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What Is a Construction Work in Progress Inspection?
A construction work in progress inspection is an independent, third party inspection to ensure that the work completed is in compliance with best building practices stated by the manufacture of systems and component's. Once a home is built, many conditions that could have been observed during construction are now covered and are no longer visible for inspection. Often a poorly installed/constructed condition that could have been visually reviewed during a construction progress inspection becomes covered or concealed later in the building process. This could cause a potential financial burden for the property owner for future corrective action. For these reasons, it is important that a home be inspected during construction by the buyer’s representative whenever possible so that any reportable defects can be corrected before completion and transfer of title.
It’s Brand New…What Could be Wrong?
It is not good business to forego a home inspection on a newly constructed house, regardless of how conscientious and reputable your home builder.
No home, regardless of how well it is constructed, is totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousands of details, performed at the hands of scores of individuals, and the very nature of human fallibility dictates that some mistakes and oversights will occur, even when the most talented and best-intentioned tradespeople are involved. It is also an unfortunate aspect of modern times that some builders/developers do not stand behind their workmanship and may not return to fix or replace defective components installed after the sale is complete.
The Municipal Code Inspector Already Approved It!
Often the builder/developer will state the home has been built to “code” and that it was inspected at different stages and signed off by the local jurisdiction. However, building codes are frequently “minimum in nature” — that is, the primary intent of building regulations (codes) is to provide reasonable controls for the construction, use and occupancy of buildings. The builder is responsible to meet minimal standards at best — you may want higher standards applied to your dream house. Also, it is an unfortunate fact of the hectic pace of construction, that local building department inspectors are often overbooked with inspections, which results in their spending a minimal amount of time at the construction job site and important details may be overlooked. Finally, jurisdictional inspectors are not concerned with workmanship as long as all the systems and components in a new home meet minimum code requirements. I look at the systems with the manufactures recommendations in mind. These are the people who designed and built the building systems or components and want them used in a specific manner. I do NOT perform a code inspection, but typically this goes above the "code" inspection
Peace of Mind
A professional in-progress inspection is a great value to a new construction homebuyer because the home inspector will spendwhatever time it takes to evaluate every readily accessible parts of the home they can safely reach and then prepare an inspection report containing their findings. This, in turn, will provide a “fix-it” list that can be brought to the attention of the builder/developer. Additionally the homebuyer has peace of mind in knowing they took the extra step in protecting their investment by helping ensure they are made aware of any overlooked defects.
Work In Progress Inspections
A new construction progress inspection by a qualified professional allows the inspector to become the “eyes of the homebuyer” through a series of inspections that occur during different stages of the construction of their new home. Typically, these inspections are performed at the following stages:
1. Foundation form work before concrete placement
2. After installation of support posts, beams and floor joists
3. After installation of all rough framing, rough electrical wiring, heating/cooling duct work and the building's sanitary pipe drainage and potable water supply systems
4. Exterior siding(s) including roof coverings
5. Final "walk-through" inspection checking all visually accessible systems and components such as: heating/cooling, electrical and plumbing systems including safety items such as; smoke detectors, stairs, handrails and guard railings, and proper installation of safety/tempered glazing within hazardous areas.