The Builder's Third Party Inspectors for New Construction - Home Inspection Pictures of the Day

Home Inspector with Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas

The Builder's Third Party Inspectors for New Construction

Last week I did a New Construction Home Inspection for a home located in the Austin area.  As I was entering the home I met the builder's "third party" inspector as he was leaving.  We said hello to each other and as he was getting into his truck I asked if everything checked out OK.  His reply to me was, "You won't find any problems with this one".  Folks, those were his exact words.

While inspecting the systems in the attic I came across this:

Water Heater Overflow PanThat, my friends is an almost full overflow pan for the water heater. 

My client was told that the only day I would be allowed to inspect the home was the day of the closing at 11:00 AM.  I was given 3 hours to inspect the home, complete and then deliver the report before they were scheduled to close at 1:00 PM. 

That's not much time for any inspector to thoroughly and properly inspect a 2,700 square foot home.  Most builder's third party inspector's can knock one out in about 20 minutes.  I come across them quite often in my work and they usually spend (for what I can see) just a few minutes going over a checklist that the builder gives them. 

That's fine for the builder but in my experience it does not always work out so well for the home buyer.  Anyone that the builder hires is actually working for the builder, not the buyer.  But, the builder's "third party", independent inspector is often touted to the buyer as a final inspection on the home.  It is, I guess, but for the builder, not the buyer. 

I would encourage anyone that is in the process of buying a new home in the Austin area hire their own inspector for that final inspection.  I am sure that any inspector they hire will do a more thorough inspection for them than the person the builder hires.  Water Heater Leak - New Construction

The leak in this water heater was active and had been active for some time.  Something in the overflow pan had clogged the drain pipe.  Debris (like insulation, nails, screws, washers, etc...) is often the cause of clogged overflow piping for Water Heater and HVAC system overflow/catch pans in attics.  Rust on New Construction Water Heater 

As a New Home Buyer you have the right to have the home inspected by a person of your choosing. Please seriously consider the option of doing just that if you are currently in the process or expect to be in the process of buying a new home. 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day.


Andy Chaudoir - Professional Inspection Services

"Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas" 

512-632-3232 -

Comments (5)

Brittany Stewart
Luxe Realty Group - Plano, TX
Making Dallas Home

What a nightmare that could have been!  I bet the buyers were extremely happy.  I think many buyers of new homes don't think they need a home inspection but you won't believe the nightmares I've seen!  I did one a few years back where the builder installed a cracked sink and siliconed (caulked) the ENTIRE bottom of the sink basin.  I couldn't believe it! They thought no one would notice I guess. 

Sep 06, 2010 04:16 PM
Steve Davis
Davis Coastal Properties - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA

Excellent blog and timely for new home buyers. We always recommend a home inspection in California for new and used homes. Hopefully your Realtors in your area do too.

Sep 06, 2010 04:17 PM
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Andy, I flat out refuse. and advise my clients to do the same, to be pressured into performing a half-__ inspection of anyones property due to time limits set by the builder.  Builders know that if they agreed to inspections then the client has a legal hold on them to provide access.  I try to get in at least 3 times and hopefully 4 to follow all phases of the construction.

Sep 06, 2010 04:21 PM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

This is great advice for new home buyers.  I've had many buyer's tell me that since it's a new home, the sales office told them they shouldn't waste their money on a home inspection!  This shows how wrong that is! 

Sep 06, 2010 11:12 PM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

You are absolutely right on with this one. You work for the buyer and no one else. It's good that yu caught that in the short notice time limits that you had. I don't think I would have accepted that job under those circumstances. It's good that you are so thorough. Keep up the good work.

Sep 08, 2010 02:41 PM