5 Tasks on a New Construction Home Inspection Checklist

home inspection checklist

Few homeowners ever get to experience the joy and bliss that comes with investing in a brand new construction home. You don’t have to worry about the home’s past, damages covered up by the previous owner, or necessary repairs anytime in the near future.

However, that’s not to say that everything will be perfect. Homebuilders are just as capable of making mistakes as any of the rest of us. Therefore, before you sign off on your new home, you need to do a final walkthrough.

Keep reading for a new construction home inspection list for everything you need to verify.

  1. Test All the Major Appliances

The first items on a home inspection checklist are the home’s appliances. Most likely, you were able to choose your ideal appliances and have them installed by the builders.

You need to make sure there aren’t any defects. If so, you can have it replaced using the manufacturer’s warranty. You also need to verify that the contractors installed the appliances correctly and they function as intended.

This includes:

  • Kitchen appliances
  • Laundry room appliances
  • Water heater
  • HVAC system

If any of these appliances aren’t functioning properly, it can be incredibly inconvenient to fix down the road.

  1. Check the Plumbing

Next, buying a newly constructed home means that the major systems of the house haven’t been thoroughly tested. You need to check the plumbing throughout the house during home inspections for multiple reasons.

First, you need to make sure all sinks, faucets, and spigots run properly. Check the hot and cold function, as well.

Additionally, ensure there are no leaks in the plumbing while the sinks, tubs, toilets, and showers are draining. You also don’t want any clogs. This is a vital step on the new construction home inspection checklist.

  1. Have the Electrical System Professional Inspected

The importance of home inspections cannot be overstated. In some cases, getting the home inspected could prevent unnecessary injuries or deaths.

For example, we recommend hiring a trusted local electrician to examine your electrical system before your family moves in. Faulty electrical can lead to fires, shocks, and electrocution.

  1. Exterior Water Drainage

Next, let’s take the home inspection outside. You’re looking for any potential drainage issues that may come about during heavy rainfall.

For example, make sure the gutter system is complete and unobstructed. If rainwater doesn’t flow through the gutter system properly, it can spill over the edge. This can lead to negative drainage, water damage, and more.

Speaking of negative drainage, make sure the landscaping at the foundation of the home slants away from the house. If it slants downward toward the house, you can expect negative drainage, foundation issues, and water in your basement/crawlspace.

  1. Aesthetic Issues

Finally, let’s take a look at the aesthetics of our new construction home inspection checklist. The beauty of a home is in the details. We’re talking paint, trim, craftsmanship, flooring, etc.

Walk around the house and look for any flaws in the execution of the construction. This could be cracks in the ceiling, trim that doesn’t line up properly, damaged drywall, paint mishaps, and more.

You shouldn’t accept anything less than perfect in your new construction home.

Have You Completed Everything on Our New Construction Home Inspection List?

Have you purchased a new construction home? If so, congratulations on your new house! It will be fantastic to live in a place that no other family has called “home.”

Just make sure you evaluate the items on our new construction home inspection checklist. And if you’re looking for more homeownership, renovation, or real estate advice, stick around for a while. Read through some of our other articles to find more helpful content.

New Construction Walkthrough- a detailed look

If you’re about to buy a new construction home, we recommend you make time and inspect the following items during the new construction walk-through.

New Construction Walkthrough- a detailed look

Exterior walk-through inspection

We advise you to take all the files with you to ensure that all the upgrades, paint colors, and finishes are what you’ve selected.

Ground surfaces and landscaping

Curb appeal can seal the deal in many situations, so you should scrutinize the landscaping. Examine the grass and see if you have your selected plants. Does the irrigation system work? Please turn it on and see that all sprinkler heads perform correctly.

Examine the deck, porch, and patio areas; if the fasteners are made from lumber, check them out. Take a look at the concrete and pavers, too—surfaces should be level with no cracks or chips. Needless to say, you have to inspect the driveway and front walkway carefully.

External surfaces of the home

Continue with inspecting the building’s exterior. How does the paint look? Do you see any uneven tone or bubbling? The edging should be crisp and the trim should be entirely covered.

If possible, take a ladder to examine the roof. You can also check it out from the ground. The seals at the corners and edges should be tight, and there should be no faulty materials (cracked tiles, broken shingles, etc.). Remember to examine the gutter and see if they’re installed beneath the roof’s drip edge.

Verify the flow and pressure of all outdoor hose spigots by turning them on. You can give it a try with a garden hose and spray around the exterior.

outdoor living spaces and add-ons

If you also have hardscaping (pergola, fire pit, pool, fountain, outdoor kitchen), you have to check them out. If applicable, test their performance for five minutes. Should you also have a pool, you need to understand maintenance requirements and equipment.

Garage and fixtures

Check out the outdoor lighting, fans, and garage door. See if there are any supplies left in the garage. Homes selected from a builder model may not come with leftover supplies. If it’s a custom build, you will be able to keep the supplies. You might need them for touch-ups and repairs.

Interior walk-through inspection

Should your new construction have any cosmetic flaws, the walk-through is the perfect time to catch them before it’s too late. Should you wait any longer, the builder may say that it was the movers who scratched the floors.

Exit points

Again, make time and spend as much as necessary to make a thorough walk-through. Test every single door and window in the house for functionality. They should all open/close quickly—no jamming, squeaking, or sticking. See that every exit point locks perfectly and that the deadbolts are installed as specified.

The screens on the windows should have no holes and should work correctly. Examine the glass and the seals; are there any cracks or scratches? Is the caulk even? You can use a lighter to see if there are any leaks.

Interior surfaces of the home

Inspect the walls, ceilings, and floor. Are the paint colors you’ve wanted? Is the edging impeccably done? Does the coverage look even? Water stains and cracking are signs of problems with the foundation, roofing, or plumbing. The caulking should look smoot and the trim should be secure.

Walk slowly over the floor. The tile and wood should be leveled, whereas the grout lines and seams should be even. Don’t forget to take a look at the edges of all flooring. As for carpeting, the installation should be tight with no wrinkles or waves.

Kitchen and baths

Turn on and test every appliance. Wait until the oven warms up and let the dishwasher begin a cycle. See that there are no scratches and dings on the devices. The water dispenser should flow nicely and the garbage disposal should be functional.

The hinges of the cabinet doors shouldn’t squeak; open all cabinet doors and drawers to identify any issues. The counters should have no chips and scratches and should be secured to the cabinetry. Continue with examining the hardware; every knob and pull should be properly installed.

Run the sinks, flush the toilets, turn on the showers and tub faucets as well. Take a look under the sinks to spot any leaks. Also, the enamel and tile shouldn’t have any cracks and chips.

Electrical systems

You pay a lot of money for the HVAC system, so you should test its performance. Turn the thermostat up and down to see that it’s heating/cooling accordingly; wait so that you don’t cause an issue. Use tissue paper to see if the intakes pull air and hold a hand close to the vents to verify the flow.

Don’t forget to check out the outlets and light fixtures. You can use the phone charger to verify the outlets. Turn on all the light fixtures for a test. We know the walk-through is time-consuming, but it’s worth doing it before moving in. If you bring your kids, they will love playing with the light fixtures. In areas with risk for water exposure (bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, garage, etc), examine the GFI outlets.

Remember to test all electronics in the house: intercom, doorbell, smart home tech, skylights, electric blinds, security systems, etc.

Attic and basement

Go up in the attic and take a look at the installation and floor decking. Even if you cannot see it all, verify for roof leaks or air duct leaks. If applicable, examine the ventilation and lighting. Go in the basement and crawl space; take a look at foundation walls for moisture and cracks. Inspect ductwork and insulation. If the basement is completed, make sure that you examine the surfaces the same way you did inside the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a newly built house lose value?

Like a new car, a newly built house will lose its value the moment you turn the key in the door. Even if the property market is rising, you may never get your money back if you sell in a couple of years.

Do you have to wait a long time to buy a new house?

You may have to wait seven weeks from when your offer to buy is accepted until the contracts are exchanged. You may have to wait another couple of weeks between the exchange of contracts and the legal completion. When purchasing a new home, this stage may be shorter than when buying an old house as there aren’t many buyers and sellers to depend on.

Is it possible to move into a new construction house before closing?

Moving in before the closing date isn’t always possible. Taking early possession of the property (another expression of moving into before the closing) is possible only when the seller has already vacated the house. We don’t recommend you move into the property before closing—you might discover some downsides after moving in.

Should you inspect the new construction home?

Ideally, you should hire a professional home inspector to check out the building in the early phases of construction; he will be able to see more of the house. Even if you buy a place that is almost completed, you should still have it inspected.

Is it possible to negotiate for a new construction home?

It’s possible to negotiate on a new construction home. As a matter of fact, it’s easier to arrange for “things” than for money off the purchase price. Negotiating closing costs is more effortless than negotiating the purchase price because builders wish to get the final cost as high as possible.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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