Keeping an eye on new homebuilders
While residential homes and other buildings must be constructed according to local, state and federal code requirements, a buyer should understand that these codes are only the minimum acceptable standards required by law for the health and safety of future occupants. Meeting the minimum standards does not necessarily ensure quality, because workmanship is not a factor in code inspections.
Although an assumption of quality can be generally based on the builder's reputation, quality is largely dependent on the professionalism of the construction crews that work on the home or building on any given day. It is often too late to discover latent problems once the framing has been covered over with insulation and drywall. This is why you need an independent Certified Master Inspector who is ICC Code Certified to represent you before you sign off on the construction performed by your building contractor.
New Construction Inspections are performed during the following phases:
PHASE 1 - Slab Inspection (Pre-Pour)
This first inspection is usually performed just prior to backfilling of soil after the forms have been removed from the concrete. The inspector should be able to see the sewer and drain lines. Areas covered include:
- Foundation walls
- Surface preparation
- Vapor barrier
- Concrete reinforcing bar (rebar)
- Lot contour and grading
PHASE 2 - Framing Inspection (Pre-Drywall)
The framing inspection, also referred to as the pre-drywall inspection, is performed prior to the builder installing insulation and drywall. In this inspection, we examine the plumbing, electrical wiring and duct installations, the roof structure and roof surface. We look at the structural frame, inspecting each member for a variety of framing errors, such as:
- Unbolted sill plates
- Overspanned structural members
- Inadequate purlins (roof supports)
- Underbuilt bearing walls
- Improper notching and boring
- Severed plates and interrupted joists
- Improper fire stops
PHASE 3 - Final Inspection
Before the buyer accepts the home from the builder, we perform a thorough visual examination of the exterior and interior of the property just as we would for any full home inspection including all of the major systems, appliances, and surfaces. The final inspection report serves as a "deficiency list" of items to be completed or corrected by the builder prior to final settlement. Recommendations for energy conservation and general home maintenance information are included at this time as well.
Pricing by proposal upon review of the project documents. Price is based on the scope of work and the schedule of required inspections, to date most projects have been between $1,000 and $1,500. Individual items can be inspected at a price between $100 and $300.
Click here to see a PDF copy of our New Construction Contract.
Click here to download a PDF PrePour Inspection Report.
Click here to download a PDF PreDrywall Inspection Report.
Call 813-864-7697 Today to Schedule Your Inspection