When local home inspector Pam Pybas began performing home inspections in 2003 the idea of inspecting a new construction home was a foreign concept. Pam compares the concept to other industries asking, "what if cars were not inspected before leaving the assembly line or if medical equipment was not inspected before it entered a hospital or if an airplane was not inspected before it took off?" The idea of having a new construction home inspected is in no way a negative reflection on the builder. "There are many moving parts and people involved in new construction and things just happen," says Pam. "Also, many people confuse a code inspector with a home inspector. Code inspectors, employed by local municipalities, are concerned with installation of components as the home is built. Home inspectors, generally hired by buyers, are looking at function after the home is built."
"Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you'll ever make."
James Brantley began providing home inspections in 2006. He says, "We often hear the phrase ‘I'm not going to pay for a home inspection because it's brand new.'" Missing out on the golden opportunity of having a thorough home inspection is one of the costliest mistakes a home buyer can ever make. When the home buyer purchases the home, they purchase 100% of the home; as well as 100% of any associated problems that are not uncovered. Then, if the home buyer decides to sell their home and move within a few years the new home buyer may hire their own independent home inspector and discover issues that could have been addressed when the home was originally new. An improperly ventilated attic could cost $2,500 or more to repair, or missing roof bracing on the left side attic could cause sagging of the roof surface and cost even more. When buying a home and preparing for various costs, be sure to budget for the cost of a thorough home inspection.
According to Pam Pybas, some common issues found in new construction inspections are:
- Hot/cold water reversed at plumbing fixtures
- Improper installation of tankless water heaters
- Gutters incorrectly installed
- The absence of adequate attic walkways to mechanicals
- Concealed water leaks due to nail holes in pex plumbing
- Roof leaks at plumbing and/or mechanical flue penetrations
- Missing attic insulation, or improperly installed insulation
- Missing outlets
- Kitchen range exhausting into the attic
- Improperly installed HVAC equipment
Most Builders want to build good homes and they will generally address issues found in a home inspection. With new construction inspections, buyers are happy knowing that their new home is in great shape and builders are happy knowing that they won't have those repair calls from the new buyer after the move in. It's a win-win for all involved.
Here in Mississippi, the Mississippi Association of Home Inspectors licensure law requires additional certifications for home inspectors to inspect new construction. Check with your inspection company to insure they carry the correct certifications. You may also want to check on line reviews of local companies when searching for an inspector. Purchasing a home may be the largest investment of your life, so finding someone qualified and thorough would be in your best interest.