There are over 12,000 new homes either under construction or will be under construction in Southwest Florida. Just a few years ago, I built a new home and I documented, with photographs, the entire construction process. So when I tell people that they should have an inspection done on new construction, they give me a puzzled look. After all, shouldn’t a brand new home be perfect? In the perfect world...yes. In reality, there is no such thing as a perfect home. A home inspection before you close on your newly-built home is a great way to help protect your long-term investment!
So what is a construction oversight? Construction oversights are when in the process of building a home the installation of components or systems are inadvertently left out. A quality home inspection will find construction oversights and then the contractor can take care of them before the close of the real estate transaction. I recently spoke with a home inspector who conducts many new construction inspections and he said that about 90% of those homes he inspects has some construction oversights.
What are some of the items that are typically found in new construction home inspections? Common oversights include incomplete electrical systems, incomplete plumbing, gutters that are incorrectly installed, missing roofing components, fireplaces that are incomplete and many others. The reasons construction oversights occur vary from inadvertent omissions to just plain bad construction practices. The building of a new home is a complex choreography of many subcontractors. Each subcontractor is dependent on everyone doing their jobs in a given time frame. When there are delays the scheduling of the subcontractors quickly becomes a nightmare. Subcontractors may be working on many homes at one time and without careful coordination inadvertent oversights occur. An experienced home inspector will find these problems and help reduce the headaches of the buyer before they purchase the home.
The home inspector will also help you understand your new home and its systems. I like to show the new home owner where to reset circuit breakers for various systems like the garage or outdoor electrical outlets. I inform the new home owner on what to expect in the first year. For example, it is typical to have a few nail pops here and there as the home settles. The builder also may offer a home warranty and I set a date to remind the new home owner when their warranty is about to expire. Many times I will schedule what is called an "11 Month Home Warranty Inspection" where I come back just before the warranty expires to ensure everything is working properly. I offer the service of doing a follow up inspection to find specific issues that the builder should address when servicing the home warranty before it expires. In many cases I uncover warranty issues which cost more to resolve than the cost of the follow up inspection and I like to save my clients money.
Hiring an experienced home inspector to complete a diligent inspection of your newly constructed home is a wise decision. Be informed about your new home and make a successful transition. A home inspector who works for your best interests will find those oversights that may affect your pocket book and your family’s safety.