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New Construction: To Inspect or Not to Inspect?

Many people buying new homes have a false sense of security when it comes to the complete and proper construction of that home.  It has been my experience after many years of inspecting both new and resale properties that most people only obtain an inspection on a resale or used home.

The thinking is this; the home was designed by someone (architect), the town, city, or county reviewed the plans, a licensed contractor built it, and the Municipal Building Official inspected it so why would I need to get it inspected?  Well, here is the problem; many parts of the country do not require plans or plan reviews.  Many more parts of the country do not require contractors to be licensed.  Lastly, many areas, especially rural areas, do not have any type of Building Inspection at all!

I live in the Phoenix area in a home that was built for me by a large national builder whose name you would recognize if I mentioned it, but I won’t.  During the course of 11 months of construction they literally built the home about 2 ½ times.  They installed many things incorrectly, removed them and reinstalled them correctly, sometimes after two attempts.  I am not talking about minor issues; things like plumbing and electrical within the concrete slab, reinstalling all 33 windows, adding insulation 3 times, and the biggie…installing the drywall twice.

About 18 months after moving in I called the builder and asked if they noticed that I hadn’t called since I moved in.  They said yes, that I hadn’t called since moving into our new home.  I then asked how many times my neighbors had called in that same 18 month period.  The answer was about 8 times on average.  The moral of the story is, watch them while they are building it, have it inspected and you will have a virtually problem-free home once you move in!  Use only a Licensed or Certified Home Inspector!


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