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New Home Inspection (Construction | Phase)

A new home inspection, also known as a construction or phase inspection, is an invaluable service for anyone who is looking to have a reliable and nonbiased professional opinion regarding the quality and installation practices being utilized in their new home during the building process. The new home construction process can be an unexpectedly overwhelming process for anyone. Having a professional home inspector on call to help guide you through the home building process will absolutely bring value to your future purchase.

Phase Inspection Process

There are three opportunities available during the building cycle that are recommended to have your third-party inspector evaluate and report on the workmanship and construction of your new home. The standard 3 phase inspection process is utilized to ensure that major construction defects within your home are not covered up.

There is a market for these types of inspections for a reason. Additionally, most high-quality home builders fully welcome a third-party inspection. The new construction phase inspection is conducted at three separate times;

1. The first inspection should be conducted prior to your concrete being poured (Pre-pour Inspection)

2. The second inspection takes place prior to the interior walls and insulation being installed (Framing Inspection)

3. The final inspection takes place after the home is complete, usually around the time of your initial “Blue tape” walk-through (Final Inspection).

Pre-pour Foundation Inspection

Concrete foundation (Pre-pour) Inspections There is ample value in having your home’s foundation inspected prior to the pour day. If you are considering having your foundation inspected there are a few things you should plan for. Failure to install your home’s foundation in accordance with the engineered plans can have a devastating impact on the integrity of your home’s foundation. Furthermore, there are numerous workmanship defects that are present on nearly every foundation that can impact the visible appearance as well as the bearing capacity of the foundation. Once the concrete is poured, the opportunity to have your foundation inspected is gone.

When to Schedule the Foundation Inspection

It takes time to coordinate with concrete companies for the required concrete for your foundation. That means, your builder knows a few days in advance when they plan on pouring. The best time for the pre-pour inspection is typically two days prior to the actual pour day. This will help ensure that the foundation is ready to inspect, as well as give the builder sufficient time to make any and all needed corrections, or postpone the pour day. Additionally, this will allow you some time to re-inspect the repairs prior to pour day.

Another way to get an idea on the intended pour day is to ask the builder when their in-house inspector is scheduled to review the foundation. If we know when the builder’s inspector will arrive, we can usually schedule the inspection around that date, as the forms and reinforcements are typically complete at that time.

Upon completion of the on-site inspection, Young Home Inspections will return to the office and begin constructing your digital report. The report will be comprised of digital photographs and locations of each defect, as well as the relevant references for issues discovered during the inspection.

Framing Inspection

 

Shedding light on your new home inspection

The next phase of the inspection process is typically called the framing inspection, or pre-cover inspection. Once your home’s roofing material, exterior cladding, and windows have been installed, your home will be ready for the interior sheetrock and insulation to begin.

Because the sheetrock and insulation cover some of the critical materials, like window flashing, electrical wiring, plumbing and HVAC rough in installation,and your home’s framing components, having your third-party inspector evaluate and report on the

quality of work is paramount. Once the sheetrock goes up it is too late. Many defects can lay dormant until well after the home warranty has expired, leaving the home owner responsible for any needed repairs.

When to Schedule the Framing Inspection

The best time to schedule the framing inspection will typically coincide with your builder’s framing walk-through. We like to do this inspection right before the builder has scheduled their own inspection. A few days to a week ahead of their own inspection will give them time for them to fix any issues we find before they do their own inspection. Then when you do your walk through with your builder you will either have our written report with photos of any deficiencies we found as your check list for the necessary repairs, or you can hire us to come and re-inspect the work ourselves.

This also happens to be in-line with the building officials required inspection.

3 Common Framing Installation Problems

 

1. The most common issue found during the framing inspection by every builder is improper notching and boring of the interior load bearing stud walls. After the framers have completed their installation, the electrical and plumbing are installed through the home’s interior walls. During this process, over-zealous cutting of load bearing studs is conducted in order to make way for the utilities. There are requirements that must be met in order to maintain the integrity of load-bearing walls after they have been damaged. This, of course, goes unseen very often.

2. Another common problem is with the installation and flashing of the home’s windows and exterior penetrations. Poor flashing installation will in most cases lead to water damage to the home. Unfortunately, this can take quite some time to finally manifest itself within the home once it has been covered. This is one of the primary reasons for an inspection at this stage.

3. Installation defects in regard to the home’s water-resistive barrier and air barrier are also quite common. The water-resistive barrier and air barrier are installed in order to prevent the infiltration of water and moisture laden air into the home. When not installed properly, which is often the case, an unnecessary amount of unconditioned air can enter the home’s thermal envelope.

Final Inspection

The final inspection should be scheduled a few days before your scheduled walk-through with your builder. This will ensure that the building process is near completion so systems can be inspected. It also is your safety net before you sign off on your closing to make sure your home is in move in condition. This inspection incorporates all the major systems in the home and is the most time consuming of the 3 phases.

We truly appreciate you taking the time to consider Young Home Inspections as your home inspector, and we look forward to assisting you with your new home inspection needs.

Things You Can Do When Hiring Your Personal Inspector

New construction phase inspections can be tricky to schedule. If your project manager is off by a few days on his timeline, or last minute paperwork needs to be submitted, your scheduled inspection could be missed. That is why it is important to let your home building representatives know in advance that you wish to hire an independent building inspector to perform phase inspections throughout the building process. Below is a list of actions that you can take to ensure that your construction inspection goes off without any difficulties.

1. Try and let your builder or project manager know well in advance that you will have a third-party inspector conducting independent phase inspections on your behalf. This has the advantage of putting them on notice, which will improve their attention to detail from the start. Also, it will require your project manager to be more accurate with their projected timelines. One of the most common complaints when dealing with your project manager is their inability to deliver an accurate timeline.

2. Your home builder may also have some requirements that may need to be met by your inspector. Try and obtain this well in advance and get it to your inspector to avoid any last minute difficulties. The requirements are usually minimal, and any quality home inspection company should have no issues supplying the needed documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions and Concerns

How many physical visits or appearances do you make during the course of a 3 phase inspection?

Our visits can vary based on your needs, but the quotes we send will are for a single visit per phase (3 visits total). There are times when we document and report on major defects with the home, or when there are a large number of notable defects. In both of those scenarios, it can be difficult to determine if the builder has made any of the agreed upon repairs, in which case our services are requested for a re-inspection.

There is a fee for any additional inspections, which is contingent upon our estimated time on-site.

I was talking with my builder and they mentioned that they follow a different code standard than what was referenced in the report. Is the builder required to follow your references, or are they just guidelines?

To answer your question regarding codes, and my referencing them in particular; there are no mandatory requirements that your builder make corrections once the City having jurisdiction has “inspected” the home. My reference to a code standard or to other reputable sources is only included as a way of leveraging or adding credibility to an opinion that I already formed regarding model building practices.

With that being said, it is true that the builder should be following whatever code requirements are accepted in the City that they are building in. I am not privy to that information over much.. That is why I believe it to be important to work with the builder to determine which defects that I reported on that they do not agree or intend on correcting. Once you can isolate the defects that the builder is unwilling to correct you can work to figure out why they are not correcting them and then determine if the provided reasoning is sound.

During the final inspection, do you inspect all of the outlets?

I would never say that I inspect ALL the outlets, as I know for sure if you have outlets in the eaves/soffits and some other locations they won’t be checked…but it is our goal to check all the accessible outlets. As far as wiring, this is a visual only non-invasive inspection, like all home inspections, so we do not typically remove outlets from the walls, however; when an inspector “inspects” an outlet they do so with the use of a circuit analyzer which will help reveal improperly wired outlets.

Do you inspect the sprinkler system, and what is the additional fee if any?

The irrigation system (Sprinklers in the building world refer to water/fire sprinklers within the home) is inspected and the method and scope can be further defined when viewing the sample report on our website. We do not charge extra for home’s that have irrigation systems, but the inspection has some limitations.

If you have any other questions please just reach out and we will be happy to answer any and all.

 



 

 




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