For homeowners, there is nothing quite as exciting as new home construction. From choosing the ideal house on plans and walking through model homes, to selecting design and decor options, new home builds can create an entirely new living environment because they are custom-made to buyer specifications.
While the notion of “new” should equate with “problem-free”, it is never that simple in the construction industry, and certainly doesn’t exempt your home from future improvement or repair, especially if your builder adheres to quantity over quality. So before you sign off on your pre-delivery inspection (PDI), make sure you know what you are agreeing to and that your home has been built according to both the builder’s site plans and your specifications.
A smart homeowner is a prepared homeowner; do your homework. Your pre-delivery inspection is your first opportunity to see your new home in its final stage before taking occupancy. You should consider:
– Main operating systems: heating, ventilation and plumbing. You will want to understand how these systems work, if they are functioning properly, have any defects, damage, incomplete or missing parts.
– All upgrades are accounted for, functioning properly and not damaged, missing or incomplete.
– If you question your judgment or think the process may be too overwhelming for you alone, hire an outside home inspector to represent you. Your builder will have their own inspector on-hand the day of your pre-delivery inspection, and while they are an objective third party, they are there to represent the builder, not you.
– Limit the inspection to yourself, spouse, partner or a family member but avoid bringing extended family and children along. This inspection is your opportunity to ensure your home has been built according to your specifications. Your undivided attention is necessary in order to properly inspect and understand all aspects of the house.
– Dress accordingly. Remember you will be at a construction site so flat, comfortable shoes are recommended especially if you will be climbing stairs, inspecting attics, basements and the home’s exterior, which may not be graded or grassed.