an exciting moment, walking into your brand-new home
after itís finally completed. But donít let the
excitement distract you from the importance of this
final walk-through with the builder a few days before
closing on a home. This is your chance to inspect the
home, learn about the mechanics and systems, and note
any areas of concern or defect.
day of your walk-through inspection, arrive on time and
in comfortable shoes ó and make sure your calendar is
cleared so you are free of distractions and obligations
during your appointment. Be sure to bring a notebook to
make a checklist, and have your smartphone handy to take
photos of the items that need to be repaired, as you and
your builder representative create the "punch
list" of items that need attention. Point out
anything you find that needs to be addressed, because
after you move in you wonít be able to prove that that
scratch on the kitchen countertop wasnít caused during
you have a list of repairs, your builder representative
(usually a customer service professional) will go over
the list and have you approve it, making sure that all
your items of concern are noted. Then he or she will go
about alerting the correct trade contractor to come back
in and correct the work. If thatís after you have
moved in, you will be contacted with the day and time
the work will be attended to. Once the repairs or
corrections are completed, you will need to sign off
that the work was done satisfactorily.
are some things to look for during your walk-through:
Examine all surfaces, including cabinets, counters,
fixtures, floors, windows, ceilings, and walls, inside
and out. Paint touchups are among the most frequently
Turn all the faucets on and off and flush the toilets to
inspect for leaks.
Open and close windows and doors to make sure they lock
and seal properly.
Check to see whether all appliances operate, that they
are the correct model and that the appliance handbook is
Donít forget to inspect the entire property. Make sure
the ground slopes away from the home, so as to avoid
foundation problems and flooding. If the landscaping is
already in place, look for dead plants and check for
areas where water could pool.
inspection, which can last an hour or two, is also your
chance to ask questions about how things work. Be sure
to ask where the shut-off valves are for gas,
electricity and water in case of an emergency. Although
your new home comes with a stack of instruction and
warranty manuals, itís helpful having someone
demonstrate the appliances, the heating and air
conditioning and the smart-home features that come with
many new houses.
this time, the builderís representative will also go
over the homeownerís maintenance responsibilities,
which are often required to keep warranties in place.
Often, builders will schedule a follow-up inspection
soon after youíve moved in and another toward the end
of your first year in the home, which marks the end of
the warranty for workmanship and material. Small
problems, such as a popped nail in the drywall, often
arise as the home settles.
this first walk-through, ask lots of questions. You may
choose to have a home inspector professional perform
their own inspection of the property. If so, you will
need to schedule it with the builder ahead of time
before your walk-through. Then, bring along your
inspection report to discuss anything of note.
being diligent upfront, you can ensure that you will be
able to enjoy your new home for years to come.