The fact is, a professional home inspector finds many issues and discrepancies during the construction and completion of a new home. Even if the contractor you choose for building your house is known for top-quality work, you should keep in mind that the Builder does very little building. Most of the construction tasks (foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting, etc.) are usually subcontracted out to the lowest bidder. Builders cannot really supervise all the work going on at one time, especially if they have multiple houses under construction at one time. It's impossible to do. It helps if your Builder is known for top-quality construction because they want to keep up their good reputation. But new home construction will always be susceptible to errors and problems.
People assume that the county or city building inspector checks out the house. This is true to a degree. But these municipal inspectors spend nowhere near enough time in the home to fully check it out. Besides, that's not their job. Their sole purpose is to determine if the house meets the minimum building standards. Even at that, the municipal inspectors are often too pressed for time to check all the details. It's sad but it's true. If you want anything more than that, you need a home inspector.
By the way, Builders may tell you that they have their own 'Quality Control' guy that will walk you through the house, just before closing the deal. It's true, they do. He'll fix all the cosmetic issues that you see just before you sign on the dotted line. But you should remember who that guy works for. If there are safety issues, design flaws, or substandard construction that are not intuitive or visible, he's not going to show them to you. We will.
There are often problems with a new home that aren't code violations, yet nonetheless have serious consequences. There can be roofs that don't drain, trusses that aren't fastened, septic systems that don't work, and even chimneys that don't have fluepipes. You name it it's possible.
You'd probably be interested to know that some builders try to prevent home inspectors from inspecting their newly built houses. If you are in the process of buying a new home and the builder says "No" to you bringing a private home inspector on site, you should ask yourself, "Why won't the builder allow the home inspector on site?" & "What does the builder have to hide?" At this point you should be consulting with your attorney and thinking hard about moving forward with another homebuilder.
There's two different ways to approach a new home inspection. The best way to ensure that a house is well built is to review it several times throughout its construction. We call these Phased Inspections, where we examine the house during each stage of its development. The major stages include the foundation, the framing, the utilities, and the punch list. We check out details that you cannot even imagine. Each of these inspections takes several hours and you'll get a detailed report with diagrams, photographs and documented references. This is the best way to make sure you're getting what you're paying for.
The other approach is simply to do a detailed Punch List inspection. This is the best choice if you're buying a 'spec house' from a builder. Builders offer a '1-year warranty' for all new houses, but lots of savvy buyers would rather get it right the first time. They want to enjoy their new home rather than argue about getting all the little details fixed for a year or more. That's where we can help. Just before it's completed, we'll go through it with a fine-toothed comb. It's true that some things could be hidden inside the walls and ceilings, but you'd be surprised what a trained eye can find. This approach is not as complete or detailed as the Phased Inspections, but it's your best option. This inspection should be completed BEFORE you make your final payment to the Builder. That way, you can make sure all the items are completed and in good order before you become the owner of the house. If we can only see the house one time, we want to make sure that you are getting the house you bargained for.