11th Month Inspection

Owners of new houses and condominiums have rights for up to 10 years in many jurisdictions. The first year of a builder’s warranty period is particularly important as the builder has responsibility for a broader range of defects during the first 12 months after purchase.

After a new home has been lived in for nearly a year, there can be signs of system or component malfunction, unusual wear and settlement which often go unnoticed by the homeowner.


Some buyers do not believe they need a professional home inspection during the purchase of a new house or condominium because the home has been built to “code” and was inspected for building code compliance at various stages of construction. Many defects can, however, go undiscovered because building codes are minimum standards and building code compliance inspectors have time constraints which preclude 100% inspection of every home. Significant health and safety items too often go undiscovered. Additionally, jurisdictional inspectors are not concerned with workmanship as long as the systems and components meet minimum code requirements. Whether or not a professional home inspection was obtained at the time of purchase, having an 11th month warranty inspection is a wise decision.

After a new home has been lived in for nearly a year, there can be signs of system or component malfunction, unusual wear and settlement which often go unnoticed by the homeowner. Landscaping and other improvements can also have a negative impact on the home. A NACHI Certified inspector will look for health or safety defects and signs of defects such as settlement and moisture intrusion. The inspector will operate the heating, cooling and other systems and look for unusual characteristics or performance. A professional inspection can help you make a more informed, clearer request for repairs, often resulting in a more timely and positive response from the Builder.

A certified inspector can also help determine if the home is being used as intended. Often the inspector will make the home safer, prevent damage or otherwise prolong the service life of a system or component. Are the electrical safety components accessible? Is the furnace filter clean? Are the landscaping, irrigation and drainage systems designed and installed to prevent damage to the home? Are there any leaks in the plumbing systems? Have upgrades or items you purchased from the Builder or third party adversely impacted the home? Was the concrete flatwork placed too high against the building? Have alterations negatively affected rainwater management and drainage controls?

An 11th Month Warranty Inspection creates a "punch list", where items that need attention are called out. This punch list might then be discussed with the builder before the warranty period expires. In many cases, items might be discovered during a warranty inspection for which the builder is not responsible (for example, adjustment to a garage door opener installed by the homeowner), but it nevertheless presents a safety hazard that needs attention. Warranty inspections, unlike a real estate buyer’s inspection, might call out cosmetic deficiencies.

If your home is currently under a builder’s warranty that is about to expire, an 11th Month Warranty Inspection is money and time well spent.



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