Should I Get A New Construction Home Inspection ?

backwards furnace

Most new homes are well built. The quality of construction and errors will typically vary from builder to builder. A common response to the question of obtaining a new construction home inspection is “everything is already inspected by the building department”. The building department will only inspect for plan an code compliance and will not care about functional or cosmetic defects. The building department inspectors also do not have 2-3 hours to inspect every home.

Below are a sampling of construction defects identified during the past few years during several new construction inspections. Cosmetic defects or functional defects were not included in this list. The homes were built by small builders, national builders and ranged from starter homes to homes priced over 1.5 million dollars. Most of these home had received the certificate of occupancy (“building final”).

PLUMBING

– A clogged primary waste line which resulted in water pouring out of the ceiling of the basement

– Leakage at a plumbing waste line clean out

– Plumbing clean out that will be buried in a dead space (pre-drywall inspection)

– Hot water plumbed to the toilet

– Disconnected plumbing waste line support straps

– Leakage of shower pans

HEATING

– Furnace system installed backwards. The heated air was blowing out the cold air return (a personal favorite !)

– Improperly installed furnace drip pan resulting in condensation leakage onto the floor 2 ceiling

– Heat registers buried under carpeting and tile floors

– Gas leaks

ELECTRICAL

– Disconnected electrical system grounding wire

– Improperly wired electrical outlets

– Circuit breakers that trip immediately when reset

– Overheating electrical wires

– Garage disposal that poured smoke out of the cabinet (near electrical fire)

EXTERIOR

– Plumbing vent flashings improperly installed as they were set on top of the roofing

– Chimney cap that does not extend over the siding

– House identification numbers missing or incorrect

CRAWLSPACE

– Foundation vents fully blocked by insulation

– Water in the crawlspace

ATTIC

– Roof vents were not installed

– Attic was not insulated

INTERIOR

– Stairwell balusters that fell out when lifted

– Fall safety hazard due to unsecured attic spaces accessible from the second floor

– Inconsistent window grid patterns

– Lack of tempered glass where required (the builder had ordered the correct window, but it was installed at the wrong location)

– Bedroom window sill height too high to meet current egress requirements

– Leaking shower doors

GARAGE

– Garage door safety reverse photo cell sensors not installed. They were taped together to trick the opener into working