Did You Know?

New Home construction projects started before September, 2008 outside of municipal areas are not required to be inspected for building code compliance? That's right, NO CODE COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS.

The situation for projects started after September, 2008 isn't much better: Homes must now be inspected for code compliance, but the builder gets to hire the inspector of their choice, the inspectors don't need to be code certified and there is not defined standard of practice. The inspector simply issues a certificate saying the house meets requirements - that's it!

It's a great opportunity for drive-by inspectors, because they are cheap and the builder doesn't have to be bothered by them actually finding compliance issues.


(936) 522-8633
šEmail Us

Construction Phase Inspections

Protect your investment in your new home by having your own inspections performed at key phases of the construction process, before problem areas are hidden behind finish materials.

We can help identify defects in the construction of your new home while it is still possible to have them corrected and before they get covered up with our construction phase inspection service. All houses have defects and if they are not identified and corrected during the construction process, many of them will be covered by sheetrock and other materials in the later stages of construction and will be concealed from view during the final inspection process.

Interestingly, Texas has never had a licensing requirement for home builders. There is no minimum standard of knowledge or experience required. Anyone can become a homebuilder, with no qualification. More and more the homebuilding process is being managed by people who have no foundational knowledge in construction or building standards.  Your typical construction superintendant for the big name builders acts more as a project coordinator, simply calling in the various subcontractors as the project plan dictates. They spend surprisingly little time on quality control, inspection and performance management of the people who are actually building the home. This leaves many of the individual laborers to be essentially self-managed, which can lead to all sorts of quality control issues.

Some builders do have their own independent quality control inspectors. However these folks work for the builder and do the level and type of inspection that the builder specifies. These inspections are generally narrow in scope and are checklist driven. They are no substitute for the consumer having an independent inspector, of their choosing, perform a detailed inspection of the home at key points in the construction process. I have never seen a builder's checklist inspector spend more than a fraction of the time that a good independent inspector, working on the client's behalf does on an inspection. Nor is the builder's inspector advocating on behalf of the buyer remember: his client is the builder.

Foundation Pre-Pour

Foundation form ready for inspection

The foundation pre-pour inspection is done just prior to the pouring of the foundation which is the last opportunity to inspect beam and foundation depth, reinforcement, vapor barrier, plumbing penetrations, etc. before they are all buried in concrete.

Frame / Pre-Cover

Frame Inspection
Ready for pre-cover inspection

The frame, also know as pre-cover inspection should be performed after all windows, plumbing rough-in, electrical rough-in, HVAC duct systems, etc. have been installed, but before insulation and interior wall finishes have been applied. This inspection will focus primarily on structural components, plumbing and electrical rough-ins which will not be visible or accessible after the insulation and sheetrock is installed.

The completed mechanical system rough-ins are important for a complete frame / pre-cover inspection, because mechanical contractors are known to remove roof braces, cut through supports and beams, etc. They frequently alter the structural components by drilling, notching and cutting framing members to make room for their system components. Often times these contractors make improper alterations that can weaken the structure. The frame / pre-cover inspection is very important because once the insulation is installed and the drywall is up, all deficiencies and problems become permanently concealed. These issues are rarely detectable during a final inspection.

Bad Window Installation
Not the way you want to see your
windows installed. Notice that our
guy looks like Freddy from "A
Nightmare on Elm Street".
Coincidence? I think not.

Window installation is another important consideration for the frame / pre-cover inspection. Windows must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and AAMA 2400 and ASTM E2112 standards. Failure to properly install window systems invites air and water leaks. We routinely find windows installed in a fashion that is inconsistent with these standards. Many of these, if left uncorrected, will leak and cause problems over time. The only time that it is possible to asses whether windows have been properly installed is during the frame / pre-cover inspection.

Final Pre-Closing

Final Inspection
Is it ready to move-in?

This is a full TREC (i.e., full Texas Real Estate Commission) compliant inspection, which should be done a few days prior to closing, after appliances are installed and operational and most work crews have completed their work.