For any of you who are building a home or in the middle of a remodel here’s a list of things to consider before giving your official “okay” and signing off. Don’t let the beauty and excitement of the final finished project overshadow the need to check the details. It’s much easier to get things fixed or corrected prior to anyone getting the last payment.
Drywall – this is a big one and often the worst hit during construction. Drywall is usually one of the first “finishing” items to be installed so all of the other subs come after to do their work. That means there is quite a bit of potential for someone to ding it up. Check drywall carefully; pay special attention to corners that are easily knicked. Also take special care to check anything that is cut out of the drywall – outlets, switches, recessed cans. All of these can be over-cut but don’t stand out if you don’t know to look for it.
Paint – just like the drywall, paint is often chipped during construction. It will also sometimes be applied in areas where drywall has been touched up. When paint is re-applied to walls, often times “flashing” occurs. Flashing is basically a sheen change difference that makes the wall look patchy. Look at walls from different angles and you can often see where a touch up has taken place. You’ll often notice it more when light hits the wall at different times of the day. Be sure to also check for paint “bleeding” from one surface to another i.e. from trim to wall or wall to ceiling.
Doors & windows – Check all doors and to make sure they function correctly and close well. Try locking and unlocking both to ensure everything is operating as it should.
Cabinetry – similar to doors and windows, you’ll want to make sure all cabinetry doors and drawers close and function correctly. You might be super excited to see that great kitchen backsplash you picked out but you won’t be happy when you move in if drawers aren’t closing correctly. Also look closely at cabinetry and make sure additional touch up to the finish isn’t needed. You may find small knicks or scratches that need to be addressed.
Plumbing & light fixtures – Check that these all work. Also check to make sure they are installed straight. Often times a sconce or faucet might be slightly askew.
3rd party Inspectors – Joe also recommends buyers consider using a third party inspection throughout the entire process. Joe’s inspector offers a foundation inspection, pre-drywall inspection (the most important!) and a finish stage inspection. They are a great resource for checking things that the typical buyer wouldn’t know what or how to check. Joe uses Jason VanGotten with Van Gogh Inspections. Here is the Vango Inspections website or you can reach them at (720) 360-6520.
In general, don’t be afraid to question anything you see that seems unusual. Best of luck with your walk through, hopefully this helps you feel more prepared!