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Doing my walkthrough on a new build


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Im not an inspector, just an appraiser whose building knowledge pales to you guys. What are the main things I should be looking for on my initial walkthrough asides from obvious cosmetics??? Walking this week, sched to close next week so it should be close.

I guess I should run every faucet for a while full blast, crank the ac, test the heat, look for larger than normal cracks in the stucco and foundation. Should I bring a lamp or something to test every outlet?? Any further suggestions are appreciated. Thx.

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First, hire a competent inspector who has IRC Code knowledge and who does loads of new homes. Since you're an appraiser, you should know that you shouldn't close on a home without an inspection no more than you should buy one without an appraisal. I don't know where Surprise AZ is, however there are some fine AZ inspectors on this board. If they can't help you, I'm sure they can point you in the right direction.

I could list over 400 items you should be looking for and you still won't come close to finding as many items as an experienced inspector. Not trying to be a hard a$$, just stating fact.

One thing you stated that scared me was "look for larger than normal cracks in the Stucco and foundation" This sounds like some B.S. that you're builder told you. You may have some fine hairline cracks in the surface of the foundation (which you won't see because of the floor covering unless you have them in the garage)but you shouldn't have cracks in the face of the foundation. You should also not have cracks in the Stucco, at least not at first. This is just one area that your inspector will save your bacon, helping you separate the builder B.S. from the truth.

Okay, just for kicks here are a few things you can do. Fill all the sinks to full, checking the the overflows if they have them. Then drain them and watch for leaks. The same with the bathtubs (I like to drain all tubs at once). I also run showers for 30 minutes. After you drain the tubs, look at the exterior of the home (at the face of the foundation) for leaks. Check ceilings below upstairs bathrooms for leaks. Flush the commodes at least 5 times watching for weak flushes or hicups.

Go to Lowes or HD and but you an inexpensive 3 light outlet tester with a GFCI button. They're about 10 bucks. This won't be as good as the circuit analyzer your inspector should have, but it beats "plugging in a lamp" at every outlet.

About the only thing you can do at the Service Panel is make sure it's labeled. An experienced inspector will be able to pull the cover off and check to make sure it's wired and installed correctly.

I can't begin to tell you what to look for in the attic. There is a ton of stuff including the level of insulation and ventilation, not to mention the mechanicals.

You can take a flashlight (a good one with a powerful beam like a maglite or stream light) and run it parralell over the wall to check for irregularities.

I'm not even going to try and tell you how to test the HVAC system, too much stuff. Just running them won't tell you if they are running properly or if they're installed properly.

There's a ton more to know. Unfortunately many people buy the "Oh, I have a 1 year warranty in case anything goes wrong" B.S. This normally comes back to bite them when they go to sell their home a few years down the road. It's then that they find out that a few hundred dollars spent on an inspector would have been cheaper than a few thousand dollar repair on something that the builder should have corrected during construction.

Best Wishes and Good Luck on your new home,

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The absolute guru of new construction is in the SW. Me Being from Mich does you no good, even tho' my company does hundreds per year. Consider going to ASHI.com and looking for an inspector in your zip and then look at their profile. Personally, I would not scrimp on the walk-thru.

Besides all that, it is raining and snowing like crazy in Michigan today and I

have bald snow tires!

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Originally posted by Les

oh ya' Chris Prickett

Email me, and I'll give you my cell #. I'd obviously prefer to get paid to inspect it[;)]

but at the very least, I'll give you some pointers.

I've inspected Del Webb/Pulte, Taylor Woodrow, Hacienda, Wm. Lyons, Centex, Rich. American, and many others in Surprise. The city's building dept. is overworked, and nobody checks the roof or attics.

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