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11-Month Warranty Inspection Checklist

Purchasing a new home is exciting, however, they are not always free of issues. During my days as a home inspector, I found items consistently during a warranty inspection. That’s why it is so important to ensure you are getting inspections by a third-party throughout the new construction process.

What is a Warranty Inspection?

The 11-month warranty inspection is an inspection just before the builder’s warranty expires. In some cases, the warranty might extend until 2 years. This inspection is critical to finding defects in the home that might have happened during the home ownership process or were not found before.

Common Defect Findings Include:

  • Improper Roof Vent Installation
  • Missing Insulation
  • Leaking Plumbing
  • Loose Toilets
  • Missing Grout
  • Cracked/Damaged Shingles
  • Minor cracks in the stucco
  • Cabinet Damage
  • Appliance Damage
  • The list goes on…

There are times a warranty inspection might find water intrusion in several areas due to improperly installed flashing, yes I have had this happen several times.

Once a home inspector inspects the property, a homeowner can then turn their report over to the builder for repairs based on the home warranty.

Warranty Inspection Checklist

I have purposefully left some items out of this as they can be too difficult to explain/inspect without a professional.


  • Examine around all windows, doors, and other penetrations for proper paint/caulk. Ensure weep holes are open and not covered.
  • Ensure proper paint application and that a level of paint is adhered in all areas.
  • Check for window damage and proper installation.
  • Check for damaged soffits and make sure there are no gaps/cracks as this allows for pest intrusion.
  • Check plumbing fixtures and electrical equipment/outlets.
  • Inspect all stucco for cracking/damage.


  • Check the functionality of the garage and that it reverses when hit with resistance and if something is in front of the sensor.
  • Check for water staining, damaged walls/ceilings.
  • Check the water heater for proper installation and for leaks.
  • Check the Air Handler (if located here) for proper installation and leaks. A filter should be installed, the condensation line should be insulated, and there should be a float switch.


  • Inspect walls, windows, outlets, floors, and ceilings for damage and functionality. I work rooms left to right and hug the walls.
  • Inspect cabinets for damage and functionality.
  • Inspect appliances for damage and functionality.
  • Check light switches as you enter rooms.
  • Check fans.

Bathrooms & Kitchens

  • Check tub drainage.
  • Check hot water functionality at all fixtures.
  • Check underneath sinks for leaks.
  • Ensure toilets do not continuously run and are not loose to the ground. (The bolts at the bottom should be secure).
  • Check bathroom fans/vents.
  • Check tiles/grout for cracks/damage. Small cracks can let a lot of moisture in overtime.


  • Ensure all registers are blowing cold air when the A/C is on.
  • Ensure all registers are blowing hot air when the heat is turned on.
  • Check for damage at the A/C unit(s).


  • I would generally advise homeowners not pull panel covers off. Leave it to a professional.
  • Exercise all breakers.
  • Exercise all GFCI’s.
  • Exercise all AFCI’s.


  • Check for proper water pressure at all sinks/faucets.
  • Check for hot/cold water. Hot is left turn. Cold is right turn. Sometimes, these can be backwards.
  • Check for leaks at any visible plumbing areas.


Inspect the roof only if you are willing, able, and know how to safely walk in an attic.

  • Check for damaged trusses and any onsite alterations, such as, nailing/scissoring boards together.
  • Check for insulation in all areas.
  • Check for roof leaks.


Inspect the roof only if you are willing, able, and know how to safely walk a roofing system.

  • Check for loose/missing/damaged shingles.
  • Inspect vents/penetrations for proper installation and flashings.
  • Inspect visible flashing.
  • Inspect drip edge for damage.

Foundation & Drainage

In most cases, the foundation is not really visible and not a huge concern on new construction homes. However, we should remain vigilant in case we do see a crack of concern.

  • Ensure grading is sloped away from home.
  • Check for signs of flooding/ponding.
  • Ensure vegetation is 6 inches away from the home.
  • Mulch should not be in contact with the home. Leave a 4-6 inch gap with rocks or grass.
  • Check the driveway and walkways.


If you are thinking about purchasing a new construction home, it is important to do your research into new construction inspections!

If you need further assistance with your warranty inspection, drop a comment or give us a call.

You can also check out this PDF document on new construction defects to see how important it is to get a warranty inspection.