Purchasing a new home is exciting, however, they are not always free of issues. During my days as a home inspector, I found items consistently during a warranty inspection. That’s why it is so important to ensure you are getting inspections by a third-party throughout the new construction process.

What is a Builder Warranty Inspection?

The 11-month warranty inspection is an inspection just before the builder’s warranty expires. In some cases, the warranty might extend until 2 years. This inspection is critical to finding defects in the home that might have happened during the home ownership process or were not found before.

Common Defect Findings Include:

  • Improper Roof Vent Installation
  • Missing Insulation
  • Leaking Plumbing
  • Loose Toilets
  • Missing Grout
  • Cracked/Damaged Shingles
  • Minor cracks in the stucco
  • Cabinet Damage
  • Appliance Damage
  • The list goes on…

There are times a warranty inspection might find water intrusion in several areas due to improperly installed flashing, yes I have had this happen several times.

Once a home inspector inspects the property, a homeowner can then turn their report over to the builder for repairs based on the home warranty.

Warranty Inspection Checklist

I have purposefully left some items out of this as they can be too difficult to explain/inspect without a professional.


  • Examine around all windows, doors, and other penetrations for proper paint/caulk. Ensure weep holes are open and not covered.
  • Ensure proper paint application and that a level of paint is adhered in all areas.
  • Check for window damage and proper installation.
  • Check for damaged soffits and make sure there are no gaps/cracks as this allows for pest intrusion.
  • Check plumbing fixtures and electrical equipment/outlets.
  • Inspect all stucco for cracking/damage.


  • Check the functionality of the garage and that it reverses when hit with resistance and if something is in front of the sensor.
  • Check for water staining, damaged walls/ceilings.
  • Check the water heater for proper installation and for leaks.
  • Check the Air Handler (if located here) for proper installation and leaks. A filter should be installed, the condensation line should be insulated, and there should be a float switch.


  • Inspect walls, windows, outlets, floors, and ceilings for damage and functionality. I work rooms left to right and hug the walls.
  • Inspect cabinets for damage and functionality.
  • Inspect appliances for damage and functionality.
  • Check light switches as you enter rooms.
  • Check fans.

Bathrooms & Kitchens

  • Check tub drainage.
  • Check hot water functionality at all fixtures.
  • Check underneath sinks for leaks.
  • Ensure toilets do not continuously run and are not loose to the ground. (The bolts at the bottom should be secure).
  • Check bathroom fans/vents.
  • Check tiles/grout for cracks/damage. Small cracks can let a lot of moisture in overtime.


  • Ensure all registers are blowing cold air when the A/C is on.
  • Ensure all registers are blowing hot air when the heat is turned on.
  • Check for damage at the A/C unit(s).


  • I would generally advise homeowners not pull panel covers off. Leave it to a professional.
  • Exercise all breakers.
  • Exercise all GFCI’s.
  • Exercise all AFCI’s.


  • Check for proper water pressure at all sinks/faucets.
  • Check for hot/cold water. Hot is left turn. Cold is right turn. Sometimes, these can be backwards.
  • Check for leaks at any visible plumbing areas.


Inspect the roof only if you are willing, able, and know how to safely walk in an attic.

  • Check for damaged trusses and any onsite alterations, such as, nailing/scissoring boards together.
  • Check for insulation in all areas.
  • Check for roof leaks.


Inspect the roof only if you are willing, able, and know how to safely walk a roofing system.

  • Check for loose/missing/damaged shingles.
  • Inspect vents/penetrations for proper installation and flashings.
  • Inspect visible flashing.
  • Inspect drip edge for damage.

Foundation & Drainage

In most cases, the foundation is not really visible and not a huge concern on new construction homes. However, we should remain vigilant in case we do see a crack of concern.

  • Ensure grading is sloped away from home.
  • Check for signs of flooding/ponding.
  • Ensure vegetation is 6 inches away from the home.
  • Mulch should not be in contact with the home. Leave a 4-6 inch gap with rocks or grass.
  • Check the driveway and walkways.


If you are thinking about purchasing a new construction home, it is important to do your research into new construction inspections!

If you need further assistance with your warranty inspection, or want to learn more, drop us an email or give us a call.  Ready to Schedule?