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:
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)
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.
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:
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.
Building a home is a huge undertaking. Which is why this kitchen backsplash ended up being completely missed by the tradesperson:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org today!