The Value of a New Construction Final Walk-through

New construction home ready for final walk-through inspection

The Value of a New Construction Final Walk-through

When investing in a custom home, the last thing a homeowner wants is to move in and discover the job wasn’t completed to satisfaction. Since most homeowners may not remember or know to look for all the details, it’s quite useful to have a trained professional accompany them for a final walkthrough. Here are the items that the inspector and the homeowner should be looking out for.


Some issues leap out at a glance. A brand-new home shouldn’t look like someone else used it before. Knicks and dings on walls and floors can and should be tended to with spot repairs. These are called “blue tape” items because the contractor usually hands the homeowner a roll of blue tape to walk the home and identify these fixes. Paying particular attention to doorways, halls and edges will usually reveal these issues.


Some dings and scratches will be found in places where the fix is a little more complicated. Appliances, furnace covers, and other installed items may get damaged at some point, but the homeowner shouldn’t have to look at unsightly marks in things they paid full price to receive brand new. One area to look at with an eagle eye is the cabinetry. Are the doors aligned properly? Are there any cracks or scratches? These should be in pristine condition at the time of move in, and the contractor should be told to make it happen.


Construction is messy work, and often the exterior of a home will get a little banged up in the process. For example, concrete splatter from putting in sidewalks can land on brickwork, doors or siding, and this unsightly mess needs to be cleaned up. Like the interior, there are blue tape and installed items that might be scratched or dinged. Siding and trim may need repairs or replacement depending on the level of damage.


Sometimes the damage may appear minor, but it impacts the safety and the integrity of the home structure. For example, a truss in the attic might be damaged in the construction, and a quickie repair is done instead of getting a structural engineer in to make sure the proposed repair is sound. Another indicator of a problem are doors and windows that don’t work properly because of alignment issues.


In the course of construction, particularly when the home is one of many in a larger development, supply chain logistics, changes in specifications or other factors may mean that the appliances haven’t arrived in time for the final walk-through. This may mean a gaping hole where the appliance is supposed to be, or the builder may put in a “placeholder” while waiting for the item to arrive (or might even plan to leave the wrong item in place, hoping that the homeowner doesn’t notice). This applies to items like light fixtures or other custom details that might not be part of a standard package, and the builder missed the change. It’s important for the homeowner to approach this final inspection with the same level of detail as they did in selecting the items in the first place.


While it may feel like many of these details pile up, and the list is quite long, a lot can be accomplished between the final walkthrough and closing. Some of the items are works in progress that the builder plans to finish and identifying them helps make a more complete punch list. Other issues may not have been noticed by the builder, and it’s really important to make sure that there is a plan in place to get the work done so that the move-in to a sparkling new home isn’t marred by imperfections.

At Biller & Associates, we apply our years of experience and attention to detail to help homeowners make sure their custom build is everything they dreamed of. We do pre-drywall and final walk-throughs with homeowners to make sure the punch list is complete. Contact us today for your inspection needs.