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New Home Inspections - Are They Worth It?


New Home Inspections..
Are They Worth It? 

The Case For New Home Inspections

Let me start by staying that brand new houses are built with tens of thousands of components, and are ever-more complex from a design and construction perspective.


new home componentsNew home builders conduct an untold number of quality control inspections prior to the completion of a house.  In addition to their own in-house inspections (including those by subcontractors who actually perform the work), many inspections are performed by local building departments, engineers, appraisers, and eventually YOU, the new homeowner.

If you look at the number of inspections conducted by the local building department alone, they'd probably number from 20-30 inspections.  They range from soils, foundation, rough frame, utilities, insulation, drywall, and wrapping it all up with all the finishes.    

So, would another inspection be considered overkill?  Sometimes this may be true.  Then again, because most houses have tens of thousands of individual components, perhaps not.  Honestly, what I can tell you is that I’ve never been involved with the construction of a new home where an 'independent inspector' hired by the buyer, didn't notice things that everyone else missed.  Rarely have I ever participated in a builders’ pre-drywall or final walkthrough, without a laundry list of things that were needed to be repaired, before the builder could say they had delivered a product the home buyer expected.  

It never hurts to have another set of eyes looking through the work of hundreds of subcontractors, many of whom probably have been pushed to complete their work on 'short deadlines' that home builders are absolutely notorious for creating.  An important consideration that new home buyers must understand though, is that some home builders do not want outside inspectors evaluating their product.  Will the builder be provoked by an outside inspector?   Perhaps, and you should check and clear this potential conflict, beforehand.  Your contract should confirm whether or not the builder will allow independent inspections.  new home inspector

When it comes to cost, the money required to hire an independent inspector may cost you in the neighborhood of $500 to $750.  If that's not too significant, then you should just do it and chalk it up to the cost of buying a new home, and giving yourself a greater peace-of-mind.  

Many traditional home inspectors are not always qualified to perform 'new home inspections'.  Inspecting an existing house is one thing, but new home construction requires the added experience of working with trades-people and the builders directly.  New homes just have issues that are different from other types of property inspections. 

I'm happy to provide all of my clients with the contact information for several qualified new home inspectors who are able to help inspect most new homes under-construction.  If you're planning to build a new home soon, make sure you ask for some recommendations. 


Michael Dagner is an expert with Denver-Area new home construction and sales, and has built hundreds of properties along Colorado's Front Range.  Call Mike today at (303) 514-4000.

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