The Myth About New Home Inspections

One huge myth is that a new home doesn’t need a detailed home inspection.

I run across new home buyers all the time that did not get their home inspected because they thought “new” meant “all good”, and most of the time they regretted it within the first year. Often, I end up doing an 11-mouth Builder’s warranty inspection for them.

Although new home’s do not have wear type problems, they certainly have all sorts of other problems including code violations and poor workmanship issues, regardless of who the builder is. I sometimes hear from buyers that the builder told them “not to waste their money by hiring a 3rd party private inspector because the county/city inspectors have been looking at the home in different stages of construction, plus they have a great quality control system that will catches any issues”. I assure you that most municipal inspectors are not inspecting the home but about 15 mins, 30 mins tops, so really they do not have time to do a detailed inspection. I rarely hear of a municipal inspector that walks a roof or all the way across an attic. Most of the builders’ QC teams that I have seen and reviewed their punch-lists are pretty good, but they still miss items because often they have so many houses to review or the house is up against a time crunch closing date. People are human and there are a lot of subcontractor, so mistakes are made quite often that do not get caught by the builder. The photos below show all types of issues I have found with new homes I recently inspected. And these builders are reputable and well-known in the Alpharetta area.

Just because the home is new does not mean that all components were installed correctly or don’t have manufacture defects.

The types of problems and issues I find in new homes while usually different than what I usually find in older homes, still can be quite serious and even structural related. But, more often than not they are improper installations and building methods. These types of issues are not easy to identify for the lay person. Most issues are not so obvious such as a crack in the foundation or a leak. Since most people don’t have detailed knowledge of building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical codes or even manufacturers installation instructions it’s very difficult to identify installation defects. While a home inspection is not technically a full code compliance inspection, a good home inspector uses code all the time to point out and identify improper installations.

Below are pictures of just a few issues I have observed at new construction homes this year.

Home Inspection Images from a House in Alpharetta, GA

Missing corner-board trim that cannot be seen from the ground.

Home Inspection of an Alpharetta House with Deck Ledger board joist issue

Deck Ledger board joist improperly in contact with soil.

Attic Inspection with cracked truss member in Alpharetta, GA

Cracked truss member far right attic – needs engineer letter of repair approval.

Attic Inspections in Alpharetta

Missing squash blocks – structural.

Failed Home Inspection in Alpharetta

1.5 inches of blown insulation missing in far attic area – should be 10.5 inches.

Roof drip edge flashing missing at eaves and rakes – required as of 2012.

Roof Inspections in Alpharetta

Detached roof shingles due to over-driven nails.

Combustible materials to close to water heater vent hood – fire hazard.

Missing impact barrier to protect water heater from possible vehicle impact.

Furnace Inspection in Alpharetta

Detached furnace vent pipe – air safety hazard.

No airflow in laundry room supply vent.

Crisscross electrical wires for A/C breakers of different amp sizes.