Home InspectionJuly 2nd, 2019 by Allister Remigio
Common Issues Found in New Homes
Though it would seem that new homes should be relatively error-free, according to many inspectors, they often have underlying issues at work.
According to National Property Inspections, some common issues found during new construction home inspections include:
- Structural defects, like foundation cracks, improper grading, and poor framing
- Drainage and grading issues, which could cause water and structural damage later on
- Window leaks
- HVAC issues, including malfunctioning thermostats and loose connections
- Electrical problems, such as improperly wired outlets, open grounds and missing switch plates
- Plumbing issues, including reversed hot/cold in faucets, improper piping, leaks, and more
Inspectors say they also often find incomplete projects. This could include insufficient insulation, half-installed handrails or fixtures, or missing pieces of hardware.
What New Home Inspectors Look At
Home inspectors look at a wide variety of features in each stage of their inspections. They will also take into account local building code, which varies by municipality. Though this is not an exhaustive list, these are some of the items most inspectors will examine when evaluating a newly built home:
- Drain, waste, and vent lines
- Water lines
- Plumbing and piping
- Trenches and soil
- Elevation, drainage, and grading
- Beams, bearings, and other framing items
- Nails, screws, studs, and plates
- Fire blocking and draft stopping
- Leaks, water intrusion and mold risks
- Plumbing and wiring
- HVAC and ducting
- Roof, chimney, and gutters
- Doors and windows
- Exterior items, like walkways, driveways, sheds, decks, patios, and garages
- Foundation, basements, and crawlspaces
- HVAC systems, including the thermostat
- Plumbing, toilets, sinks, and sump pumps
- Electrical conductors, circuit breakers, meters, and panelboards
- Attic, insulation, and ventilation
- Appliances, such as dishwashers, disposals, ovens, microwaves, and sprinkler systems
New home buyers can certainly skip the home inspection stage, as can any other homebuyer. The risk in this is that unknown issues with the home could crop up after move-in, when it’s too late for the builder to fix it (and pay for it).
The Bottom Line
New construction home inspections allow you to be proactive about your home purchase. On a resale property, you can only inspect the home after the fact—meaning all you can do is repair an issue or cover it up. With a well-timed inspection in your construction process, your builder can actually get to the root of the problem and remedy it entirely before the build goes further.
Remember, don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because a new home may look flawless to the naked eye doesn’t mean it’s perfect below the surface. Calling in a qualified home inspector can ensure you’re making the best decision for your family and your finances.
Source: The Balance, “Do I Need a Home Inspection with New Construction” (March 21, 2019)