Should you get a new home inspected?
Builders will tell you that you do not need to hire an inspector because they use third party inspectors to inspect their work. The problem is that their third party inspector knows that if he finds too many problems, the builder will hire someone else. Municipal building inspectors do not have the time to do a thorough inspection. You should always hire you own inspector to get a new home inspection.
There are three major phases of a new home inspection. The first inspection is the foundation inspection done before the concrete is placed. Most builders have the engineer who designed the foundation perform this inspection. If the foundation fails, the engineer is the first one to lame. The engineer will make sure that the foundation and reinforcement is done according to his plan. If you need to skip one of the three inspections, this is the one provided the engineer performs his inspection.
The second inspection is the predrywall inspection. This is the most important inspection during the building process. If you don’t do any other inspection, do this one. It is the last time that what is inside the walls can be seen. This inspection is done after all of the trades have finished their rough-ins. Wires have been pulled, water and sewer piping has been installed, ductwork is in place, and the framing is complete. Once the drywall is installed, none of this can be viewed.
The third inspection is the final inspection. This inspection ideally is done the day before your “blue tape” walk-thru with the builder. If done at this time, it is the only inspection that cosmetic concerns are addressed. Otherwise, this inspection can be done at any time. What is observed at this inspection can be seen a year from now or ten years from now. The importance of getting this inspection done early is the builder can correct any deficiencies and you will be better prepared to point out the cosmetic defects during your “blue tape” walk-thru.
The best scenario to get a new home inspected is to have the engineer inspect the foundation and hire an inspector to inspect the rest of the construction. You’ll want an inspector that has plenty of inspection experience, home building experience, and education in these types of inspections.
Author Larry Wedige (TREC#6060) of LarryInspects Home Inspection Service in San Antonio Texas is licensed by the State of Texas as a Professional Real Estate Inspector and has over 18 years of home inspection experience and over 50 years of home building and remodeling experience. He has taught the home inspection curriculum at San Antonio College and exceeds the required hours of continuing education yearly. Some of the information here may not be applicable to your area. Review this information with your engineer or inspector for further details.