New Construction Home Inspection
With new construction, everything is, well, new. So why would you need a home inspection on new construction in the Vancouver WA area? Here’s three reasons why you should have an independent home inspector conduct a new construction home inspection.
Everything is new. No one has ever lived in the home and none of its systems have ever been tested.
This is one of those obvious things that may get overlooked. It’s true that local municipalities, like the City of Vancouver WA and Clark County, have building inspectors who sign off on new construction as it’s being built. But their new construction home inspections are much different (and have different purposes) than an independent home inspection, and are usually not as thorough. For instance, the city building inspector may check the ducting for the HVAC system to ensure it’s connected, but won’t actually run the systems to see if the furnace and heat pump are actually operating. They also typically don’t climb onto roofs or crawl into attics and crawlspaces. Home inspectors often find problems in these areas that city building inspectors either weren’t looking for or overlooked.
With a new construction home inspection from Northbank Home Inspection, we test all appliances and systems within the home to ensure they are working properly. We are also your advocate in this process and are going to be inherently more thorough the city inspectors or the builder’s inspectors. This will give you credible evidence about a problematic system in the home that you can then negotiate with the builder to fix before you close.
City building inspectors may also not point out poor workmanship in the home, which is overseen by the builder, but actually completed by a swarm of subcontractors. This can manifest as strange creaking noises from poorly installed flooring, doors that catch when opened because they’re hung improperly, sewage drain lines that were never connected, and numerous other small finishing items.
Something like this happens on nearly every new construction home inspection I conduct, especially in developments. Subcontractors are working on multiple homes on tight schedules and sometimes they overlook crucial pieces of the construction.
Builders have a vested interest to sell you the house as inexpensively (for them) as possible.
When you’ve decided to buy a new construction home, the builder will no doubt assure you that everything will be perfect before you move in — and definitely don’t worry about the thing you were concerned about two weeks ago that is still an issue, they say. But you should worry and know that there’s probably a few other issues that need to be addressed.
Getting a new construction home inspection before you close will help you find problems before it’s too late. Often times, builders will wiggle out of doing repairs on a new home and leave buyers in the lurch. Big national firms (ahem, the one that sounds like a mix between a doctor and a Dr. Suess character) are especially notorious for this behavior — just read their reviews. You may have a warranty, but problems that are hidden in the crawlspace or attic often don’t manifest until after your warranty has expired.
At Northbank, we’re your advocate. We’ll give you a new construction home inspection report that will not only provide you with important information about your new home and its systems, but also help you compile a repair list with pictures, videos, and comments that you can take to the builder to get things fixed before you close.
With new construction developments sprouting up everywhere in Clark County from Ridgefield and Battle Ground to Camas and Washougal, it’s important to do your homework and read reviews on builders. This will give you helpful insights into how they conduct business and what problems you should watch out for. And always get a home inspection. You won’t regret it.