The big question, “Should I get a home inspection on new construction?” Talk to any Home Inspector and they are going to say YES of course, but is this a biased opinion? After all the inspector is getting paid to inspect. Why wouldn’t they say yes? Maybe they just want a nice simple smooth inspection. Besides a brand new home won’t have any issues right?
These are all great questions and you would be silly to not question the things your paying for. What follows is MY opinion, and yes I am also a licensed Home Inspector that gets paid to inspect old homes and new homes, but I got into this business to help people and spread integrity and knowledge to every homeowner, not to leave a bunch of dissatisfied clients in my wake.
First I will start by asking YOU a question…. Why do we even need Home Inspectors? The number one answer is: because every home is degrading the moment it is constructed, so things will always eventually need to be repaired or maintained…… That being said PROPER building practices will keep that degradation at bay as long as possible.
What do I mean? Every building is constructed using materials that do not last forever. Some materials last longer than others, but none of them last. The longer lasting materials are used at the front line of the battle to hold back the harsh elements such as the sun, rain, insects, rodents etc. So with that in mind… if those front line defenses are installed IMPROPERLY then what do you think happens? The building as a complete system is at risk of premature degradation.
Proper installation methods have changed tremendously in the last 100 years, and even the last 10 years. These building practices are still changing every year due to research, and due to the good old fashion “learning from our mistakes” method. Obviously this means that older homes will most likely be constructed in a way that does not meet current installation methods, and we can all agree that a home inspection is a must on older constructed homes. Especially if it was built in the 80’s! IMO
Now lets get back to new construction. How many new homes do you see being built? There are A LOT. The issue here is that in states such as New Hampshire, there is no license requirements for General Contractors, or for Builders. New and old Builders and General Contractors do not have to pass some big test to be in business. They just simply need the funds and means to start building. We all have heard of one or two builders in our home towns that are infamous due to their building practices and unhappy buyers. Yes these homes are inspected as they are being built by the local town ordained Building Inspectors. However, the building departments are typically understaffed in each town so covering all of the necessary inspections on these new homes can be tough, and sometimes rushed. So things just simply get missed during the construction process. None of us are perfect. The other issue that goes with this is that it is human nature to want to make a PROFIT. Builders would not be building unless there was some money to be made by doing so. Of course to make more profit from a project you can cut corners by using cheap products, cheap labor, or flat out skipping things that are needed. That means your new home is most likely being built by sub contractors who are the lowest bidder. Why do you think their bids were the lowest????? Stack that up with the fact that we all make mistakes and you are bound to have a Brand New Home with issues right out the gate.
So, why get the inspection? First, To attempt to rectify these mistakes as soon as possible. Fixing a problem now reduces the issues in the future. Second, To teach the new home owner as much as possible about the home they are buying. Like showing them maintenance items, what type of HVAC systems the home has and how they work, how to shut off the water or boiler/furnace to the home in an emergency, and to simply answer questions that we all know we should ask, but feel dumb asking because we think we should already know. Well that’s just not the way it is. Even Home Inspectors are learning new things every day.
That’s my thoughts on this subject and I’ll leave you with another question.
Why shouldn’t you get a home inspection on new construction?