Inspection on a new build

Hey everyone!
I have done a handful of inspections as I just recently started my career. I have a few coming up on new builds. Any advice? Are there things I should be paying more attention to or just go about it as a “normal” inspection?
Thanks :pray:t2:

Have you been through this process yet?

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Actually, I meet all the requirments to download the logo lol :man_shrugging:

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If they are “completed homes” and haven’t closed yet, keep in mind that some things may not be finished, for example:

Look under sinks BEFORE turning the water on to check the function of the faucet… You just might find something like this. Otherwise treat it like a regular inspection…


If you can preview the property and determine what cladding is on the home you can then look up some best install guidelines. James Hardie has a good one for cement fiber. Then onto vinyl etc.

Down here, siding flashing and clearance is always an issue. I run all windows because they are always problems here. Nail pops on the roof are common as well as vent boots. Grading or slope problems are typical. I also spend more time on cabinets and drawers.

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Thanks for the heads up!!

Thanks for the info.

Great tip as this is a very common find in a new home. Often we are called in to do our inspections before the craft are 100% finished.


Hello Kevin -
I’m in Virginia, where we have to be State NRS certified in order to inspect NRS (New Residential Structures). For us - it is the same as a standard full inspection, but also includes finish and cosmetic elements. The inspection typically takes more time than usual.
Based on my personal experience - Common New build items/conditions to watch are: Incomplete trim elements at exterior, glue and/or loose nails on roof surface, unsealed exterior lighting fixtures and receptacles.
Interior - Confirm that appliances have complete installation, such as water line connections to refrigerators, exhaust ducts to dryers, proper installation of garbage disposal, anti-tip devices on stoves, catch-pan drain routing on water heaters and air handlers,
Check every electric receptacle. Check for Hot/cold reverse at all fixtures. Check all 3-way light switches.Open and close all windows and interior doors. Check every smoke/CO alarm (be sure the plastic wrap or painters tape has been removed). Watch for contractors materials like caulk, drywall mud, etc in fixture drains and HVAC returns. And basically check all finish elements as if ‘you’ are buying the home.


Thanks so much for the information. I usually inspect like I am buying it lol.

With new homes, you will see a lot of cosmetic defects, but I would make sure your client knows that this is not your main focus. I do point out cosmetic flaws in my report to an extent, but different people have different levels of what they want fixed… That is what the final walkthrough is for with the buyer/builder. They typically let the buyer place pieces of tape around the home on paint and drywall flaws.
Other than that, treat it like any other. I have found areas of attics that are missing insulation, improper panel grounding, missing/damaged flashing, leaking dishwashers (I always take the stuff out and run it, sometimes they are installed, and never even tested)
And a big one you will see ALOT is shingles that are damaged from painters and carpenters. Shingles are put on before the exterior walls and trim are finished. OH, and if the dryer vents out the roof, make sure they removed the screen from the vent boot!! You will be surprised some of the stuff you find that missed county inspectors.
Good luck


Good advice. Thank you so much!

I see a lot of improper brick veneer installations. Improper flashing around windows or not at all, no weep screed, improper clearance to grade etc… This home I did in January and was 6 months old. OSB was soft and swollen below windows. Builder had to tear it all off and re-do.


Wow that’s insane. Thank you