When should I Hire a Home Inspector?

home inspector

Throughout the entire build process of our new homes, Covington Homes and the local building department perform many inspections, re-inspections, and Quality Control checks. These many inspections and Quality Control checks are one of many reasons why it is not necessary to hire a ‘home inspector’ for New Home construction. Since there is a misconception in the market regarding ‘new home inspections’ versus ‘resale home inspections’ we believe that it is important to think about these commonly asked questions regarding home inspectors and home inspections to help you be fully informed.

Question: Should I hire a home inspector for a new built home?

Answer: While it is recommended to hire a home inspector for a resale/used home purchase it is not necessary to hire one for a new build.

Question: What inspections are performed by the builder during the build process?

Answer: During the building process there are intensive inspections along the way. Those who inspect our homes include our field supervisors and top-level managers, our trade partners and subcontractors, the Geotech engineer, the structural engineer of record, third party inspectors as required, our third-party energy performance and compliance inspector, and local building department inspectors. Additionally, plans are reviewed and checked against the work performed to ensure that trades are not only following the paperwork but are also following the plans.

Our buyers have Peace of Mind because there are so many qualified professionals that are part of the Covington Homes team inspecting all work performed on the home throughout the construction process.

Question: What do I look for in a home inspector?

Answer: When selecting a home inspector, be very careful and cautious to properly vet each company, as some are much better than others. An inspector with a Class C General Contractor’s license is preferable. Since home inspectors are not licensed, are not required to be licensed general contractors, and are not generally regulated- an inspector who carries a Class C General Contractor license is preferred. Keep in mind that due to the fact that home inspectors are not required to be licensed general contractors (and are not usually licensed contractors) often times these inspectors are not current on building codes and may not have complete knowledge of current code requirements.

Question: What questions should I ask when looking for a home inspector?

Answer: No

    • Ask if the home inspector has a Class C General Contractors license.
    • If the inspector has a class C license, ask if the license active and does the home inspector have a business that is registered with the local building department?
    • Does the home inspector carry the appropriate insurance with acceptable coverages?
    • If the inspector will be on the roof, does the home inspector have the proper OSHA certification and carry coverage for working on roofs?
    • Does the home inspector have references, a good rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a reputable company?
    • What sort of home building and/ or remodeling experience does the inspector have?
    • Is the home inspector up to date on current codes?
    • Does the home inspector carry general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and professional liability insurance?
    • How many years of experience does the home inspector have in the Homebuilding and construction industry?

Question: Why would I use a home inspector?

Answer: Generally, one would use a home inspector during a purchase of a used/ resale home. The inspection that is done at the time of a resale home purchase is used for the purpose of determining what may not have been properly maintained and / or repaired by the current homeowner.

A home inspector can also be useful when you’re unsure if an item is a homeowner maintenance item. A home inspector can be useful in giving advice in regards to which items require maintenance and what type of maintenance and how often. However, our homeowners have the ability to research these resources and many more on our website, in our warranty book, and through the many additional resources we provide to our homeowners.

Question: Are home inspectors used mainly for resale real estate purchases?

Yes, home inspectors are typically hired by realtors during a resale transaction. This is because it is useful to do so when purchasing a resale home, given that the inspectors can find items that the current homeowner may have neglected and may not have been maintaining. Often times homeowners do not perform the proper maintenance on their home and defer regular repairs and upkeep which may cause long term damage to the home. Additionally, home inspectors are hired by realtors to create what is called an inspection objection list. Usually this list is a wish list put together by the buyer to find items that the buyer may want to have addressed and done to the home prior to purchase.