Jump to content

New Home Inspections


Chad Fabry
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

For some reason folks tend to send me an occasional email asking for advice on this or that. I do my best to answer and always direct them to ask here at TIJ so they can get the benefit of all the experience the cumulative brain has to offer.

Here's the question I was asked:

Hi Chad. Sorry to keep pestering you for info, when you get sick of me just

> say so I will totally understand. Just wondering how you handle new homes?

> They are walk thru inspections aren't they? So is there no report filled out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I inspect new homes the same as pre-owned. I make no assumptions.

I tell clients that as a consumer I wouldn't think that an inspection would be necessary because. . . well, its new and the builder has a good reputation and blah, blah, blah. But as an inspector, I myself am always surprised at the significant issues I do find, even with the reputable builders. Names mean nothing to me.

Fact is, it also may take me longer cuz of the AFCI's in the home. I trip em all and go thru each bedroom and hit all the receptacles. That's something I don't do on pre-2002 homes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I have noticed is that the smaller tract homes tend to come out pretty well but the more expensive larger homes specially ones built on slopes around here have a lot of issues and code violations that seem to sail right past final.

It doesn't matter even if the inspector god himself just inspected it, I always would advise the buyer to get thier own inspection.

The scope of the inspection is limited to what was readily discernable visibly at the time of the inspection. Maybe on the day the inspector god inspected the building it was sunny and dry. The next day could be rainy and wet etc. and thru no fault of the inspector god something else could turn up.

I an sure that the brethren could come up with a long list of problems found even recently with new construction.

Have you ever been doing your inspection at the same time the muni is there doing his? I have and the ones I have talked to seemed to recognize the difference between what they do and what we do. Funny that the builders don't.

Chris, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard,

The edition of the NEC doesn't matter. AFCI breakers are still not required in NJ. The only one I've ever seen is in my house.

"I an sure that the brethren could come up with a long list of problems found even recently with new construction."

Inspected a new house with the laundry on the second floor above dining room. No floor drain or washing machine pan or indirect drain. Just not installed. Not an easy fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New Home Final inspections are an absolute necessity. Too many things simply overlooked by an over-extended superintendent trying to cover likely 15+ homes.

Crews don't always do the "better building practice" on each project. They forget things or take shortcuts for whatever reason.

An objective third party view (that would be us inspectors) help level the situation a tad.

I love the contracts I get for complete inspections from foundation pre-pour to framing and then the new home final.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Richard:

You're right, however to quote Mr. Hansen book, "Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings"

"When the NEC first required AFCI's (210-12) the implementation date for the requirements was delayed until January 1, 2002 - 3 years after the cover date of the 1999 NEC. The delayed implementation was due to concerns that the technology needed more testing and development, and may also have been to avoid granting a monopoly to those manufacturers that already had AFCI's in place"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently did a warranty inspection for a client, who told me that the Builder/Developer would not recognize anything from a final construction inspection. Their policy is the Certificate of Occupancy is good enough.

Luckily the home owner had the common sense to have an one year warranty inspection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recommend that the final inspection and repairs be completed before the customer signs at closing. It does not matter what the builder recognizes, he either fixes it or the buyer walks.

If a builder had that kind of power, a person would have to accept any kind of crap that a builder chose to throw together.

This is a variation of the Golden rule "He who has the gold makes the rules"

The customer makes the rules as long as he holds onto his "gold"

After the bulder gets your money, he makes the rules.

If he would not build it right the first time, why would he fix it right during a warranty with lots of fine print.

Stick to your guns!

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I think that the "questioner" should be made aware of the difference between a home inspection... "an inexpensive way of finding out the true condition of a very expensive purchase", and a final walkthrough by the purchaser... " a final, last minute look prior to closing".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I did a "new home final" today. Builder/Sales person told client "it was not necessary" as 'their inspector' had given a final OK as did the local municipality.

Then ... along comes Nolan's Inspections, LLC !!

Humm. It was all "approved" and ready for move-in.

Well let's see now:

1) 2nd floor Master Bath sink drain leaking at slip joints above P-Trap. (How many towels do I have in my truck?)

2) Furnace won't operate.

3) 2nd floor flashing "cover trim" (weird) just fell off.

4) Bare incandescents in closets. (not even just missing the globe ... just a porcelin bulb base).

5) Attic access stairs leaves ~ 2-inch gap at ceiling and "won't close".

... I could go on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I do new home inspections all the time. I do them exactly like I do all of my inspections and I write a full report on them. I charge exactly what I would on any other house with the same square footage. Sometimes they hire me to come back at the 11-month point to do their warranty inspections and prepare a final punchlist for the builder. For those, I cut them a little bit of slack - $50 off. It's not a bad deal, because new homes are twofers.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me Too,

Brand new home two weeks ago built by a pretty skilled builder (He does two homes a year - always side-by-side). The interior was done beautifully and, though there were a few small things, the house was overall a winner; until I inspected the crawlspace, that is. The underside of the OSB sub-floor looked like a leopard skin - blotches of mold everywhere. I pushed the insulation aside at not less than about 30 locations and never found a single fungi-free square foot. Then I noticed one of the flex ducts with two broken straps lying on the floor of the crawlspace. I scooted over to the duct and found it full of water - at least 20 gallons!

Two weeks later, the buyer of the home next door hired me. Same builder, another great house. However, when I first walked in the door I couldn't believe the hardwood floors - they looked like a washboard. I went through that entire inspection expecting to find a repeat of the first house, but the crawlspace was pristine and looks like it's been dry as a bone forever. Go figure. Couldn't figure out why the floors looked so bad, though. In the end, the builder agreed that they look bad. They're going to wait a few months to see if they flatten out on their own. If they don't, the hardwood floor guy will be brought back to sand them flat and refinish them.

Two houses, same builder. Both had very significant, though different, issues.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...