If you are like the thousands of people who believe buying a new construction home means your homeownership will be void of worry, think again. What could be wrong with a brand new, never lived-in house? The easy answer is a lot. It’s important you hire a professional home inspector and here is why.
Knowing the Difference: Municipal Building Inspector Versus Home Inspector
Builders are required to have new construction homes inspected by a municipal building inspector. However, this type of inspector’s job is solely to make certain that everything in the house is up to code. That only means that the house is deemed safe to live in.
On the other hand, a home inspector’s job is a more thorough inspection of the property. Home inspectors check for compliance and assess if there are any structural defects or hazards. This involves examining the interior and exterior of the home, including electrical and plumbing systems, water quality, and infrastructure.
Benefits of a New Construction Home Inspection
Probably the best reason to have your new construction home professionally inspected is to catch any issues before you become responsible for the costs of the repairs. Issues with plumbing and wiring are common with new construction and can cause quite a headache when you try to use your appliances or flush your toilet. In addition to being a pain to deal with, they can be quite costly repairs.
Depending on the warranty the builders provide, you may not be aware of any repairs needed until it’s too late. Walking through your new home it may seem that everything is in working condition until your power goes out when you try to run too many appliances at once. Spending a few hundred dollars on a professional home inspector will give you peace of mind that you won’t be shelling out thousands to an electrician shortly.
Preventing a Disaster
There are several areas of your new construction home that a municipal inspector won’t look at simply because that is not their job.
A professional home inspector will check for gutters that are not properly connected, settling cracks in the foundation, piping and wiring penetrations that are not properly sealed, missing installed flashing, and insufficient foundation drainage and waterproofing. It’s not hard to imagine how any of these issues could result in a huge disaster.
Hire a Professional Home Inspector More Than Once
It is smart to have a home inspector check your new home more than once. Hire a professional to come out and poke around as soon as the foundation is poured. They will be able to check for any settling, cracks, or issues with the concrete. Having this checked out before your house is built can save you a potential catastrophe.
Hire your inspector to come out a second time after all the framing is up and the plumbing is intact. They can check for any possible issues with the electrical systems, plumbing, and framing before the walls are closed up.
Finally, have your inspector visit right before you move in when they can check for draining and sealing issues on both the interior and exterior of the home. It is during this final visit they can make certain the windows and doors are sealed properly, the roof flashing is installed correctly, there are no issues with water draining from your roof, and that your HVAC system, piping, and ductwork are up to par.
It may seem unnecessary to hire a home inspector when you are moving into a home with a clean slate. Unfortunately, new construction homes can come with unforeseen issues that don’t come to light until it’s too late and you are footing the bill for thousands of dollars in repairs.
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