Wondering if your new house needs an inspection?

Everybody loves buying something new. That new car smell or a shiny new phone. The way it operates, looks and knowing you’re the first one to use it makes you feel special. However, beyond the happy feeling a brand-new purchase gives you, there is an expectation. The purchase is going to be free of any defects or problems.

Many people associate those same feelings and expectations with purchasing a new home and rightfully so. With other purchases, we know that the factory has inspectors and quality control to ensure its products will perform properly. The question is: With a new home, who performs that task? A homebuyer might assume the answer is: The city inspector. If the city inspector gives the thumbs up, then why hire a home inspection company? That is not entirely true.

Consider the following reasons.

  • First, a city inspector is looking for violations of building code that would cause immediate structural problems or occupant safety. He or she is not always looking at things that might cause long-term issues.
  • Second is the workload of the city inspectors. 36 city inspectors in Portland performed 90,000 residential and commercial inspections in 2012-2013. [1] That really is an amazing testament to their dedication and hard work. The downside is that means they average about 10 inspections per day. Time is not on their side.

We recently performed a home inspection on a brand-new home constructed by a local well-known builder. The home passed all the permitting inspections. Here is a list of defects we found:

  • Excess construction debris left in the crawl space
  • Condensation drain pipe from the furnace and air-conditioning systems detached and draining into the crawl space. This would create a mold and mildew problem.
  • Gap in the siding around the air-conditioning line. A potential rodent and water entry point
  • Missing piece of siding and flashing above the deck which could lead to wood rot.
  • Gap in the siding around the furnace vent pipe. Another potential rodent and water entry point
  • Numerous grading and drainage problems around the house – puddles of water near the foundation, ground sloping at the house, etc. This could cause foundation or structural problems over time.
  • Several heavily damaged roof shingles from the siding installers or painters setting equipment on the roof. Damaged shingles can be the source of roof leaks.
  • HVAC system missing a filter
  • One of the bathroom sinks is cracked and leaking.
  • Several missing window screens.
  • Gaps around interior fire sprinkler heads that are large enough for insulation to be falling out of the attic.
  • Exterior outlet at the front entry way is covered with paint overspray
  • Doorbell does not operate
  • Master bedroom closet clothes rods are missing
  • Exterior storm drain opening missing a cap


Imagine buying a new car only to discover when you got home that the radio doesn’t work, the sunroof leaks, and one of the tires is flat. At least you know where to find the dealer is and can take the car back to the lot. Trying to track down a builder after closing can be extremely challenging if not impossible. Sadly, some new homeowners have had to resort to legal remedies to resolve obvious problems.

Still wondering if that new house should be inspected? Give Crawford Inspection Services a call!


[1] https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2013/09/audit_says_city_building_inspe.html