An Inspection Checklist For Your New Home

Oct 19, 2016

An Inspection Checklist For Your New Home featured image

The walk-through inspection is a critical part of buying a new home, just before you get the keys and move in. The walk-through is not intended for you to plan your furniture layout or paint colours. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to verify that the builders did everything as agreed, and that any imperfections or damages are corrected before the contractor walks away with your cash.

Schedule the walk-through for when you have enough time to spend inspecting your new home without rushing. Don’t bring any distractions, like kids, relatives, or friends. Instead, carry:

  • Some stickers to mark problem areas
  • A level and flashlight
  • An easy to use electrical item to check electrical outlets
  • A camera
  • A pen, clipboard, and notepad (to create a deficiency list)
  • Binoculars to inspect the roof
  • Walk-through checklist

What your walk-through checklist should include

Inside the home

  • Turn on all appliances—dishwasher, oven, dryer, and washing machine—to ensure they are working properly
  • Check that all sockets are working correctly
  • Switch on and off the lights to ensure that the switch and lighting is working as required. Check that the switch plates and other fixtures are in place
  • Check all drawers, cabinets, countertops, and ceilings for smooth finish
  • Check all taps, sinks, shower heads, and toilets for any leaks, dripping, and proper function. Is the water pressure good enough? Follow the water pipework to your basement to ensure there are no leaks
  • Test the heating and cooling system for a noticeable change in temperature
  • Check your home automation system and home security system for proper functioning. Check that all remote control systems are working well

Outside the home

  • Check the porches and decks for the sturdiness of the construction, and ensure there are no protruding screws or nails
  • Check that the garage door opens and closes completely. Test the reversing mechanism by placing an obstacle under the open door
  • Inspect the garage floor, patio, and driveway for any cracks
  • Check the exterior paint to ensure it is evenly covered on all surfaces, and that there are no defects
  • Inspect the gutters and downspouts for proper installation
  • Use the binoculars to inspect the roof for any obvious defects from the ground, or use a ladder to take a closer look
  • Inspect the doors and windows for smooth operation and a tight seal, and ensure that weather stripping is secure
  • Inspect the landscape for a proper slope away from the house, that it is clean and all the trees are well-planted

During the walkthrough, use the stickers to mark problem areas and assign a number to each. Then note down the number and issue on your deficiency list. You will give the deficiency list to the builder as problems that need to be resolved before the job is complete.

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