Many people wonder if it’s important to have a 3 phase inspection during the building process of a new construction home. Of course, as a home inspector, our immediate answer is yes, and not just because they generate business for us. There are several reasons that we believe a new home inspection aka a new construction inspection will potentially save you money and future headaches down the road. The phase 1 inspection will determine the integrity of your foundation, while the phase 2 inspection will determine the integrity of your structure. Below are some examples of defects found during the phase inspections.
Why a 3 Phase Inspection is Important – Reason 1
Number one, certain defects can only be addressed and corrected during that specific phase. Some can be addressed after, but it may compromise the integrity or esthetics of your home.
Phase 1 Inspection
For instance, during the phase 1 inspection, if accommodations for plumbing and electrical are not allotted for (according to your floor plan) prior to pouring the concrete, it’s much more difficult to correct the problem after the concrete is installed. After installation, it requires portions of the concrete slab be cut out and re-installed. Or, if the plumbing lines are not properly supported, it can cause excessive movement or damage to the lines during the pour and you may not know until it becomes a major issue in the future.
Phase 2 Inspection
During the phase 2 inspection aka pre-drywall inspection or framing inspection, items such as incomplete or inadequate moisture barriers, sheathing and flashing should be addressed before they install siding. Once the siding is installed, you may not know there’s an issue until you have leaks or moisture penetration somewhere down the road. Improper bracing and support should be addressed before they drywall is installed to ensure a sound structure. After the drywall is installed, there’s no way to tell what’s behind it.
Phase 3 Inspection – Final Phase Inspection
A phase 3 inspection aka final phase inspection is conducted just like an existing home. All components are inspected and tested, but if the phase 1 and 2 inspections were not completed, there may be hidden defects that the inspector cannot see. Someday, we may have the capability of X-Ray vision, but until then, it’s best to do all 3 phase inspections.
Reason 2: Keep Your Builder on Their Toes
Number two, when you let your builder know that you have a 3rd party inspector that will be inspecting during the building process, they tend to pay more attention to detail and avoid some of the more common mistakes.
Reason 3: More Than a Code Inspection
Number three, code inspectors/building inspectors are not the same as a licensed home inspector. Their job is completely different than a home inspector’s. While they do check the home for certain code violations, their inspection is not nearly as thorough or detailed as a full home inspection. They are there to ensure that the builder is not in violation of specific codes and adhere to the building code’s minimum standards.
Reason 4: Reduce Liability
Number four, why pay for mistakes that the builder should be responsible for? If you don’t have the home inspected prior to purchase, the chances are, you may not notice things that should have been addressed during the construction process. When the defect turns into a bigger issue, you will be responsible for the costly repairs.
Reason 5: Increase Your Selling Potential
Number five, when you are ready to sell your home, the buyer will likely hire a home inspector that will note these issues. The buyers may use these facts as a point of negotiation or ask that you repair them at your expense.
Although it’s a little more expensive to have three home inspections done in comparison to one, it really isn’t that much more and could potentially save you a lot more time and money in the end. The good news is, we are here to help and always have your best interest in mind when inspecting your new home.
Please refer to our next article 3 Phase Inspection Process to see when each phase inspection is done and what it entails.