You may be wasting your money in hiring a home inspector to inspect your new construction home.

While it is good due diligence protection to have your new home build inspected, you should understand many home builders will not accept a notice of deficiency unless it relates to a building code violation. Of course, any home builder will immediately repair plumbing leaks or other obvious issues which impact the performance of the home, but you don’t need a home inspector for obvious defects.

A Florida licensed home inspector is not qualified to inspect or cite building code (builders know this). Any home inspector who is citing building code without being “appropriately qualified” is operating outside the scope of their license. Home inspectors, without additional certification, are not insured for building code inspections (because their license does not include it).

Florida Requirements

To provide building code inspections, Florida requires certification by the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board (FBCAI) or certification as a General Contractor/Residential Building Contractor. There are different disciplines within the FBCAI including Standard Inspector, Mechanical Inspector, Plumbing, and Electrical. For a standard new construction inspection, the Standard Building Inspector license is generally sufficient.

New home builders incorporated the building code requirement in response to the onslaught of home inspectors who do not have a working knowledge of building code or new home construction. Frankly, they often cite deficiencies without any merit and cause unnecessary frustration between the buyer and builder.

Builders Make Mistakes Too

Do builders or their subcontractor trades make mistakes? You bet they do, after all, we’re all human, and any reputable builder will readily repair deficiencies they are responsible for, or which may negatively impact the performance of the home. Builders don’t want claims. Often, home inspectors report minor findings which are considered acceptable under building code or industry standards for new construction. Builders will not typically correct minor deviations which are considered acceptable as a standard. New home buyers should understand the home you are buying is generally a production, tract built, home; it is not a fully custom home built to rigorous architectural specifications or oversight. The builder does not have to comply with “the highest standards”; they have to comply with local building code and “generally accepted standards” for their region.

Many new home buyers rely upon inspector referrals from their real estate agent, but few agents understand the qualifications of the inspectors they refer. Real estate agents refer the inspectors they like and that is not always in your best interest.

Independent Inspector

If you want to have your new construction home inspected by an independent inspector, here are some points to consider:

  1. If the home will have stucco wall cladding or stone/brick veneer (fake stone), consider hiring an inspector who is proficient and certified to inspect stucco. Look for an inspector who is Level II certified by the Exterior Design Institute. Ideally, you want your inspector to observe the installation of the wall cladding and this will take coordination with the builder.
  2. Order a pre-drywall inspection for framing, roofing, HVAC ducting, rough plumbing, and foundation.
  3. Order a final, pre-closing inspection before the final walk-thru with the builder. If this can’t be coordinated, don’t worry. We can inspect after closing to document any issues which you can submit to the builder for repair or be on record of any issue you are concerned with.
  4. Order an inspection before the end of your first year of ownership. This is often referred to as a One-Year or 11-Month Warranty Inspection. This inspection should concentrate on the foundation, roof, windows/doors, chimney, and wall cladding to identify latent defects or moisture intrusion.

Qualified New Construction Home Inspection

A new home is often the biggest investment people make. You want to hire the most qualified inspector you can find. There are many barely qualified home inspectors who have no background in home construction. You will pay more for a well-qualified inspector, but you should understand the difference between their pricing is the value. Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

Property360 provides certified home inspections in the metro Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida areas. We hold state licensure as a General Contractor, Building Inspector, Mold Assessor, Pest Control Operator, and we are certified by EDI as a Level II, EIFS/Stucco/AMSV inspector. Our firm was founded by a home builder/contractor. To request a new construction home inspection, please contact us at (904) 606-1570 today!

You don't have to choose the most qualified inspector, but it does help!