The Key Benefits of Thorough New Construction Inspections20 November 2023
Buying a newly constructed home is an exciting experience. After months of waiting, you finally get to move into a brand new space that you can make your own. However, it’s important not to let the excitement overshadow the need for due diligence. New construction inspections are a critical part of the home buying process, and shouldn’t be skipped. Keep reading to learn some of the key benefits of scheduling through new construction inspections.
Ensuring Quality Craftsmanship
One of the biggest benefits of a new construction inspection is that it allows you to verify the quality of the materials and craftsmanship that went into building the home. New homes are constructed rapidly, and workers are focused on finishing the job efficiently. This can sometimes mean that details get missed along the way. An inspection gives you assurance that your biggest investment has been built to the proper standards.
During the inspection, the inspector will carefully examine the finishing details in each room. Some key areas they will assess include:
- Installation quality of windows, doors, cabinetry, trim, and hardware
- Smoothness and consistency of drywall surfaces, paint, and finishes
- Functionality of electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems
- Quality roofing, siding, and exterior materials
- Grading and drainage around the foundation
If any issues with fit, finish, or functionality are identified, you’ll have the opportunity to request repairs from the builder prior to closing. This ensures you won’t be stuck down the road with costly defects. Paying attention to the craftsmanship during a new construction inspection sets you up for long-term satisfaction with your biggest investment.
Verifying Adherence to Plans and Specs
Another big advantage of getting a new construction inspection is that you can confirm the home has been built according to the agreed upon plans and specifications. Builders juggling multiple construction projects may accidentally substitute some materials or make changes to the designs along the way. The inspection provides third-party verification that you’re getting exactly what you paid for.
The inspector will review the home plans and material specs line-by-line, making sure everything matches up. Some key areas they will check include:
- House measurements and layout match plans
- Correct windows, doors, finishes have been installed
- Quality of flooring materials meet specs
- Cabinetry, hardware, and fixtures are as specified
- Electrical panel, wiring, and devices meet plans
If any discrepancies are found, you’ll be able to address them prior to closing while you still have leverage. Paying for a professional set of eyes to verify your plans and specifications gives you confidence and peace of mind about your new home.
Identifying Building Code Violations
Your home plans have been approved by your local permitting office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all building codes have been followed properly in practice. Earning a certificate of occupancy doesn’t guarantee full compliance either. This is where an independent new construction inspection comes in.
Inspectors are deeply familiar with the relevant building codes for your area. They know what to look for in terms of proper installation methods, required safety devices, minimum clearance requirements, and more. The inspector will check that:
- Handrails, smoke detectors, ventilation fans meet code
- Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC installed safely and properly
- Insulation grade adequate for climate zone
- Foundation, framing, and structural components sufficient
By identifying any code violations, you can request the builder make the necessary corrections before the home is considered complete. This ensures your home meets all safety and construction requirements set forth by your local jurisdiction. Strict adherence to the codes translates to reduced risks and better home performance over the long run.
Checking for Energy Efficiency
With heating and cooling costs fluctuating year to year, it’s important to understand how efficient your new home is right out of the gate. Energy efficiency saves money and provides better comfort indoors. Your new construction inspection provides an energy audit of sorts for the home.
The inspector will thoroughly check the property for areas where efficiency could be improved. Key items they assess include:
- Quality and grade of insulation in walls, attic, foundations
- Air tightness of exterior walls, windows, doors
- Ductwork correctly sealed to improve airflow
- HVAC system properly sized for the home’s square footage
- Water heaters, fixtures, and appliances Energy Star rated
Based on the results, you can request additional insulation, sealing, or equipment upgrades to optimize energy performance. This keeps costs down and improves comfort. Having an expert assess the home’s efficiency gives you options to save money down the road.
Gaining an Unbiased Professional Assessment
New home builders thoroughly check the home during construction and before turnover. But their inspections have an inherent bias since they want the project completed and sold as soon as possible. With a third-party inspector, you get an impartial, independent assessment focused on your best interests.
Professional home inspectors work for the buyers, not the builders. They have no stake in the transaction being completed quickly or cheaply. This allows them to be completely objective when conducting their analysis. If issues are identified, they aren’t afraid to point them out. Unbiased assessments give you confidence that problems won’t be overlooked or minimized.
Defining Repairs and Negotiating Credits
The new construction inspection provides documentation of any defects, code violations, unfinished items, or warranted repairs requested. This allows you to go back to the builder with defined requests for fixes or credits.
Rather than loosely negotiating discounts, you can reference clear inspection reports when asking for credits. Quantifying necessary repairs takes the debate and uncertainty out of the discussion. Most builders will complete repairs when presented with reasonable, documented requests. This allows you to reach a fair compromise.
Thoughtfully negotiated credits or repairs ensures you feel good about the home and the price you paid at closing. A detailed inspection gives you important leverage and information when finalizing the purchase of your new construction home. This makes the settlement process smoother for all parties.
Invest Wisely for the Long Term
New construction inspections take some time, effort, and money up front. But they can save you big in the long run by avoiding unforeseen problems. View inspection costs as a small fraction of your huge investment in your new home. This modest expense gives you decades of confidence, savings, and satisfaction.
Work diligently to identify the right inspector. Be present for the inspection itself. And take action on any issues uncovered in the report. By investing proactively in a quality inspection, you gain peace of mind and make an informed purchase. This sets you up for a smooth home buying experience and years of enjoyment in your new space. Don’t let the excitement cause you to skip this critical step!