New Residential Construction Inspections
Footing: The footing supports the foundation or the concrete slab that the house ultimately rests upon. A footing inspection consists of checking the width, depth and condition of the footing forms before the concrete is poured. The timing of this inspection is difficult and in most cases the concrete has already been poured by the time the inspector has arrived. The number of stories, soil types and the type of exterior siding must be known to determine the width of the footings.
Foundation: Once the footings have set long enough to accept the weight, the foundation is started. The foundation sits on the footing and can be either concrete poured into forms, concrete blocks or a poured concrete slab. Again, timing can be difficult but ideally the foundation is inspected for wall thickness, height and water-proofing prior to back filling the soil against the foundation.
Pre-drywall: The value of the pre-drywall inspection is that all the framing can be inspected after the plumbers, electricians and HVAC folks have installed their components, drilled all their holes and cut whatever framing members they had to cut to accommodate their material and parts. The inspector can now see all the framing before it is covered with drywall and insulation. Poor workmanship, improperly installed engineered products, unsupported load bearing components and over spanned framing members can lead to future structural issues. During the inspection, load paths can be checked and damaged or missing framing members can be identified. Specific outlets, ceiling lights, and fan outlets can be verified. The inspector can also determine if the home was built to the current construction standards. Framing problems can be covered over with drywall and may lead to future structural issues.
Final: The final inspection takes place when the home is complete. The final grades have been established, all the utilities are on and the house is about to close the real estate process. All electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are now inspected under full operating conditions. Any visible problems from the pre-drywall inspection can be checked to assure any problems were corrected. As with the pre-drywall inspection, the inspector can determine if the current building standards were used for construction. A newly constructed home may have had 12 to 16 different sub-contractors. Select the type and number of inspections you feel comfortable with based on your level of experience.