We get this question all the time in our office. The buyer is looking at all of his moving expenses and the Realtor suggests another expense –that a home inspection should be performed. The first reaction is to forgo this inspection since it is a “new” home and it is inspected by the municipality during construction. However, new construction homes are not exempt from problems. Here at Innovative Home Inspections, we have performed over 2,500 inspections in the Raleigh/Durham areas over the past 7 years. Many of these inspections have included new construction homes. Here are some actual problems and photos of issues we have found in “new” houses.

Bring your bathing suit!

During a home inspection in the Raleigh area, we will run the entire cycle for the dishwasher to ensure no loud/unusual noises occur and the unit cycles through properly. After about 2 minutes of starting the dishwasher the kitchen floor was flooded with water. The drain line for the dishwasher was never connected to the drain! Can you imagine your first house warming party? Tell your guest to grab a mop!

It’s only an inch!

During one of our home inspections in the Holly Springs area, I noticed that the stairs felt awkward when climbing to the second-floor area. The stairs were beautiful, dark hardwoods leading to a landing the overlooked the front door area. When we looked closely at the stairs we noticed that the stair treads were installed at different heights. You can see that some stairs were 7 ¼” tall, some were 8 ½” tall and several others were some heights’ in between. This is a huge difference and is a tripping/safety hazard.

The builder did not want to do anything about the stair height, however, the buyer contacted the local code inspector, and after they came out for a re-inspection the builder was required to remove the stairs and install them again. Sometimes even an inch can make a huge difference.

This same builder also “forgot” to install a window for a downstairs bedroom and had to install one after the fact. Whoops!

Foundation cracks

On a recent home inspection in the Garner area these foundation cracks were observed. Sometimes these cracks are deemed cosmetic after reviewed by a licensed structural engineer but wouldn’t you want to know for sure?

This foundation, damaged during the installation of a foundation vent was discovered during a home inspection in the Apex area and never fixed by the builder.

Broken attic trusses, leaky pipes, improper and unsafe wiring, etc. And the list goes on and on.

So to answer the question “Do I need a home inspection on a new construction home?” Yes. it is very important to perform a home inspection on a “new” construction home. This home inspection could keep you safe, dry, and prevent costly repairs when selling the home.

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