If this was school, I would say that today we received our first report card of the year. Since it’s not school, but the building of our home , we decided get two "report cards". Today was our pre-dry wall walk- through and inspections. Three sets of people went through the home: The Project Manager with myself and my agent (Brother-in-law), our independent inspector and finally, the Prince William County inspector.
We decided to hire our own home inspector to come out after the walk through. This is a very important inspection because after this they will place the dry wall so you will not be able to see all the plumbing, electrical wiring, ductwork, exhaust, gas lines and the actual building of the house.
When my brother in law suggested to have the home inspected, I wasn't sure that I would want to spend the money inspecting a new home that would have a warranty anyway. In the end, we felt that it was important to have our own private inspector as he should be only looking out for us. We also figured if he catches one thing it could end up saving us many headaches and dollars somewhere down the road. For example, if for some reason the ductwork is not connected properly, cooling and heating can cost thousands of dollars as it may be working on the inside the walls or ceiling.
The inspector arrived right on time at 10:00 am this morning, soon after we completed the walk through with the project manager. Following are the different elements the report covered. Some of these are not things that could have been inspected because they were not yet completed however, if the inspector felt that there was something worth mentioning he made a point to include it in his report.
- Grounds: Lot type, Roof Drainage, foundation drainage, topography remarks, landscaping, driveway and walkway
- Exterior: Siding condition, brick condition, molding and trim condition, trim and paint condition, eaves/overhangs condition, window frame condition, caulking condition, porches, patios, decks, doorbell and exterior door
- Roofing: Material, condition, ridges, roof pitches, roofing layers, attic vents, rain gutters, chimneys, rain hood/spark arrestor and chimney crown
- Garage: General condition, floor condition, fir wall condition, garage doors. House doors, Garage door springs, auto door opener, garage Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters & (GFCI) outlets, lighting and garage exterior structure
- Laundry: Laundry room, laundry washer/dryer associated fixtures, washer hookups and washer drain
- Interior Elements: Ceiling, flooring, windows, window tempering, interior doors, exterior doors, closet storage and outlets
- Attic: Structure, truss system, collar ties, strong backs, roof sheathing, attic ventilation, attic insulation, leak evidence, attic electrical, HVAC ducting and exhaust fan ducting
- Foundation: Basement, slab condition, plumbing, moisture and pest activity
- Heating & Cooling Systems: Location, type, test, gas supply plumbing, combustible clearance, venting, air conditioning location, fireplace location, gas shutoff and firebox condition
- Electrical: Electrical panel, service area condition, main panel size, service drop, main ground connection, circuit disconnects, panel labeling, system type, voltage, wiring type, main branch wiring, (GFCI) outlet
- Plumbing: Plumbing system condition, water supply, water main types, water pipe type, water pressure and volume, water heater, supply pipe, waste pipe and waste treatment
- General interior: Health and safety components, smoke detectors, windows, window seals stairways, head clearance
As I stated before this is a list of all items that can be inspected however since our home is still at the pre-drywall stage not everything could be checked. There are elements such as the kitchen appliances, caulking, etc. that will be inspected when the home is completely finished, move-in ready and ready to be turned over.
Whether you are building a new home or purchasing a resale property, I recommend to have a private inspector check all these things out.
The last thing I want to mention is that the intention of the private inspector is not to create a repair list for the seller. Unlike the county inspectors, private inspectors are not code enforcement officers and their primary job is to educate the buyer along with discovery of any visible defects that should be addressed.
If you have any real estate or area related questions or you're interested in buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia, contact or call Cleo 1.703.609.7407 & put our team of Northern Virginia home experts to work for you!