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Inspect before you accept your new home

(NC) After months or years of waiting, you are now close to crossing the threshold of your newly constructed home and starting your new chapter in life. But before you do, there is one last important step: the Pre-Delivery Inspection or PDI.

The PDI is your chance to tour your finished condo unit or house for the first time and to check for defects and unfinished work before you move in. You will be accompanied by your builder or their representative.

If you notice something that needs attention, point it out to your builder so they can write it down on the PDI Form. Hang on to a copy of this form because it becomes the formal record of your home’s condition before you moved into it.

Here are some tips for conducting a successful PDI:

  1. The PDI is not just an inspection – it’s also an orientation. You should take advantage of this inspection to learn about the systems in the home. Do you know how to set the thermostat? Do you know how and when to change your furnace filter? Be sure to ask your builder lots of questions and make note of the information he/she gives you.
  2. Don’t bring your friends and family along. As excited as you are to share your new home with those close to you, this is not the appropriate time. The PDI is a time for making sure everything is in order before you move in. It needs your full attention. A quiet, orderly inspection will help ensure you are thorough and focused.
  3. Make sure you have enough time. The most common complaint from new home buyers about their PDI is that they felt rushed. A good rule of thumb is to take an hour for every 1000 square feet. Make sure your builder understands your expectations when scheduling your inspection.
  4. Focus on the essentials. Don’t waste valuable PDI time by visualizing where you’ll hang your pictures or where your furniture will go. It is a better use of time to focus on the condition of your new home and understand how it works. You can print off Tarion’s PDI Checklist to keep you on track.
  5. Pay special attention to hard surfaces. If there are any defects in things like ceramic tiles or granite counter tops, be sure to identify them now. If you wait, you might have a hard time proving they existed before you moved in. If the condition of the floors is hard to assess because they are covered with paper or dust, note this on the PDI Form.
  6. Take pictures. Tarion recommends that new home owners take pictures of anything that appears damaged or missing. These photos can serve as a record later on if you make a warranty claim.

For more tips about the PDI, watch videos online at Tarion.com.