Conducting A New Home Walk-Through

Tips on what to look for when you are conducting a new construction home walk-through and your builder's warranty.

There are quite a few differences between conducting a walk-thru in a new construction home and a previously owned home. You will not be looking for the various changes that you requested when you conducted the home inspection as you would for an older home. Instead, you will be looking for the minute details that were in your original contract that you signed to have your newly constructed home built.

First and foremost, you will need to have a copy of the original contract in your hand while walking through the home, as well as any addendums that were created throughout the building process.

Starting at the bottom floor of your new home and working your way up, check the frame construction. If your contract states that 2x6 lumber is used, be sure that 2x6 lumber was used. If you were lucky enough to watch your home being built, this will be easier, as you probably took note as the home was built. If not, simply look at the wood that was used or door frames, knocking around the edge to check for an echo. If there is an echo, your framing might not have been constructed with the proper materials.

If you requested a certain number of electrical outlets and phone jacks in each room, be sure to check off these on your list as you walk through your new home. Your builder will be responsible to fix any mistakes as soon as possible.

Be sure to check all flooring. You want to make sure that there is no sign of even a tiny tear in any linoleum, as this tiny tear could turn into a large rip within a very short period of time. If this is not brought to the attention of your realtor and builder before the home is officially yours, there is no proof that the tear was present before you moved in. If there is no proof, the builder can easily claim that you have created the tear yourself.

Now that you're looking at your flooring, check every corner and seam on your wall to wall carpeting for signs of the slightest pull. If your carpet starts popping out at corners and seams after your walk through, it again will be difficult to prove that the builder is at fault.

Check all of your countertops, in the bathrooms and kitchen, for any nicks or tiny dents. This is for the same reasons as above. Countertops can be quite costly to replace, and its better to have your builder pay for it than you.

When you are buying a new construction home, there is typically a one year builder's warranty on most of your home. If a toilet is making a funny noise when it's flushed or a window won't stay open, these items will be covered by your builder.

One important note to keep in mind is that your newly constructed home will settle quite a bit in the first year, especially items butted against an exterior wall. This includes door frames (including sliding glass doors), windows, kitchen cabinets and sinks. These items will all shift during the first full year, creating doors and windows that will not shut properly, kitchen cabinets seeming to pull a bit from the wall, and sinks pulling away or even tilting a bit. Your builder is aware that these types of things happen, and probably has a team set up to conquer these tasks. Just keep his phone number handy throughout the first year of living in your newly constructed home.

© High Speed Ventures 2011