People that are having a new home built sometimes pay a home inspector to come out and look for possible areas of concern. But shouldn’t my local building department be doing these inspections as part of the approval process? Yes they should. And most of these local municipal inspectors are very good. But some are so busy they really don’t have the time to look at the small details. It’s a good idea to hire your own personal home inspector even if you are having your home built by a professional contractor or reputable home building company. The idea being…the more eyes you have looking at a new home for quality, the better the final outcome will be. If you decide to hire your own inspector, there are three critical times during the construction process that you will want them to come out.
What Stages Should the Inspector Review? The problem is, most people think of the home inspector as an afterthought. When things are about done, they say, “hey, it’s time to bring our inspector in!” Unfortunately, your inspector can only see so much once everything is covered up. And to be certain, the most important items cannot be inspected when the house is near completion. Assuming a soil engineer inspects before the footings are poured, it would be redundant to have your home inspector check this also…and most wouldn’t know what they are looking at anyway.
So, the first time your home inspector should come out would be just prior to backfill of the foundation. At this stage, he/she should be reviewing the foundation drain tile (or drainage system), waterproofing, exterior foundation insulation, foundation quality items including thickness of wall, height of wall, location on footer…etc. and checking the plan specifications match the work completed.