollars worth of damage.
- Electrical system. Builders hide electrical work in interior walls, soffits, and attic spaces to keep unsightly wires and boxes out of the visual plane. Conscientious electricians perform artist-worthy work with all wires neat, tidy, contained, and labeled. Sloppy electricians create havoc and may even perform work that isn’t up to code, assuming nobody will see it anyway. We also catch any errors in material selections or workmanship so they can be corrected.
- Plumbing. Similarly, your home’s pipes and plumbing works are largely hidden behind the scenes. This means small leaks can cause major damage without you being the wiser until that damage has wreaked havoc on structural elements and/or caused mold/mildew issues. We’ll look at the condition of the pipes, whether there are signs of leaks, and what type of piping is used, and we also inspect water heater selection and installation.
- HVAC system. Anyone living in Florida knows the value of a high-quality, efficient HVAC system. Efficiency goes beyond the top-notch brand and relies on smart duct design, duct insulation, and that the entire system is sized and zoned correctly for the home.
A 4-point inspection is just the beginning. The best way to ensure your home is built to current building standards (and that you’ll reap the benefits of savings on homeowner’s insurance) is to schedule a comprehensive building inspection.
A Comprehensive Home Inspection Is the Way to Go
A comprehensive building inspection includes the 4-points listed above and also identifies other key elements of your prospective home’s lot and building design.
In addition to the roofing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, we’ll inspect:
- Lot slope/drainage. Before breaking ground and pouring a foundation, contractors need to consider the lot slope and drainage. If the land isn’t surveyed, graded, or amended correctly, stormwater can’t drain and that puts you at risk for flooding and structural damage.
- Foundation and basement. Home inspectors take a close look at the foundation slab and basement to identify whether there are any cracks or fractures, settling or slope issues, foundation upheaval, or doors/windows that don’t open and close as they should. Issues with the foundation manifest in long-term structural issues and must be addressed immediately.
- Structural integrity. We’ll walk the insides and outsides to see whether the home is framed well (framing is like the skeleton of the home) if connections are sound, that doors and windows are framed and set correctly (plumb), and that walls and ceilings are intact and finished properly.
- Attic insulation and ventilation. Whole-home comfort, energy efficiency, and healthy indoor air quality depend on adequate attic insulation, air sealing, and ventilation. These three components prevent solar heat gain and air cooling loss during peak season while simultaneously supporting healthy humidity levels to reduce the risk of moisture issues and the growth of mold/mildew colonies.
Additional components evaluated during a comprehensive home inspection include:
- Fireplaces, chimneys, and flues
- Any penetrations that affect the integrity of roof and exterior wall systems
- Interior/exterior staircases and railings
- Exterior features (cracks in siding, uneven siding or trim, balconies/porches, cracks in driveway cement/asphalt, etc.)
- Landscaping (identifying whether plants/trees are healthy and planted such that full-growth dimensions won’t compromise structural or roof systems later on)
Purchase a True “Turn-Key Home”
Whether you’ve hired a contractor to build the home of your dreams or found your “just right” home in a new construction development, a professional home inspection verifies your new home is truly as “turn-key” as it’s expected to be.
The professional inspectors at Super Inspection Pro (SIP) have almost 50-years of inspection experience. We promise 24-hour turnarounds on our thorough and detailed reports we’ll provide to your contractor and homeowners insurance carrier. Our services have helped hundreds of central Florida homeowners move into homes that were in the “brand new” condition they were banking on.
Contact SIP online to schedule a consultation, or give us a call directly at 386-279-0802, to learn more about which home inspection services make the most sense for your home buying process.