Boggs Inspection Services Answers “Does New Construction Need an Inspection?”

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Dwayne Boggs has been inspecting homes, new and old, in Thurston County for over 13 years.

A new house. Not a house someone else has lived in and it’s just new to you, but a really, truly new home. Fresh paint, new carpet smell and all. Some new home buyers are able to participate in the building process, choosing finishes and trims while others are purchasing a new home in a planned community. Either way, yours will be the first head to lay upon a pillow for a good night’s sleep in the home.

Don’t let that new-carpet smell lull you into thinking everything is perfect underneath the shiny exterior. New homes, just like older homes, can have structural, mechanical, and cosmetic issues that buyers should be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

Bill Ryan knows a one-year warranty inspection often pays for itself when construction issues are uncovered.
Bill Ryan knows a one-year warranty inspection often pays for itself when construction issues are uncovered.

Boggs Inspection Services helps new home buyers throughout Lewis County ensure the home of their dreams doesn’t have a nightmare below the surface. For over 12 years the professional inspectors have been on the job and lately, new construction is taking up a large part of each week with new homes in new neighborhoods selling fast.

Bill Ryan, one of Boggs’ trusted inspectors shares, “I always tell people, whether it’s their first home or their 50th home, a home inspection should be part of the transaction.”

New Construction Needs an Inspection, Too

“Homes are built by humans,” Ryan continues, “and mistakes can happen. It’s not anyone’s fault, necessarily, but an inspection provides checks and balances to make sure nothing is missed.” During construction, there can be a wide variety of subcontractors working at any given time. And with a majority of new construction homes found in planned residential developments, superintendents and contractors are shuttling between multiple homes each day and things can get overlooked.

Keith Bowman inspects a fireplace in a new-construction home. Each Boggs Inspection Services inspector checks a new home from top to bottom in the same way they would an older home.
Keith Bowman inspects a fireplace in a new-construction home. Each Boggs Inspection Services inspector checks a new home from top to bottom in the same way they would an older home.

“There’s always something we find on a new home,” says Boggs’ inspector Keith Bowman. “But, we aren’t finding issues like decay or wear as we would in an older home. The issues we see are more cosmetic and smaller things the builder has overlooked.” Issues typical of new homes are errors in paint application, roof flashing not installed properly, missing gutter connections or splashblocks, caulking errors on the exterior or exposed nails on the roof.

Most of these items are fairly minor and the contractor can take care of them quickly. But minor issues can become major headaches if left unnoticed and unattended. “Something as small as a piece of flashing installed incorrectly can turn into a big problem after a couple of years of moisture leaking into your attic,” says Bowman.

In addition to the detailed report, Boggs inspectors offer advice and ideas for home owners during the detailed walk-through. “We give them maintenance tips, show them where the GFCI switches are, and help them know how to maintain their new home,” Bowman explains.

Water spills from inside a new construction home's ductwork from a hidden plumbing leak discovered during a Boggs home inspection.
Water spills from inside a new construction home’s ductwork from a hidden plumbing leak discovered during a Boggs home inspection.

Sometime, however, the inspectors uncover a major issue in a new construction home, making the homeowners investment in an inspection well worth the money. “We’ve found entire subfloors or attics that are un-insulated,” recalls Ryan. “Another time we discovered a master bathroom tub where the drain line wasn’t connected under the house. When we filled and drained the tub to test it, we found a huge puddle in the crawl space.”

Inspect Again Before Your One-Year Home Warranty Expires

Hiring a home inspector prior to closing on a new home is common. But Boggs Inspection Services also frequently visit again just prior to the one-year mark of home ownership. In most planned residential developments, contractors offer a one-year home warranty. And after nearly a year of living, owners often discover problems they never thought they’d see.

“The one-year mark is the last chance owners get to fix something in their new home for free,” shares Ryan. Sometimes these are little things like loose railings or fixtures. Sometimes they are big, like rot already developing from a plumbing or roof leak.

Small issues, such as these exposed roofing nails, can lead to big issues, such as roof leaks and rot, if not discovered during a home inspection.
Small issues, such as these exposed roofing nails, can lead to big issues, such as roof leaks and rot, if not discovered during a home inspection.

Ryan talks to new home buyers about their warranty inspection at their buyer’s inspection, too. “I advise people to mark the small things with blue painter’s tape throughout the first year so they don’t forget to share it with us at a one-year inspection and then with their builder.” Buyers log issues such as settling cracks, flooring and trim issues and drywall flaws, ready to share these touch-ups with their builder. “Buyers can literally hand the Boggs Inspection Services report directly to their builder and it will give a full list with pictures of all the things the home owner needs to have repaired.”

Don’t be tempted to save the few hundred dollars an inspection costs at the one year mark. If a Boggs’ report finds a major issue such as a roof leak, a structural issue in the crawl space or a hidden wall leak, you’ll be thrilled to pay only the affordable inspection charge instead of costly repair bills down the road.

Considering a new construction home? Enter the transaction with your eyes wide open and remember you are purchasing a new home, not a perfect home. Invest in a home inspection, and later a one-year warranty inspection, with Boggs Inspection Services to ensure your new house is a safe, quality home for years to come. You can reach Boggs Inspection Services online or at 360-480-9602.

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