Don’t let new construction fool you: Why you still need a home inspection for a new build.

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You have to jump through a lot of hoops these days to buy a house, and the last thing you need once you’ve purchased is a home that throws up some expensive issues, like a new roof, leaks or re-piling. You might think that by investing in new construction you’ll be able to avoid any major issues, but that’s not always the case.

That’s why it’s so important to book a property inspection before you hand over that last payment. The reality is that any home – even new ones – can have issues that you probably won’t spot, but your registered property inspector will.

But I’ve got a Master Build Guarantee?

While a Master Build 10-Year Guarantee can give you comfort, it only covers specific items and only if the building company is still around. Check your agreement VERY carefully as most of the time the 10-year warranty is for structural only. Waterproofing cover might be half of that period.

There have been plenty of cases where the standard of work carried out by builders, or the materials used have fallen short (think leaky homes). Even if the builder is still in business, getting them back to remediate any issues is often half the struggle. That’s why it’s a great idea to pick up any problem, finishes or areas that aren’t up to scratch before you sign off on the deal. Remember, as soon as you finalise payment, you’ve lost a lot of your leverage.

Uncover hidden defects

At The Property Inspectors, we offer a ‘defecting inspection’ which is less around weathertightness and risk and more around visual defects and the overall look of the property. The inspection might note:

  • paint defects
  • plastering not being done properly
  • squeaking floors
  • appliances that don’t work or aren’t installed correctly.

It’s a comprehensive walkaround to pick up all the things a layperson might not notice.

One of the biggest issues I’m seeing in new builds is shoddy internal plastering, with wide joints, popping screws etc., which compromise the whole look and feel of the home.

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Guard against shoddy workmanship

As well as picking up on those visual defects, your property inspector is also on the lookout for sub-par workmanship – and I’ve seen a few rippers across my career! A new build I saw recently had the shower and toilet on the same wall, with the toilet offset (not centred in the gap) by about 150 millimetres. A little thing, but a visual headache that’s likely to drive you nuts after a while – and expensive to fix. Many other issues are serious and can have long-term consequences for the structural integrity of your home like:

  • showers that don’t drain
  • cracked tiles (which will let in water and moisture)
  • flashings not fixed or screwed (likely to lift off in the first big breeze)
  • roofs damaged, bent, rusty or not fastened well.  

All of the information in your report gives you leverage to go back to the building company to get everything up to scratch before you buy.

New build does not always mean ‘Healthy Home’

The Healthy Homes Standards were brought in to ensure a better standard of dwelling for tenants and focus on key areas like adequate insulation, heating, ventilation and draught proofing. A BIG misconception is that most people think a new house automatically meets the standards – but they’d be wrong. So if you’re planning on renting out your new build purchase, you’ll have to dig into the details. E.g., there’s no regulation to put heating into a new build, but it’s a mandatory requirement for Healthy Homes.

Peace of mind

Your property inspection gives you an independent review of your new build, so you don’t just have to take the building company’s word for it. It’s no longer just ‘you versus the builders’ if something goes wrong. So before you hand over your final cheque and sign off your acceptance, make sure you book a comprehensive report with me and the team. Peace of mind is just a phone call away! Call 027 2939 808 today.