New twist for developers

Well, this has never happened to me before.

Client called and wanted an inspection for a new construction that is part of a small (5 house) development. We had it all set up for next Monday.

The VP of the development company sales person e-mailed confirming the inspection. She wrote that the inspection would be for “your inspector and Chris (the rep of the developer)” and that the final code inspection had been completed. She shated that the “real” inspection would be during the final walk through, on the morning of the closing (31st).

I got a funny feeling from this e-mail, which I was copied on by the buyer. I called him and asked if he would be at the inspection. He said that he intended to be, but would double check with the developer sales person.

Now, he emails me to say that his lawyer is looking over the contract. Seems that the contract, while not prohibiting a home inspection, states that a home inspection is irrelevant to the process and that the only inspections needed would be the code inspection and the final walk-through with (only) the buyer and the developer rep.

Looks like these guys are trying to lock out HIs and try to sell to the public that our work is irrelevant. The buyer is currently trying to determine if he can be present on the Monday inspection with myself and the developer rep. I am suspicious as to their trying to exclude the client. But, then again, they wrote the contract of sale and that is the authority.


That is standard in my area. Most new construction contracts either exclude HI’s or make my findings irrelevant. Some small building companies still allow it, but most of the larger companies don’t

As the buyer that would send up my radar big time??? I am a developer and builder and i gladly welcome a buyer who is diligent enough to insure he is getting a good product by employing a third party home inspector.
The only reason for me to try and deny them this opportunity is if i an not sure of the quality of my work. Better to spend $300 bucks to insure i am getting a great built home than to fall into a money pit and spend the next three years fighting with an absent builder

Well Mr Client what do you think? A red flag maybe? Guess you will need to decide.

I am working on a new home doing phase inspections now. Unless a code reference is cited, the builder will not repair.

This includes such items as caulking the baseboard and filling nail holes before painting …

Always thought that was just plain ole common sense.

Common??? That was an old school reality.
Common today does not include the sense my grandpa had. It is actually and sadly very rare to find a builder who prides himself on the details that often aren’t even seen. Very sad indeed

I’ve run in to this a couple times. I just tell my buyer to take my inspection report along with them on the final walkthough so that they can point out everything I found. It’s been working quite well for them.


  1. builder owns property until they sell it
    they can dictate who is or isn’t allowed on site & what can or can’t be done while on site
    if you’re not aware of trespassing laws it’s best you become familiar with them
  2. contracts can have any real or imagined protective language
    courts decide what is or isn’t enforceable & often err in their findings
    thus the appeal process
  3. down here we have numerous builders that limit the number of inspections & have extortionary type documents that a 3rd party inspector has to sign before being able to inspect
    numerous client’s of mine have struck through these exclusions or forced the builders hand by holding up the sale until i performed their inspection
  4. another work around is deal closes & warranty/repair inspection is performed, punchlist is provided, repairs are made before move in
  5. any confusion go back to 1



Only difference around here is that I am seeing builders make clients wait until after they close/move in to test for Radon, as far as the inspection goes it’s been pretty much business as usual, usually trying to inspect it as they’re still putting on the finishing touches.

A few also require proof of insurance before you’re allowed on the property to inspect, which IMO is totally understandable.

Same here. I actually got a compliment from one builder’s rep that they liked my style as I was reasonable compared to people they have dealt with in the past. I am not there to pick apart minor issues like painting flaws/ streaks. I am not sure what the other guys do

Buyer contracts with builder to build a house.
Buyer wants to observe the process, maybe the buyer brings in outside help to monitor builder’s work.
Does your repair shop let you watch them fix your truck? Does your Doctor let you watch your appendectomy :slight_smile:
Most builders do allow their customers to watch and to inspect, and speaking from the contractor side, the people who take the builders up on going on site have more than average tendencies to be anal PITAs.
So the builder says, you can watch all you want, you can inspect all you want, but you can’t tell me how to build your house (other than what is agreed to in contract and specifications). Seems fair to me. If there is a problem identify it at the pre-possession inspection.

New “construction” inspections can be both tricky and trying!

First as stated earlier, until the purchaser takes possession the builder still has ownership of the property and the building, as well as the building process.

Secondly home inspectors are not there to conduct a “code” inspection.

Thirdly, the builder can require that the home inspector be certified for any safety related training such as “slip and fall” or similar type occupational health and safety risks.

Allowances or conditions can be made, but most often they must be clearly articulated in the agreement to purchase - aka contract.

It’s not uncommon for a “home inspection” conducted by a home inspector to occur after the takeover date. In jurisdictions where there’s a “home owner warranty” in place such as TARION in Ontario (Canada) it may be up to one year.

This is the best solution. I perform third party walk throughs for builders large and small and this is the preferred method.