Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Michael Courtemanche's Avatar
    Michael Courtemanche Guest

    Default Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Hello,

    I am in Ontario, Canada and I have been asked to do a New Construction home inspection and, honestly, am a little intimidated by it as it would be my first new construction. What would be the main difference aside from the house being new and empty? Do I have to call out codes? Am I looking for anything different than a regular inspection? Any words of advice or encouragement would be appreciated! I don't mean to sound silly, but I am treading new waters here. Thanks again!

    Mike

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Same as any other house.... inspect it the same. Knowing codes is good but not necessary to meet the minimum required by you. Over the years I've learned the most at new construction inspections (well, not more than here of course ).

    New houses are a great way to see the latest technology.... kind of like tearing a new car or computer apart and looking at all the parts. Realistically, a new house is quicker for me to inspect and write-up.... assuming it's really finished and you're not there to do a "punch list" for the builder.

    So, I usually spend a lot of time walking the clients around and showing them where things like water shutoffs and hose bib shutoffs are. Or, explaining how the GFIs are routed through the house.

    I find people buying new houses are generally a no-nonsense crowd. They're buying a new house because they don't want to deal with a bunch of stuff so tell/show them how the place works and they'll be happy.

    Mainly, don't think of it any differently than any other house.... in the end, it's just a house.


  3. #3
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Reporting is easier for a new home. You perform your normal inspection and report every thing you see. Since everything should meet the standard of "new", there is much less judgement and interpretation required. Also, no recommendations are needed since the builder is the solution to everything.


  4. #4
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Michael,

    If your not ready dont do it. Are you prepared to take on that liability. Your association hasnt prepared you (I went to your website) for new home inspection. Are you doing the 30 day Tarion or is it the pre-occupancy? Where is the builder.
    Sorry for sounding like an alarmist, but if you dont have the experience and training for a new home in Ontario Canada, you might want to walk.

    My two cents.

    Good luck either way

    Steve


    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    Reporting is easier for a new home. You perform your normal inspection and report every thing you see. Since everything should meet the standard of "new", there is much less judgement and interpretation required. Also, no recommendations are needed since the builder is the solution to everything.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
    Michael,

    If your not ready dont do it. Are you prepared to take on that liability. Your association hasnt prepared you (I went to your website) for new home inspection. Are you doing the 30 day Tarion or is it the pre-occupancy? Where is the builder.
    Sorry for sounding like an alarmist, but if you dont have the experience and training for a new home in Ontario Canada, you might want to walk.

    My two cents.

    Good luck either way

    Steve
    What liability are you concerned about? A home inspection is a home inspection, regardless of the age of the home.

    If you are relying on associations to provide certification and training as your only measurement tool, then you need a reality check. Associations can offer training and require members to take a minimum amount of training to stay a member in good standing but are hardly the end all, be all of inspector approval.

    Why do we care about the builder? Usually better than the seller of used home because they have a list of contractors to make the repairs. Granted usually the ones who fouled it up the first time, but they are less likely to push back on fixing stuff.

    New homes are easier because everything has to meet code. Code check is your friend. No wiggle room for the seller.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  6. #6
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    If you need to write into this forum to get that kind of advice your not ready to do it. Period. It is not the same inspection. I can say this as an HI and as a home owner having gone through this process a couple of times. Given that he had to ask means that he doesn’t have is Part 9 from the Ministry either. Enter his liability. If he screws this up and it goes to court, the first question will no doubt be his lack of training and lack of experience and qualifications.
    In Ontario, the builder is responsible for 7 years on that build under Tarion New Home Construction. The builder does the Pre Delivery, the Builder repairs all work identified on the 30 day and the PD inspection. Yes an inspector can follow through the PD if the builder allows it. The 30 day can be conducted by anyone as long as the paper work is mailed to Tarion and the builder. If I was the builder and you let another contractor in to repair my work I would lose my mind. See how fast I show up for warranty work. Code check is done during the build, we HI don’t quote code, ever. We identify, we report and make recommendations.

    This is reality

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    What liability are you concerned about? A home inspection is a home inspection, regardless of the age of the home.

    If you are relying on associations to provide certification and training as your only measurement tool, then you need a reality check. Associations can offer training and require members to take a minimum amount of training to stay a member in good standing but are hardly the end all, be all of inspector approval.

    Why do we care about the builder? Usually better than the seller of used home because they have a list of contractors to make the repairs. Granted usually the ones who fouled it up the first time, but they are less likely to push back on fixing stuff.

    New homes are easier because everything has to meet code. Code check is your friend. No wiggle room for the seller.


    Last edited by Stephen G; 12-06-2011 at 08:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Sorry can't go along with the idea that a new home inspection is the same as a regular existing HI. There are major differences you need to be aware of and ready to deal with.
    If the floor is sloping in an 80 year old house, you can attribute that to age typical settling, etc if all other factors are equal.
    If the floor is sloping in a new construction house, you better be damn ready to call out, figure out and substantiate the construction defect.
    Another key issue is 'what service is the client looking for?'.
    - Code compliance; not your job UNLESS specifically and contractually hired to do so, that's the MUNI, but you better know the basics
    - Regular HI; you'll probably be Ok, unless construction defects come out soon after occupancy, then it's time to change your name
    - Plan adherence and compliance; better know how to read blueprints, do a lot of measuring and be familiar with materials, can you tap on drywall and tell whether its 1/2" or 5/8"?
    You have to get your feet wet at some point. Whether this is the job to do it on or not is for you to decide.
    Hope that helps

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
    Michael Courtemanche's Avatar
    Michael Courtemanche Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Thanks for all the feedback from both ends of the spectrum. I appreciate your honesty and good advice. I did have my General Contractors licence in Quebec, but the rules are different here in Ontario. I will contact the client and discuss with her her specific requirements for this job as to whether or not this is for the guaranty or just a second opinion and take it from there.
    Have a great day!

    Mike


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    There's more here to look at.
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...spections.html

    We don't do cosmetic damage as a rule and my report says so, but cosmetic damage is a big deal in a new home. The report is more or less a deficiency list for the builder, in my area at least. In Western Canada, we have a 10 yr warranty program. The National Warranty Program has a Performance Guideline webpage that gives the tolerances for floors and walls out of whack, etc.
    If you don't supply the client with a summary, expect them to ask for one. This will go back to the builder, usually thru the realtors. Hand them a list and walk away.
    I will mark paint blemishes with painter's tape. This is something they can understand, they're used to it, and will take it all in stride, as a rule. Sometimes I write a little note on the tape for the builder or the electrician. This prevents callbacks.

    Look for floor damage where the clowns from the appliance store drag the stoves and fridges over the new engineered hardwood. Don't get involved in the repair negotiations. I had one greener realtor ask me to come back and tell the builder off. I was busy. "It's all there in the report".

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    10 years, wow. Tks for the link.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    There's more here to look at.
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...spections.html

    We don't do cosmetic damage as a rule and my report says so, but cosmetic damage is a big deal in a new home. The report is more or less a deficiency list for the builder, in my area at least. In Western Canada, we have a 10 yr warranty program. The National Warranty Program has a Performance Guideline webpage that gives the tolerances for floors and walls out of whack, etc.
    If you don't supply the client with a summary, expect them to ask for one. This will go back to the builder, usually thru the realtors. Hand them a list and walk away.
    I will mark paint blemishes with painter's tape. This is something they can understand, they're used to it, and will take it all in stride, as a rule. Sometimes I write a little note on the tape for the builder or the electrician. This prevents callbacks.

    Look for floor damage where the clowns from the appliance store drag the stoves and fridges over the new engineered hardwood. Don't get involved in the repair negotiations. I had one greener realtor ask me to come back and tell the builder off. I was busy. "It's all there in the report".



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Rolla, MO
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Michael

    New construction is typically done in four or more phases. I do a four phase & seven phase inspection. Except for the last phase, which in my case is a standard home inspection, all the other phases requires a different mindset. If your city has a building code inspector DON'T volunteer to duplicate their job. The city code inspector is ultimately responsible for code enforcement, however you need to know the code and call out significant issues the code inspector missed. The four phase is the same as the seven phase except I skip 1, 2 & 3 and start at phase 4 in the list below:
    1. Footing - Visual inspection of footing and reinforcement prior to pour.
    2. Foundation Walls - Visual inspection of walls and reinforcement prior to pour.
    3. Slab. Visual inspection of slab and reinforcement prior to pour.
    4. Foundation and Footing - Visual inspection of exposed footing, foundation and drainage system prior to backfill.
    5. Framing - Visual pre-drywall inspection of exposed rough framing and rough-in electrical, plumbing and mechanical components.
    6. Enclosed Structure - Visual inspection of basic enclosed structure with rough finish work and basic electrical, plumbing and mechanical components/equipment installed.
    7. Final Inspection - This inspection will consist of a standard home inspection of the completed structure when ready for occupancy.


    In my opinion if you get into new construction inspection you need a different contract than your usual home inspection contract. There is no way you want to be liable for every nail and board incorporated because you are not going to be there everyday. That role should be left for the General Contractor, so do not assume his job duties. Allot if bad things can be covered up out of view between each of the phase. To give you a general idea during the first few phases structural issues are primary, for example:
    • Does the footing dimensions match the plans?
    • Is the required reinforcing in place?
    • Is the overall dimensions of the foundation correct?
    • Is the brick ledge incorportaed, if required?
    • Are the anchor bolts in place?
    • Did the contractor place the footing on firm compacted subgrade?

    As the work progresses I start looking for areas where water intrusion can occur, such as windows, flashing, etc. Plus I look closely at items that will be hidden or covered up between this inspection and the next phase. For example plumbing and electric in the walls, insulation, hurricane clips on the trusses, etc.

    I just scratched the surface but a few final comments. The quality of plans available for you to look at during the inspections is critical. Second timing your inspections is critical. If you are close enough to drive by every day then stop when the timing is right is ideal. However if you can't do that being one day late could mean the concrete was poured before you had a chance to inspect the reinforcing steel. Don't rely on the contractor to call you, it's not in their best interest, nobody wants someone looking over their shoulder. I don't want to discourage you from doing these but the contractor will know within 5 minutes if you have the knowledge, trust me on this they can spot a rookie by the new boots on your feet to the questions you ask. I end it hear so good luck....

    Randy Mayo, P.E.
    Residential Engineering & Inspection Services
    http://www.rlmengineers.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    I see alot of stone, cast concrete and other masonry exterior veneers in new homes. Even today, more often than not, proper flashings and weeps are not used.

    Water intrusion problems down the road from these things can cost big money to fix. You gotta call that stuff out.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    I suggest watching a few episodes of "Holmes in Homes" before you accept the job: Holmes Inspection : Mike Holmes : Home & Garden Television From the website:

    About the Show- Holmes Inspection shines a spotlight on homeowners facing massive repair bills and dangerous living conditions due to incompetence within the unregulated home inspection industry. Each show offers a unique dilemma faced by house purchasers who, misled by a vague or evasive home inspection, now face a daunting renovation or potential health threat.


  14. #14
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Hey Hank,

    Sorry to spoil your Mike Homes love affair but, here goes. He is not a Home Inspector. His shows are fiction, period. No one has ever proved that any accredited, certified or even schooled Home Inspector ever entered one of those TV shows homes. The producer finds clients who had bad contractor work and want to be on TV.
    The first 5 min of my conversation with my client is to temper expectations, and filtering out all of Mike Homes work. Most of my clients get that its a TV show, but some swear by it. Open walls lift carpet, nope
    Ever see him do anything, ever watch the episode where he cast the FLIR into the sunbeam and claimed heat loss. Ever notice he cramps on plumbers, sparky and hammer bangers almost weekly. Nice guy.
    The CBC powers his show, if they wanted they could start a TV show telling you the world is flat. Eventualy people would believe it. Now that the US has picked him up he is everywhere, including when I walked into Walmart the other day.
    Mike Homes= TV Actor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hank Spinnler View Post
    I suggest watching a few episodes of "Holmes in Homes" before you accept the job: Holmes Inspection : Mike Holmes : Home & Garden Television From the website:

    About the Show- Holmes Inspection shines a spotlight on homeowners facing massive repair bills and dangerous living conditions due to incompetence within the unregulated home inspection industry. Each show offers a unique dilemma faced by house purchasers who, misled by a vague or evasive home inspection, now face a daunting renovation or potential health threat.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
    Hey Hank,

    Sorry to spoil your Mike Homes love affair but, here goes. He is not a Home Inspector. His shows are fiction, period. No one has ever proved that any accredited, certified or even schooled Home Inspector ever entered one of those TV shows homes. The producer finds clients who had bad contractor work and want to be on TV.
    The first 5 min of my conversation with my client is to temper expectations, and filtering out all of Mike Homes work. Most of my clients get that its a TV show, but some swear by it. Open walls lift carpet, nope
    Ever see him do anything, ever watch the episode where he cast the FLIR into the sunbeam and claimed heat loss. Ever notice he cramps on plumbers, sparky and hammer bangers almost weekly. Nice guy.
    The CBC powers his show, if they wanted they could start a TV show telling you the world is flat. Eventualy people would believe it. Now that the US has picked him up he is everywhere, including when I walked into Walmart the other day.
    Mike Homes= TV Actor.
    Additionally, the couple of times I've accidentally watched his shows, he gives incorrect information at times - not all of the time, but enough to make the rest of his information suspect.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Michael

    I am not clear on what type of inspection you have been requested to conduct.
    Is this a Tarion inspection, or a building code inspection?

    If this is an inspection on a new build and the development is still under control of the builder, you may run into opposition by the builder and not allowed on site.

    Also have your clients purchased the house or about too?


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    A few years back, I was asked to do a final inspection on a new home. I set the appointment with the buyer and then called the builder to schedule the inspection.

    The builder told me in no uncertain terms that I was not needed and not welcome on the job. They informed me that they had their own inspectors and I was not needed.

    I called my client and told him what they said. He could not believe it either. So we arranged that I would show as a family friend looking at my friends new home. I did the inspection without the usual tools.

    I found floors that were improperly nailed, windows that fit poorly and let in the cold March air, very sloppy drywall work. I took the buyer aside and told him what I found. He confronted the builders agent who replied that this was the way all their homes were built and they had no complaints. They told hime that the leaky windows were installed properly and this was normal. They told him that the squeaky floors would stop squeaking after the home had settled for a year. Finally they stressed that if he asked for repairs now, it would count against him if he asked for repairs later.

    Fortunately my client was smart enough to tell the builder that there would be no closing without the repairs being addressed.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    162

    Wink Re: Help for New Construction Home Inspections

    Stephen G. The suggestion of a "love affair" between me and Mike Holmes is a premature judgment on your part. I have probably watched 2 complete episodes along with a few partial episodes.

    Mike Holmes is raising more consumer awareness about the need to get an inspection and to hire a competent inspector. This is something that may help the new construction neophyte avoid falling in the litigation trap.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •