What construction or phase inspections should I get?

There are four inspections that a third-party inspector would perform.

  1. Pre-pour foundation inspection: This is to inspect the foundation preparation before the builder places the concrete. The foundation is the most important system of the home and it is essential that it is built correctly.

  2. We have a rigorous inspection process that starts with the grading, moves on to the forms and their construction, then we check for levelness and slab/beam depth.

    After that we walk the interior looking at the vapor barrier checking things like gaps in coverage and tears, we inspect the beams for cave ins, water and foreign material, and we pay special attention to the reinforcement. Most foundations are post-tensioned tendons mixed with rebar and these components have very specific requirements for installation. Next we inspect the plumbing, conduits and electrical grounding.

    Let me give you the masterclass in inspection as we walk and find deficiencies together!

    It is imperative these items are installed correctly because once the concrete is poured, well that’s that. There are a myriad of problems that can happen with a foundation but most appear years later. A pre-pour inspection is a long-term investment in the quality of your home and peace of mind of its occupants.

    How to schedule: Fill out the scheduling form on our website and talk to your construction manager about when would be a good time to have a 3rd-party inspector out to take a look. (Preferably a few days before the scheduled pour to allow them to make repairs). Let us know the date and we will do our best to fit it in as soon as we can to that day.

    Casey is certified by the Post-Tensioning Institute as a slab-on-ground inspector, #02111877

  3. Pre-drywall structural inspection: Once the slab is down and roof is up, it is time to inspect the structure before drywall and siding are installed. This is the last chance to inspect the “bones” of the house and the best time to have deficiencies corrected before things get hidden and repairs become a real expense.

  4. Inspection starts at the exterior checking the structural sheathing and its weather resistant barrier. This is usually the longest portion of the report because proper installation is tedious and builders are often rushed. We are looking for tears in the weather resistant barrier, issues with sheathing installation, problems with the masonry flashing, exposed tendons in the foundation, proper flashing around doors, windows and penetrations, as well as wall to roof flashing.

    Walk with me and I will teach you more than you wanted to know about the construction of your home!

    Then it is on to the inside where we can get a good look at the studs and anchorages, top plates and ceiling construction. The roof trusses/rafters are inspected and the electrical, plumbing and air conditioning ducts are inspected as well.

    What we are mostly concerned with on the outside is water penetration. On the inside it’s mostly about structural integrity. We include 360-degree photos of each room to help document the locations of studs, joists, wires, and pipes. This is immensely helpful in case of future repairs or remodeling, and can be valuable to whomever you may sell the property to at a later date.

    How to schedule: Again, fill out the scheduling form on our website and talk to your construction manager about when would be a good time to have a 3rd-party inspector out to take a look. (Remember: BEFORE siding and drywall). Let us know the date and we will do our best to schedule as soon as we can to that time.

    Casey is ICC code certified for residential structures, ICC B-1 #9663183

  5. Final inspection: After construction is complete and before moving in is the best time to schedule the final inspection. The house is never “final”, and there are always things to repair before occupation.

  6. This inspection helps the builder to ensure they are delivering a quality product before the keys are handed over. The final inspection is a full inspection checking everything from the roof covering to the foundation, just like a home inspection on a resale property. The report will help with their final punch list of last-minute items. The inspection follows the TREC standards of practice and will be on a promulgated report form.

    Hopefully the builder will repair the deficiencies found before closing. Often that is not the case and they will want to push repairs through the warranty department AFTER you have the keys. Some builders are really good about addressing warranty claims and others, well not so much. The 12 or 24-month warranty gives them a little bit of breathing room to work. Sometimes it’s rush rush rush to get the house ready before closing and wait wait wait when a warranty claim comes in.

    How to schedule: Fill out our scheduling form and then talk to the construction manager about when to schedule. The ideal time is a day or two BEFORE your “blue tape” walkthrough (that way you can have the report in hand to make sure both you and the builder are aware of the deficiencies), but after the blue tape is fine. Let us know when the date will be and we will do our best to accommodate.

    Casey is licensed as a professional inspector by the Texas Real Estate Commission #23456

  7. Warranty (11-month) inspection: I tell people that if they could only book one inspection for their new home, it would be the warranty. This is your last chance to get deficiencies repaired without paying out of pocket.

  8. The first thing I ask is what the client wants to make sure gets documented on the inspection report. You’ve had nearly a year (two years for the rare 24-month warranty) to test drive the home and will have noted a few issues to bring up with the builders (excluding any warranty claims that have already been addressed). Once I have that information documented, it’s my turn to take a look.

    This inspection is identical to the Final Inspection. Common finds are roof nails, shingles and flashings that have lifted, shingle damage, cracks opening up at the walls, and grading/drainage issues that have had time to manifest themselves. Again, do yourself the favor and don’t skip on the warranty inspection.

    How to schedule: This inspection doesn’t depend on the builder so the day can be worked out between us fairly easily. Scheduling 11 months from move in is ideal as this gives the builder a month to make repairs. Fill out the scheduling form on our website and we can go from there.

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