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Inspecting Your New Home

Updated on May 10, 2013

The PDI - Pre-Delivery Inspection

I don't think there's anything quite more exciting than buying a new home. When you've been waiting for a new home to close upwards of 12-18 months, it feels like you've been waiting forever. You can hardly contain your excitement when you FINALLY get the call for your New Home Inspection. Approximately two weeks before your closing, your New Home builders' Customer Service Representative will call you to schedule what is referred to in the building industry as a PDI or Pre-Delivery Inspection. This Pre Delivery Inspection is an important part of the New Home Warranty and is crucial that you understand it.

Even though this is written New Homes in mind, you can still apply this knowledge to a re-sale home also.

The following is a summary on what to expect during a new home inspection.

The Pre-Delivery Inspection

Your New Home Check List

It can certainly be an overwhelming time. You're SO EXCITED to finally be getting in to see your New Home that you forget what you're actually there for. To INSPECT YOUR NEW HOME.

Although most New Home Warranty plans cover a one year, two year and a seven year structural damage, the PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) is one of the most important inspections as it gives you an opportunity to inspect the esthetics and workmanship which are usually only covered for one year in your New Home Warranty.

If you have online access to your New Home Builders website, familiarize yourself with the Pre-Delivery Inspection and the Warranty Coverage. Although each state or province is governed by building codes the new home warranty can change from one area to another and from one builder to another. It's important that you know what your New Home Warranty covers. If there are items you're not clear about, the Pre-Delivery Inspection is the perfect opportunity to ask questions from the Customer Service Representative.

Depending on the builder, some deficiencies that are noticed two weeks after you move in which were not reported on the Pre-Delivery Inspection may not be warranted. Scratches on hardwood floors, ceramic tubs and showers, gauges in ceramic tiles are just an example of some of those items. That's why the PDI is so important.

Your Pre-Delivery Inspection should take approximately two hours. Even though you're excited you should take your time and inspect it with a fine tooth comb.

Image Credit

Don't Be Rushed

Your PDI Inspection Should Take

Approximately 2 Hours

Home Maintenance Titles for Your Library

The more you know about your new home, the better. Here are some new home guides to help you in maintaining your investment.

Being an educated homeowner is also being a smart homeowner. Repars and maintenance can be costly and a homeowner that doesn't educate themselves can be taken advantage of by service and repair people.

How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home
How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home

Even if you can't repair everything in your home, it's good to know ABOUT your home. Think of how much easier it is to to understand and talk to service and repair people.

This Old House Homeowners Manual: Advice on Maintaining Your Home from Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, and Steve Thomas
This Old House Homeowners Manual: Advice on Maintaining Your Home from Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, and Steve Thomas

A good maintenane book is a must have. You don't have to be a pro to do some of your home repairs/maintenance yourself and it saves you money.

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home
Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home

Love her or hate her, you can't go wrong with any book from the Queen of Lifestyle. She knows her stuff !

At the time of the inspection, it's important to thoroughly inspect the following interior items:
At the time of the inspection, it's important to thoroughly inspect the following interior items:

The Interior Inspection

Step by Step

At the time of the inspection, it's important to go through the following items:

All hard surfaces for damages, scratches, gauges etc (ie. Counter tops, cabinets, windows, doors, bathtubs, showers, hardwood, tile and appliances (if builder supplied/delivered).

All windows tested to ensure smooth operation & the window cranks installed & operating properly.

Window screens installed and free of damage.

Doors open and close correctly with sufficient room between door and cabinet, door and appliance etc.

- All plumbing fixtures function correctly. (Toilet flushes properly, hot and cold water working)

- Exhaust fans are operational.

- Mirrors installed and free of damage.

- Carpet seams are free of gaps and any stains or markings are noted.

- All counter tops, tubs and shower enclosures are caulked.

- Wall paint has been completed in a workmanlike manner.

- All missing items are noted.

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The Exterior Inspection

Step by Step

The following exterior items should also be checked. Depending on the season your new home closes, some exterior inspections cannot be accessed due to mud or snow covering the ground.

Your builder and the warranty provider are aware of these circumstances and accommodations for these items are allowed at a later date.

- All windows are caulked around the window frames.

- Trim appears to be fully secured.

- There are no broken, damaged or missing brick.

- Shingles lay flat and none are missing.

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Questions to Ask During Your New Home Inspection

At the time of your New Home Inspection, be sure you ask the location of the following:

- Fuel lines in basement.

- The main and exterior water shut-offs.

- The electrical panel.

- The Manuals for furnace & hot water tanks

- How to change the furnace filters.

- Location of primary fan switch.

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After You've Moved in to Your New Home

After you've moved into your new home, as you settle in so will your house. Settlement and shrinkage will occur in a home and is a normal occurrence and nothing to be alarmed about.

You may notice nail pops coming through the dry wall and perhaps cracks in the drywall. (That IS one of the reasons all builders will recommend you NOT to paint your new home in the first year). Shrinkage may occur between the wall and counter tops, minor cracks may occur in wood surfaces, your hardwood floors may squeak and gaps may appear in doors. This is all very normal and part of the home adjusting to the humidity or lack of humidity.Many items that result from normal day to day settlement and/or shrinkage in the home are not always warranted by your builder however some will address these items as a goodwill gesture.

Thats why it's so important to monitor the humidity in your home with a Hygrometer or purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain the proper balance in the home.

I hope this brief overview of the New Home Inspection process has been helpful for you. Being knowledgable about your home warranty is the first step to many, many years of home ownership enjoyment.

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Hardwood Flooring - Care of

Although it's an exciting time for you and the maintenance of your new home may not be on your mind, it really does help to be prepared and be at ease knowing you can move in and everything's been taken care of. You pay a lot of money to have your floors upgraded to hardwood, why would you NOT take care of them?

Meade Instruments TM005X-M Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermo Hygrometer
Meade Instruments TM005X-M Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermo Hygrometer

Excessive moisture in the home causes condensation on windows in the colder months. If the humidity levels are not taken care of this build-up of moisture can cause staining, rotting and mould in your new home. A hygrometer monitors the humidity in a home so you can balance it accordingly.


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    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @brandonv111 lm: Thank you, glad you like it!

    • brandonv111 lm profile image

      brandonv111 lm 

      5 years ago

      Great Lens! Very informative.

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you :)

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @Rosanna Grace: Thank you, I appreciate the feedback!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Fantastic ideas here, and i think i will print this out for my next house one day :)

    • carolinarobin profile image


      5 years ago

      Oh I remember that pre-dilevery inspection very well.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 

      5 years ago

      Very comprehensive lens! I'm sure this is going to benefit a lot of people. Well Done shugarshack

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @justramblin: Thank you so much! I'm in the industry & have found that people really are not confident in what to ask for during their inspection. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • justramblin profile image


      5 years ago

      What a well researched list for home inspection. I especially like the llist of questions to ask. I wouldn't have thought of some of those,. Great job.

    • Sugarshack LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Sugarshack LM 

      5 years ago

      @anitabreeze: Thank you!! It's also important to know what to ask and what to look for when you're doing your inspection with your builder!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great information. I think it is sooo important to have a home inspection, when you consider how much you are spending to buy your home!


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