When you buy a brand new home, it’s easy to make sure you are completely satisfied with your purchase before you take possession of it.
As your home gets close to completion, usually a few days before you are due to move in, the builder will take you on a tour of the entire house. There are two reasons for doing this. First, the builder wants you to inspect the home in detail to make sure everything has been done right and according to plan. Secondly, the builder wants to familiarize you with the systems and products in the home — how to operate, maintain and service them.
Your builder will use an inspection sheet that you will be asked to sign at the end of the tour. Anything that requires attention or correction should be noted on the sheet, even very minor imperfections. That way, there is no debate later about who is responsible. Minor corrections are usually made before you move in; anything else is dealt with afterwards as quickly as possible. Following are some of the items you should take a close look at during the walk-through.
- Siding — should be even, level and clean; no awkward seams; no nails showing; no gaps in the mortar between bricks; weep holes intact
- Windows and doors — verify placement, colour and styling details
- Caulking — check around windows, doors and electrical outlets for even application
- Paint and stains — look for even coverage and proper colour • Shutters, trim and other decorative elements — verify colour, styling details and secure installation
- Fascia, soffits, eavestroughs, downspouts — check for right colour and secure installation
- Roofing — verify material, colour, style; also duration of manufacturer’s warranty
- Stairs, railings — check styling details, colours, solid installation
- Lights, electrical outlets and doorbells — check placement and test that they work
- Garage — doors should open and close easily; door to the house must be self-closing
- Grading around the house — should slope away from the foundation to divert moisture
- Driveway, walkways, sodding and other landscaping — Is the work done according to specifications?
- If weather prohibits completion now, when will it be done?
- Walls and trim — confirm colour; check for even paint coverage, no visible seams, no nail pops, no nicks and scratches, smooth grouting between wall tiles
- Flooring — verify selection and installation: colour and grade; minimum of squeaks and spring; no ragged seams or edges and no gaps or scratches; even grouting between tiles
- Windows — should open an close easily, have proper screens and no cracked panes
- Doors — must be well-fitted and properly hung for easy opening and closing; check glass or mirror panes for cracks or nicks; test locks on outside doors
- Cabinets, drawers, closets — check for smooth operation; proper configuration of shelving and dividers; confirm handles and knobs
- Countertops — no nicks, scratches or uneven seams
- Faucets — turn off and on to verify smooth operation; no leakage or drips
- Plumbing fixtures — check for chips or scratches; look for caulking around all fixtures; run water to verify good drainage; flush toilets
- Electrical, cable and other outlets — verify placement and test if they are live
- Light fixtures — turn on and off to see if they work
- Basement — no cracks in the walls or signs of leakage; a floor drain in the lowest part
- Upgrades and options — refer to the contract to make sure nothing has been overlooked
Getting To Know Your New Home
A brand new home incorporates the latest systems and products. Knowing how to operate your home will ensure years of problem-free performance and enjoyment. It will also avoid invalidating warranties due to improper use. In addition to a personal demonstration, new home builders should provide a homeowner’s manual with detailed information on the home, including basic maintenance inside and out.
Product Manufacturers’ Warranties
Many of the products and materials used in your new home come with maintenance information. Your builder will pass these materials on to you.