New Home Construction Inspections in Calgary
If you’re building a new home in Calgary there’s value in using a New Home Construction inspection service. This puts an extra set of eyes on your developing home that are impartial. Extra eyes that help ensure accountability of the contractors and builders involved in the project. While every home inspector should provide neutrality on an inspection not all inspectors are equipped to provide services on new construction projects. Inspectors primarily conduct real estate transaction and home maintenance based inspections. They’re typically reporting on observations in finished homes that have had time to age. Time inevitably reveals defects that inspectors are equipped to identify. This is what they’re formally trained for. However, if you’re interested in new home construction inspections in Calgary seek out home inspectors who have more insight to offer.
NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION INSPECTORS
- While some inspectors may come into the industry with no construction experience it’s not uncommon for most inspectors to have varying degrees of experience in a specialized trade. This makes them very effective at inspecting defects within their discipline. Framers, electricians, mechanical, and plumbing contractors being some of the major players. However, what are a tradesperson’s biggest complaints on any job site? Often other trades. That’s because while they may have a strong understanding of their scope they don’t always understand how all these trades tie together. This creates the potential for conflict in high traffic areas where work from multiple trades overlaps. You want an inspector who has experience working within a larger project scope. One who’s familiar with the entire project’s life cycle and less focused on one specific area.
Where can you find that experience? One option is Inspectors who have previously worked as General Contractors, or as Builders. However, ensure they have overseen entire builds. Another, is to find an Inspector such as myself with experience in an Architectural practice. On major building projects the Architectural Designers are the primary consultants used by a developer. Large scale projects requiring this consultant to be a registered Architect. Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) Engineers, tradespeople and more all act as sub-consultants to the Architectural practice. Meaning that while each consultant has their own scope they all work under the umbrella of Architecture.
The Architectural practice takes responsibility for collecting, reviewing, and coordinating all consultant information. Once collected that documentation is used to produce complete construction drawing packages. Therefore, a background in this environment, gives an Inspector a vast array of tools to draw from when performing your New Home Construction Inspections in Calgary. Especially if their experience was focused on residential development.
City of Calgary Building Inspectors Role In New Home Construction
- Building inspectors play a role in enforcing building codes and local bylaw regulations for the City of Calgary. They serve as guardians of public safety. Their work helps prevent potential hazards and ensures that structures are built to withstand various environmental conditions. Building inspectors collaborate with other city officials and departments to coordinate efforts related to building projects. They may work with planning departments, fire departments, and zoning boards. By doing so they ensure overall compliance with regulations and address any specific requirements or concerns. The actual building inspection process occurs over various stages. This includes: pre-construction, foundation, framing, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and final inspection prior to you taking occupancy.
While all of this plays a critical role in building a new home it’s important to note that none of the people involved are ever working with you directly. Furthermore, covering all of these requirements falls on a large number of different people. Even the inspectors that the city uses on a single build can vary from stage to stage. You won’t encounter one inspector who is seeing development through from start to finish. Serving you, and being involved with your home from top to bottom is a gap in the construction process that Your Calgary Home Inspectors can fill.
Licensed Professionals Role in New Home Construction
- Licensed Professionals can also be involved in the building process. These include Architects and Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Geotechnical Engineers. All of which are required in Calgary for residential developments that exceed 5 units in a building. On the contrary, this means if your new build is not a project that meets this scale you may not have any of these disciplines involved. This means every new single family home. Even in cases where these professional services are used for these smaller developments these licensed professionals aren’t required to review the field construction. Responsibility for the build rests with the developer, the selected project trades, and the city’s building inspectors.
Where licensed professionals are involved their responsibility is only for their own scope within a project. Any issues and site related reviews of construction are associated with a respective representative of each discipline. Structural Engineers are concerned with the structure, Mechanical engineers with the Mechanical systems, and so on. Their onus lies only with their own liabilities within the project. Their review only encompasses the conditions of the building as a whole, and they don’t observe every intricate detail. Instead they address their observations of the building from the purview of general oversight.
With this, much of the responsibility gets deflected back onto builders and contractors by having the professionals specify that they are responsible for following and conducting construction in accordance with the approved drawings. Again, there’s a lack of attention to detail, and care that is focused on you and your individual home. When you hire a home inspector for supplementary inspection services you are hiring someone who’s experienced in the construction realm who’s there to look out for you and your property.
New Multi-Family Home Construction
- When a new home is part of a multi-family home development, such as a townhome, that comes with additional considerations. You now have a neighbours home attached to yours, and those properties will affect each other. Fire separations are required from the top of foundation through to the underside of the roof sheathing to protect each unit from one another. During construction the drywall layer of this separation can become damaged. It is also frequently penetrated by building systems which require additional fire protection. There’s also concerns related to sound transmission between units. Has the builder mitigated the available paths for sound travel from one unit to the next? Proper drainage from the roof down to grade should be designed to prevent each unit from negatively impact the others.
As with a single family home many of the added inspection criteria are easier to observe without drywall in the way. That is, provided your inspector has an understanding of these concepts. If you’re building a new home I would always recommend a pre-board and pre-possession inspection at minimum.
New Home Pre-Board (Drywall) Inspections
- With the advancements in Infrared Technology home inspectors have gained the tools to help them better understand what’s happening behind the walls of a home. However, this doesn’t compare to what a home inspector can see when the drywall is removed, or not yet installed. This opportunity rarely presents itself after a home has been built. Which is the biggest reason it’s worth using a home inspector during the construction process of a new build. It’s likely this is your one and only opportunity for an impartial Inspector to conduct an untethered review of the framing, structure and underlying systems.
If they’re in place mechanical, electrical, and plumbing runs can be observed and reviewed for issues or clashes. Window installations can be inspected from the inside-out. Question such as; is there insulation around the windows, a sloped sill, sill pan assembly, positive lapping of building paper, and is their vapour barrier tied ins to the structure can all be answered. Your inspector will also be able to see the insulation used in the home, identify the types, ensure it’s actually in place and well-fitted. It’s unfortunately common for insulation to be missing – sometimes across the entire attic space.
With a standard home inspection a big ticket item like HVAC or Electrical can be primary concerns, whereas we know in new home construction brand new equipment is being installed. This means the primary focus needs to shift towards the construction of the building.
Closing Inspections and Pre-Possession Home Inspections
- For new home construction the advantage of having a pre-closing inspection is that the builder is still responsible for addressing any shortcomings. Prior to taking possession it’s recommended that a second home inspection is performed. This time the home can be inspected from the drywall in, from cladding out, and top to bottom. An inspector assesses the complete condition of the home as they do on a standard home inspection. At this stage you’ll be able to use your home inspection report to work with your developer to create a punch list of items to be addressed. This way you’re confident and comfortable taking possession of your new property. A new construction home inspection in Calgary ensures that your home looks, feels, and functions as a brand new home.
New Home Warranty Inspections
- Part of the new design to build process includes a new home warranty. This is generally for the period of 1 year after you’ve taken possession. As inspectors, we recommend scheduling a follow-up home inspection at the 11 month mark. This is to provide you time to take our reports to the builder. Which leaves them time to schedule any noted work prior to your one year term lapsing. A warranty inspection is a full standard inspection all over again. Here we want to understand how the building has been performing over the past year, and how the construction is holding up. If materials, finishes, or building system components haven’t withstood their first year you’ll want to have them replaced promptly. If your Calgary Home Inspector has been with you from the first inspection through to this one it also provides a chance to reconnect where you can ask any lingering questions about operating and maintaining the home now that you’ve settled in.
My Experience with New Home Construction in Calgary
- Working as an Archi. Tech., I have over 10+ years of experience working on new home residential construction projects. I’ve been heavily involved in site planning, development, reviewing and implementing building code and local bylaws, home design, coordination and oversight of engineering consultants, and creation of Architectural construction drawings. Most importantly, I’ve been involved in the on-site construction for 1000’s of homes. A primary responsibility of mine was always to be on-site to review how construction was progressing. Ensuring it was in conformance with our construction documents and specifications.
Now of course, on-site construction doesn’t always perfectly follow the intended designs. At times because details aren’t being followed, or product shortages lead to alternative solutions. Other disputes occurred because the original design truly didn’t work in the field. However, being on site with the builders, and the tradespeople allowed me to work closely with them. By understanding their needs I understood how to bridge the shortcomings between design and field construction. It was critical for me to focus on the unique requirements of each trade. This lead to improved designs that were effectively executed in the field. It’s because of these experiences that I consider myself an Inspector equipped to specialize in offering New Home Construction Inspections in Calgary. It’s why you can also find me listed on OverSeeIt as a Project Oversight Inspector.
Why Should you choose a Specialized New Home Construction Inspection in Calgary?
Utilizing a New Home Construction inspection service in Calgary is a valuable step to ensure the accountability of contractors and builders involved in your new home project. While traditional home inspectors primarily focus on finished homes, inspectors with experience in the construction industry and a comprehensive understanding of the entire project’s life cycle can offer more insight and guidance during the construction process. Unlike city building inspectors and licensed professionals who have specific scopes of responsibility, a dedicated home inspector works directly for you. They are focusing on the details and ensuring that your individual needs are met.
From pre-board inspections to pre-possession and warranty inspections, their expertise can uncover any shortcomings. This provides you with the necessary information to address defects before fully taking on ownership responsibilities of your home. With years of experience in architectural practices and overseeing construction projects, specialized inspectors like myself can provide a unique perspective and expertise in conducting thorough and unbiased New Home Construction Inspections in Calgary. By choosing an experienced home inspector, you can have confidence that your new property will meet your expectations in terms of quality, functionality, and safety.