I wanted to get your thoughts regarding having a home inspector examine a new construction build.
The builder is a large multi-state tract builder. My parents had their home built through them 1 year ago. So far they have fixed everything that needed to be fixed but, they have all been very labor/time/cost intensive jobs. They did not hire an inspector.
I am approaching the Pre-drywall meeting and thinking about hiring an inspector to look at the framing and foundation. Then hiring him again to look at the finished home. What does the FW…sorry FD community think about home inspectors?
I purchased a new construction home about 5 months ago and hired a home inspector for ~600 (including radon inspection). The inspector was thorough and found a few items that needed to be corrected, but it was definitely an easier job for him than a 20 yr old house. This was our first home purchase so I’m glad I purchased one, but I’m not sure if I would have again.
Note - we came across this house when it was complete already, and didn’t have a chance to hire an inspector throughout the build. I think if I was building a house, I would definitely hire an inspector and have them come out periodically at major milestones (foundation, structure, electrical, etc).
Congrats on the new house.
If you know a good inspector, I would recommend it. Actually, if the local real estate market isn’t too hot, you may find a well respected custom builder who isn’t too busy. I bet he would make a pretty good inspector of a new tract home.
We’ve recently moved into our first ever “tract built” home. It wasn’t new, but a developer has started finishing our subdivision and I get to see some of their work during dog walks. A few suggestions:
Don’t assume the county inspectors are good for anything other than getting paid. They may be, but consider that a bonus.
Take pictures before the drywall goes up and label them. In 5 - 10 years, when you want to add a wiring jack, or find a plumbing problem, etc you will be able to see what is where. It is a small effort to do this while there are only sticks there.
Once ready for move-in, test your water pressure. A lot of tract builders put pressure reducers on incoming water lines and tune them as low as they think they can get away with. This helps to hide/prevent leaks that would present themselves at normal pressures of 55 - 60 psi.
Make sure you are there during any rainstorms to get an idea of how well the property is graded.
Even if on a slab, check for level on the floor. Just drop a golf ball from a few inches if you don’t have a level. You should also do this on your deck/patio to make sure that is a very slight slope away from the home. Also check the brick ledge at the bottom of windows to make sure they slope away from the windows.
Take a look at the brick work. Skilled bricklayers are getting harder and harder to find, and tract builders number two obsession is time. Good bricklaying is not a particularly “fast” trade.
Check the electrical switches that have ganged dimmers on them, to make sure they have the correct wattage rating. Ours did not.
If the downspouts go into underground plastic pipes, make sure those pipes exit the ground far enough away from the foundation.
I know that you didn’t ask for the above, but should you not find a good home inspector, this will at least help avoid things that I’m seeing in our home or in the construction that’s occurring now.
IF you have the opportunity to get a home inspected before drywall is put up. Do it. In particular look at electrical, plumbing, foundation, and all the exterior stuff (walls are properly flashed, windows are properly sealed, etc).
Is insulation also in? air leakage is a big thing, so checking for holes/air gaps/ thermal breaks is a good thing.
Thank you all for your input. I’ll certainly hire one now. Is there a group thought on certifications? My state does not require licensure. Does ASHI or NACHI matter?
certifications don’t necessarily mean anything.
I’d call a realtor that’s a friend and ask who their pickiest inspector is.
Or who is notorious for generating a cringe when the selling agent finds out who the inspector is.
You want someone who knows a lot and is thorough. you don’t want someone who has a checklist they run through.