Buying a newly constructed home can be the most reassuring real estate investment. After all, there’s no worry about structural, electrical, or any other potential problems.
You move into a brand new home in what is likely a new neighborhood and enjoy your sweet abode carefree. At least, this is what real estate companies promise you at the time of purchase.
But is your home really so perfect and spotless?
Industry figures suggest that you might spot certain issues during the first year of construction itself.
And this is exactly where an 11 month home inspection comes in handy. Also called a home warranty inspection, it provides critical insights into your property’s condition before the builder’s warranty coverage is over.
So what’s more to an 11 month inspection, and more importantly, why is it so essential for new homeowners?
Well, read on, as I’ve compiled everything that you need to know about builder warranties and home inspections.
What is an 11 month home inspection?
An 11 month home inspection is a complete home inspection conducted by a licensed inspector, who also delivers an inspection report at the end of the assessment.
This is not different from a typical home inspection that you get before closing a real estate purchase deal or during regular intervals. Meaning you can expect the exact same inspection procedure where an inspector visually assesses the condition of your home and brings potential problems to your notice.
However, as the name suggests, the only difference here is the inspection timeline. That’s because an 11 month inspection is usually conducted after your new home enters its eleventh month.
What is the purpose of an 11 month inspection?
Before we talk about the importance of an 11 month property inspection, it’s essential that you understand what purpose it serves exactly.
You see, a newly constructed home can take up to a year to settle. And it is only after a year of seasonal changes, including the wet months, winters, etc., that you can know well the home stands these events.
Also, it is possible for the property to develop some problems during this time. For instance, water seepage into the basement, soil erosion around the foundation, etc., are some common rain-induced problems that new homes face.
Now, most builders cover these initial damages by offering a 12 month home builder’s warranty. This includes everything from foundation to roofing to electrical systems and more.
But the only way you can avail this warranty is by knowing precisely where the problems are. And that’s when an 11 month or end of warranty home inspection becomes crucial, providing you with a clear understanding of problems that might have emerged.
In fact, this is why this inspection is also called an 11 month warranty inspection.
Why is a home warranty inspection so important?
Now that we’ve seen what 11 month inspections are and what purpose they serve, let’s turn to the million-dollar question, i.e., the importance of these inspections.
To put it straight, a warranty inspection safeguards your big-ticket investment in a new home and ensures you don’t end up footing the bills for expensive repairs.
Well, as we discussed earlier, a newly constructed home can develop problems more likely than not. And they most commonly show up in the form of leaky basements, gaps and cracks in the decking, minor leaks around windows, etc.
However, you may not be able to spot these issues until they’ve become huge enough, which isn’t usually the case during the first year. For instance, you’ll likely notice a small leakage around windows only when the surrounding area starts to rot or develop mold.
Also, by the time you detect the problems, the builder’s liability in the form of warranty coverage might already be over. Meaning you’re going to pay for the repairs entirely at your own expense.
How does an end of warranty home inspection make a difference?
An 11 month home inspection detects the emerging problems right at the start and well in time. That’s because while it’s hard to naturally spot minor or hidden problems, home inspectors are trained to detect them.
Also, the fact that one such inspection is conducted in the eleventh month of home construction/possession means two things:
- First, the newly built property has been through multiple weather conditions, and the problems have become visually detectable.
- Second, your home is still under warranty coverage by the builder, who shall pay for all the repairs.
The result: You need not pay for the necessary maintenance out of your pocket.
What does an 11 month warranty inspection checklist cover?
Like we saw earlier, 11 month warranty inspections aren’t different from a typical home inspection.
So, the areas covered during one such inspection are different either and include thorough assessment of your home’s crucial systems from the inside out.
In all, an 11 month inspection covers the following areas of a home as per InterNACHI’s standards:
- Interior and exterior walls
- Doors and windows
- Roofing and attic
- Basement and crawlspace
- Electrical systems
- Chimney and fireplace
Curious about the ins and outs of a home inspection?
You can go through our blog – Third Party Inspection For New Home: A Complete Guide.
What are the common issues found during a home warranty inspection?
It is commonplace for home inspectors to spot problems during an end of warranty home inspection. For instance, while inspecting new homes, I usually come across structural, foundational, roofing, and plumbing issues, to name a few.
And although these problems are mostly minor, there’s a good chance they’ll become a huge concern if not spotted and fixed on time.
Here are some common problems that I encounter during 11 month warranty inspections:
#1. Structural and foundational
Among the issues flagged frequently during 11 month inspections are structural and foundational damages. From cracks in the walls or ceilings to uneven or squeaky flooring to drywall nail pops, these are all signs of structural problems.
The roofing should be in perfect condition after 11 months of installation. After all, modern-day roof shingles are designed to last for an average of 50 years.
However, I’ve often noticed roofing issues in new homes in the form of damaged or missing shingles, flashing damage, water leakages, etc.
Now, these are all signs of poor workmanship and the builder is responsible for fixing them, at least during the warranty period.
#3. Doors and windows
Your doors and windows should be properly sealed when closed to prevent moisture intrusion, energy loss, and gradual damage. But that’s not the case with a lot of new homes where I’ve detected problems such as gaps, alignment issues, leaks, wear and tear, among others.
#4. Plumbing and electrical systems
Common plumbing issues detected during an 11 month inspection mostly include leaky pipes and clogged drainage systems. Similarly, exposed wirings, faulty outlets, etc., are some of the electrical systems I often spot.
These are all covered by the builder warranty, which means you don’t need to bear the maintenance expenses.
How much does an 11 month warranty inspection cost?
When it comes to the overall cost of an 11 month home inspection, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. That’s because the actual cost is determined by a lot of factors, including your home’s size and location, the inspection firm or inspector you hire, etc.
However, as per HomeGuide, you can expect to pay between $250 and $350, on average, for an 11 month inspection.
Wondering how much exactly you’ll pay for an inspection in Florida?
You can go through our blog – How Much Is A Home Inspection In Florida?
11 month home inspection: Pro tips
An 11 month inspection is indeed the best way to avail builder warranty and safeguard your interests as a new home buyer. Moreover, this is the only way you can hold the builder liable for all things construction quality.
But how exactly can you do so?
Well, here are some of my pro tips to get a complete 1 year home inspection and avail the warranty converge:
#1. Know that the warranty covers
Before you even start with the home inspection and warranty claims process, it is essential to know the exact extent of builder warranty coverage.
You see, while the builder warranty covers everything that has to do with construction, some areas are out of their liability.
In all, you can expect your builder to cover the following areas:
- Basement seepage and leakage
- Electrical systems
- HVAC systems
- Carpentry wood
- Waterproofing and insulation
- Exterior and interior paint
#2. Know what the warranty doesn’t cover
Even though the builder is liable for maintenance during the warranty cover, they do have the right to deny coverage under certain circumstances, including:
Problems that may arise due to homeowners’ neglect
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to undertake basic maintenance such as pest removal, trimming plants around the property, clearing gutters, etc.
So, if defects or issues arise out of neglect on your end, the builders can’t be held responsible.
Problems caused by natural events
Any damage caused by extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, etc., is not covered by the one-year builder warranty.
Electrical and other appliances
While builder warranty doesn’t cover household appliances, they do come with a manufacturer warranty, which lasts anywhere between a year and ten years.
Some construction materials
Some building materials are expected to undergo general wear and tear over time. In fact, there are industry standards about the extent of wear that’s normal and you can expect.
As such, these materials are not covered by the builder warranty.
#3. Get an inspection before the warranty expires
It is essential that you keep track of the warranty timeline and get a complete home inspection before its expiry.
While conducting 11 month warranty inspections, I’ve sometimes noticed that the home has already completed a year of construction. This effectively means that the warranty coverage is over, and all the essential repairs will be paid for by the owner.
You certainly don’t want to experience that, right?
To sum up
As you can see, an 11 month home inspection is the one-stop solution to avail builder warranty and keep your new home in top shape. Not to mention, it’s the only way you can avoid paying for costly repairs out of your own pocket.
So, it isn’t surprising why hundreds of thousands of homeowners go for a home warranty inspection every year.
Looking for an 11 month warranty inspection for your property?
You can get in touch with us!
At Homestead Property Inspections, we’re a team of licensed and seasoned inspection professionals with special expertise in warranty inspections. And we’ve got all your home inspection requirements covered on a budget.