Because you’re having a new home built for your family, you might think you don’t need to worry about having an inspection done when construction is finished. But now that your house is complete, it’s time for the final walkthrough with your builder.
This walkthrough isn’t meant to “nit-pick” your builder’s work. Instead, it’s a way to make sure your new home meets your expectations, specifications and passes all state safety and legal requirements, before you take possession of it. If it’s not, you can still raise an issue. If you use your final walkthrough to thoroughly inspect your future home, you might avoid costly repairs or extra work on your part further down the road.
Wendy Herndon, of Bradenton Patch, shared a list of the items you’ll want to take note of when you do the walkthrough.
- Make sure the ground around the foundation of the home slopes away from the house and water doesn’t pool or puddle around or near the foundation. Test this with a garden hose.
- Use binoculars to inspect the roof from the ground or climb a ladder, with help, to take a closer look. With a well-built roof, the shingles should form straight lines across the entire surface. Shingles should be flat, tight together and uniform in appearance. Flashings should be present and secure around venting. If you've got a tile roof, look for broken or cracked tiles. Make sure downspouts direct water away from the home.
- Check windows and doors to make sure there's a tight seal and weather-stripping is present and secure. Look for cracks and inspect the trim.
- Inspect the home's exterior and trim paint to see the surfaces are smooth and uniformly covered.
- Inspect the landscaping to make sure it’s done to your specifications.
- Inspect all doors and windows to make sure they are well sealed; they open, close, and lock properly; and the glass is not loose or cracked.
- Check all moldings and trim to make sure they are secure and properly in place.
- Look at the painting in all rooms, closets, and stairways. Make sure its smooth, uniform and no bare spots.
- Inspect the flooring to determine if the carpeted areas are stretched properly with matching seams, the tile floors are level with no gaps in the grout lines and the wood floors are also level and properly finished to your specifications.
- Check all appliances to make sure they operate properly, are the proper model and color specified and the surfaces are smooth and scratch/nick free.
- Look at all faucets and plumbing fixtures (toilets and showers too) to assure they work properly and there are no cracks or scratches in the surfaces.
- Are the cabinets and counter tops installed to your specifications? Check them also for imperfections.
- Inspect your electrical fixtures and test the outlets. A small appliance, like a hair dryer, is a good way to do this.
- Test your AC and water heater to make sure that they are operating properly.
- Test other electrical systems, like the intercom system, garage door opener and doorbell.
- Inspect the attic for dampness or leaks and make sure that proper installation of insulation has been done. Also check the condition of support beams, heating ducts, etc.
- Obtain a copy of the "certificate of occupancy," proving that your home has been approved by the county and meets the state's building code standards and laws.
- Consider hiring a home inspector to accompany you and your agent to the final new home inspection with the builder. Another set of trained eyes on your home's basic systems and structural integrity might be worth the expense if defects are discovered upfront. An experienced home inspector is trained to notice details you might not have noticed yourself until later on.
- If you don’t have an inspector to come with you, considering printing out the New Home Inspection Checklist from Lowe’s. This free new home inspection checklist outlines all the systems and components a thorough new home inspection should include.
- Ask all the questions you want. This is still your time to talk with your builder and make sure you’re clear on everything.
Once you’re ready for your newly constructed home, and to get more information about new housing in Hampton Roads, contact Jimmy Reece, Director of New Homes & Development, at 757-572-4640 or JimmyReece@treg.com.