There is a common (and unfortunate) misconception that because a home is new, or near new, that it does not require an
inspection.  
My personal experience is that this is very far from the truth!  

For the most part, older homes - which can show SIGNIFICANT AND COSTLY damage due to moisture intrusion or
structural deficiencies - are now paying the price for deficiencies which existed from when the house was
first constructed!  
The problems didn't just 'happen'... they were pre-existing, with their true nature exposed over time.

The following is adapted from an article written by Paul Cothran.
Do New Homes Need to be Inspected?
By Paul Cothran, author, Uniform Building Inspection Report

Most people have erroneous ideas as to why a new building need not be inspected. The following are but a few reasons
given by those who feel the inspection of new construction would not be cost effective.

1. "The builder is required to guarantee all improvements to the property for a period of one year and
contractors are bonded."
 

    This statement is only partly true. Much depends on how the contract was written, if there was one. Buying a "spec-
    house" may not involve a contract with the builder, so who do you call?  Or it may apply to only what is deemed
    There are many things in a home, which do not fall into the category of "major structural" that can cost upwards
    into the thousands of dollars.

2. "The Contractors' Licensing Board sees to it that the builder stays in line."  

    If this were completely true there would be no show called Holmes on Homes!  One must remember too, that
    Licensing Boards do not inspect buildings. Additionally, will the new owner find the problems to report to the
    Licensing Board?  

3. "All appliances in the building are new and come with their own guarantees."  

    I agree, but the appliances are but a small part of the building's total components, and lets face it... warranty or no,
    you're going to want to know if the dishwasher is going to leak all over the kitchen floor the first time it is operated.   

4. "The building passed the municipal inspection so everything has got to be okay even if there are some
minor defects."  

    Not to take anything away from city Building Inspectors, but their function is VASTLY different than mine!

    City inspectors are at the construction site only a few minutes and the utilities are usually not turned on. In
    fact, under most circumstances, they can't be turned on until after the building passes the final inspection.  How do
    you test something that is inherently dysfunctional?  The fact is that you simply can not.  The municipal
    inspector cannot test electrical circuits, heating and cooling systems or appliances under these
    conditions.

Here is an example of a RUSH INSPECTION, performed by a city building inspector, from my own personal experience.  My
home failed one of its near-final building inspections on
TWO points.  The two issues that the city inspector wrote in his
report were (1) Crawl Space access not located... and (2) Where is the attic access?

These two photos are REAL EXAMPLES from my own home...










In the photo on the left, my 14 year old son demonstrates his amazing sleuthing abilities and points to the crawlspace
access...
just as it was on the day of the "inspection".

In the photo on the right, you can clearly see the large attic access above the ladder, which is placed in exactly the same
manner I placed it on the day for the city inspector.

In truth, it must have been raining that day and he most likely performed his "inspection" from the comfort of his warm
automobile.



The following three images are what I have found in the last month alone, from near-new homes - all under 3 years -
and all which passed the municipal building inspection...









This DARK PATCH in the truss bay is the beginning stage of mould developing, in what was otherwise a well-ventilated
attic.  The cause?  Very poor installation of the bath vent, which was venting warm, humid air NOT to the exterior (as
required) but up into the attic against the sheathing.  Undiscovered, in a few more years there would have been a rotted
hole in the roof.









This gutter installation passed "code", however it is a deficiency as far as I am concerned.  As hundreds of square feet
of roof surface
gather rain water, which is then permitted to be concentrated onto the roof surface in a one square foot
area, the 20 year roof is being reduced to what could very well be a 5 or 6 year roof at this location (and every matching
location in this multi-unit townhouse complex).  That is going to be ONE EXPENSIVE REPAIR BILL!









When I entered this attic, it felt TOO WARM... and no wonder - a little sleuthing and I discovered that this bath fan had
never been properly connected or vapour barriered.  These people had been heating their attic for over two years!  Ka-
CHING!!!$$$


5. Municipal inspectors generally are not concerned with workmanship.

    Or as I like to say, "Even junk passes code".  A large majority of issues are a direct result of poor quality materials
    and/or undiscovered shoddy workmanship.  In school most of us were accustomed to grades such as A, B, C, D
    and F. Most of us got B's and C's for our efforts. Municipal building inspectors generally must pass a builder's
    "assignment" whether his workmanship is an "A" or a "D." "D" grade builders are among us in full force folks, and if
    you don't believe it talk to some of the attorneys who specialize in construction. Don't forget, you can build
    kitchen cabinets with a chain-saw and framing spikes and pass a city inspection but it might have been
    best if you had used a fine-tooth finish saw and finish nails.  

5. "The builder will come back and repair any defects anyway."  

    Based on the authors research, at least 30 minor and major problems will be found in the average new home.  
    Problems can range from missing chimney counter-flashings to missing footings under an "expanded" garage, to
    damaged ventilation ducting (see above photo).  Drywall installers sometimes nail drywall over outlet boxes. The
    wires in the boxes never get connected so the remainder of the circuit is inoperative.  Large shower pans often do
    not drain properly and may need to be rebuilt. True, the builder usually does come back and repair any deficiencies,
    but the question is, who can say where the deficiencies are without the private inspection?

I can... I will!
You tell me if
this
NEW home
didn't need an
inspection
New Home Inspections
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