Make sure the footer is on virgin soil, failure to do so will result
in excessive settlement.
Before the foundation is backfilled, check for proper drainage,
make sure there is stone covering the perforated pipe, make sure
there is filter covering the stone. If this is not done, in a couple
of years the drain will clog and the basement will begin to leak
Foundation cracks, check exterior walls for cracks and cold pours,
make sure snap ties are purged or sealed below grade
the drywall is installed you need to check the framing, check the
floor joists, many builders are using manufactured floor joists,
they look like wooden I beams, or open-web trusses. Open-web and
thin-web I-beam joists are especially vulnerable to failure if any
member is cut or if flanges or other member are not installed properly
or are cracked. Trusses work as a system, and losing a single member
may threaten the entire system. Installed properly they function
fine. The problem however, is that 50% of homes that I inspect,
are not properly framed. It is crucial that Wooden I-Beams are supported
properly under ALL load bearing walls with webstiffiners or squash
blocks. The squash blocks need to be cut 1/8" taller than the
floor joists. Very often you will find that the squash blocks are
cut 1/4" to 3/8" short. Therefore the floor joists will
be crushed, compromising strength and transferring an additional
1/2" of settlement in the walls, doors, and floors above it.
Make sure the top and bottom of the I-beam are not cut.
If you plan to install a deck later, arrange to have the builder
install and flash a rim joist of sufficient strength to support
the deck. The majority of wooden I-Beams used as rim joists can
not support a deck.
If metal bracing is installed, insure that it is secured properly,
failure to do so will result in squeaky floors. It will be too late
to correct after the drywall is installed.
Make sure that bathroom fixtures are properly supported and that
plumbers haven’t cut critical framing members.
Have the builder install electrical boxes and supports for ceiling
fans at a later date. (There may be a charge for this)
the plumbing through the structure to insure that framing members
were not cut improperly. If possible, insist on copper, PB plumbing (gray flexible plastic)
has a history of problems (leaks) in area’s that have high
chlorine content. If possible, insulate chases that contain vertical PVC drains because
it is noisy. Make sure that plumbing is properly supported; check the water meter
to make sure the pipes are not supporting the weight. PB needs to
be supported every 32”
Have the contractor install outlets for garage door openers. (May
Insure that electrical boxes are not sticking out more than ½” past the face of the stud.
Electrical installations are inspected by outside independent firms.
Typically, few problems are experienced with this item.
sure that flashing and counter flashing is installed properly at
chimneys around skylights, and valley.
- Make sure that plywood clips are installed between trusses or rafters
for roof sheathing.
- If possible insist on drip edge. This will extend the life of the
all trusses to make sure that they are supported where designed
and haven’t been modified. Trusses are designed for a certain
load and are made to be supported at the designated point.
If you are going to install a deck later, you should see if the
builder can install and flash a board for you to attach your deck
to. This is particularly important if you have manufactured wood
I-beam floor joists.
Check the grading, look where the downspouts are going to dump
water. Water needs to be at least 10 feet away from the foundation
before it is absorbed, or else it may end up back in your basement.
siding should hang on the nails, not be secured too tightly or else
it may buckle on hot days.
Insure that J-channel is installed around all doors and windows.
sure all penetrations (i.e. electrical service, bath vents, dryer
vents, sump pump etc.) through the siding are caulked.
sure the grading is at least 6 inches away from siding
- Observe where heat vents will be located in the home.
- Look for any flexible vents that are crushed.
- Insist on upper and lower returns. This will make your house much
more comfortable in the summer and winter.
- If possible, have the contractor install dampers in the basement,
again this will make your house much more comfortable in the summer
- Check for air flow at registers.
- Check for pipe support on gas piping, it should not be supported
by the heater.
- Have the heating contractor install a cut out for the furnace
filter. It is much easier to change the filter if you do not have
to take the heater apart.
- If you are installing a fossil fuel furnace, have the contractor
install the heater with the combustion air supplied from the exterior
of the structure. This will help cut down on heating bills, enabling
you to enclose the heater in a smaller room and cut down on the
radon gas entering the home.
If you are buying a home, your mortgage company
will insist on a water test for bacteria. In addition to bacteria,
you may want to have your water tested for metals, nitrates and
is a Class A Carcinogen (and the second leading cause of lung cancer).
The EPA recommends that all home buyers do a radon test. When you
sell, you can bet the buyer will have the home tested then you will
be stuck with the cost of remediation. Aside from the fact that
you and your family may have been exposed to this hazard. A radon
test takes 2 days and can be performed by our staff for less than