Important Areas of a New Home to Have Inspected for Damage


Many people prefer moving into a new home to avoid purchasing someone else’s problems. However, with demand for new homes surging over the past couple of years, coupled with a shortage of workers in the construction industry, it has been hard for some contractors to meet quality standards in the rush to get houses up. Horror stories abound of people’s new homes coming apart at the seams shortly after their one-year warranty expires. So if you are in the market for a new home, keep reading as we delve into 6 important areas of a new home to have inspected for damage. 



Be sure that the inspector gives special attention to the framing at inspection time. Check that all walls are properly anchored to the foundation using the correct fasteners, make sure that all beams and girders are designed to effectively transfer loads, and verify that the nail pattern meets universal building code. In areas that are prone to high winds and earthquakes, make sure that the appropriate shear walls have been added to help mitigate horizontal load transfer. 


It is not at all uncommon for siding materials to be sitting at the construction site for weeks on end, stuck in the pending phase as construction blockers put the project behind schedule. Therefore, whether you are using vinyl tiles, concrete wall panels, wood planks, or any other type of siding product, it is possible that the elements have taken a toll before the siding is even put into action. Therefore, when looking at the siding on a new home, have the inspector check for dented or cracked panels, loose or missing panels, and any signs of fading or discoloration. As these types of issues can be difficult to notice when looking at the siding as a whole, be meticulous in noting the nature and location of these issues when they come to attention. 



Like siding, roofing products can sometimes sit a while at the construction site before they are ever applied. While durable metal, slate, and composite roof materials are at little risk of degradation due to standing water or handling mishaps, you will definitely want to make sure that asphalt shingles and wood shakes are in good condition.


The more pressing concern with roofing is making sure that it has been properly installed. Look at the flashing. This is the galvanized steel material used to send water away from important areas of the roof, such as the chimney, vent, or skylight. If the inspector notices that the flashing is pulling up from the roof itself, there is a good chance that it has been installed incorrectly. Check for a uniform appearance across the roof. Does it pass the eye test? Are there any areas of the roof that have a noticeable overhang? If so, these shingles are at severe risk of displacement in the face of heavy wind. 



The insulation in a home is critical for comfort and energy efficiency. However, it cannot do its job if not installed properly. Have the inspector check to see that insulation has been added consistently in all of the walls. It should have a uniform appearance and thickness, with signs of discoloration or brittleness serving as major red flags. When looking at the insulation for exterior walls, make sure that there are no thermal bridges present that can allow unwanted air to transfer into and out of the home. 


Windows are another area of a new build to keep a close eye on. In fact, many professionals feel that poorly fitted windows and doors are the most common problem they notice when inspecting a custom home. Therefore, it is critical to check around the windows to see if there are any gaps, drafts, water damage in the corners, or faulty caulking or sealant work to prevent ongoing headaches. 


Flooring is usually one of the last pieces laid down when constructing a custom home, so it may feel like once the flooring is set, you are ready to move in. However, if the home was not properly protected during the construction process, the underlying substrate could have been damaged or accumulated water. In addition, since flooring is installed late in the construction process, some contractors rush to get it down to meet deadlines, leading to sloppy work. Have the inspector look carefully for any spongy, loose, or raised sections of flooring and make sure it is accounted for prior to closing. 

Don’t Forget These Areas During a New Home Inspection

The allure of a brand new, picture-perfect home is highly appealing to many buyers on the market. And while there are many great innovations and top-flight materials that can make a custom build a dream home, also be aware that new homes can come with their own issues, too. With this in mind, the aforementioned list goes through 6 of the most important areas of a new home to have inspected for damage. 


Brian Jeffries is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

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