The new home final walk-through is your last chance to raise objections, or get things fixed before you sign off on contracts. Many builders like to provide a sort of unveiling on the last day. It is hard to concentrate on looking at the house on the big day, but you should control yourself, and not be distracted by the beauty on the surface. Always have your eye on detail, functionality and structure.
New Home Final Walk-Through Tips: Look Many Times Before you Leap
This should not be your first viewing of the home. Overall the unveiling concept is a poor idea from the buyer’s point of view, and leaves a lot to chance. You should visit your home once or twice a week throughout the construction process to insure that the structure of the home is correct. Make sure this right is stipulated in your contract. Some builders actually try to keep the owners out of the house till after it is completed. Don’t sign with that kind of contractor. The most important parts of a home are hidden by the time of the walk through, and it is too late to see the most crucial elements clearly.
If you agreed to purchase the home after construction or during some phase of construction after framing, then have an expert view it, well before the final day, to make sure it is sound. Actually have an expert that you know and trust, view the home as soon as possible and before you sign anything.
You’ve seen this house many times so there is no need to get too excited. Run through the checklist to make sure everything is right. Bring an expert for your walk-through, and allow him to help you check for everything.
Flush all the toilets, not once but twice at least. Check all the sink and tub faucets and drains, and make sure the shower is working. Make sure the hot water is hot coming out of all the faucets. Let them run till you can be sure that the hot water heater works, and that all the faucets are correct. Check the cold water as well to insure that all the plumbing is correct. After all that water runs through try to see under the house if possible to check for water leaks. For the upstairs baths, run a good bit of water in the tub, and let it drain. Stick around and watch the downstairs ceiling directly under the tub, and following the path of the drain pipe. Also check the sprinkler system, and pool if applicable.
Turn all the lights on and off, but then leave them all on. Check the appliances to make sure they are hooked up, plugged in and working. Make sure the heating and air conditioning units are operating correctly. Check any electronic equipment involved, such as home security and alarm systems, Ethernet systems, and all other electric or electronic equipment included in your home.
• Fire Place-You should hire an independent chimney expert to inspect the fireplaces and chimneys.
• Foundation- Inspect the foundation for cracks.
• Stairways – Check the sturdiness of the banister, and walk the stairs several times listening for squeaks, and feeling for potential sagging.
Open and close all the windows and doors. Check the locks to make sure they work. Inspect the sills for moisture and feel around the inside and outside of the frame for drafts.
Hopefully you had the opportunity to see the walls as they were constructed. If not you can see the thickness of interior walls by laying a ruler on the inside of the doorframe. Use a stud finder to check the spacing of studs if your home is a traditional frame home. Also pay attention to the molding, and look for gaps at the ceiling and floor. Make sure the paint and wallpaper are done to your satisfaction.
• Check the cabinet doors and hardware, to make sure they are what you ordered.
• Make sure that the cabinet drawers and doors open and close easily but do not tend to open on their own. The doors should close firmly and stay closed on their own.
• Check the cabinets and countertops for scratches and inspect the edges to make sure they are finished properly.
• Inspect the appliances for scratches and dints.
• Turn on the over burners, and then shut them off once you see they are working.
• Examine floor coverings and how they fit around the cabinets and walls. Floor coverings should go under the kick moldings.
Checking your home should have been an ongoing process, but even if not, this check should insure the quality of your home. Tell your home builder that this might take a while, and do not let him rush you. This new home final walk-through is essential and must be carried out with the greatest care.