At this stage of the home building process, the Builder or Site Manager walks through the home with the homeowners. The framing, heating and air ducts, electrical wiring, plumbing and possibly tubs and shower pans will be in place.
Before the drywall is installed, it's easier to make changes to the electrical outlets, lighting, plumbing and/or framing.
What To Look For in a Pre Drywall Walk Through
- Take pictures of electrical wiring, plumbing, and air ducts. On a recent pre-drywall walk through with our clients, we asked the Builder to move two recessed lights and an electrical box for a ceiling fan. He agreed. Our client took pictures showing the current location of the lights and electrical box. The pictures document the conversation.
- Check placement for electrical boxes in each room. Before the pre-drywall walkthrough, the Builder and home buyer meet for a design meeting. This is when you decide the location of electrical outlets, ceiling fan wiring and cable lines for your home. During the walkthrough, make sure these items are in the proper location. Now is the time to make changes to things that will soon be covered by walls and ceilings.
- Be sure the air registers are placed properly in each room. All the rooms of the house should have registers. The ductwork connecting the registers shouldn't be dented or blocked in any way.
- Your washing machine should have a washing pan. If the pan is not in place, make sure it's on the Builder's checklist. The pan catches overflows if the washing machine leaks or overflows.
- Are the doors, windows and garage doors the style & design you've chosen? During our pre-drywall walk through with clients last week, we discovered that the Builder installed the wrong patio doors. He agreed to make the correction and we took pictures to document.
- Ask the Builder to show you the location of the cleanouts for the plumbing. Sometime in the future, you, or a plumber, will need to access the cleanout. Take notes during the walkthrough so you remember where clean outs are located.
Finally, we recommend hiring a licensed independent home inspector.
This will be an additional cost, but it's well worth the expense. Home inspectors evaluate the foundation, floor, walls, framing, electrical, plumbing, roof structure, windows, doors and rough-in components. The home inspector will answer all your questions and provide a detailed report.
This inspection would be in addition to, not instead of, the Builder's walkthrough and home inspection.
Here are more sources for you if you are buying new construction.
American Society of Home Inspectors
National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents
National Association of Home Builders
Residential Performance Construction Guidelines