Tuesday, April 3, 2012

To Inspect...or Not to Inspect???

I thought I would pose a question out to the Ryan Homes Blog Crew:

Will (or did) you get an inspection of your newly built home?

I have heard various opinions on this topic (especially since I work in real estate) and wanted to get opinions from you all. I've heard everything from, "you should get an inspection at various stages of the build" to "wait until just before the first year so the house has time to settle". All thoughts, opinions and testimonials are welcome :)


  1. We hope to break soon on our Victoria Falls and prior to selecting Ryan as the builder, we talked about having an outside inspector come in and also said we will verify progress against the blueprints ourselves as well. My background is in management & technology and not building, but I've read a ton and talked with folks who know a lot more than me about how things should be done. I definitely want someone to inspect prior to closing but I'm also considering an inspection at the pre-drywall stage as well because everything is open at this point and there isn't much room to hide any issues.

    On another note, your stone is beautiful and your blog is one of the ways we found out how it looks on a house so thank you for posting!

  2. Im going to play devils advocate here and bring up a different perspective. Your home (especially because of the EnergyStar rating) goes through an average of 28 inspections before you move in, we rode our SR pretty hard and got all sorts of information out of him. Ill clue you in on some things we learned while asking different sources.

    A structural, hvac, plumbing and electrical inspections must be passed via the county before drywall can be applied. This is all these guys do all day long, they are kept up-to-date on all current codes and have no benefit of passing a house that is unsafe. There is even bias against RH because they are such a large builder.

    Also different eyes see different things. Minimum code regulations must be adhered to but there are different ways to doing that. Different materials, different techniques, etc with all of the blogs here who have had inspections, I cant remember any of them that came away with more than a few "you could beef this up" sort of comments, but nothing was deficient.

    So, can it hurt? No. Is it a mild waste of money? Maybe.

    At a pre-closing inspection everything will be shiny and new and wont have a chance to start leaking, etc. Every problem that will be growing will already been hidden behind drywall. And actually would only start to show itself after some usage and being under the stress of everyday routine. In the same respect a pre-drywall inspection wont catch every loose fitting.

    My build was delayed 3-days because my county inspectors werent playing around and made RH go back and handle things, they were small things but nevertheless...things.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps

  3. yeah, what Steve said. haha
    I considered it. Chances are the paid inspector may find the little things you don't notice. I have been in my house for over two months and have slowly nailed down all kinds of little things. Luckily my PM is great and takes care of everything. Would I want to pay $300+ for someone to come find all this in one shot? Nah. If you could take one thing from all the blogs, visit regularly and be your own inspector.

    BUT - if you believe you have one of Ryan's shit PM's (they're out there) and you worry he won't take care of you to your satisfaction after you close, get an inspector and require ALL repairs BEFORE you close. Ryan wants there money and will jump through hoops for you to get to closing. After closing....after they have received their money, they may not try to jump as much.

  4. We got an inspection pre-drywall and our inspector found 5 things that needed fixed. Most were little (like a squeak at the top of the stairs) but some weren't (missing a vent in the morning room and our wrap needed fixed around every window and twisted beams in the attic/roof area).
    For us we thought getting an inspection BEFORE the dry-wall stage was the way to go. And our inspector found 1 or 2 things the county one missed. So it was worth it. Most of the bloggers I followed during our building process who got inspections did so at pre-drywall and were glad to have done it. For some it just brought peace of mind. For others, like us, a few things were found. Nothing too major, but things that did need addressed or fixed. Over all, in our experience (and most of those we followed), said their inspectors (and ours) were very impressed with they quality of Ryan Homes.

  5. I forgot to mention that unless a fix found by your 3rd-party inspector is safety related its at RH discretion whether to move forward with fixing it or not. Essentially once they get the sign-off from the county, they are clear.

  6. Thanks everyone for your insightful comments! Here are my thoughts:

    (1) Not all jurisdictions have reliable city/county inspectors...some are very lax (read LAZY) and will "rubber stamp" any old construction, defects and all;

    (2) I'm a firm believer in leverage. The second I mentioned to Ryan that I was even thinking about an inspection I immediately got a list of what still needed to be done and why those items were still outstanding. I agree with Sgt. Rich that if there are issues it's much easier to get Ryan to fix preclose. If you read the fine print Ryan is only obligated to repair certain things at certain times and heaven forbid your issue isn't on that list; and

    (3) I do think getting an inspection is likely overkill. We've been very fortunate to have a great PM who I'm confident will go out of his way to make sure we are satisfied. BUT....folks at Ryan Homes seem to be very transient so an inspection may just be the extra assurance we need.

    ***You may have guessed it, but we decided to go with the inspection. I just hope that we will end up thinking it was unnecessary :)

  7. I am still going through it, but I have an inspector looking at it 4 times. Foundation, Framing, Pre-Drywall, and pre-closing.

    He is a former Ryan PM, but also somebody I trust that has done other work for us (he is a general contractor now). In fact, he trained my PM, so that relationship helps.

    According to him (and it makes sense) the most important inspection is the framing followed by pre-drywall. Big problems will be evident later. Anything towards the end will be cosmetic and easily fixable. It's hard to fix a missing basement window, wrong placement of a fireplace, or a corner that isn't square.

  8. I think you made the right choice! I had an architect friend of mine stop by several times during the construction, and I visited 2-4 times per week. As it turned out, we did notice several things that needed to be fixed. I feel my PM is a great person, and I'm sure he was on top of most of these things, but it just makes me feel better that I know what lies under my bright new drywall. My house isn't perfect, but it is quite good- and that's coming from a perfectionist. Inspections don't cost a lot, but they offer a knowledge and peace-of-mind that is pricless. My wishes that you and your family enjoy your new home.

  9. I am going to agree that a inspection may not be necessary however it will give you peace of mind and also put RH on notice that your very serious and aware of whats going on during the building process. I agree with Sgt. Rich that RH will be more inclined to jump thru hoops to ensure that your happy more so now than later. Good luck and what a beautiful home....wish they offered that in PA

  10. I want to have the home inspected by a 3rd party several times and think that it is worth the cost. Trust, but verify!

  11. I think we will probably do the same thing. We LOVE our PM, he has been on top of everything, we go down to the house at least weekly and he has blue taped and marked up stuff and if we see anything one phone call is all it takes and its handled!! BUT, even with our comfort level and experience in construction, I want an expert to come take a look at things before we close just for that extra peace of mind. I trust RH has done things right by us, but it's a very large investment not to be prudent about it.

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