By Roland Bates, President, NPI/GPI
Here’s the story of a new, large and very expensive house. The couple who were having the house built divorced while in the middle of building the house. They both walked away from it, so the builder was forced to finish the house on his own and then try to sell it as a spec house, which he did not want to do. When we inspected the house, we surmised that a decision was made to significantly increase the square footage of the home but that information was never communicated to the electrical or HVAC contractors, who probably worked off of the original plans.
When we inspected the house, we found several major problems:
- The heating and cooling systems were both significantly undersized for the house, considering its floor plan, square footage, ceiling height, double-paned glass, etc.
- The electrical service was also significantly undersized. And, although a driven ground rod was in place, the electrical service was not grounded.
- Two sides of the house’s exterior were unpainted.
- A first-level deck, although hidden by lattice work, had no proper vertical support. In fact, the deck was resting on top of several inverted five-gallon paint cans.
There were other lesser issues, too — common construction defects that we find in most newly built houses. But to answer the question many home buyers ask: Yes, you should absolutely order a home inspection for a brand-new house, regardless of how expensive it is.