Buying a new home is not the same as buying a re-sale home. While a re-sale home comes with a proven track record of performance, a new home is an unknown quantity. On the other hand, a new home has a warranty, and does not have any wear and tear. It’s brand new!
At Carson Dunlop, the inspection of the new home is different than a resale home inspection. We understand the challenge of not knowing how the building will perform under typical occupancy loads and over the four seasons. Our measure is not how well the building has stood up, but how well it will perform.
We evaluate the home against modern building practices, and consider workmanship and materials, while looking for consistency with the Tarion Warranty Program. Our inspection covers all components of the home, consistent with our professional Standards of Practice. Additionally, we examine the workmanship and material issues that might affect performance. Finally, we review the home against the Construction Performance Guidelines published by the Tarion Warranty Program. The inspection is performed in accordance with the CAHPI New Construction Inspection Protocol, which can be viewed here.
Our professional building consultants are specially trained in evaluating new construction. This should come as no surprise, since Carson Dunlop created the New Construction Inspection Training Program for the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI), and the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI).
Our goal is to work with builders, municipalities and the Warranty Program to help ensure that homeowners receive the quality of home they are entitled to. We also help homeowners keep expectations in perspective. Everyone understands that a new $15,000 automobile is perfectly acceptable, but is not comparable to a $150,000 automobile. In the same way, a new home can be perfectly acceptable, but will not be the same as a more expensive home of similar size.
We recommend that the inspection be performed within 30 days of taking possession. This approach has the advantage of catching issues early, and having them corrected promptly.
Additionally or alternatively, the inspection can be done when the house is 10 or 11 months old. The house will have settled in and lived through almost 4 seasons. Many parts of the new home warranty expire after 12 months, so it makes sense to do the inspection prior to the first anniversary.
Some people have the inspection performed during the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI). We prefer to leave this event to the builder, allowing the buyer to focus on the builder’s message during this process.
Any issues not identified during the Pre-Delivery Inspection process can be picked up within 30 days. The only minor exceptions include scratches, dents and other mechanical damage that may have been caused by the buyer after the Pre-Delivery Inspection. We recommend that the buyer document (and perhaps photograph) these types of issues during the Pre-Delivery Inspection to avoid discussion later about who caused the damage.
Our report identifies issues that should be addressed. The report is concise and to the point. There’s no fluff or filler. The report includes items that are incomplete, damaged, missing, inaccessible or not operating properly. Photos and references are added for clarity where applicable. We describe locations carefully to make things as easy as possible for those referencing our reports.
We also provide advice on home maintenance to help people maximize comfort, efficiency and durability. Carson Dunlop also provides guidance in working with builders and the warranty program to help get issues resolved quickly and efficiently. And as always, we are there for you, providing free advice by telephone or email, for as long as you own your home.
Carson Dunlop has partnered with a number of reputable and qualified companies to provide specialty services to our clients. These services complement our home inspections, targeting potential areas of concern which fall outside of the scope of a regular home inspection.
N. Childs; Homeowner
120 Carlton Street, Suite 407
932 Lee Street, Suite 101
Des Plaines, Illinois