Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Phase Out the Problems

If you or anyone you know is building a house or planning to build a house, you need to read this article on "Phase Inspections".
Back in the day when a house was being built there was a general super on the job to monitor the construction. With residential construction becoming more competitive the expensive of having a super on every house is a thing of the past. Wile a phase inspection can not take the place of a stay-on -the-job super, it can eliminate problems before they are covered up from view.

Phase Inspections

When building a new home, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the progress, or the “phases” of the construction. This is done by monitoring the construction at certain major stages or “phases.” This type of inspection is important to monitor and maintain the quality control of the completed project.

Most quality home builders appreciate a second set of eyes to help with quality control. Most commercial builders have a project manager to assist with the building, but an extra set of eyes and a written report from an independent inspector can help the contractor assure a quality product.

Phase inspections are generally a series of three assessments. However, the more in-progress inspections will help prevent costly mistakes.

The following is an example of the basic three-phase inspection:

Inspection 1 - Foundation Inspection
This inspection usually occurs after the concrete footing or slab has been installed at the property, and should be done before the installation of the sub-floor. For those homes with crawl spaces or basements, the inspection is performed after the footings and foundation walls are installed and before or just after the floor joists are installed. This should precede the back fill. The inspector will be checking for thickness and reinforcement of foundation materials. The inspection will help ensure the depth and types of footing and soils that support them.

The inspection also provides the inspector the opportunity to check proper plumbing drainage and also check for proper protection of plumbing piping. The inspector also will check any system that passes through the concrete or foundation, such as electrical. Finally, the inspector will evaluate the foundation drainage for proper installation.

Inspection 2 - Rough-In Inspection (Pre-Drywall)
Rough-in inspections occur before drywall is installed, prior to the finished cladding of the house, the installation of siding, windows, roof and doors. This inspection allows the inspector to visually inspect framing, roof, floors, and supports. It also allows the inspector to check the plumbing and electrical components that would otherwise be concealed after the home construction is completed.

Inspection 3 - Final Inspection
The final inspection occurs once all utilities are turned on and in working condition. The first two inspections are more technical; this final assessment is more like the typical home inspection. This inspection is an over-all review of all of the components of your house. The inspector operates all household equipment, such as furnace, air-conditioner, dishwasher, any built-in appliances, all outlets, switches, windows, doors, and many other things. This inspection usually includes on-site consulting.

When considering a phase inspection, ask the home inspector:

ü The details of each phase inspection.
ü The cost.
ü The number of inspections included in the cost.
ü The cost of any additional inspections required.

Keep in mind that when you compare prices that you are comparing the details of the service.