New Construction – Walk Through List

With new construction, you usually have a pre-drywall meeting with the construction manager  to review electrical outlets, lighting fixture locations, etc. Changes are more expensive after drywall is hung.  Once the home is completed, then you will have a New Construction Walk Through appointment, also called a Home Orientation Meeting and this is usually scheduled about a week before closing and takes about 2 hours.

It’s always beneficial to have a Home Inspector throughly inspect the home before the final walk through so that the builder can address any items found in advance of closing.  The home inspector will inspect items such as the roof, attic insulation, GFI’s, electrical switches and times that aren’t as easily apparent as finding on the walk through with the builder.

Most builders will plan the Walk Through a week before closing and sometimes only a few days.  Strive to schedule the Walk Through at least a week before closing so that the builder has time to get various tradesman into the home to make repairs before closing.  It’s much easier to have items completed before closing rather than after closing when the locks have been changed and you’ve started moving in.  Unfortunately if you have some cosmetic items that you aren’t satisfied with, most builders will still try to earn your satisfaction, but it doesn’t mean that they will delay closing until those items are to your satisfaction.  The builder contracts specifies reasons for delays in closing.

At the walk through, the owner and the construction manager will inspect the outside of the home, lanai areas and each of the interior rooms. Any issues will be noted on a final punch out sheet and signed off by both parties. It is imperative to note any issues that you see at the time of this walkthrough. Any missing features or quality issues will be marked at the house (usually with blue painters tape) and noted on a “punch out” list. As you walk each room, you and your builder will look carefully for items that need attention — a bit of wood trim not painted, a missing cover on an electrical outlet, a crack in a tile. This list is then shared with the subcontractors for completion.

Bring a notebook to take notes on various things that the construction manager will review, such as the size of air filters, how to maintain the AC, where the water shutoff valve is, etc.  The New Construction Walk Through is also considered a Home Orientation Consultation, so be sure to take notes for the future.  Here is a list of items to check as you complete the New Contraction Walk Through.

Home Exterior

  • Make sure that the ground around the foundation of the home slopes away from the house and that water does not pool or puddle around or near the foundation.
  • Roof- a home inspector would be the best selection to inspect the roof
  • Check windows and doors to make sure there’s a tight seal and that weather stripping is present and secure. Look for cracks and inspect the trim.
  • Inspect the home’s exterior and trim paint to see that the surfaces are smooth and uniformly covered.
  • Inspect the landscaping to make sure that it has been done to your specifications.
  • Inspect the garage door to make sure they completely open and close as well the sensors are working

Home Interior

  • Inspect all doors and windows to make sure that they are well sealed; that they open, close, and lock properly; and that the glass is not loose or cracked.
  • Check the door stoppers to make sure they are properly installed.
  • Are the screens on the windows in good condition and not torn or have paint on them?
  • Check all moldings and trim to make sure that they are secure and properly in place.
  • Look at the painting in all rooms, closets, and stairways. Make sure that it is smooth, uniform and there are no bare spots.
  • Inspect the flooring to determine if the carpeted areas are stretched properly with matching seams, the tile floors are level with no gaps in the grout lines and that the wood floors are also level and properly finished to your specifications.
  • Check all appliances to make sure that they operate properly, are the proper model and color that you specified and that the surfaces are smooth and scratch/nick free.
  • Check all cabinets for scratches, that they are level and that they open and close smoothly.
  • Check countertops to make sure they are free from scratches and caulked properly if needed.
  • Do all light fixtures have working bulbs and operate correctly?
  • Look over all faucets and plumbing fixtures (toilets and showers too) to assure that they work properly and that there are no cracks, scratches, or nicks in the surfaces.
  • Flush all toilets to make sure they properly refill.
  • Fill the sinks with water using the drain plug to make sure it’s at the correct adjustment.
  • Are the cabinets and counter tops installed to your specifications? Check them also for imperfections.
  • Inspect your electrical fixtures and test the outlets. A small appliance, like a hair dryer, is a good way to do this, but there are Electrical test kits that can be purchased as well.
  • Check for squeaking floors on the second floor.
  • Test your A/C and water heater to make sure that they are operating properly.
  • Test other electrical systems like the door bell.
  • Inspect the attic for dampness or leaks and to make sure that proper installation of insulation has been done. Also check the condition of support beams, heating ducts, etc. (A Home Inspector will be the best professional for inspecting the attic.)
  • Were you left with a sample of touch up paint?
  • Were you left with an extra box of tile?
  • Are all the manuals present?  Do you have the manufacturer contact cards to complete for appliances and AC?
  • Were you left with emergency numbers to call in case of an issue?
  • Do you know how to reset your GFI’s?

Some final thoughts:

  • Obtain a copy of the “certificate of occupancy” proving that your home has been approved by the county and meets the state’s building code standards and laws.
  • Make sure all items in which the builder agrees to remedy are in writing.
  • Consider hiring a home inspector to accompany you, and your agent, to your final new home inspection with the builder.  Another set of trained eyes on your home’s basic systems and structural integrity might be worth the expense if defects are discovered upfront. An experienced home inspector is trained to notice details that you might not have noticed yourself until later on.
  • Schedule a final walk through before closing so that you can be updated on the final items that will need to be addressed and what’s been already addressed.

Buying a new construction home isn’t a “slam dunk” transaction. Do your part to make sure that you’re represented and protected sufficiently, and that your new home meets your expectations, specifications, and passes all state safety and legal requirements.

Keep in mind that while your home is newly constructed, it doesn’t mean that it will be flawless of any cosmetic imperfections.  The builder will do their best to remedy any items, but also remember to have patience understand that it’s rare for a Walk Through to not have any items on the punch list.

A little due dilligence on the front end will give you peace of mind on the back end, paving the way to many years of pleasure and comfort for your family’s “home sweet new home!”

Infinity Realty Group
20 S Main St #260
Winter Garden

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