There are at least two main reasons a new home needs an inspection. First, a minor defect in a new home can become a major issue in the future. For example, if ventilation is not installed in an attic properly mold can develop over time and roof shingles won't last as long. Second, no matter how good a superintendent is, he can't watch all the workers all the time. Here are some other reasons a new home needs an inspection.
1. "The City Building Inspector passed it…"
The local building inspectors are often times over worked and only look at the home for 10 minutes three or four times. A home inspector in Oregon follows the State Standards of Practice for Home Inspections - that keeps us on site for three hours or more. We have the opportunity to see things the inspector couldn't or things like how systems affect one another or other things not in their scope. Sometimes things just get overlooked.
2. Cosmetic vs. incorrect installation vs. incomplete installation
Cosmetic issues are the responsibility of the buyer and agent to point out to the builder. Cosmetic issues include overspray or paint discoloration, crooked tile or trim and the like. In a new home inspection the inspector should be looking for incomplete or incorrect system or component installations. Some of these systems include water heaters; heating and cooling systems; paint coverage (as weather protection); appliance installations; ventilation; and whole house ventilation systems
3. New systems and products
Building products are constantly being improved or updated. Installation instructions and requirements change regularly. More and more often, building codes reference the manufacturer's installation instructions. Inspectors must be willing to research new products to ensure they are installed properly.
4. Subcontractor, "It's not my job…"
It is common to find issues created by one subcontractor that caused issue with another trades work. Such as roof shingles damaged by painters while on one roof painting a wall; heating ducts damaged by workers in an attic or crawl space; Insulation displaced or removed to allow electrical or plumbing work not reinstalled; or structural wood cut by plumber to allow for plumbing. A superintendent does not usually go into the crawl space or attic to confirm work is properly completed.
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