Before the final papers are signed, and you officially take ownership of your new construction home, it is important that you have a final construction walkthrough. The final walkthrough is done shortly before or on the day of final closing. It is a way to ensure that the home you are purchasing is the way it was agreed to be done and that everything is functioning properly. The final walkthrough provides you a peace of mind in knowing that your new home is complete and correct, and can help discover any issues that should be taken care of before you sign the papers.
This walkthrough is critical and can help you avoid more work or costly repairs down the road. It is important to be alert and use the walkthrough to carefully examine your home, rather than thinking about how to arrange furniture or imagining who will get which bedroom. It can be tempting to do so, but instead you should be alert and focused on this last opportunity to review the completed work. Because of this importance, we’ve put together some tips and what to expect at the final home walkthrough.
Your walkthrough should be scheduled as close to the closing as possible. If done too early, final touches may not yet be complete, or something unavoidable like a storm or equipment issue could more likely occur. Generally, the final walkthrough is scheduled within hours to a few days of the closing. It is often a busy time just before the closing, and some are inclined to opt-out. However, this should never be missed, and it is important to make time. Even if your schedule requires a walkthrough earlier than you would like, it is still better than no walkthrough at all. Generally, walkthroughs take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. It is important that you plan ahead and give yourself enough time to do a thorough inspection. Take your time and don’t feel rushed. You are making a very significant investment, and it should be done with care.
If possible, any inspectors that had previously examined the home should be present, and any previous repairs or changes should be checked. It may even be a wise idea to hire a professional home inspector to join you on the walkthrough. They may be more equipped to ensure everything is perfect than you are. Never agree to do your walkthrough after closing. The walkthrough should always be done before you take ownership of the property. Remember, if you find issues during the walkthrough, even if it is the date of closing, don’t be afraid to speak up and even postpone the closing until proper repairs can be made. It may be more inconvenient and disappointing, but it is far better than finding issues after you’ve already signed off and accepted the work.
What to Look For
When completing your walkthrough, it is a good idea to bring copies of any documents including contracts, change orders, or repair reports with you. Be sure to check everything on them to ensure they are done. Go through every room and hallway one by one and carefully examine each. The list below is also a great start for things to consider, but it is by no means comprehensive. Use your best judgment, the advice of a hired inspector, or agreed upon features or repairs to add to this list as needed. Items to examine during your walkthrough include:
- Turn on and off every light fixture.
- Bring a small electrical item such as an alarm clock to check every outlet.
- Run the water from all faucets, ensure the water drains properly and check underneath sinks and cabinets for leaks.
- Turn on and test any included appliances.
- Check garage door openers.
- Flush toilets.
- Inspect all walls, ceilings, and floors for any damage.
- Run exhaust fans or garbage disposals.
- Test the heating and air conditioning throughout the home.
- Open and close the windows and doors for proper function.
- Make sure there is no debris or any tools left.
- Look at the yard and make sure it is in the condition called for in your contract.
- Others as needed.
After the Walkthrough
If everything looks good, and you are confident you examined the necessary items, then you are ready to head to closing with confidence. If there are issues, you will likely have several options available to you. It may be possible if the issues are severe enough to back out of the contract. However, this is very unlikely. More often, the issues should be documented, and the builder should have an opportunity to correct them. Again, it may push your closing to a later date, but usually that is far better than having to deal with the problems yourself. If the issues are very minor, and you have a small amount of time until the closing, the builder may be able to correct them without needed in push back your closing.
When working with a quality builder, there are rarely issues that need to be corrected, and if there are, they are generally minor and done quickly. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions if something seems amiss. It may be as simple as not understanding how to operate something, and there may not be anything wrong at all. Make sure that you ask for copies of any manufacturer or builder warranties or be given assurance that you will receive them. Finally, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should not take the walkthrough lightly, but you should also not let it cause you too much stress. At the point of the walkthrough, you have come a long way through the process, and soon your new home will be yours. Enjoy the moment, take a deep breath, and relax.
Progressive Builders Is Here For You!
Whatever your plans include, Progressive Builders is passionate about partnering with you every step of the home building process. Our mission is to ensure that your home plan will accommodate your lifestyle and meet the unique needs of your family. We will also assist you in finding the right floor plan and constructing your home with a focus on quality, all at an outstanding value. With over 20 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation across the Twin Cities metro area and beyond, and we are committed to continuing that level of excellence for your new home construction project. We have a number of customizable home plans to suit your needs and several lots available in neighborhoods across the Metro. We invite you to contact us today for more information.