Do You Need An Inspection For Your New Home?

The long and short answer to the question ‘Do I need an inspection for my brand new home?’, is absolutely, without a doubt, yes.

While it may seem a needless expense to do a home inspection on a brand new home, there are many opportunities for even new home builders to provide subpar quality. Unlike buying a new car, the testing and safety regulation enforcement on the construction of a new home isn’t as rigorous as it is, for example, in the auto industry. Building codes and bylaws are there to provide a safety and quality standard, but unless you have a home inspector verify that those building codes have been met, you have no way of knowing whether your builder has in fact adhered to those standards or not.

Pros And Cons Of New Construction

The benefits of having a new home built instead of purchasing an already existing house or condo are plentiful. If you’ve been involved in the design process, you’ll get something that reflects your style, personality, and how you will most likely use your space. You’ll get to live in a shiny new home that has only ever been yours!

On the flip side, older homes, especially historic and character homes, come with history and personality that makes them exciting and fun homes to own.

What’s best for you will be dependent on your personal preferences, budget, and availability of new builds or character homes in the area you choose to purchase.

What Inspections Does A New Home Need?

As a reminder, inspections are never mandatory. Whether buying a preowned home or a new build, you’re not obligated to hire a home inspector. It is true that it’s always a good idea and can save you lots of headaches and potentially high costs in the long run, but it isn’t mandatory for either insurance or a mortgage.

If you decide to make the very wise investment of having a home inspection done on your new home, you’ll be happy to know that a standard home inspection should be all that unit. In a new build, you’re checking mainly for the quality of the construction and any safety issues that substandard building practices may have caused.

In contrast, an older home may have been subject to floods, leaks, and other events that could make it more likely to have issues that would fall outside of a standard home inspection. However, it’s not to say that you can’t have additional tests done just to be safe. If you want to do this, you could consider having a mold inspection, air quality, and water quality testing.

Especially if anyone living in your home suffers from allergies or any conditions exacerbated by environmental concerns, even trace elements of air pollution or any kind of airborne irritants, going the extra mile and having the additional tests done may be the right choice. Even if you decide not to have mold, air quality, and water quality testing done, a standard home inspection is still the smartest call and can save you plenty of headaches and money in the long run.

What Do New Home Inspectors Look For? 

Home inspectors are licensed professionals trained to look for anything in a home that could be faulty or failing that you, as the potential homeowner, would be responsible for paying for after you purchase. Some inspectors may have more experience with new builds, but every inspector is licensed to assess both new and pre-owned homes. 

While most of us can walk through a building and see any apparent issues or potentially even spot some underlying problems— if you have an eagle eye. Home inspectors undertake detailed training that makes them more qualified to see things that most of us wouldn’t know to look for. 

Homes are composed of systems — electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and structural. It’s within these systems that a home inspector will focus their assessment. Once their inspection is complete, they’ll put together a report that they will provide you with. This will give you the basis for negotiating the purchase price. If you’ve been working directly with a developer and builder, go back to them and have them cover the cost of fixing anything improperly done. Here are the main areas that you can expect to see covered in detail on your inspection report:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Loose electrical boxes and fixtures
  • Failing heating and cooling systems
  • Leaky plumbing
  • Structural cracks in the foundation
  • Chimney issues
  • Roof condition
  • Poor drainage of exterior water
  • Condition of water heater and furnace
  • Drafty attics and poor insulation
  • Gaps around doors and windows

Inspection Issues In New Homes

For the most part, what a home inspector will be looking for on a new build differs slightly from what they would be keeping an eye out for in an older home. Older homes are more susceptible to issues created due to age and wear and tear that happens over time, whereas new builds are more prone to having problems related to a lack of diligence during the construction phase. Improperly installed electrical systems, appliances, heating and cooling elements, interior or exterior trim and gaps in window frames and doors that can impact the efficiency of your home are examples of what would be potential red flags in a new home inspection.

There are plenty of great benefits to purchasing a new home, whether it’s one you have designed yourself or something that you’re buying from the developer. New homes tend to be more energy-efficient, and have updated technology and design features. Unfortunately, new homes are not exempt from poor construction practices and the issues that arise from them. The good news is that hiring an experienced and qualified home inspector can help you pinpoint and bring any issues to light so you can have your builder or developer address them before they become your responsibility.