It isn't unusual for home owners buying a new-construction, or newly built, home to consider foregoing the home inspection process. The idea seems to make sense, as a person who bought a newly constructed home myself, I completely understand the thought process.
Most of us assume that a home inspection is primarily to inspect what deferred maintenance you could be inheriting upon purchase:
- Is the furnace in good working condition?
- What's that smell in the basement - mold, signs of water-back-up issues?
- How old is the water heater? Will it need to be replaced soon?
- Is that hairline crack in the basement some typical settling or is it a sign you need an expert to take a look at the integrity of the foundation?
And when we're buying a brand-new home, one that hasn't been lived in, one that is either being custom-built for our family, or one that's in available inventory from one of the many builders in our area - a Pulte or Ryan home neighborhood, Schumacker home or one of the new construction town-homes and condominiums quickly expanding in Cleveland's hot pockets of real estate activity - Detroit Shoreway, Tremont or Ohio City, none of those questions about furnaces, hot water tanks, stinky basements and so on are a worry.
So We Don't Need a Home Inspection for a New Construction Home, Right?
Wrong. Although it is true that the typical wear and tear that occurs on a home over time is not going to play a part in your home inspection, there are so many other factors that you would want a home inspector to review. The common issues we see when inspecting newly constructed homes:
- Insulation! Our buddies at Myers Insulating Services of Solon, OH have been kept in business with poorly insulated homes by many Cleveland area builders over the past decades. Insulation and ventilation are key areas that builders can ignore without the average home buyer noticing. Unfortunately, fixes to properly insulate your home to stop heat loss in our Cleveland winters can be costly. Improper insulation of basement walls, around recessed lighting, bathroom fans will result in substantial heat loss and air leaks. Improper insulation of sidewalls and interior walls of town-homes and condominiums makes or breaks the peace and quiet - with improper insulation leading to "thin walls" and seemingly noisy neighbors.
- Roofing and ventilation. Incorrect installation of a roof, or the ventilation system that should accompany a roofing system, can result in leaks, moisture retention, mold and wood rot and ultimately the need for a new roof and/or expensive mold remediation. Our relationships with many roofers and mold remediation companies, including Stan's Roofing and Builders and Dutch's Mold Remediation - both of Lorain County, has contributed to our field experience and exposure to countless roofing and ventilation issues that have resulted in major mold remediation issues. A home inspection is designed to catch these issues before you buy - and hopefully get the builder to make corrections.
- Windows and Doors. Another area where construction companies can cut costs is in proper window and door installation. The average Joe doesn't typically think about the installation of windows and doors. We tend to think if you get energy efficient windows and doors, you'll have energy efficient windows and doors. However, if they aren't installed properly you could be loosing heat around the edges or frustrated they aren't securing properly. The good news is, when a home inspector can catch an improper installation job before the sale is completed, the builder or sub-contractor responsible for that aspect of the project will typically stand behind their recent work and come out to fix anything that could have come up in a home inspection.
A recent article that came up in our Google feed, "Top tips for buying a brand-new home: Real estate expert," reminded us of this topic as the author writes:
"Not every builder has a known track record. Some are new in the neighborhood and are building for the first time. Other builders have an established reputation. From this group of builders, some have a very good reputation based on workmanship quality and customer service. Others have a reputation for using substandard materials or having pending lawsuits and bankruptcies.
Hire a qualified inspector to inspect the newly built home ... Even though your builder will provide a certificate of occupancy and provide city sign-off cards, that is not enough to prove that the house has been approved for quality control."
So even if you're buying a new construction or newly-built home, contact Tri-County Home Inspections for a home inspection of your brand new home. A thorough inspection can give you peace of mind that there aren't any issues with the roof, insulation, ventilation or other major areas and if something was overlooked inadvertently, our inspection can make sure it's handled before you move in to your new home! Schedule an inspection today or check out our costs page to find various home inspection discounts you may qualify for.