Why would I have a new house inspected – the builder guarantees it all, right?
Yes, builders do guarantee their work, but there are many defects that can be present that you might never find during the guarantee period.
Here is a good example: I recently did a home inspection in Temecula on a house built in 2005. I turned on the upstairs air conditioning system and began testing all the ducts in each room to be sure they had proper air flow and the temperature was lowered the correct amount by the cooling system. During this test, I noticed a gurgling sound coming from a bathroom sink off the second story hallway. Further investigation showed that the air conditioning system’s condensate water drain pipe was plumbed from the attic down the bathroom wall and into the drain under the bathroom sink.
While this is normal practice for an air conditioning installation, it was not normal to hear gurgling coming from the bathroom sink drain. The sound was being carried down from the attic above where the air conditioning system was installed. I got my ladder and went up to the attic to inspect the air conditioning system. What I found was that the white plastic condensate water drain pipe was installed incorrectly and the gurgling sound was from water in the pipe being blown by the cooled air in the AC unit.
While I was in the attic I found another defect in the installation of that air conditioner. The inlet air duct was too short to be connected properly to the inlet end of the AC cabinet, so the installer had pulled it too tight and had crushed the end so much that the air flow was far less than what it was designed to be.
Both of these builder defects would not likely be caught by you as a buyer. The corrections did not cost a great amount and the system is now fully operational.
Another example is a condominium that was found to have one air duct in the ceiling that had absolutely no air flow at all. The solution would require removal of large areas of ceiling drywall to find out why the air flow was blocked. This would have been very inexpensive if it had been caught before the builder warranty expired.