New Construction Inspections

Having a new home built can be an exhilarating experience, but also an overwhelming one. Whether you’re working with a large company in a planned community or an individual builder doing one project at a time, the home buyer can’t possibly see every detail. That’s why choosing a trusted builder is important. 

However, even the best builders are humans and have to deal with real world material delays, busy sub-contractors, scheduling mishaps, or just miscommunications. Even when the builder employs their own inspector, some items just get missed. Big and small. Every time.

City code inspectors might identify some of these items, but they are tasked to ensure compliance with the entirety of construction codes (structural, plumbing, electrical, mechanical) on several homes a day. That’s a big job. It’s not practical for a city inspector to spend three hours at each jobsite to identify all defects. They are typically only looking for major red-flags.

With all these real-life complexities, a third party inspector can add tremendous value to the home building process and save a lot of money and headaches down the road. There are three key steps during the build process that an independent inspector can add value with a thorough inspection and a detailed report delivered to the buyer.

new construction

A Phase I inspection happens when the home’s foundation has been prepared but the concrete has not been poured. There are critical items to check at this stage relating to the home’s grading, foundation, layout, and plumbing. 

We’ll check the integrity and placement of the under-slab components including reinforcement steel, post-tension cables, moisture barriers and plumbing drainage pipes. We ensure that the concrete forms are properly supported and level. We’ll ensure that the foundation footing is the required depth all around the home.

The builder’s plans are usually available to us for this inspection and we can verify the location of certain components such as plumbing drains and any buried electrical components.

At the phase II inspection, the structure is starting to look like a home, but there are still no interior walls or insulation in place. At this stage, we can perform a thorough inspection of all the structural components from the foundation up through the roof. We’ll be able to identify deficiencies in load bearing walls, stairs, floor and ceiling structures, and all of the roofing components. Once the interior finishes are installed, these components will all be concealed making it next to impossible to adequately inspect these areas of the home

This is also the best time to check the distribution system components such as supply and drainage plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC distribution. Deficiencies in these systems could go undetected until they begin to cause damage months or even years down the road.

The Phase I and II inspections are not governed by the TREC home inspection Standards of Practice since they are not “substantially complete” residential structures. This allows us the flexibility to build a report template that is most helpful to our clients. However, to give our client’s piece of mind that we are following industry standard practices, we have adopted the ASHI Pre-Drywall Standards of Practice for our Phase II inspections to clarify what we will be inspecting.

A phase III new construction inspection is the same service as our residential inspections that are regulated by TREC, but with an added emphasis on potential cosmetic items and functionality. With a new build home and the warranties in place, our clients have a right to be meticulous and expect that the builder completes every last detail to the original design standards. 

In addition to the TREC standard inspection template, we’ll add inspection findings such as “Unfinished Interior Finishes” and “HVAC Ducting Deficiencies”. These would be items that are negligible for an existing home real estate transaction, but deserve attention as part of a new installation. Since we won’t be spending as much time investigating the age and condition of each system and component, we can spend the extra inspection time analyzing the integrity of these smaller items to add as much value as possible for our clients.

The warranty inspection is closer to a full home inspection as regulated by TREC, so we included it in our residential inspection services page.

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