Inspections for New Homes

Submitted by SteveWillis on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:30

Do I need to get an inspection on the new build house I’m buying? The answer is yes….and no. Maybe the builder is a well known national builder, a large local builder, or a small custom home builder. They will all offer at least a one year warranty. This will generally cover most components of a home. In El Paso County (and most larger jurisdictions) there is a building department.

An average home will have approximately 25 different inspections. These inspections are done by industry specific inspectors (i.e. plumbing experts look at the plumbing, electrical inspectors just do electrical, etc.). You can be pretty sure all the major components have been inspected.

Why get an outside inspection now? Don’t get one now. Wait until you have lived in the home for 10 to 11 months. Let a certified home inspector help you prepare the final punch list for things the builder should repair.

After living in the home for the better part of a year, you have found things that are annoying, or just don’t seem right. A qualified home inspector can help you put them into words, what your concern is, or perhaps show you a trick to make the concern go away.

Top New Home Defects

Foundation Problems

Issues with the foundation of your home are not only extremely dangerous, but they can also cost a lot to fix. The main signs of a foundation problem are if the doors stick or won’t latch, windows won’t easily close or get stuck, or if there are cracks in the walls, doorways, windows, or floors. These are all signs of movement.

The structural movement wouldn’t be seen at the walk through inspection. After a year, the backfill around the foundation has had a chance to settle. This can have a huge impact on the foundation. A home inspector will be able to help alleviate drainage issues.

A Leaky Roof

It is very rare to have a new build house with a roof problem. However, things do happen. If the leak is severe enough, you will know right away that here is an issue. The builder should be contacted immediately.

A small leak may not be noticed until the inspector looks in the attic. There could be a small leak from the roof that gets into your attic. There’s not enough water to penetrate the ceiling, but insulation damage and the potential for mold growth are likely.

Plumbing and Electrical Issues

Due to the number of trade inspections performed during construction, it is safe to assume that the major components were installed properly. However, minor adjustments and material failure are quite common. A sink that doesn’t hold water is easy to ignore and easier to fix.

If an inspector doesn’t mention the issue it may be forgotten and never corrected. It is very common for the new owners to have no idea how to reset a GFCI or AFCI breaker. A good inspector will help educate you about your home.

Caulking and Sealing

Due to the low relative humidity in Colorado Springs, caulks and sealants tend to dry out and crack. The caulking is not only an aesthetic feature in baths and kitchens, but it is primarily to prevent moisture from getting where it shouldn’t. A home inspection will help find issues that don’t seem important, but can have large consequences down the road.

High Levels of Radon

High levels of radon don’t just occur in older homes. Sometimes the soil that new homes are built on can contribute to the high levels of radon. Not to mention Colorado is classified as a Red Zone state, which means all of the houses in Colorado have the potential to have elevated levels of radon.

Get a Home Inspection 

It’s highly recommended that you get a home inspection for a new build. But wait until you have lived in the home and give the house a chance to settle in. Contacting a certified home inspector at the 11 month anniversary of ownership can help you get all the information to the builder for repairs under the 12 month warranty.

Willis Home Inspection is owned Steve Willis, a professional home inspector and a third generation home builder. When you’re ready to get your home looked at, give Steve a call at 719-499-3221.

Submitted by SteveWillis on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:30