Do I Need To Inspect a BRAND NEW Home?!?
Many wonder why anyone would need to hire a company to inspect a BRAND NEW home. I get this and see why some would come to that conclusion. When you buy a new car, there is no need to hire an inspector. When you buy a new Nintendo Switch (which I hear are amazing), yet again no inspector. Why are New Construction Homes so different? The answer to this question, is just….because they are.
Many inspectors will tell you that the defects they see in newer, but not new, construction in their pre-sale inspections stem back to the way it was originally constructed. In these cases, the outward signs of failure may not have been noticed until some amount of time later. It may come as a shock for some to understand that a Home Builder may cut some corners. Whether intentional or not, mistakes do happen. Modern Home Building companies may fill the General Contracting role, and build the entire house with third-party bids and labor (more Project Manager than Builder). This means that all of the training and development was done by others (or possibly not done at all). The GC certainly has an obligation to oversee the work of their subs, but they (just like Home Inspectors) are powerless to see flaws once they are obscured from view. There is no replacement for a skilled worker, who is working in and around materials and construction they know very well. Absent this skill level in the laborers, there is only so much any GC can do to keep the wheels on the road. A self-managed laborer, from a quality control standpoint, can be a scary thing. Some builders hire independent Quality Control experts, but most tend to be checklist driven and allows for small portions of time being spent on-site (not removing the laborer managing themselves). Their scope also tends to be much more narrow than a typical New Construction scope that independent Home Inspectors deploy when YOU are the client (and not the Builder).
Back in the day, the GC’s used to actually BUILD the house. They had direct control and supervision of the personnel doing the building. The modern-day standard is to sub out all or most of the build. This controls overhead costs, reduces the money tied up into the projects, and shed’s liability to the sub-contractor. After all, the sub’s must be licensed and insured as well. This insurance, however, provides the level of assurance that a sub-contracting firm will be OK if they get stung from a series of construction defects. This incentivizes under-skilled staff and other cost-cutting measures to maximize profits. Unfortunately, skill level and profits tend to be inversely proportional (that’s engineer talk for saying they oppose each other, as one goes up the other goes down).
The Home Inspection bar is one that is obtainable for all walks of life. You will see people in the industry that used to adjust insurance claims, accountants, bankers, high school teachers, etc. Some of these turn out to be outstanding inspectors (as they develop their skillset over time). There is a ton of information required for the exam, but experience in construction, engineering or any other associated trade is not at all required. At times, inspectors may not know what they don’t know. The Home Inspection curriculum, while extremely robust and diverse, can only account for a certain level of exposure to the day to day deficiencies one could encounter.
A background in residential framing/construction, a superintendent level in a construction trade, and any field of engineering are great backgrounds to conduct these inspections. These trades encounter situations constantly that correlate back to typical home construction, and you never know when that insight may come in handy.
Learn more about what your Red Flag Home Inspector will do during YOUR New Home Construction. Once complete, feel free to send your friends/family to our First Time Homebuyer Essential Tool Guide. If still within the design phase, please check out our blogs on “Good Bones” and “Optimum Bones, and Engineer’s Take on Best Bones“.
In the end, there is SOOO much that can go wrong. Way too many corners that can be cut or inadvertently done wrong. Protect your investment (in your new home) by having your OWN inspections performed at key phases of the construction process, before problem areas are hidden behind finish materials.
Allow Red Flag Home Inspection to guide you through this hectic time, alongside your chosen realtor. We will inspect in accordance or exceeding the Standards of Practice, so you can relax and enjoy the excitement.
To see other services offered, please review our robust service offerings anytime. Call or email with any questions you may have. Curious how much Tampa Bay’s BEST Inspection Services cost? You can check it out HERE anytime.