Why does a newly constructed home need an inspection?
Check out the two pictures above.
A cracked truss in the attic and a service conductor outside that was installed incorrectly that showed signs of a fire that Jeff found at an 11 month warranty inspection in the electrical panel. Everyone missed it including the county inspector as well as another local inspector before they closed.
Contractors are overseen by local building officials but they do not inspect the home in its entirety. The subcontractors rotate so you have different sets of people working on the home. Site managers are extremely busy these days and do not have time to oversee everyone so even if there are no code violations, which there still may be, there could be some serious issues with the home that you will need to know about that could have serious consequences as well as affect future resale value.
New Construction home inspections are not only for finding defects. It is also an opportunity for you as the new homeowner to learn more about your property. I recommend having a list of questions for Inspector Jeff. The questions can pertain to the home's current state, how to work the appliances and even pertain to the future. It is not a matter of if Jeff will find a defect...it is a matter of how many! Most builders required insurance, worker's comp, a county license etc and we have all that and we are ready to do the inspection for you. Jeff usually finds dozens of items needing repairs in every new home he inspects. He has found broken cross truss supports to stairs that needed to be pulled out and reinstalled, cracked trusses in the attic and many serious electrical issues.
Key Areas to Focus Questions
1. Water (Moisture)
4. Roofs/Attics/trusses/hurricane straps
5. Appliance hook up
more examples below of what Jeff typically find in a new home inspection here in the Charleston, SC Area.
(See examples to the right)
New construction roofs are not impervious to installation defects – the most common issue Jeff finds with new roof installations is improper shingle nailing. When nails are over driven, driven at an angle, or located too high on the shingles, it’s a defective installation. The photos below show a few examples of defective roof installations on new construction homes.
He also finds bending up of the shingles which comes from a manufacturers defect. It will usually appear at the final inspection or the first year of ownership. This is why an 11 month warranty is advised. Your report becomes a legal document and protects you.
This deck beam (pictured right) should have been attached to the 6×6 post with a metal bracket; not bumped out over the side of the post and attached to the sliver that was left.
Sometimes the nails in joist hangers get completely missed, especially when it’s the inside corner on a skewed hanger Other times, joist hangers are forgotten about entirely.
Stone Siding installation defects.
For example, masonry veneer needs to be kept 2″ above the roof covering. In the photo to the right, the mortar is touching the shingles..
High-efficiency furnaces and water heaters need to have the venting pitched so water drains out; there should never be any dips in the piping that allow water to pool. Water heater
A water heater installer incorrectly or if they forgot to glue one of the joints at the vent and it worked itself loose. That would allow for a lot of exhaust gas in to the home. Every gas appliance needs to have a union, or some method of disconnecting the gas piping after shut shutoff valve. It obviously doesn’t do much good to have the union installed before the shutoff valve. This is a detail that occasionally gets forgotten about on water heaters.
When ducts are crushed, air flow is seriously reduced. Jeff found this crushed duct at a recent pre-drywall inspection. (pictured)
When dishwashers are installed below granite countertops, they’re often not attached because nobody wants to drill holes in the granite. (see picture)
Anti Tip Bracket for a gas range need to be installed behind the range. When Jeff pulls the range forward, the anti-tip bracket needs to be properly installed or it will give way.
Smoke alarm manufacturers require smoke alarms to be installed at least 4″ down from the ceiling when mounted on a wall, measured from the top edge of the smoke alarm.
This is the new home builder’s chance for someone else to inspect the home to identify safety issues and building performance issues that might turn in to bigger problems… Builders should be encouraging buyers to get home inspections.
If you’re buying a newly construction home and need a new construction home inspection, please hire a Jeff Bennett. If you recently purchased a new construction home and you’re still within your one year warranty period, hire Jeff Bennett at Full Service Home Inspections to do your inspection.
Jeff conducts Home Inspections and New Construction Home Inspections in Ladson, SC, North Charleston, SC, Charleston, SC, Summerville SC. and the entire Charleston, SC area.