Are you considering building a new home in 2022? While pandemic-driven factors are still very much on the table, many builders are predicting an increase in residential construction this year. With this in mind, we’ve dedicated this blog post to a valuable home inspection service you should put on your radar if you’re committed to building in the year ahead.
In our last home inspection article, we looked at the inevitability that all systems in a home will age and eventually need to be replaced. This is true whether we’re discussing a slate roof that may effectively serve for a hundred-plus years or a water heater that may expire a decade after installation. But not all issues that arise in a home are related to the natural aging process. In fact, some components and systems may develop problems much sooner—even within the first year of a home’s life.
That’s why it pays to have a home inspector, like those at A-Pro Home Inspection, perform an 11 Month Warranty Inspection to check for defects before the expiration of the builder’s warranty. There are several reasons why this is a smart idea:
- A lot can happen in a home over its first year. Having a home inspector come out and check systems and components that are still under warranty can provide you with peace of mind that everything is functioning as it should. More importantly, if a defect is found while the system/component is still covered by the builder’s warranty, you receive documentation—and leverage—from the home inspector that can be used to get the builder to foot the bill to fix any issues—not you. Problems resulting from poor workmanship or use of substandard/damaged materials, for example, may not reveal themselves for months after move-in. This is your opportunity to find out hidden issues that could hit you hard in the wallet.
- In addition to major concerns, this inspection will provide valuable insight into less expensive but important upgrades/fixes that should be considered, such as trimming back vegetation touching the exterior, sealing exterior gaps, replacing furnace filters, or swapping out regular outlets with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters in spaces where water is present, such as near kitchen and bathroom sinks and in garages and utility rooms. And even though builder’s warranties usually don’t cover small masonry/drywall cracks, having these pointed out and documented by a home inspector alerts you to keep a close watch on them to see if they progress.
- You receive a detailed, 500-point home inspection hardbound report—with color photos—that can serve as a baseline for the condition of the home. Descriptions and visual evidence in a detailed report from A-Pro provide a reference point to check how the home and its components are naturally aging or developing premature defects.
- An 11 Month Warranty Inspection allows you to connect with a home inspector who can be a longtime advocate and adviser. Establishing this homeowner/home inspector relationship early in the life of a home is important. It gives you a reliable go-to professional to contact for other types of services you may want to have performed immediately or as the home ages, such as radon testing, carbon monoxide testing, mold inspections, pool and spa inspections, wood-destroying insect inspections, video sewer scope inspections of the main line, and others. Further, if you ever need to put the home on the market, you’ll know who to call to perform a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection.
While you may feel confident your contractor has performed a flawless job (and it’s very possible they did), don’t forget that you’ve made a huge investment in a new home, so simply relying on intuition isn’t the most prudent approach. That’s why hiring a third-party professional to check the home before its one-year anniversary makes sense. Note: Builder’s warranties commonly cover labor and materials for one year and mechanical defects (HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems) for two years. They usually do not cover items already covered under manufacturer’s warranties.
A-Pro home inspectors have found a range of problems during 11 Month Warranty Inspections, which include an assessment of all accessible components and systems in the home from roof to attic. Here is a brief checklist of questions your inspector will explore:
- Are there substantial and troubling cracks in foundation and interior walls? Is there evidence of water penetration behind windows and doors? Are gaps in windows/doors letting air and moisture inside and allowing treated air to escape? Do interior and exterior doors bind in the jamb or drag? Is there evidence of moisture damage/roof leakage in the attic? Is the attic adequately vented? Do roofing shingles show signs of premature decay—an indication that they are being cooked from underneath? Do floors appear un-level or feel spongy? Is there evidence of water damage on walls and ceilings? Are there active leaks or signs of leakage in cabinetry under sinks? Are toilets loose and leaking?