Don’t skip an inspection simply because the home is brand new! You have a unique advantage in having an inspection performed in stages as the home is being built to ensure any problems aren’t being covered up drywall and finishes. Defects in the inner workings of the home can take time to appear, and your 1-year warranty on the home may have expired.
Phase 1: Pre-Drywall Inspection
One way to ensure a house is built according to its specifications is by performing a pre-drywall inspection. “Pre-drywall” refers to a phase during the building process just after the installation of certain elements – such as doors, windows, foundation, flooring, wall and roof components, plumbing and electrical rough-in – and before the drywall is hung. This in-progress or construction-phase inspection is useful because drywall can obscure some aspects of the interior and make identifying or fixing any problems both difficult and expensive once the new home is completely finished.
A pre-drywall inspection can be performed after the insulation is installed, which is convenient because it allows the home inspector to determine whether it was done properly. However, the insulation may conceal some components in much the same way as drywall so we recommend the inspection be performed prior to insulation.
What is inspected during a pre-drywall inspection?
During a pre-drywall walk-through, the areas of the house the inspector will check include:
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Exterior wall covering
- Roof covering
- Electrical wiring and junction box placement
- Foundation slabs, walls, and drains
- Notching of floor joists
- Firestop material
- Pier pads
- Retaining walls
- Plumbing pipe placement
- Flashing for windows and doors
- Wall studs
- Missing metal clips
- Placement of HVAC air ducts and registers
Many common questions/concerns can be addressed with a pre-drywall inspection to include:
- Is there an appropriate number of electrical outlets in every room?
- Is there a drain pan installed for the washing machine so water is caught in the event of a leak?
- Are there wood blocks in places where extra support may be necessary?
An important element to a pre-drywall inspection is the inspection report. A good home inspector will typically include photos and/or videos. These are especially beneficial to the client due to of the level of detail that can be provided. When it comes to documentation, more is more! So, as long as you have permission to do so, record everything you can.