Top Reasons Your New Home Still Needs an Inspection
Many new home builders will tell you that the new home you are buying is being inspected by their 53,000 point process and that they follow the highest building standards out there. The homes are also inspected by home inspectors during the construction process.
That means you should be good, right?
I have seen some very dangerous situations in homes that met all of the builders’ criteria, and that passed local permitting.
- Screws Through Wires In The Electrical Panel
In new construction homes, it is a requirement that the new electrical panel is inspected. Unfortunately, many times when the panel is inspected, the front of the panel is not screwed in place, so that the inspector can inspect the locations of the wires, and all of the connections. Unfortunately, that is also where many of the problems come in.
Since the panel is inspected prior to the installation of the face plate, it is entirely possible that the installation of that face plate could happen in a way that leads to a screw rubbing against your wires, or worse, going through the main power line into the house, potentially exposing the home to an electrical fire.
- Improperly Installed GFCI Circuits
Just because building code requires a GFCI circuit does not mean that one has been installed, or that it has been adequately tested. This can lead to an electric shock hazard, and can be extremely dangerous in places in our homes where we have electricity near water- in bathrooms, and in our kitchen. GFCI circuits are extremely important to reduce the risk of electric shock as they trip to prevent this from happening, when an electric surge is detected.
- Inadequate Drainage Around the Foundation
Unfortunately, there are lots of ways that things can go wrong with drainage around the foundation, leading to wet crawl spaces and soaking basements. It is important that French drains be installed correctly, and that they not be buried by mulch, and piles of dirt, so that they can function correctly.
One other problem that drains around the house can have is that they can simply be crushed during grading of the lot around the home, and a crushed drainage pipe is one that simply cannot function.
- Improper Flashing On The Roof
Water is the single biggest enemy of our homes. It can cause rot, damage, foundation cracking, and a whole host of nightmare scenarios. Unfortunately, most homeowners can’t or won’t climb up on the roof to inspect flashing. Even if they were to climb up, and inspect the flashing, they wouldn’t know what to look for. This is where the services of a good home inspector really shine.
I can point out to you where there are problems with the flashing, and help you prevent and correct problems before they happen. This means preventing water damage from slow, small water leaks that inevitably become much bigger problems over time.
- Improperly Installed Plumbing Fixtures
It is extremely important to test all sinks, faucets and drains prior to the purchase of a home.
While it may seem obvious to most, it is very easy to miss the little details, like a plug left in a line, or a bathtub that hasn’t been connected to the drain. Of course, these can cause hundreds to thousands of dollars when they happen and are easily checked by a competent home inspector during the build process.
Another common mistake is when the pump is not connected to the bathtub in a jacuzzi tub. That can mean that all of the water would simply run all over the floor as the new homeowner attempts to fill their bathtub for the first time. I have seen this mistake cost thousands of dollars and over a month of delay in closing.
- Missing Caulking and Weather Stripping
Since water is one of the biggest enemies of your home, it is important that water goes where it is supposed to go, and that it not go where it is not supposed to go. It is all too easy to miss simple caulking and weather stripping on the home and overlook missing elements of weather stripping.
- Problems With Cabinetry and Other Built Ins
If cabinets are not installed and leveled correctly, they can fall off the walls. Careful inspection will reveal whether cabinets are installed correctly and properly affixed to the walls and studs in the home.
- Improperly Installed Flooring
There are lots of different types of flooring out there, and it is a rapidly changing market. Unfortunately, some types of flooring should never be installed over certain types of sub-flooring. For instance, certain types of hardwood floors should never be installed over a concrete subfloor, yet it is not uncommon for builders to install flooring improperly. Given that some types of flooring are quite expensive, this can add up to a very costly headache for you, as the flooring and subflooring expand and contract at different rates, causing a faster failure than you might otherwise experience.
And the list goes on…
Unfortunately, the number of problems that can be exposed by a competent home inspector are too numerous to list in a single article, but as you are likely getting the picture by now, it is an investment that is well worth your time and money prior to purchasing any new home. It is rare that I do not find some problems during the inspection that should have been caught during the quality control process, or by the building inspector. Sometimes the problems are quite small, but other times, the problems are quite extensive, requiring expensive remediation and repairs by the builder before the home will safely and adequately pass inspection.
Please Contact Us and schedule a home inspection so that we can make sure that the home you are buying today is safe, and will stand the test of time.