15 things to look for during a pre-delivery inspection

Avoid unpleasant surprises with your home by opting for a pre-delivery inspection. Here are some things to look out for.

15 things to look for during a pre-delivery inspection

What is a pre-delivery inspection?

A pre-delivery inspection (PDI) is the first opportunity new homeowners will get to view their newly constructed home. With a resale home, an inspection is conducted prior to agreeing to the home purchase. But with new constructions, the new home homeowners will have already made the purchase before the home is built. Before taking possession of the house, the builder is required to conduct a PDI. The builder typically takes the new homeowner through a comprehensive inspection where a demonstration of how to use the home’s systems is also performed.

The onus is on the homeowner to take note and identify incomplete, missing, damaged, or non-operational items before the builder hands over possession. Keep in mind the importance of verifying these conditions prior to taking the keys. If they're caught early, the builder can correct these problems before you move in. It can be very difficult to demand fixes from the contractor if the issues were not noted beforehand.

These can turn out to be very costly surprises paid out of your own pocket. For these reasons, using an independent home inspector to assist with the PDI is important for new home buyers. If you decide to do so, note that a written notice to designate your home inspector for the PDI is required by the builder.

Things to Look for during a PDI:

The builder will begin the inspection inside the home and proceed from room to room. Have a checklist prepared prior to your PDI so you have a point of reference.

  1. When examining ceilings, walls, doors and windows you should check for obvious defects such as gouges, cracks and dents on finished surfaces.
  2. Doors should be well-fitted.
  3. Locks should be well installed and not rattle when the door is closed.
  4. Drywall should have no noticeable seams or evidence of nail pops.
  5. Walk along floors and ensure there are no excessive squeaks or springs.
  6. Subfloor joints should not show ridges around tiles.
  7. Flush toilets and turn on water taps to check water pressure and temperature.
  8. Check the caulking and grouting around tiles and tubs for gaps and cracks.
  9. Check tubs and sinks for any scratches in the finishes.
  10. If appliances are part of your purchase package, make sure the builder gives you the instruction booklets and individual warranty packages for them.
  11. Locate the switches for ventilation and circulation fans normally found near the thermostat.
  12. Ensure the fans in the bathrooms and kitchen are operating properly.
  13. Ask your builder to show you where they vent on the exterior of the house.
  14. Outside, check the brickwork and masonry are free of cracks, and the doors and windows are properly caulked.
  15. Open and close the garage door to make sure it does not stick.
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