Frank G. Ross
For homeowners of newly
built homes, the thought of getting a brand new home inspected for
potential defects might seem an unnecessary expense, but experts say
problems can be present in even the newest homes.
Though it is standard
practice for real estate professionals to suggest an inspection for
new and existing homes, the majority of buyers purchasing new homes
opt not to have one.
It is fairly common for
builders to offer a new construction one-year warranty which covers
many aspects of repair and replacement throughout the house. Take
advantage of the opportunity to document construction defects before
your 12-month builder's warranty expires. An independent home
inspector can provide a thorough and detailed inspection report,
As newly built homes
age over a year’s time, it is typical for various items to change.
Structural, mechanical or cosmetic issues commonly develop within a
recently built home. Your best bet is to catch the problem early.
With homes less than a
year old, I rarely find situations that are a major cause for
concern. However, I do often find conditions that could lead to
major problems. For example, a recent inspection revealed a broken
roof ridge tile. This tile needs to be replaced so that moisture
will be prevented from penetrating the home through the roof.
In another home I
observed water puddling on the basement floor from a leaky bathtub
above. Obviously this is a situation that should not be allowed to
Something else I see
quite often is loose plumbing fixtures, such as faucets or p-traps
or toilets. These loose fixtures are all sources of potential
A homeowner once asked
me to arrive at his home before 9:30 in the morning. Upon my arrival
he told me that each morning in the attic where the furnace is
located a suspicious tapping began. I gained access to the attic and
got into position to observe the AC copper tubing. Sure enough,
about 9:30 they began a “Morse code” type of tapping that began very
slowly, and then began to get faster and faster until it was a blur,
and then it stopped. The entire episode lasted less than a minute.
The AC lines were not secured in place against the trusses was one
problem I saw but as for the actual tapping, I referred the owner to
an AC and Heating company for further information and advice.
The one item that I
find in over 75% of warranty inspections is that the self closing
door to the garage has the self closing device disconnected. During
construction the self closing device, usually spring loaded hinges,
is disconnected to allow workers to carry ladders, sheetrock,
cabinets and other items into the home without the door getting into
the way and the door is simply overlooked when construction is
completed. The self closing feature is intended to increase the
safety of the home’s occupants in case of a fire in the garage. The
closed door will help to contain the fire.
Another reason to have
a new construction warranty inspection is to receive helpful home
maintenance and cost-saving techniques regarding various systems
throughout the home. Think of your report as your homeowner’s
operations manual. Learning how to properly maintain and operate
your home’s systems can help minimize future problems or costly
homeowners of new homes want me to do during my warranty inspection
is to document their concerns in writing. They may have found a
cracked floor tile, or a loose faucet, an ill fitting kitchen
drawer, or even stains in concrete porches. I do document these
things after I verify they are actual concerns or defects.
One question homeowners
frequently ask is if I know the builder/contractor of their home. I
can honestly say that I do not know any builder/contractor in SW
Utah and I try to keep it that way in order to avoid a conflict of
Most homeowners are
under the impression that the only time to have an inspection done
is if you're buying or selling a home. Actually, as a homeowner, you
have two options. You can either wait until you sell and possibly
discover bad news. Or, you can have your home inspected
periodically, bringing maintenance and other issues to light, so
that there won't be any surprises when you do decide to sell. When
you as a homeowner consider the investment you have made in your new
home, a professional home inspection is a relatively inexpensive
safeguard. Your investment in a new construction one-year home
warranty inspection will prove to be of significant value.
Frank Ross is a Certified Utah Home Inspector for Pillar to Post
Professional Home Inspection and a full member of the National
Association of Certified Home Inspectors and a member in good
standing with the Utah Better Business Bureau. Readers may contact
Mr. Ross at (435) 867-6400 or