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Written by Chris Lowe, MCI
Should New Construction be Inspected?
Yes, because there are many defects we often find in new construction.
Here are some examples:
The furnace vent pipe touches wood A furnace vent pipe of this type gets very hot, and it requires a one-inch clearance to combustibles around all edges (manufacturer's requirement).
A crimped furnace duct. This causes reduced air flow to the rooms it serves.
Sewer gasses are mixing with the air conditioner condensate line. This white pipe (a condensate line from the AC system) is directly connected to the black pipe (waste plumbing), which can allow sewer gasses to mix with breathing air in the home (health concern). This is not allowed and requires correction
Damaged balance system for this window causes it to not open properly - sometimes seen at new installations
The roof gutter downspouts drain rainwater into the front planters. Rainwater should not pond near the home's foundation or exterior siding
Rainwater from the roof rain gutter will discharge onto the air conditioner coolant line – correction is needed
A bathroom vent is blocked with insulation
A flood-control pipe in the soil that has been disconnected/cut at this swimming pool
Uneven steps in a staircase
The electric ground clamp has been tightened too tight and has bent the main water line, restricting water flow to the home
There are loose pipes in the wall. There is a pipe noise when this faucet is shut off, because the pipes move in the wall. This can sometimes be corrected with a "shock arrester", or sometimes requires better securing of pipes in the wall
This is an older water main/meter with newer construction. The water meter will likely need to be upgraded to handle higher plumbing volume, and is likely undersized
This bathroom shower pan does not slope properly to the drain
This is a hole drilled in a window sill for alarm sensors – this is a potential leak point, and present quite often in some newer construction. This type of installation is improper and will typically void the manufacturer's warranty
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY - The furnace gas line is flexible through the body of the furnace. Flexible is proper, but not through the furnace body - it can get damaged in an earthquake
LEAK CONCERN: Slipped/loose roof tiles. Even on new installations, this is sometimes found
The home's exterior balcony has a 5 inch gap on the sides and a large gap at the bottom as well. This is wider than acceptable.
The stair handrail (outside) is not "grippable"
The kitchen oven is loose and not secured in its cabinet – it can fall (this is a perfect example of the type of overlooked items we find in newer construction)
The bathroom light switch is reachable from the tub. The ability to touch electrical appliances while in a tub or shower is dangerous and should be prevented
There was a plumbing leak inside a wall was discovered early due to moisture stains at the base of the stucco. When the plumber opened this wall, per the inspector's recommendation, he found a disconnected drain line
Thank you, and as always, protect your investment and ensure the safety of your family.
In an actual home inspection,
Every newer home we have