Should You Get a Home Inspection on a New Construction House?

A new construction home is a great purchase. Not only do you get the benefit of first ownership (brand-new equipment, a warranty, etc.), but the value of a new home is great – much better than an equivalent piece of land with a 1970’s house full of bad wiring.

However, you should get a full home inspection done on every home, regardless of age. Here’s why:

There’s at least one issue you won’t find yourself

In every new home construction I’ve inspected, I have never found a home without at least one issue the owner wouldn’t have found until it was out of warranty.

(Note: all pictures on this page are from actual new-home inspections I have performed)

Leaking Temp-Pressure Relief Valve

Leaking Temp-Pressure Relief Valve

This brand-new hot-water tank had a leaking TPR (Temperature-Pressure Relief Valve). A TPR valve is designed to pop open and release water/steam from an overheating tank. They’re actually very delicate and a failing valve can suddenly pop open by itself, emptying the water out of the system and possibly injuring someone at the same time. This valve will need to be replaced.

Your Warranty Won’t Cover Everything

In Vancouver, most warranties use the Homeowner Protection Office’s performance guidelines on what is covered by a warranty. However, with a typical 2 / 5 / 10 warranty you may be out of luck by the time something fails. With a two-year mechanical warranty, imagine discovering this:

Radiant Floor Leak in Ceiling

Radiant Floor Leak in Ceiling

This owner’s radiant floor heating system had been leaking for years, and eventually formed a stain on the ceiling of his downstairs office. When he tried to claim it under warranty, he discovered that he was one month past the expiration of the mechanical coverage. An inspector with a good quality thermal imaging camera may have discovered this earlier, either during the initial inspection or the 11-month warranty inspection.

Catching a latent issue early on can be the difference between paying out-of-pocket, and instead having the builder/warranty company efficiently fix the problem.

The Builder Will Forget Something

Building a home is a huge undertaking. Which is why this kitchen backsplash ended up being completely missed by the tradesperson:

This kitchen backsplash was missing grout.

This kitchen backsplash was missing grout.

The entire kitchen was missing grout! This is an easy catch, but having a good quality home inspection report to give to the builder will make things easier for both of you.

Torn Roof Shingles

Torn Roof Shingles

Finally, here’s a photo from a brand-new roof I inspected last summer – I found five ripped, missing, or loose shingles on this roof. After the inspection, the client got them all repaired at no cost. Code inspectors will often avoid walking the entire roof and these frequently go missed. I’m glad we found them before the rainy season!

Contact us today to book an expert home inspection for your new home. You’ll be glad you did.

About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email today!

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