So you’ve just spent a lot of money to buy the custom-built home of your dreams. Once the house is finally built, it is natural that you will be in a hurry to enjoy your new home. However, you need to hold on a minute. Before you put the finishing touches on this whole deal and proceed to move in, you have to think about one more little question: Do you get a home inspection or not?
Does The Law Require A Home Inspection?
In most cases, the answer is no. Although the law does require a code inspection in most places, this is not the same thing as a private home inspection. A code inspector is generally concerned with one thing and one thing only: Whether or not your building is in compliance with the law. They don’t care about whether or not you have bought a quality home.
Of course, hiring a home inspector will cost you more money at a time when you probably can’t afford to spend any more. Before you do any of that, you should tell your builder that you want to do a walk-through. This means that you and the builder will take a quick tour of the premises, looking at key areas to ensure that the customer’s standards have been met.
Step One: The Walk-through
Hopefully, you have chosen an honest home builder who won’t try to sneak any substandard work into your project. Sometimes, dishonest contractors and builders will cut corners on cost so that they can pocket the excess. For instance, they charge you for $100 worth of materials…then they do the job with substandard materials, bringing the cost down to about $50. Thus, they can pocket the extra $50. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all the time. This is why you should not take your builder’s word for anything.
Here are the things you should look for as you do the walk-through:
- Make sure that water flows away from the house rather than pooling
- Make sure that all the shingles look flat, smooth, and uniform
- Use a tiny bit of smoke and a small fan to test the seals on the windows and doors
- Make sure that the paint has not been sloppily applied
- Pull on the trim and moldings a little bit
- Use a small handheld level to check the walls and floors
- Ensure that the plumbing fixtures are new and shiny
- Test the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems
- Check the attic, basement, and/or the crawl space for leaks
- Demand proof that the building has passed a code inspection
- If you aren’t confident in your judgement, hire a home inspector to accompany you on the walk-through
What Might The Inspector Find?
A good home inspector will check your home for a variety of defects. Although it is frustrating to think about this fact after spending so much money for a custom home, construction mistakes happen all the time. It might be something small that can be corrected easily, or it might be a serious problem that calls the worth of the home into question. Here are some of the more common mistakes that an inspector might find.
- Improper roof drainage
- uneven floors, walls, or other surfaces
- Foundation issues
- Improper use of screws, nails, or other mountings
- Unsafe stairways
- Use of substandard lumber
- Loose or improperly nailed shingles
- Poor ventilation
- Improper ductwork
- Excessive air leakage at any number of possible spots
Inspection: The Cost
In essence, this issue is just a question of cost versus diligence. No one wants to spend the money for a home inspector, and the law doesn’t require one, but most people do it anyway.
So, how expensive does a home inspection tend to be? Obviously, this will vary from place to place, so let’s try to find an average figure. According to this estimate, a home inspection will set you back about $300-$350. Some estimates are a little higher, placing the high number at $450.
No Inspection: The Cost
This is where you have to take a guess and attempt to predict the future. If you choose to forego the inspection, you are placing a lot of trust in your builder. You are also placing a lot of trust in any contractors that they might have hired. You are assuming that they will execute your chosen plan in a way that is faithful to your parameters. Considering the amount of money on the line here, that’s a lot of trust to place in anyone.
At this point, it is a gamble. If you choose to go without a home inspection, you might be fine. Your home might be well-made and up to all necessary standards, and if this is the case, you saved $300-$450. However, if you are wrong, the repair costs can end up costing you far more than an inspection ever would have.
For one example, let’s say that the shingles on your roof have not been properly installed. Whatever the reason, they must be replaced. So, let’s look for an estimate on this kind of job. If this estimate is correct, the cost of replacing a roof can easily reach the $10,000 mark, and could even be as high as $16,000.
When we lay out all the facts and ponder their meaning, we are forced to conclude that yes, you do need a home inspection with new construction. Although such inspections are not exactly cheap, they give you a reliable way to see if you have gotten your money’s worth in terms of quality. The potential cost of not doing an inspection is far higher than any home inspection has ever cost. If our research has aided your decision, please show your appreciation by filling out the contact form below so that we can continue to teach you all that we know.