New Construction

Reasons You'd Think a New Construction Inspection Isn't Necessary

Buyers of pre-sale homes almost always have their homes inspected by a professional inspector.  Buyers of new homes, however, often do not take this important step.  There are several reasons for this:
  • The buyer is getting a brand new home, and thinks that the inspection is an unnecessary added cost.
  • The buyer feels that they are protected by the builder’s one-year warranty for workmanship, plus extended structural warranty.
  • In many cases, the home is inspected by city inspectors as a part of the permitting process.
  • Buyers believe that they can rely on the builder’s reputation.
  • The builder is resistant to idea of third party inspections.
  • Buyers are not aware that a home inspection is a recommended alternative.
  • The buyer plans to “keep an eye” on the construction.

A business relationship

The construction of a home is a big project involving many contractors and suppliers.  As the buyer and homeowner, you are the financer and recipient of the final product.  If you are like most people, this is your biggest investment.  Understandably, most people want to establish a good rapport with their builder.  They must rely on the builder throughout the job, and for warranty and service work after completion.  They feel that they need the builder’s friendship and goodwill, and do not want to risk damaging the relationship.

You will need to come to terms with this in your own mind.  Do not allow your anxiety about the construction process to obscure the fact that you have a business relationship with your builder.  You are working together under a contract.  It is possible to be cordial and respectful while maintaining the right to bring up problems and concerns.  It is best to establish the ground rules for your relationship at the beginning of the project.  At some point, you may need to tell the builder that something is not acceptable to you.

Scheduled inspection

Let the builder know at the outset that you will be getting a construction inspection.  You may hear (from the builder or others) that this is
unnecessary, that city inspections will be done, that this is an unusual step, etc.  Stand your ground on the inspection decision.  After you have let the builder know that you will be getting an inspection, send an email or written note clarifying when your inspections will be done.  Make it clear that you will need to have the utilities connected for your final inspection.  Allow enough time after the final inspection for corrections to be made before closing.  Check with your inspector about which inspections he recommends.  The three that come to mind are:  foundation, pre-sheetrock, and final inspection.

Foundation Inspection

With some complicated foundations, you should have an engineer review the construction as it progresses.  In other cases, a licensed inspector can do the job.  Usually, city inspectors do a layout inspection, making sure the foundation does not overlap building lines.  Whether or not you are in a city, ask your inspector to double check this.  Ask for a copy of the “forms survey”, if the builder has one.  If a forms survey has not been done, carefully measure from the property lines.  If there is some doubt about whether the structure encroaches over building lines, have a survey done before proceeding.  In addition to the layout, the inspector will check the steel content, depth of footings, post tension cables, and other parts of the foundation.

Pre-drywall Inspection

Most builders invite the homeowner to do a walk-through after framing, HVAC and plumbing rough-in, and electrical wiring are complete.  This is a good time to look at your outlet locations and window and door placements.  Make sure that any changes in the plans have been picked up and made by the subcontractors.

While you check for layout items,  your home inspector can look closely at the construction.  His report might include:  broken plumbing lines, improper flashing, cut or bowed studs, inadequate bracing, beams that over-span their strength, AC ducts that are crushed, etc.  These items are easy to correct at this point before sheetrock and finish materials are installed.

It is not realistic to expect the construction to check out perfectly. Every builder in every price range will have some items to correct, both from the city and the third-party inspector.   Let your builder know that you will provide him with the report immediately so that he can address the items before the walls are closed up.

Final Inspection

You will need to have all utilities on in order to complete this inspection. Normally, the builder requests a “walk-thru” inspection with you when the house is substantially complete.  If utilities are on, you could schedule your inspector at this time.  You can focus on paint and touch-up items, while your inspector conducts a more thorough inspection, checking for leaks, non-functional outlets, final grading of the lot, flashing problems, appliance operation, voids in mortar, etc.

Building a new home can be an exciting and rewarding experience.  A new home can deliver the right floor plan and finishes for you.  It is a complicated project and huge investment.  The support, advice and information that you will gain from a third party inspection is invaluable.  Do not leave out this important step in the building process.  It is well worth the investment.


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See What Our Clients Are Saying!

Dawn RayDawn Ray
20:32 25 Sep 23
Fox Mountain Property Inspection was very thourough, professional, and was very timely.
David rayDavid ray
17:27 25 Sep 23
Richard Did a great Job very well pleased
Kimmie WKimmie W
18:01 18 Sep 23
Keith and his co-worker were great. Very informative and explained things clearly. Very thorough with everything. We recommend your services to anyone.Thank you,Mark & Kim
Mary OssiMary Ossi
15:40 16 Sep 23
100 stars! Richard was on time, thorough, empathic and detailed. We got the information we needed in a timely manner with recommendations. I can't say enough good things and will continue to recommend Fox Mountain to everyone!
Gabriel RomanoGabriel Romano
21:57 12 Sep 23
Efficient and reliable service!
Lori MaloneyLori Maloney
01:27 12 Aug 23
The operations manager and owner made personal efforts to ensure we could have the inspection in time to make an informed offer. Richard was knowledgeable and pleasant. It’s nice to see someone who is not only great at their job, but seems to truly enjoy it. Dan (operations) said we’d like him, and he was right!I want to add that this is our second time using the professionals at Fox for an inspection in this challenging home buying market. Both times we left feeling confident we got the information we needed (and more) in order to make an informed decision. They are great- call them!
Sonnie & JoeSonnie & Joe
22:24 10 Aug 23
Keith was awesome. Super helpful and professional. He answered all of my questions and helped me to really understand what was going on with the house. He encouraged me to be educated in the home we were in the process of purchasing, even pointing out areas we'd need to know about for later (water shut offs, etc.). I can't day enough about his friendly and professional demeanor. Thank you, Keith! You rock!
Liz AndrewsLiz Andrews
23:37 07 Aug 23
We bought our first home and called Fox Mountain Property Inspections to inspect the house. They fit us into their schedule within 4 days of calling and were early to the appointment. Incredibly knowledgeable and very thorough inspection. Richard even took the time to explain the inner workings of all the mechanical so we knew what to expect. It was a fantastic experience and you should absolutely call them for all your home inspection needs.
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