Purchasing a brand new property allows you to customize and design your ideal home. However, defects can still occur during construction that you’ll want to identify before move-in day. New construction inspections are essential to ensure your shiny new abode is structurally sound, safely built to code, and free of flaws hidden behind fresh paint and finishes. Don’t get stuck with unpleasant surprises—conduct a comprehensive review of these key elements in your new construction walk-through.
Here are some steps of New Construction Inspections
The first inspection would be before the foundation concrete is poured. The second is after framing is completed, plumbing has been “roughed” in and electric wiring has been run, but before the walls have been covered. The third is the final, where everything should be in the right place and work correctly.
Inspect the Property Boundaries
Your home inspector will review the survey and confirm the placement of corner property markers match the builder’s plot plan and your purchased boundaries. Subtle encroachments onto adjacent lots or public land should be addressed immediately. You want guarantees you are receiving the entire lot size stated in your purchase agreement.
Evaluate the Property Grading
Make sure appropriate grading directs rainwater runoff away from the home’s foundation. The ground around the home should slope at least 1 inch per foot for the first 5-10 feet to prevent puddles or water intrusion. Downspouts should extend several feet from the home. Check for low spots, soil erosion, or indications of poor drainage. Proper grading is essential to prevent flooding, mold, and foundation shifts.
Inspect the Home’s Exterior Siding
Closely check all exterior finishes for damage during transit or installation. Flag any cracks, chips, gaps, loose sections, or mismatched materials on siding, stucco, stone, brick, or trim. The exterior envelope should have straight lines, sit flush, and seamlessly integrate with windows and doors. Damage here leads to costly moisture issues.
Review All Exterior Concrete
Inspect driveways, sidewalks, porches, and patios for cracks, pitting, and improper grading. Make sure water flows away from the home and these surfaces are sloped appropriately to avoid puddling. Check for frost heave and evidence of settling around posts or supports. Concrete should cure for at least 30 days before exposure to heavy vehicles.
Examine Decks/Railings for Safety
All decking boards should sit firmly with proper spacing and consistent seams. Railings must feel sturdy with proper baluster spacing that meets code. Check stairs for equal riser heights and safe angles. Movement at connections or unstable sections raise safety concerns that the builder should immediately rectify.
Ensure Doors and Windows Operate/Seal Properly
Test functionality of all doors and windows by fully opening, closing, and locking them. Movement should be smooth and easy. Confirm exterior doors seal tightly when closed and have weather stripping for energy efficiency. Windows should lack drafts and condensation between panes that indicate leaks needing new seals.
Inspect the Roof for any Defects
Carefully examine shingles for cracks, damage, lifted edges, improper nailing, or exposed underlayment. Look for complete, consistent coverage with straight rows and solid seams. The roof plane should have minimal dips or waves. Attics should lack signs of leaks like water stains or mold. Any deficiencies jeopardize the roof’s water tightness and must be fixed under warranty.
Check Water Drainage Components
Gutters, downspouts, and subsurface drains must direct rainwater away from the Home Inspection Jacksonville FL through proper slope, connections, and drainage. Small leaks and overflowing gutters can lead to foundation damage, mold, and erosion over time. Tree branches should be trimmed back from the roof and gutters.
Review the Attic InsulationCoverage
Lift a few sections of insulation to verify complete, correct installation filling all joist cavities without gaps, compression, or moisture damage. Insulation levels should meet your region’s recommended R-value and energy code. This includes attic hatches, electric boxes, ventilation gaps, and eave overhangs. Patchy insulation wastes energy dollars.
Examine the Home’s Structural Components
The foundation, framing, sheathing, and masonry elements form the home’s critical structural system. Check for level floors, plumb walls, and properly aligned finishes indicating solid underlying supports. Cracks in drywall, brick, or stucco may signal shifting foundations requiring warranty repairs.
Test Water Pressure at All Fixtures
Turn on all faucets and showerheads simultaneously to verify adequate water pressure through the home up to the highest point. Pressure should remain steady and meet the required gallons per minute. Low pressure results in frustrating drips and lengthy wait times for hot water. Builders must correct pressure issues.
Evaluate Water Heater Connections
The water heater tanks should sit level on a raised platform. Overflow pan and drain line must be present in case of leaks. Proper seismic strapping, venting, and supply/drain connections are vital. Water temperature and energy efficiency ratings should meet advertised promises.
Confirm Proper Ventilation
Bathroom fans, range hoods, clothes dryer vents, and attic ventilation must adequately extract moisture and air. Vent exterior flaps should have tight seals when not in use. Screens keep out pests. With poor ventilation, hazardous mold can quickly multiply out of sight in concealed areas.
Check for Gas Leaks
Your inspector will test all gas lines and connections for leaks using a sniffer device around water heaters, stoves, outdoor gas lines, and meters. Any detected leaks pose a safety hazard and must be further evaluated by the gas company prior to occupancy.
Ensure Electrical System Safety
The electrical panel should contain the specified breakers, with wires, amps, and volts meeting code. Wall outlets and switches should be securely fastened with no exposed copper. Light fixtures should work properly without flickering. Safety grounding and GFCI protections should be confirmed present.
Examine the Garage
Inspect garage doors and openers through repeated operation looking for smooth movement, sensitivity, and auto-reverse function. Check the integrity of main beams, firewall separation from living space, concrete slab, and entryway to home. Door seals on attached garages prevent fume exchange. Read more.
Complete a Plumbing Inspection
Licensed plumbers should video scope sewer and drain lines before sheetrock is installed to identify any defects needing repair under warranty. They will also test supply pipes and drainage post-construction to catch any leaks or clogs behind walls left by careless construction crews.
Turn on all included appliances like the refrigerator, oven, cooktop, dishwasher, microwave, and whole house vacuum through full cycles. Verify proper function, drainage, controls, seals, and energy ratings. Have gas appliances inspected annually going forward since methane leaks are a major hazard.
Consider a Post-Move Inspection
Once furniture is in place and you live in the home’s conditions, new issues that require warranty claims may emerge. Conduct a 60-90 day follow-up inspection to catch minor settlement cracks, appliance concerns, or ventilation/moisture issues not apparent during initial walkthroughs.
New home construction offers an exciting chance for homeownership. While no property will be absolutely perfect, following detailed pre-move in inspections ensures your house begins on solid structural and mechanical footing without allowing major flaws to go undiscovered behind walls or under flooring until years later when very costly to repair. Conduct comprehensive reviews alongside inspectors and contractors now to give your new abode the best head start possible.