New construction inspections

Hello all! I’ve had a few callers in the last few months requesting a home inspection on a brand new, unlived in house the contractor just finished. And no, I am not talking about draw inspections. I am very familiar with what those are. As much as I would love to accept a home inspection on a brand new house, I am the eternal skeptic: these jobs cannot be as easy as they seem, so I managed to not have any more openings those weeks. However, I can kick myself in the pants for turning them down. A few specific questions. 1) do you have to know a lot of code to do a new construction inspection? I do know as much code as I need to perform a home inspection as a *generalist, *but I am by no means a local gov’t inspector. 2) I have done walk-throughs with a so-called “punch list” when I worked for a local housing authority and a contractor finished a project. Is the new construction inspection similar? Basically, I need to know the mechanics and the how-to’s of a new construction inspection. If anybody can direct me to a reliable source for field notes for these inspections I would greatly appreciate it. You don’t know how much it kills me to turn down good jobs. Thanks, Brent

I do the 'new home inspection" just like an “older home inspection”. Also offer your client a follow-up inspection prior to the end of their new home 1 year warranty. And kick yourself in the a$$ again for turning down those inspections.

If you want to see new construction quality in Arizona go to my website and log-in to view just the water damage in this new home which was never lived in. This was yesterday, it rained…:shock:

**Go to]( the username and password are:user name: pictures **
**password: rooflight **

Log-in at the bottom left of the Home Page with those words.

Pathetic…just pathetic workmanship…nobody gives a rats a$$.

I haven’t even done the inspection report yet, I was getting to wet doing this…:shock:

Hi Brent,

This software will help any inspector who is just starting out performing new construction inspections. Click on the link below. They are offering a 800 dollar discount right now so you can get it for 799.

Just click on new construction software.

Send me an e-mail if you have any questions about it.

I have found ALOT of issues on new construction - Missing or insufficient attic insulation, roof valley not installed properly, roof penetrations not caulked, missing flashing, etc. They may be new but everything is sub-contracted out and the potential of issues being found is great. Just my two cents.


HOLY CRAP!!!:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: That is definitely one problematic new home!! Let us know how it turns out. I’ve seen plenty of defects but none anywhere near that bad.


I do the same for final walkthroughs on new homes as existing homes. The nice part about new homes here is we have many references we can use when the builder balks about it.


There is nothing wrong with house, as long as the owner is a duck.

With regards to software Greg is talking about I own it and have to say it is very good

I agree with Linus, I do new home construction similar to existing homes, and can always find the perfect time to tell them that I will call them at 10 or 11 months to schedule their 1 year builders warranty, and they’ve always responded positively.

Lucky Arizona rain :freaked-:

Completely agree. Usually find more issues on a new home than on a twenty year old home. It takes a while for a house to settle in to being a home.

Your statement kind of raises a red flag here and one would think what is wrong with that picture. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I guess we are all going down hill as far as qualified Contractors and Quallity of work that is being done today. What is wrong, other than keeping Home Inspectors busy?
Kind of scary for the new generation isn’t it?

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I have to agree with the state of our construction industry. I’m leaving the movie industry to be a HI and we often had to install our sets in newly constructed and/or high priced ($Mil+) properties. It’s unbelievable the shoddiness that you find. Doors jambs not square or doors that don’t latch, toilets that don’t flush properly, floors that look like a rolling sea, etc. And you really never ever want to see what they sealed or didn’t seal up in the walls. Buyers of new home have no clue what they’re getting or worse “not getting”. :cry: :ack!: :cry: :ack!: :cry: I see why more and more buyers and sellers need HI’s. </IMG></IMG></IMG></IMG></IMG>

Dale, I didn’t know they had that much water in your fair state.:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Did you notice any mold?

While the $799 software may be a good product - I think you would be better served taking a course in new construction inspections. Then you could write your own reports with confidence instead of using the software as a crutch.

You should have some knowledge of codes (I have ICC on CD ROM, if needed) as these issues can sometimes be called into question. I, personally, believe the more code you know, the better service you are providing to the client and the better your inspection will be.

Many caution against citing code or code violations for laibility reasons. My lawyer and I both feel confident that the appropriate language in our inspection agreement (initialed specifically and separately by clients) and verbal education to our clients the “this is not a code inspection” covers me. The E&O insurer feels likewise.

Some background in constrcution materials and methods (or a course in them) may be useful depending on your previous background.

Finally, I would wholeheartedly recommend getting and memorizing the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines” which lays out the widely accepted industry standards for what constitutes a defect and what builders are required to correct. It adds weight to your findings, and often ends arguments from builders about performing corrections.

These inspections are no more difficult than standard inspections, but are very different in many ways. Many times clients desire a higher degree of attention to cosmetic items (paint and patch) than in a standard inspection. Where a list of items and materials to be installed exists, you may want to check to ensure that what was promised has been delivered. Also, where a one-year warranty exists, try to obatin a copy so that you can educate your buyer about what is important to fight for now (items that a builder specifically states they are not responsible for later).

Finally, these inspections can also occur in phases (foundation, pre-drywall, etc) and this often provides more useful information for the client as well as an opportunity to catch problems that might otherwise be covered over or hidden.

As a past framer and roofer, and professional gofer I know that one problem with new construction is the fact that a 2 story house can be built from scratching the dirt to signing the papers in 30 days. Several years ago I was in a Model home in a new subdivision and a guy walked in and said “they are putting the boards down for my house foundation”, the sales lady said, “no problem you’ll still close in 30 days” He left and I asked her how big the house was, 2 stories 2500SF.
That is one of the reasons that I typically find more problems on newer tract homes. My 11-month inspection yesterday, no felt paper under the roof shingles on the left side of the house, but at least they got it on the right side of the house

Yeah. We’ve had a pretty major building boom over the past few years. All it takes in this state to become a GC is the money for insurance and bond. No test, no knowledge requirements. House building gets worse and worst. Craft hardly exists anymore. Glad I’m not building any more.

I guess they felt that if they got it on the right side of the house, they didn’t need it on the wrong side of the house! All to typical unfortunately!

**Texas links from **

**Chapter 304. Limited Statutory Warranty and Building and Performance Standards (effective June 1, 2005) **

**Chapter 304. Subchapter A **

§§304.1-304.3 - General Provisions]($ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=10&pt=7&ch=304&sch=A&rl=Y)
**Chapter 304. Subchapter B **

§§304.10-304.33 - Performance Standards for Components of a Home Subject to a Minimum Warranty of One Year for Workmanship and Materials]($ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=10&pt=7&ch=304&sch=B&rl=Y)
**Chapter 304. Subchapter C **

§§304.50-304.52 - Performance Standards for Plumbing, Electrical, Heating and Air-conditioning Delivery Systems Subject to a Minimum Warranty Period of Two Years]($ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=10&pt=7&ch=304&sch=C&rl=Y)
**Chapter 304. Subchapter D **

§§304.100 - Performance Standards for Foundations and Major Structural Components of a Home Subject to a Minimum Warranty Period of Ten Years]($ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=10&pt=7&ch=304&sch=D&rl=Y)

Joseph M - Thanks for the good info in your post on new construction inspections. Couple of questions: When you said, “I have ICC on CD-ROM if needed,” did you mean it’s available if other inspectors need it, or did you mean it’s available if you need it to look up info while you’re at the site? I’m interested in finding a copy. And where can I find a copy of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines”? Thanks.

My E & O excludes from coverage the inspection of homes not given final inspection sign-off by the AHJ. It requires final inspection and completion of all utility hook-ups before a home inspection if I want E & O insurance coverage. Some of you may have a better policy, but I didn’t know about this exclusion until I checked.

I’m an old guy and have been banged around a bit in life. I decided that the definition of a home inspector suggested limited knowledge of new construction unless additional certification was earned.

I completed the Internation Code Council certifications to qualify myself as an ICC Residential Combination Inspector.

Now I have the same professional credentials as any building inspector, and magically, my insurance will now allow me to do new construction inspections.

In the event of a legal situation, I feel much better knowing that I have that additional training and certification in my pocket. I also think it adds a lot of credibility to my marketing.

Sorry, I should have been clearer: I have it if I need it - I forget how much it cost to buy, but it was worth it.

HEre is the link for the book: