Inspecting the Construction

Get it inspected before you release any funds
It is highly recommended that you hire your own inspector to review the work completed as based on your home construction specs. The inspector will check for completeness and quality of work.


Page Topics:

  1. about project inspections
  2. about construction inspections
  3. finding - working with your inspector
  4. get this inspection booklet

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About Project Inspections

Project Inspections

Depending on your jurisdiction and the financing terms arranged with your lender, there may two mandatory inspection teams that will visit your site during the course of the construction project.

This is generally required for very large remodeling projects such as expanding the house our re-doing the entire inside.


County and Local Inspectors

  • all major construction will need to pass certain building codes.
  • county officials will send inspectors to review the work and certify the work.
  • county inspectors work in your favor ensuring that the work is done properly — so ask questions if needed
  • if the work fails inspection, the work will need to be corrected and a follow up inspection will take place usually at an additional re-inspection fee
  • inspections will usually occur at the end of a construction phase — example, after complete wiring
  • find out with the county or your builder when these inspections will take place — you will want to be present
  • sub-contractors will generally arrange their own inspections — find out when
  • note that county inspections DO NOT check for quality — they only inspect to see if the work meets building codes

    Information about building codes:
    building codes:

    Lookup county and city governments for building code information:


Financial Institution Inspections

  • your lender will generally make inspections at end of each construction phase to see if the money is being used as intended, for the projects that were scheduled, and at the amount that was approved in the construction plan
  • bank inspectors are not construction inspectors — they come to view the completion of work, take some pictures, and confirm that the funds were properly used
  • bank inspectors DO NOT check for quality or whether the project has been done right

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About Construction Inspections

Having your remodeling construction thoroughly inspected by an independent inspector prior to making any payments

The sub-contractor is under contract to deliver the framing, plumbing, heating, electrical, etc. as specified in the construction contract.

The question for you is whether the work has been done properly. You may never know until after you paid the contractor.


Understand this rule: he that holds the money dictates the terms.

Never pay a contractor until you have inspected the work to contract specifications. Once that money leaves your hand, you have lessen your negotiating power with the sub-contractor.

the sub-contractor is required to deliver a product as specified in the construction contract. Just because you don't like the "color" for example, gives you the right to withhold payment.

It is important that you discuss the project plan with the sub-contractor prior to services delivered. Avoid any misunderstandings or surprises.


In some jurisdictions, county inspectors may check the sub-contractor work as it relates to building codes, not the quality of work.

You will need to hire an independent inspector to review the quality of work. These inspectors will check the quality of the work and determine whether the work has been completed as specified and agreed to in the construction plan and contract.

Any work that fails inspection must be written up by the inspector. The inspector must state reasons for failure as it relates to the construction plan and contract.

This inspection report can be used to negotiate re-work prior to payment.

For more information on construction inspection:

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Finding and Working with an Inspector

We have partnered with ServiceMagic
to bring you the nation's premier network of "customer-rated" home inspectors.


Other Places to Look:

Ask your builder, county officials, real estate agent, attorney or lender to recommend a good construction inspector.

Look for inspectors who are members of professional affiliations such as the Association of Construction Inspectors.

The ACI sets the standards for construction inspections and requires its members to abide by a code of ethics and standards.

Associations of Construction Inspectors:


Most inspecting companies will have Specification Inspectors, individuals who are specialized in a particular phase of the inspection.

It is unlikely that you will work with the same inspector throughout all phases of the construction project.

The cost for the inspection will vary by region and the size of the construction. You should accompany the inspector to ask questions and describe the work as it relates to the construction plan.

Provide the inspector (or inspection company) a copy of the project specification plan. Discuss with them your vision of the remodeling project.


The Inspection will assess the quality and condition of the following construction phase

(as defined in your project specification plan):

The Roof, Attic and Related Features: The Plumbing System:
roofing type and materials, flashing and joint material, insulation, gutters and down spouts, ventilation, skylights, vents, turbines or fans, chimney, any leakage. supply lines and pipes, water pressure and drainage flow, fixtures and faucets, hot water heater, tubs, sinks, toilets, showers, whirlpool, laundry appliances, waste disposal.
HVAC/Fireplace: The Electrical System:
heating type and condition, furnace, heat pump, duck work, registers and grills, fireplace flues. exterior service and meters, fuse and breaker panels, capacity, grounding, wiring, switches and outlets, electrical fixtures, any potential hazards.
Air Conditioning: Kitchen Appliances:
equipment type, ductwork, filters. dishwasher, range burners, oven elements, grills, vents, microwave, garbage disposal, trash compactor.
Foundation and Exterior Structures:
foundation type and construction, settlement, water penetration, exterior walls, potential termite or rot damage, windows, doors, porches, garage, decks, swimming pools and pumps. dunstable soil, drainage, fences, grading, retaining walls, payments and driveways.
Download the Consumer Housing Inspection report from Freddie Mac as a guide: click here
Other Important Inspection Tests: Completing a Final Walk Through:

Other tests required by law or your vendor may include environmental and termite inspections.

You should test the home for radon, lead paints, and asbestos if you believe these tests may be necessary, particularly in older homes.

The home must also be free from active termite or other wood destroying insects. The seller agrees to furnish a letter or report from a reliable licensed termite control operator stating that the home is termite free.

Termite Control Information:

Find pest control contractors:

Search Yellow Pages for:

  • run the appliances to see if they operate properly.
  • run the air conditioning and test for broken window seals.
  • investigate any bad floor spots.
  • check the walls for damage.
  • check the wall's and ceiling's paint/wall paper.
  • inspect the attic for structural damage.
  • eye under the outside eaves for structural damage.
  • investigate potential drainage problems.
  • check the driveway and sidewalk for damage.
  • check for paint peelings.
  • review the exterior for animal damage

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