New home inspections during construction include checking the foundation before the structure is built, checking the plumbing after it is installed and verifying the electrical system before the drywall is put in place. New home inspections also occur after the drywall is put in place, before someone closes on the property or moves into the home. New home inspections cover the interior and exterior of the home, the plumbing and electrical work that doesn’t require removing drywall to check and appliances built into the home. But what is not covered by new home inspections? Home inspections don’t include hot tubs or swimming pools unless you arrange for someone to inspect those items. And many home inspectors will suggest bringing in anexpert to examine them. Likewise, underground storage tanks for heating oil and septic tanks need to be inspected by specialists.
New home inspections don’t cover most appliances. They typically won’t check the fridge unless you ask them to, and they won’t check the dishwasher unless you make it clear this is staying with the house. Built-in appliances like microwaves are checked to see if they are in working condition and nothing more. Most home inspectors lack the expertise to verify a central vacuum system works properly beyond turning it on and checking off that it works. Home inspectors will verify that major built in appliances like an oven works, but they do not have the skills to check the gas connection itself.
They will report a suspected gas leak, but you need to contact someone with the utility with experience inspecting and troubleshooting natural gas lines if you think there is a problem with a gas oven or natural gas fireplace. New home inspectors make sure the heating and cooling systems work. Some new home inspectors will include an efficiency report for an additional charge. New home inspections do include the vegetation to the point of verifying the roots of the trees don’t endanger the foundation and roots aren’t obviously growing into the water or sewer lines. New home inspections do not include the sewer line unless you pay for that additional inspection, beyond flushing the toilet and making sure it drains properly. New home inspections don’t cover the sprinkler system, home wells or water features.
Most home inspections verify that the fire alarms work, but home inspections do not cover the intrusion detection system. Nor will the home inspector check the satellite dish on the roof except to make sure it doesn’t create a water leak in the roof. Home inspections cover items attached to the home like decks and balconies. They do not cover detached structures like sheds, swing sets or garages. Secondary dwellings on the property like mother in law suites are part of the home inspection. New home inspections do not include termite inspections or pest reports, though they will check for obvious signs like rat droppings or termite tubes. Most home inspections do not cover any problem that requires removing something to inspect it. Home inspectors can lift up loose carpets to look at the flooring underneath, but they won’t ply up wood flooring to check the layer underneath. They can’t see what is inside the walls unless they use non-invasive methods like thermal imaging. New home inspections do not cover environmental hazards like radon, asbestos or lead unless you arrange for those inspections separately or work with a new home inspector who includes these services as part of their new home inspection.