One of the most exciting parts of building your new home is getting to do your initial walk-through. This is the first time you get to see your new home as it nears completion, and your chance to make sure everything is just the way you want it. Here are a few tips on what to expect during your walk-through, and some things you might want to look for.
Inspect Your Home’s HVAC System
During a walk-through, the builder or builder’s representative will show you the HVAC system. You’ll look at the furnace, air conditioner, vents and even the thermostat. This is the time to ask questions about its operation.
Some things to check in your new HVAC system:
- Turn on the air conditioner to see if cool air blows through the vents
- Turn on the furnace to see if you’re getting a strong flow of warm air
- Adjust the thermostat to see if the system turns on and shuts off as it’s supposed to
Inspect Windows and Doors
Operate the locks on the windows to see if they move firmly into place. In addition, move your fingers around the edges of the glass to determine if there are any leaks or drafts in your windows. Examine the screens to see if they are firmly in place. Quality windows play a big part in the energy efficiency of your newly-built home.
Examine the doors of your home by opening and shutting them. This helps you determine whether they’ve been hung evenly. Flip the lock on each door, close it and pull on the handle. The door should remain firmly in place.
Take a Walk on the Porch or Deck
If a porch or deck is part of your walk-through, pay close attention to the nails in the railings and planks. All nails should be flush with the wood. Also, grip the railings and shake them to see if they move under normal pressure.
Test the Plumbing
Flushing all of the toilets in your newly built home is an essential part of your walk-through. Run the water in the bathroom sink before flushing the toilet to see if the water pressure remains consistent even with both water sources running. Does the toilet tank fill up in a reasonable amount of time?
Take a moment to put the plug into the drain of the bathtub and fill the tub with a couple inches of water. Leave the plug in for a minute or so to see if all of the water remains in the tub. Next, take the plug out of the drain to observe how quickly the water flows out.
Turn On the Lights
Chances are, your builder flipped on the lights in your home as you began your walk-through. Are the light fixtures located in the right places? Plug your phone charger into the outlets throughout your home. Are they ready for use?
Pay Close Attention to the Details in Each Room
You have examined the big features of your home such as its electrical system, plumbing and HVAC system. However, it’s equally important to dedicate time to examining the small details of your new home as well.
Take a look around the base of the toilet. If there’s caulking around the toilet base, has it been applied in a neat, even way? If there's a mirror above your bathroom sink, is it hanging straight on the wall? These small details all add to the appealing aesthetic of your bathroom.
During your walk-through, look closely at the kitchen countertops. Are there any cracks or scratches on them? They are new countertops, so they should be pristine. Open and close the refrigerator to make sure its seal is tight and keeps in all of the cold air. Open the door of your oven and/or microwave. Take note of whether the light clicks on when its opened.
If you have moulding around the ceiling of your bedroom, look at it closely. Are there any cracks or imperfections on it? If you have a walk-in closet, have the shelves been hung properly?
Try the Garage Door
An automatic garage door is a convenient thing to have especially when it’s raining cats and dogs! During the walk-through, test the operation of the automatic garage door as well as the light attached to it.
Check out the Exterior
Take a walk around the outside of your new home. Are the downspouts positioned where they should be? Are the gutters installed properly? Also, take a look at the paint job on your home to see if you are satisfied.
Learning More About Your Home’s Warranty
As the owner of a newly built home, you can look forward to a new home warranty. This includes a one-year builder warranty along with a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials. There is also a two-year delivery systems warranty, seven-year building envelope and ten-year warranty on structural integrity. During the first year, you'll receive service and warranty appointments at the two month, seven month and one year marks to make sure everything is working correctly.
Finally, the walk-through gives you the opportunity to bring up any concerns you may have. This allows them to be resolved as soon as possible by the builder. A walk-through also gives you the chance to start thinking about decorating ideas. Remember to take your time during the walk-through so you feel completely satisfied with the state of your home ahead of move-in day!