A new construction home inspection is very similar to a home inspection on a pre-existing home with some differences.  The inspection is similar in that all the major structural components of a house like plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, roof, siding, foundation, windows, appliances, and more are inspected prior to closing on the house.  They are different because the inspection on a new house is often done in phases according to a schedule with multiple inspections.  The advantage of the phase approach is that a house under construction can be fully inspected without anything blocking the inspector’s view like foundations, walls, or appliances. After each major phase of construction is completed, an inspection can be done to make sure each step is done well.  

Do you really need an inspection on a newly built house?

The answer is an overwhelming, “Yes!”  Think about it.  It has been reported that as many as 100 people may be involved in the construction when you include your builder and subcontractors and all their employees.  Everyone is human and making mistakes is a fact of life.  There are many things that can go wrong during construction that can be very costly or time-consuming to repair:

  • Improper grading, poor drainage
  • Incorrect wiring or plumbing
  • Poorly constructed roofing or siding
  • Incorrect ventilation
  • Poorly routed ducts
  • And much more

County building inspectors are busy and are looking to enforce minimum code standards, they are not working on your behalf as an independent inspector would, so their inspections will not bring up everything you’d see in a typical home inspection.  The investment in a home inspection is well worth the money, because defects found during construction can be corrected immediately, rather than after you move in.  

What is the new construction home inspection schedule?

Dooley Home Inspections usually follows a schedule with 3 or 4 phases: 

  1. Pre-Pour Foundation – This phase checks for proper grading and drainage, particularly important if you are in or near a floodplain and proper spacing and locations for utilities coming up through the foundation
  2. Pre-Drywall – This phase is sometimes combined with phase #3 and checks for proper framing, electrical, AV wiring, roofing, and plumbing
  3. Pre-Insulation – This phase checks for air leakage throughout the home which can cause HVAC systems to run inefficiently and areas of the house to be uncomfortable
  4. Pre-Final Walk-through with your builder – This phase most closely resembles a traditional home inspection and checks for build quality of the sheetrock, appliances, lights, HVAC system and all the major mechanical components of the home.

Even though your builder may be highly rated and respected, you should really consider hiring an independent home inspector.  “On Final walk-through inspections, I check to make sure the AC system is calibrated correctly. I look at the electrical panel to see if correct breakers were installed for each circuit. I especially look for code requirements like placement of GFCI and AFCI receptacles, adequate handrails at stairways and proper ventilation and insulation in attic space,” says Jonathan Dooley.  Dooley Home Inspections is an IRC certified building inspector, so if you’re in the area and ready to search for new construction home inspections near me, go ahead and schedule an inspection today!

Certified Residential Building Inspector Badge

Similar to a typical home inspection, new homes are inspected for build quality and structural integrity.  They are often inspected in multiple phases after each major step in construction is completed.

Yes.  Everyone makes mistakes, even home builders. Home inspections on new construction is advised to ensure proper build quality and that structural components are built to correct specification.

New home inspections start around $375 for a three phase schedule at pre-pour foundation, pre-drywall, and final walk-through.

A small investment in an independent home inspector is a good idea, so you can find and address issues during construction and before closing on your new home.  You don’t want to wait until after closing or rely on your home warranty to correct issues because it is easier to handle before you move in. 

Sewer drain inspections provide an extra layer of confidence when purchasing an older home with large trees in the yard.  Tree and plant roots, construction debris, and heavy vehicle traffic can wreak havoc on sewer drain lines and our sewer scope inspections are done during the normally scheduled inspection saving you time and money.

Just how the circulatory system is essential for the health of the human body, a drainage system is essential for the health of a house. However, most standard home inspections do not include sewer inspections.

However, a poor drainage system can leave a house vulnerable to a multitude of problems:

  • Damage to the structural foundation
  • Water stains
  • Deterioration of building materials
  • Dangerous exposure to human waste
  • Pest and mold infestation

Thus, it is essential for homebuyers to get a sewer scope Inspection done before investing in a property.

Sewer Inspection – The Process

During a sewer drain inspection, a licensed and trained inspector makes use of a sophisticated sewer camera to examine the condition of the main drain lateral lines. The clean-out drain cap is removed to feed the flexible camera into the drain line. It captures and sends back the interior footage into a monitor, revealing the condition of the drain. The inspector analyses this footage to deliver a comprehensive report which can be a significant tool to make the right decision for owners and buyers alike. We may even suggest further review by a licensed plumber based on our findings.

Sewer Inspection Process

5 Signs that you need a sewer inspection

  1. A house built before 1980

Over 30 years ago, most home drainage was built out of cast iron, which was originally believed to last a long time. However, they crack and crumble before their expected lifespan is up.

  1. Well-established trees in the yard

Tree roots are surprisingly invasive as they have an insatiable love for water. So, these fast-growing intruders often wreak havoc on sewer lines.

  1. Recent construction work

Heavy-duty construction work, especially those involving ground activity, such as digging or drilling, can cause unintentional yet significant damage to drainage pipes.

  1. Patches of extra lush green

If some patches of the lawn look suspiciously greener than the rest of it, there might be a problem underground. Greenery thrives on the contents of a sewage leak.

  1. Water damage

The tell-tale signs of water damage in a property show up may appear as:

  • Water stains
  • Puddles
  • Damp spots and rings
  • Wood rot

How Sewer Drain Inspections Can Help 

Interestingly, the resulting footage from the sewer scope inspection can reveal a lot of things to the eyes of a well-seasoned inspector. Their informative report can reveal –

  • The pipe material
  • Cracks, gaps, or damage in the line
  • Root invasion
  • Clogs and blockages

Our sewer drain inspection gives you a detailed report and video about the integrity, functionality, and safety of a home’s main drain line which can help you make an informed decision. Schedule a sewer inspection with Dooley Home Inspection today!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a sewer inspection?

A sewer inspection involves the use of an extension camera to get a clear view of the underlying sewer drainage system. It is fed into the main drain lateral lines to get a clean look at the structural and sectional condition of the drain. The retrieved camera footage is used by inspectors to evaluate and frame a report which can aid homebuyers in making informed decisions.

  1. When should I get a sewer inspection?

You should get a sewer inspection when you see the following signs of potential sewer damage:

  • An old house built before the 1980s
  • Water damage on the property
  • Suspicious patches of greenery in the garden or yard
  • Signs of recent construction work that involved drilling or digging
  • Mature trees in the yard
  1. Is a sewer inspection worth it?

A sewer inspection gives you an unbiased report on the health of the drainage system on a property. It comes from seasoned, licensed professionals who are regulated by the State of Texas. Getting it done from the right inspector and at the same time as your normally schedule home inspection will save you time and money. Most importantly, it can help you save on costly future improvements.

  1. How much do sewer inspections cost?

The price of sewer inspection depends on several factors: location, access to, and length of the drain line. If scheduled during a home inspection, the cost can vary from $175+, which is much more budget-friendly than hiring another provider to do a separate inspection.

 

With state-of-the-art technology at our disposal, the overwhelming journey of buying a dream home can be a bit easier. One such technology is thermal imaging home inspections.

Every object that has a temperature radiates infrared light, which is invisible to our naked eyes. This is when thermal imaging comes to play! Thermal imaging home inspections employ thermographic cameras to convert invisible infrared light into visible images. The resulting image depicts hot surfaces in a bright glowing hue of orange and cold surfaces in purple or blue.

This smart technology reveals the secrets of a property that our unaided eyes fail to see.

Wondering what those secrets are? Here are the Top 6 Secrets that’ll surprise you!

  1. Dampness Detection

Moisture can penetrate into the ceiling, walls, and floor of a house due to:

  • Cracked or blocked pipes
  • Leaky window frames
  • Roofing failure
  • Building materials of inferior quality
  • Rainwater retention

Thermal imaging reveals moisture damage by swiftly detecting the difference in temperature between a damp and dry area on the surfaces of walls, ceilings, or floors.

  1. Leaky plumbing

Sleek fixtures and fancy Jacuzzis often take the buyer’s attention away from a faulty plumbing system hiding underneath. But, our thermographic cameras cannot be fooled! Just a few moments into an inspection gives us a clear picture of potential leaks and cracks. We call it the “call the plumber” alarm.

  1. Pest infestation

Believe it or not, these tiny buggers release a lot of heat while chomping ferociously on the wood of your potential or existing home. We perform Thermal imaging home inspection to detect heat anomalies. Thermal imaging does not replace a full Termite/WDI inspection, but can help us see things we might otherwise miss.

  1. Faulty insulation

Limiting air loss and the influx of hot air into your cool home can save you a massive amount of money. With energy costs shooting through the roof, a well-insulated home is the need of the hour.  Thermal imaging is the perfect tool to detect poor insulation and get it fixed immediately.

  1. Moisture behind stucco

An evil moisture trapping wall can easily hide behind the beautiful veil of stucco. This can eventually lead to:

  • Molds which release allergens
  • Crumbling of the stucco
  • A persistently warm/cold interior
  • An array of health complications

Our thermal image scans can readily detect the hidden moisture damage and propel you towards the right course of action.

  1. Overcurrentthermal imaging on microwave

As the name suggests, an excess of current in the electrical circuits of a home or office give rise to the detrimental situation of overcurrent. Overcurrent can cause:

  • Irreparable damage to electrical appliances
  • Dangerous fires​

An excessive current also radiates a lot of heat, which is easily detected by Infrared thermal imaging. It is the finest tool to diagnose overcurrent in its infant stages before it can swell into a disaster.

We have adopted thermal imaging as an indispensible strategy in our home inspection process. It can not only help buyers find their perfect dream home but also help sellers to frame a flawless restoration plan. Bonus: we charge you no additional fee for thermal imaging! Give us a call to schedule a home inspection right away.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is thermal imaging in home inspections?

Objects release heat (a lot or a little) in the form of infrared radiation. Thermal imaging uses thermographic cameras to detect invisible infrared radiation and converts it into a visible image. The resulting image depicts the temperature differences on the surface of walls, ceilings, and floors for experts to diagnose and fix.

  1. How much does thermal imaging cost?

The cost of home inspections with thermal imaging largely depend on:

  • The area of your home
  • Reputation of the home inspection company
  • The experience and skill of the home inspector

You can expect to pay $350+ for a home as large as 2000 square feet.

  1. Is thermal imaging for home inspections worth it?

Absolutely! Home inspections can save you from the nightmare of spending thousands of dollars to fix what seemed like a dream home in the first place. And, for those with older houses, it can help in the detection of underlying issues that can cost thousands in repairs if left unaddressed.

  1. What is an infrared home inspection?

Infrared home inspection makes use of modern technology and gadgets like thermographic camera to show homeowners or aspiring homeowners what issues are hiding behind the walls, ceilings, and floors of their homes.  The image scans can reveal issues like:

  • Dampness
  • Pests
  • Leaks and cracks
  • Faulty electrical circuits

 

When it comes to owning and maintaining a home, one of the most important things to look for is termites. Termites cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year in treatment and repairs. Protect your house and your property by taking steps to prevent termites in your home.

Five Things You Can Do to Prevent Termites in Your Home

Aim Your Sprinkler Heads Away

Make sure your lawn sprinkler system is always pointed away from the foundation of your home. Many species of subterranean termites require moisture. If a sprinkler is pointed towards your home, you are creating the perfect environment for termites.

Crawl Space Maintenance

Crawl spaces should be properly maintained to prevent termites in your home. A good vapor barrier and proper ventilation will keep moisture away from the subfloor and floor joists. Should moisture reach these areas, it leads to damp areas that are perfect for termites to feed on the wood under your home.

Prevent Termites by Maintaining Shrubbery

Another method of preventing termites in your home is to keep any shrubbery trimmed. Allow at least one foot of space between bushes and the exterior of your home. This allows better air flow so that damp areas close to the home will dry out more quickly in the sun.

Don’t Use Mulch

Rather than spreading wood mulch in garden beds next to your home’s foundation, find an alternative like rubber mulch or pine needles. Termites find these materials less appealing than mulch. Surrounding the foundation with gravel is also an option.

Exterior Home Maintenance

Prevent termites in your home by taking the time to conduct proper maintenance on exterior areas such as windows and wooden siding. Repainting when necessary and sealing the wood helps protect the home from termites and other wood-destroying insects.

Prevent costly damage by catching termites early. Dooley Home Inspection offers termite and wood-destroying insect inspections. To request an inspection, contact us.

Building a new home allows you to customize your living space to meet your needs and reflect your own style. You are investing time, energy, and money into the project with the expectation that it will be perfect when you move in. Because this is not always the case, you should always order a home inspection on new construction.

What You Can Learn From a Home Inspection on New Construction

The inspection process for a newly built home versus a pre-existing home is similar. The home inspector reviews many structural components and installed systems throughout the home. By ordering a home inspection on new construction, you will learn of any material defects, poor workmanship, and other issues that should be repaired before you take ownership.

1. A Thorough Inspection for Quality

Your new construction home will be inspected by a municipal building official to determine if it meets the minimum building codes. However, building codes only provide basic guidelines. A home inspector reviews the property for proper installation and functionality of systems, quality materials, and workmanship. Without a report from a professional home inspector, problems may remain unknown until they start to affect daily life over time.

2. Order a Home Inspection on New Construction at Multiple Phases

Ordering a home inspection after the home is finished is one option, but you can also request an inspection at each stage. Through the building process, materials will be installed over other materials, making some components inaccessible.

For example, insulation and drywall will cover the frame, pipes, and electrical wiring. With a multi-stage phase inspection, the inspector can review aspects of the home that will not be visible once the construction process is complete.

3. Avoid Warranty Hassles

Some people who are building a new home rely on a home warranty to cover construction defects. However, filing a claim under a home warranty is time-consuming and inconvenient since you’re living in the home while under coverage. Also, not all construction-related defects are identified before the warranty expires. When you know about issues before closing, you can address them before moving in so repairs are covered by the builder and completed before you move into the home.

A home inspection on new construction is important for understanding your newly built house. This service or phase inspections completed during multiple stages of construction will ensure your home is free from defects and safe for your family.

Dooley Home Inspection offers home inspections on new construction, new construction phase inspections, and other services. Contact us to request an appointment.