If you have decided to build a new home, an inspection is highly recommended. Most builders allow two inspections of your new home. The first is the Pre-Drywall inspection, where we will go through the house and check all of the components that will be hidden once the drywall is hung. This can be a great opportunity for you to see how your home is constructed, and it's also a chance to catch major issues before they are covered up.
The second inspection is done once the builder has completed construction, but before your final walk-through with the builder. We can help you make sure that everything has been completed correctly. These inspections should be performed a day or two before your final walk-through with the builder.
This will ensure that most of the last minute items have been completed. We will provide you with a full inspection that will allow you to go into your final walk-through with the confidence that you know what needs to be completed.
Did you know that in most areas outside of the San Antonio, TX city limits do not have building inspectors? That's right, even though the builder may tell you that the house was built to code, no one has ever verified that. The only people inspecting new construction are the builders themselves. Some builders do bring in a third party inspector, which does help a little, but they are still working for the builder. Our experience though shows that there are still a lot of mistakes and omissions made along the way.
Another trick that builders are using is limiting the inspections we can do. One large builder in Texas recently had a memo leaked that restricted the inspectors to basically just walking around the house. They were prohibited from opening things like the electric panel or the HVAC service covers, operating the appliances, and inspecting the roof. On top of that, the memo said that the inspector's report would only be taken under advisement, but in no way would delay closing! In other words, if your inspector found a major safety or structural issue, you would still be under contract to buy the house when they set the closing!
Make sure you read your contracts carefully, and ensure that you at least have the right for a pre-drywall inspection and a final inspection. If you can get a foundation inspection, that's even better. Also make sure that you can bring in the inspector you want (a couple big builders tried to blacklist us because we found too many of their mistakes). If something in the contract seems to limit your inspection rights, have it reviewed by your lawyer.
Most builders offer a one-year warranty on a new home. Don't let your Builder's Warranty expire without doing a full check-up on your house. We recommend that you have a full home inspection done the month before your warranty expires. Our non-invasive inspection is based on observations of the visible and apparent conditions of the interior and exterior of the structure, including the major systems and components. Following the inspection, you will receive a comprehensive report, complete with photos, that includes information on any material defects observed on the date of the inspection.
You will be surprised how many problems may not appear for several months after you move in. But armed with this information, you can take any necessary steps to hold your builder and his subcontractors to their warranties while they are still in force.