What does it mean
when your builder tells you your home as been inspected and approved by the
It means a municipal home inspector has inspected the home and it would be
in your best interest to hire a professional independent inspector.
Do you know the difference between a home inspection from
a municipal home inspector and a professional independent inspector?
municipal home inspector is looking for the home to meet the standards of
construction as well as the requirements of the city or county. An
independent inspector is hired by you and is therefore conducting the
inspection as your representative without any bias.
municipal inspectors can be overwhelmed given the number of inspections they
are required to conduct to keep up with the workload. On average, a
municipal inspector spends at least two hours in the office, the balance of
their time is spent in the field conducting anywhere from ten to fifteen
inspections per day. Add in a minimum of 20 minutes of drive time between
inspections, and they're done by 4:00 pm. Now, let's do the math: how much
time did they spend on your site? Answer: approximately 4 minutes. Our firm
schedules and conducts a maximum of two thorough inspections per day per
municipal inspectors are not inspecting the entire home in one day meaning
you may have different parts of the home inspected by different inspectors.
As an independent inspector, schooled in all aspects of home construction
and their systems, we can complete a through inspection in one day including
the scheduling of any necessary subcontractors such as water and sewage
Should your home be
inspected during construction?
construction is complete, problems may not be as evident and may be more
difficult to repair. This is where the municipal inspector's talents are
best applied. If electrical, mechanical or structural issues are discovered,
they can be corrected prior to the drywall installation. This it to your
benefit because if it is necessary to cut the drywall (or stucco) to correct
issues, it can be very difficult to match the texture and you may end up
with visible repairs on the walls of your new home. There is also the added,
often unavoidable, investment of time and aggravation when dealing with the
scheduling of the repairs. The final inspection should be conducted after
all utilities are turned on and the appliances are installed. A complete
home inspection by an independent inspector upon completion of construction
is recommended to be sure nothing was missed and repairs can be made before
you move in.
Should I tell my builder I will be hiring an independent
should make contact with your inspector as soon as you sign and contract
with the builder. Let your builder know you plan to have the work inspected
by an independent home inspector so they will know you expect the work to be
done properly. This is also a benefit to the builder as it provides another
set of eyes to ensure that they're putting out the best possible product.
This also allows the home builder to correct any deficiencies during the
process as they are usually more inspired to "make things right" on a job
that is in progress rather than after they have moved on to the next job.
The above mentioned electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspections should
be conducted following the installation of each system. The builder should
be provided with at least one week's notice of each inspection.
Isn't the builder responsible for the quality of the
Unfortunately, no. In most cases, the builder's responsibility is not the
quality but the quantity of homes built. The builder is responsible to meet
minimal standards at best. It is not difficult to build a home that will be
problem free during the length of the builder warrantee. A home that will be
in good condition, given proper maintenance, in 35 years is an entirely
different process. The average length of home ownership is less than ten
years, so perhaps you are not concerned with the state of the home in 35
years; however, you will probably still be in the home after the warrantee
has expired. Once you list your home for sale, most purchasers will require
a home inspection from an independent home inspector. Any problems
discovered at that time would be your responsibility, not the builder's,
because the warrantee will have expired.