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The Importance of New Home Inspections

Inspections are a vital component of the home building waltEDU_inspections_rural2industry, as they are in almost all industries. We would not want to eat in restaurants or use elevators or fly in airplanes that were not inspected. We definitely would not want to make the largest purchase of our lives, a new home, if it wasn’t inspected.

Home construction inspections are standard industry practice and required or strongly recommended by building departments, FHA/HUD, construction codes, lenders, engi­neers and home warranty companies. Inspections assist home builders to ensure that homes are constructed in accordance with plans and speci­fications, building codes and con­struction performance standards. Documented inspections may also be important for a home builder’s defense in the event of arbitration or litigation of a construction defect claim.

The vast majority of homes are located in building department juris­dictions. Inspections are conducted by building department inspectors in compliance with adopted building codes and permit requirements. If a home is located in a rural area out­side a building department jurisdic­tion, then the home builder should retain the services of a qualified fee inspector to conduct inspections. If there are no building codes, home builders generally use the popular International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC).

Documented inspections may also be important for a home builder’s defense in the event of arbitration or litigation of a construction defect claim.

At a minimum, new homes should be inspected at the foundation, frame and final stages of construction. The foun­dation inspection is often referred to as a “pre-pour” inspection because the in­spection should be conducted before the concrete is poured. The frame inspection is often referred to as a “rough-in” inspection because it should be conducted when the systems are roughed-in and before installation of insulation and sheetrock. The final inspection should be conducted when all construction, finishes and landscaping are completed.

An inspected and well-constructed home often results in customer referrals…a home builder’s lifeblood. As the age-old saying goes … you get what you inspect not what you expect.

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