Almost every single new home is covered by a guarantee program. For the guarantee to fully apply, it is standard procedure for the buyer to complete a pre-acceptance inspection in the presence of the builder. This inspection marks the end of construction and the beginning of the guarantee. Here are a few pointers to help make sure your inspection is both optimal and efficient.

Choose your inspector carefully

It would be ill-advised to complete the pre-delivery inspection alone. Bring a qualified building inspector who will be able to see what is not immediately apparent to the non-expert. To ensure the best service, choose an inspector who is also an architect, technologist or engineer.

Prepare a list

Normally, the builder should provide you with a document detailing what should be inspected before you move into your newly built home or condo. This list is not exhaustive and you can add elements if you choose. Ideally you should have this document in advance, so that you can adequately prepare for the inspection.

Important: this list must be approved by the Regie du Batiment du Quebec and should mention this fact.

What if you find a problem?

One of the doors doesn't close properly, the kitchen finishes aren't exactly what you had imagined and the balcony has been badly painted... what to do in case of dissatisfaction?

There is a special form on which you can list all of the aspects of your new home that you judge to be insatisfactory. You can do it during the inspection, in front of the builder, but you can also take up to three days to give the builder your feedback. The repairs and adjustments will have to be completed within a timeframe that you both agree upon.

Be meticulous and do not make any oral agreements with the builder. Every defect that goes unmentioned is considered accepted, and you will not be able to claim it under your guarantee.

And if there is a disagreement?

If you and your builder do not agree on the repairs, you must inform your guarantee provider by way of your pre-acceptance inspection form. The provider will make a decision either in your favour or in favour of your builder.

Remember, the pre-acceptance inspection is a crucial element in avoiding disappointment and bad surprises. Of course the completion of your new home is an exciting and emotional event, but it is essential to remain  rational and calculating for this one final step!