New home buyers can have misconceptions about the houses they are purchasing. They sometimes don’t understand the need to get a builder warranty inspection before the 12 month builder warranty expires. This article will dispel these myths and new home owners will be convinced that they should get a builder warranty inspection.

Myth #1: I have a great builder. Maybe. Your builder may have convinced you of this with their marketing literature. The truth is that most home builders are not building your home. Home builders contract the work out to many subcontractors. In fact, some of the subcontractors hire subcontractors themselves. Some home builders even contract out all the work to General Contractors who then contract with subcontractors. Who exactly is building your house? I hate to burst the bubble, but the best subcontractors for a specific trades are not working in the new home sector. They are working in the remodeling sector or in commercial construction. As a result, the quality of the work in most new home construction is less than stellar.

This is a good point, right? Are you seeing why a Builder Warranty Inspection is important?

Builder Warranty Inspection - Raised Roof Shingles  These raised roof shingles will allow moisture to penetrate under the shingles and to the roof decking. These defects were discovered during an 11 month Builder Warranty Inspection. In time, the roof decking will rot.

Myth #2: My new home has already been inspected by the city or county. True…but…Municipal building inspectors spend only a few minutes at each property and only have time for a cursory inspection. Builders and their subcontractors know this. Municipal inspectors don’t have time to crawl the entire crawl space or attic. Because of their extreme work load, they are forced to trust the builder and their subcontractors. The builder and their subcontractors know this and sometimes take advantage of this trust. Many things can still go wrong after the municipal inspectors have signed off on various inspections. No one is looking at how the components and systems of the house function as a whole unless you hire an independent private home inspector.

Have I convinced you of the importance of a Builder Warranty Inspection yet?

Builder Warranty Inspection - Misssing Attic Insulation Insulation was missing in a portion of the attic of this Energy Star Home. I often find missing insulation in areas of the Energy Star homes I inspect.

Myth #3: Nothing could go wrong because my home is new.  False. Actually a lot could go wrong with your new house both during construction and during the first year. There are the obvious defects that you may have caught in the first months in your new home. But, there are also hidden defects that most homeowners won’t have the technical training to find. Small defects can result in expensive  repairs in the future. In my professional experience, the most significant problems with houses that are 5, 10, 20 or 30 years old originated when the house was new.

Compelling to know especially if you are planning to stay in your home for a number of years.

Split roof truss on new home by Rick Nipper home inspector  This is a split roof truss discovered during an inspection of a new home that was never repaired before closing and was in the same condition at the 11-month builder warranty inspection.

Myth #4: I had a home inspection before I closed on my house. Maybe you did. However, over the first year, the systems of the house start to operate and you start living in the house the way you live. Building materials will expand and contract with environmental and weather changes. Problems might become apparent during the first year that were not evident when you first moved into your house.

Bowed garage door track by Rick Nipper home inspector This garage door track was bowed and making a loud racket. The door would eventually have either stopped working or fallen as it was not secured to the framing in a number of locations. It was discovered during an 11 month Builder Warranty Inspection.

Here’s why you should schedule a Builder Warranty Inspection:

  • The builder is responsible for repairs to your new home for the first 12 months.
  • The cost of warranty repairs were already calculated into the cost of the house you bought. You have essentially already paid for these repairs.
  • The cost of the inspection will be far outweighed by the cost of repairs that you won’t have to pay for in the future.

The prudent action to take is to hire an independent skilled home inspector and building science expert to perform a Building Warranty Inspection for your new home. Don’t miss this opportunity. If you miss this opportunity, you could find out why you should have gotten a Builder Warranty Inspection when you go to sell the house. The buyer’s home inspector will find defects that should have been discovered during the first year of the house.

Gapped sealant at trim boards by Rick Nipper Home Inspector This is split caulk or sealant where trim boards meet discovered during an 11-month Builder Warranty Inspection.

Hopefully, I have convinced you of the importance of getting a builder warranty inspection before the first 12 months is up. 


Call 919-846-6133 to schedule your 11-month Builder Warranty Inspection. I look forward to helping you protect the investment you have made.

Nipper Home Inspection Services, Inc.Author: Rick Nipper is a NC Licensed Home Inspector, a NC Licensed General Contractor and a building science expert. He is the owner of Nipper Home Inspection Services, Inc. and Nipper Home Solutions in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.