New Home Construction Phase Inspection and One Year Home Warranty Inspections

You should always get an independent inspector to perform your new construction phase inspections.  This type of inspection process is designed to be a protective measure, for you, to ensure that your home is being assembled with today's building standards in place.  Building materials and practices are ever evolving, and so are the crews implementing the assembly process.  Builders are busy planning their next project, and contractors are busy bidding their next contract.  With all the busy work going on in Houston, who is keeping the crews in the know?  Crews are generally trained on the job site, and trained once.  Who is re-training when the standards and materials change?  

There should be, at a minimum, three phase inspections.  If you are showing up here late in the game, late is better than never.  Phase inspections can be implemented anywhere in the process, prior to the file walk through.

The first phase inspection should be performed after the pour of the foundation to ensure proper layout of plumbing drains, framing
anchors and any through slab penetrations for electricity or plumbing.​ 
The second phase is after framing is up and mechanical is installed but before the installation of insulation or dry-wall.  This is to ensure the roofing and protective flashing details are installed properly, framing is installed in a manner to meet today's building standards, as well as the proper installation practices of all electrical, plumbing supply, and mechanical equipment.​
The third and final phase would be the final phase, prior to your final walk with the builder.  This phase will be an inspection of all terminations of mechanical, operations of appliances and mechanical equipment as well as the grading and drainage around the home.

The builder will have code compliance inspections along the course of the building process as well, though these inspections are often met with overwhelmed inspectors, with too many inspections in a day to properly give attention to the details of the inspection.  There is also the builder's inspectors whom are on the payroll of the builder.  

Why an independent inspector, you may be asking yourself.  

There are a few reasons that you should know.  The city building inspectors have too many inspections to perform with strict deadlines to meet.  They are often so over-booked that they simply do not have the time to give  detailed attention to the individual inspections.

Secondly, having an independent inspector will often times lead to greater attention to detail be the contractors as they are aware that you have hired an independant contractor that is not over-booked and short on time.  Though deficiencies can be and are often found, the attention given when they know they are being followed will change many behaviors.  Let them know you have someone on your side.  

Lastly, but not by far the least important, read reviews on your builder's products!  Be aware of what people are saying about the product they are buying.  Has the builder met their expectations?  Has the builder made reparations in a diligent manner?  Make sure you have someone on your side to arm you with the information you need to be impowered during this process.​

Let's not forget about the one year home waranty inspection.  Your one year home warranty is about to lapse and as you have settled into your home, is there any last minute items that the builder should address for you?  Is your air conditioning system removing enough oisture from the home?  As the frame has settled, there any reasons for concern?  Is the grading and drainage around the home performing as it should?  Has the roof tabs sealed correctly?  Do yourself the favor of letting your independent inspector take an objective view of how your home is performing before the warranty expires.  The best time to do this type of inspection is at the 11th month of your warranty period.