True Or False - You Don't Need A Home Inspection On New Construction?

Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

True or false - you don't need a home inspection on new construction?

So, what do you think?

This is what you hear from the builder or builder's Realtor:

-->   We only employ the best subcontractors to work on your house.
-->   We have a supervisor on site, every day.  He is making hundreds of regular inspections, every day.
-->   The County or local jurisdiction makes multiple inspections of the house to insure code compliance.
-->   We allow you inspections of the property with our supervisor so you can stay on top of the work.
-->   You can contact us any time with questions, and we will answer you right away.

Walking through a new house with my clients I noticed something.  Remember, this is after the daily supervision and county approval for code compliance.

This is what I saw in every bedroom.  Do you see anything odd? 

No, you say, I don't see anything.

I didn't see anything either, and that was the problem.

Looking around each bedroom I noticed no HVAC registers, in the ceiling, walls or floors.

My clients had not noticed.

I waited until I saw every room.  The bathrooms had one, or two, in the walls.  But there was nothing in any bedroom or bedroom closet that would have needed a register.

At that point it was time for some fun.

So, in a bedroom I said, "Show me where the air blows from the heating and air conditioning system."

They looked around.  Nothing.

Shining my flashlight on the carpet above I said, "Feel here."

They did.  The AC was running.  "It's cold!"

"Yes, this is the new magical, invisible heating and air conditioning system."

They looked at each other and me, marveling.  Then the wife looked at me and said, "Wait.  How can that work?  Isn't the air blocked by the carpet?"

"Yes!"  Then I explained.  Despite all the builder supervision, county inspections, and careful work by professional subcontractors, somehow all the floor registers in the house have all been covered by carpeting and vinyl flooring!

And I ask this:  do you think this was the only problem I found in this house?

The Answer to My First Question?  FALSE!!

My recommendation:  gee, it's a good thing we did that inspection.  Sure, this one problem would have been figured out eventually.  It's coming to the end of the AC season, so it might not have been noticed until this winter when they experience that the house would not heat up.  But by then damage could have happened to the system when it is overworked trying to match the indoor temperature to the thermostat demand.  Yes, a private home inspection is a good thing.  A couple more EXPERIENCED eyes never hurt!



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

Comments (23)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Jay Markanich oh, yes, new construction needs a home inspection..... human error and mistakes happen...

Sep 14, 2017 04:10 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH


Just because its new construction, it doesn't mean anything.  Since they use subs and subs use hired labor, mistakes are bound to happen.  Just do it!!!

Sep 14, 2017 04:29 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

You really should have an inspection on every home you purchase

Sep 14, 2017 05:05 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. FALSE!  As a former sales manager for several new construction communities, I think it is a necessity. One builder I represented had multiple inspections. One at the form stage to explain the construction process and confirm the garage location. The second was pre-drywall to confirm outlet locations for TV's and sound systems as well as interior layout. Then a pre-closing inspection. The number of problems were significantly decreased. An extra set of eyes were welcome and necessary!

Sep 14, 2017 05:23 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I've heard this before but I adamantly disagree. A home inspection is just as necessary on new construction as on old.

We bought a newly constructed home three years ago and had to call the builder or his plumber back several times for things that were done improperly or not finished.

Sep 14, 2017 05:42 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®


I concur with your observations. I hope all buyers realize that they need an agent to represent them on new construction. A professional will recommend a home inspection. Don't be fooled or relaxed into thinking you will be covered by the warranty.

Sep 14, 2017 06:55 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Of course the answer is false! And that builder just proved it! The problem is the superintendant gets to be buddies with the subs and never checks squat... I recently had one that had no insulation in part of the attic... none! Yes, folks, get that new construction inspected!!

Sep 14, 2017 07:30 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Easy answer, yes. I sell primarily new construction to investors and I always explain that even with new it is built by humans and subject to error.

Sep 14, 2017 10:19 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I've been doing new pre-drywall and new construction inspections for over 20 years Nina, and they have become more and more necessary.

Builders hate Mighty Mo, Kat.  Especially when he finds whole walls devoid of insulation!

Thanks Bob, and to that I say, Ay, Ay, Cap'n!

And new construction is full of human errors, Barbara!

Sep 14, 2017 11:09 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You are right Sham, newly constructed or newly remodeled it must have a thorough go over.

I agree, William, even though it is my business.  It is amazing some of the things I find.

That can also be done Wayne.  I only do two - pre-drywall and the final.  But I will go by to see specific things when requested by my clients.

Nathan - we had a long list of things on our new house 20 years ago and the builder came back to do NOTHING!  Of course I did.

Sep 14, 2017 11:12 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sheri - the builder's contract is so slanted it is very good advice to have professional counseling from an agent.  There is a warranty, and it is essential to get a warranty inspection also.

Fred - proved again and again.  The county missed a bunch of these things too, but they will say they are only looking for code failures.  But, gee, let's not worry about blowing air!

Sound advice, Joe.  And I give these properties a thorough look see.

Sep 14, 2017 11:16 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I have sold new homes, and my buyers have had home inspections performed on those homes.  Those inspections have disclosed all sorts of things that could have been problematic to the buyer had they not been found.

Sep 16, 2017 09:18 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

l've been doing this a long time, Myrl, and sometimes even I am surprised by the things I find!  Private home inspections are so important!

Sep 17, 2017 02:55 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks, Jay, for sharing your experience. This is great reading for new home buyers.

Sep 17, 2017 09:15 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. I am so glad I saw Sheri re-blog this because I missed it. This could be a handout. It's about your eyes, experience and skill. Great job.

Sep 17, 2017 09:29 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Roy - this is an age-old question that I have written about many time!

Sheila - you what!?  Well, better late than never...  says he with a wink.

Sep 17, 2017 12:57 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jay Markanich - I find many builders cut costs by failing to install or correct problems that may not be evident to an inexperienced buyer without an Agent who recommends a home inspector.But anyone who buys new construction and pays the builder, thinking everything is going to be alright will find out eventually, there are flaws and defects. The biggest problem is many homeowners try to sell because after they move in, the builder's warranty is over and the homeowner is frustrated. When a property like that goes back on the market, the next buyer's inspector discovers all these things that needed to be corrected in the first place, and the seller failed to disclose and the buyer want the seller to fix it. It's an expensive proposition to sell when all of it could have been avoided if the buyer of new construction would have just hired an inspector before closing on their new construction in the first place. 

Sep 18, 2017 10:17 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Patricia - I hear stories like this all the time.  A private inspector is the objective eyes that have never seen the property!  We have no financial interest (other than our fee) and do not profit in any way from problems found.  When we built our house our builder did not fix the many problems I found.  That was frustrating too!

Sep 18, 2017 01:32 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

I am   afraid the general public would answer this overwhelmingly incorrectly.

Nov 18, 2017 03:43 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

But S&D!  It's a warm (and cool) carpet!  The builder intended that...

Nov 18, 2017 03:45 AM