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Home Inspections for New or Newly Renovated Houses

We are often asked if it makes sense to do a home inspection on a new or newly renovated house. The answer is YES!

New Homes:

Most house builders in Maine are highly skilled and conscientious- but mistakes or oversights can, and do, happen. There is a litany of reasons why these happen; any general contractor will tell you that they spend a large amount of their time inspecting then correcting their crew’s and sub-contractor’s work. Think of the home inspection as another layer of inspection, done in your best interest, for your safety and wellness. Whether it is a builder that you contracted with, or you are purchasing a spec house, it is not a knock on the builder to do a home inspection; in fact the reputable ones don’t mind having their work verified by an independent source.


Renovations are in a category all their own. A house that is renovated with the intent to sell usually looks very good on the surface but often has hidden issues. These could include anything from structural integrity problems, major system (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc) issues, water intrusion, lack of insulation, improperly vented bathroom fans, failing chimneys, etc. Attics, basements, garages and decks tend to be areas where major problems “hide”.

Many renovations are done by professional house builders, but most are done by the homeowner (often as DIY projects over the years of ownership, or sometimes just before listing the home to “spruce it up:) or by a professional real estate revenue generating company who purchased the home, intending to renovate it quickly then re-sell it for profit (House Flipping). Each of these scenarios represent a problem.

• The homeowner doing it himself, often with the “help” of a friend, family member, or hired handyman, is usually under-informed regarding the optimal building practices and codes. Usually in these cases, the people doing the work are well-intentioned, and don’t even realize the mistakes they are making.

• Because house flippers are trying to do the renovation for the lowest possible cost, they often cut corners. They usually spend most of their budget on the highly visible parts of the house such as the kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances, the flooring, and paint. They repair or update only the systems that they think will be necessary to sell the house. Because they too do not usually understand the safety and building codes, or hire “professionals” who disregard them, there are many potential areas of concern for the next owner. Imagine a used car dealer who washes and vacuums the car but doesn’t look under the hood before putting it out on his lot to sell it. This is not to say all flippers are unscrupulous, rather that they have their best interest (profit) in mind, not yours. Here is a good article from a well known home inspector: 139799593/

The bottom line is that a certified home inspector is trained to not only investigate that the shiny new work has been done properly, but also to dig deeper and investigate the bones and systems of the house- ensuring your family and investment is safe. Remember “We don’t get what we expect, we get

what we INSPECT”. We also suggest radon testing for all new construction and then every 5 years, testing the well water quality prior to closing, and testing for mold if there is a concern or suspicion.

We hope you choose Square One Home Inspections for all your inspection and testing needs.

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