Home Buying in Atlanta>Question Details

RBB,  in Orlando, FL

Should I get an inspection on a new construction?

Asked by RBB, Orlando, FL Thu Aug 15, 2013

I'm currently in the progress of closing on my new home and I'm curious if I should get an inspection even if the house is under warrany for 10 years?

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The warranty you think you have is very limited, it doesn't cover the things likely to come up. If you need it, you have real problems.

If you're in the process of closing then you missed the ones that should have been completed already - but yes, get an inspector out there. Tract builders cannot keep complete control over quality and local code inspectors are expected to enforce things but....We saw all kinds of issues during the boom and when you consider how many moving parts there are in a new home, things will be missed.

It all boils down to the guy doing his particular part of the process - extra eyes are never bad. Once you close, the sins of the house are all yours - get them addressed before hand.
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
A home inspection will give you an overall knowledge of how the home works, where all the cut off valves are, etc, more than just doing the final walk through with your builder. Even in a new home, some things get over looked. Your builder will usually repair anything that your inspector finds. Yes, always have a home inspection.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
You can get a copy of the Standards of Practice for a home inspector at ASHI.com. This document details all the items that a "licensed" home inspector must evaluate and also items that are not w/in the scope of the inspection. If you can't find a copy, contact me and I'll send you a copy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
My company's motto is: "Inspect Before You Invest". You most definitely should get an inspection. One never knows what you'll find. Better to spend a few hundred to save you thousands in the long run.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
Yes, you should definitely have an inspection! By now I think you should have had at least two other inspections.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
Yes, get an inspection. We had hot and cold water supply lines crossed for an upstairs toilet and laundry room on new construction. The only way to fix it was to cut through the living room ceiling.

In another new construction house that a client bought, a finishing nail had been driven through a pvc pipe. It was discovered when the toilets backed up, during the inspection due to a rag being caught on the nail in the pipe about 20 feet down. The house flooded and floors needed to be redone. Yes, a home is under warranty, but do you want to deal with those issues?

A home warranty won't cover your possessions being damaged or refinishing hardwoods and replacing sheetrock. Your agent should be advising you that a home inspection is really important, no matter what kind of home you're buying. Well, unless you're tearing it down, I guess it wouldn't matter then. But, that requires a different kind of due diligence. Look carefully at what the 10 year warranty covers. More than likely it's structural and doesn't cover everyday issues.

Jen and Mark Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
There are home inspectors that specialize in new construction, if you are getting a home built, this inspector will come out at various stages check the footings and foundation before they are poured, check the framing before it's covered up. In several instances with buyers where the work was flawed, the builder refused to repair or allow the buyer to buy on an adjacent lot. Fortunately my buyers purchased from a different builder, a number of years later I was getting calls as an attorney from people that did buy from this builder with cracked foundations and bricks falling off the front. A warranty is little help when you have a defective product. Make sure it’s right from the start

Bruce Ailion,
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
YES !!!!!
Not all builders are created equally. Even then, it's their subs that may cut corners.

Sally Wildasinn, Realtor

Fickling & Company, Warner Robins, GA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
yes yes yes yes yes yes

buyer beware.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
A 10 year warranty? Wow, just think of what can change in 10 years. A home inspector is licensed, bonded and insured and most importantly, since you are paying for their service, WORK FOR YOU. Who knows if the company that is insuring for 10 years will be around? Make sure you get the items that need to be fixed, completed today.

Best of luck to you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Your home is not truly under warranty for 10 years, it's under warranty for a year at most, and then it's a sliding scale that applies only to structural issues. You absolutely positively should have the home inspected and as it's new construction this is the only time it's appropriate to simply give the inspectors list of deficiencies to the builder and say, "Fix them all"

Don not skip an inspection, this is the only opportunity you will have to have someone who is working for you and not the builder to inspect things and confirm that everything was done properly. Building inspections done by the county are not looking for quality of workmanship they are simply inspecting to confirm that building codes were met and nothing else. I've attached a link below that offers some great insight into Home Inspections.

Congratulations on your new home, I hope you enjoy it for years to come.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
From my personal experience, buyers should absolutely have their own personal structural inspection done when purchasing new construction. The builder will tell you that you that they do inspections and that you have a warranty that covers w, x, y, and z. What they don't tell you is that you could live in the home for 20 years without detecting issues that would have been detected with a basic inspection.

The fact that we always recommend our buyers of new construction have an inspection have saved buyers time and time again. Some of the things that have been identified include: missing roof tile, black mold in the attic, electric breaker panel issues, closed vents, etc.

The fact of the matter is builders don't like having their product inspected by outside experts. There is obviously a reason why......

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Definitely, for two reasons. One you will get to know and understand how the home works. Two, home building is a business so with that comes more of a need to get the home built and on the market as quickly as possible. You may also want to research the builder to see how they rank in the quality building and craftsmanship arena.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
More thumbs up for excellent answers by Hank, Susan, and House Detective.

Always have an expert verify what you are buying, whether the property is 100 years old or brand new - it's money well spent. This is especially true when you consider the ratios of costs - the costs of building inspections are in the hundreds of dollars to evaluate something that costs hundreds of thousands.

Aside from providing valuable information, an inspection can prevent unplanned financial losses that can easily run thousands and sometimes tens of thousands to deal with problems that no buyer ever expects to be part of their home purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Thumbs up to those who said yes, and understand a Home Warranty and the municipal inspectors are no guarantee of a properly built and trouble free home! Building Inspections can be far more important than an appraisal - yet few people would ask if there should be an appraisal!

As Bruce said, a home warranty does not help if you have a defective product - contractors who cut the wrong corners, don't know what they are doing, combined with poor or missing oversight from a qualified site super can all lead to big problems. I have inspected new homes with brick veneer falling off due to makeshift footings, inadequate footings, and even shallow or missing brick ledges.

I once performed consulting work for home warranty companies to check on various builders workmanship and to verify what county inspection departments were doing - most people would be shocked at how few county inspections are done, what a home warranty will not cover, and what can pass as acceptable construction under home builder and third party warranties.

No Tim, inspections and new construction monitoring are not a waste of money - the local municipal Building Department Inspectors are no guarantee you are getting a properly built home at all. I have seen horrendous structural mistakes made in homes that already had a CO in various metro Atlanta counties - and many times it took licensed engineers to devise corrections and more follow up inspections to make sure the work was properly executed.

Most builders will try to do the right thing, unless the defect is discovered or surfaces more than 2-3 years after closing. I have sat as an expert witness in hearings against some egregious defects where the builder was fighting the homeowner on one and two year old homes rather than agree to do the repairs.

Betty, I have no idea what type inspection you are referring to - partial inspection, verbal inspection? If an inspection is not thorough and not in writing, it is not worth having - and it is also illegal in GA. There are laws that state the minimum items a person holding themselves out as an inspector must evaluate and that the inspection must be written.

Robert Whitfield
Professional Buyers Broker
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspector
Advantage Realtors
Corporate Relocations | New Construction | Luxury & Investment Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
If the house is finished, find out what the cost will be without a full paper copy report. I have inspectors that do that for me all the time. I get a termite inspection at the same time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
ABSOLUTELY! Although most new constructions come with a warranty, a home inspection will provide in depth knowledge concerning your investment. Let me know if you need a good inspector - I have several that I work with. Congratulations on the purchase of your new home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
Seems like a waste of money since it is suppose to be inspected by the local building dept at different stages of construction. Most builders stand behind the home for the first year and come back a fix anything that happens.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 15, 2013
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