What Should I Look for During my Homeowners Walkthrough?

New construction homeowners, in compliance with New Home Warranty, are always offered a home walkthrough – which should occur before their completion date.

A homeowner walkthrough is meant for soon-to-be owners of pre-sale construction. The walkthrough usually occurs near completion, roughly one month ahead, and is intended to ensure that the property is in perfect condition, and in working order while also providing a brief demonstration of the workings of your new home.

Usually in attendance at a walkthrough is a representative of the developer (who may guide the walkthrough), the home buyer(s), and guests of the home buyer(s). The developer will stipulate how many attendees are permitted in addition to the home buyer(s). Some homeowners seek comfort in hiring a home inspector and having them attend the walkthrough too - this might cost somewhere between $300 - $500 – depending on the size of the home.

During the walkthrough anything noted as ‘needing repair’ or ‘correction’ is commonly referred to as a deficiency. It is optimal that the Developer rectifies deficiencies ahead of completion, but occasionally listed deficiencies will be corrected following move-in.

Homeowner walkthroughs require a sharp eye for construction detail. Items that can be pointed out include marks on the baseboards, nicks on window mullions, missing paint, inconsistent caulking or grout, lights that do not work, or appliances that are not functioning properly. For those who have not purchased a home before, hiring a home inspector may be a good idea as they have an understanding of common deficiencies and a timeline for the fix(es).

There is no cause for alarm if your new home has deficiencies – it is common and even expected.

When attending a walkthrough, move slowly through the space, using the list below for specific areas to pay attention to.

Dirt & Dust
Construction sites are very dusty, as such, your new home may be dusty during your walkthrough. Try not to get caught up in the dust as your home will likely be cleaned multiple times before move-in. Some dirt and dust is common when conducting a walkthrough.

A representative of the developer should conduct the walkthrough which should include ensuring that all electrical outlets are functioning. It can be beneficial to take note of which outlets are ‘switched’ – meaning if you plug a light into an outlet, it will turn on and off by way of the switch. Identifying these outlets will prevent you from thinking the outlet is not working upon move-in.

Ovens & Water
It is good practice to ensure that water flows from all water sources – kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, shower/bathtub, and any exterior hose connections. Also, turning the oven and cooktop on to ensure it heats is a good idea as well.

Pay careful attention to the walls including baseboards and trim. It is common for minor damage to occur while flooring and appliances are being installed. Painter’s tape is commonly used to ‘flag’ areas requiring touch-up or correction.

When looking at flooring, carefully view all flooring types. For laminate and engineered hardwood pay attention to any substantial dips in the flooring as this can result in damage later – this type of flooring should be as close to level as possible. Check for snags in carpeted areas as well as the point at which carpet meets a transition strip. Tiled areas should be flush with grout lines evenly spaced.

While conducting a walk through it is essential to test the washer, dryer, and dishwasher. Not only should you be interested to see that the appliances work, but you might want to pay attention to how you turn them on in the first place. Of course, you will receive appliance manuals upon move-in, but it is advantageous to watch the process first. Using the list above can help you conduct a thorough walkthrough and ensure your home is in perfectly new condition upon move-in. 

Looking for a home inspector, mortgage advisor, lawyer or contractors? Our rennie advisors can help refer you to a group of trusted professionals or help you find the home best suited to your needs.

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