New home inspection

Hi–I’m new to the inspection business and I had a customer call about an inspection for her home which will soon be 1 year old. Is there anything different or special I should do or look out for?

No different than any other inspection. Heck of a lot easier than a 30 year old home.

If she is the original owner, I would say she may be looking for a 1 year warranty inspection. Of course check your usual stuff, but then check for small cracks in flooring, walls, MINOR defects now that could become an issue in the near future. The reason being is that once the builder gets it then they have to address the issues and if they decide to dismiss it as cometic, what happens in three years when it becomes a large settlement crack. You NOTED it and SHE asked for it to be addressed. The builder will be on the hook. Do your ussual thing, but things that might be cometic now could be a larger defect later. Not it as needing evaluation.

Much different for myself…it takes me longer and I charge more for a new home inspection. If you’re just looking for quality items, it may be easier but if, as I believe, in a new home, an HI should also be looking for visible code items that may have been missed by the municipal inspector, it will be longer. From my experience, chances are fairly good that items are missed. Some recent examples in $600,000 to $1,300,000 homes:

-two loadbearing wood studs running up through the main trunk of the HP/AC warm air duct system; only one stud in the return main trunk (LOL)

-House designed by architect for brother…Hardiboard failure, bedroom windows did not meet codes for egress, some interior ventilation did not meet codes, found 3-4 electrical code violations…not new but since it was being sold at 2.5 years of age, I treated it as new.

  • architect design/build job…Ventilation system (HRV did not come close to meeting codes (the minimum) let alone doing a good job on an expensive home of $550,000

I am in agreement with Brian. It is a much different inspection. Everything in the home should be perfect. Cosmetic items included.
I have had homes completely re-carpeted. Doors re hung and the list can go on for quite some time. I have never found a perfect new home, in fact, they are the worst, take the most time, which is why I usually charge at least double my normal fee.

All Russell has said is true but in Florida it should be noted that the builder is on the hook for structural defects for as long as 10 years. That would be if the company was in existance. A surety bond will probably be worth less than costs to repair if the defects were repeated on a large scale. Typically, cases instituted earliest with findings from authoritative sources have a greater chance of return. Regardless after you have completed your inspection please advise the client that the proper course of action is to pursue corrections through the builder. If the client attempts corrective actions prior to contacting the builder they may in fact void the builders warrantee.

My daughter’s home in orlando is a 2 story newer home. I was visiting one weekend long before I even considered being a home inspector. She had moved a table to a new location in the dining room on the lower floor. I noticed dark stains on the carpet where the table legs had been sitting. I asked her about the stain and she thought ‘something’ had been spilled by the kids and run down the table leg. You experienced guys probably already know this was mold- when they built the house they did not properly seal one of the upstairs windows allowing water into the wall. The house was 11 months old at the time and had a 1 yr warranty. She got her claim in- the builder hired an outside mold mitigation company- lots of plastic, fans, new carpet, wall, etc. Good sized house so they didnt need to move out for the weeks of work.

Good thing she moved that table- THERE WAS NO OTHER SIGN- I mean that day i borrowed a butter knife and ‘pulled’ back the carpet at the baseboard to ‘look’ but certainly would not have done so without the stain- no smell- nothing. This was close to a HUGE problem for her- just sharing this because it was not obvious even as bad as it turned out to be.