The Home Building Checklist

50+ New Construction Quality Checklist Items

A new home construction checklist can keep you on track during planning and construction to assure quality. This home construction checklist provides more than 50 items to plan into your contract and to watch during inspection. A new home of quality will result that you will enjoy for years.

  • Footings – Are footings continuous under all foundation walls? Do they have two steel bars?
  • Foundation – Is foundation plumb and square? Does wall thickness correspond with code requirements with respect to backfill height? Refer to local code!
  • Foundation Drain Tile – Does foundation have 4 inch perforated drain tile? If lot has slope, does tile daylight so water flows away naturally? Is tile covered with two or three feet of washed gravel? Is the gravel covered with straw or felt paper BEFORE backfill dirt is placed?
  • Insect Control – Has termite control been performed BEFORE slabs are poured? Has lumber been treated with the effective borate chemicals to repel termites?
  • Vapor Barriers – Is a plastic vapor barrier under ALL basement and garage slabs? Is it in place in crawl spaces?
  • Septic System – Is septic tank sized properly? Are leach lines put in according to local code requirements? Is the leach field mapped so you know location of all distribution boxes and lines?
  • Concrete Slabs – Are all exterior slabs self draining? Are all control or contraction joints saw cut a minimum of 1/4th the slab thickness?
  • Staircases – Are they 36 inches wide? Are all riser heights the same? Do the stairs meet code requirements?
  • Trenches – Are trenches that cross or pass under paved areas filled with self-compacting gravel?
  • Roofing – Is felt paper under the shingles? This is often a manufacturer stipulation to maintain fire classification.
  • Wall Water Barrier – Is felt paper or an air/water infiltration barrier on exterior walls? If not, what will prevent wood rot?
  • Brick – Are flashings in place at base of wall and above and below all windows and doors? Are weep holes 24 inches or 32 inches on center? Is a fabric in place behind first 4 courses of brick that keeps pathway open to weep holes?
  • Skylights – Do skylights have pre-engineered flashings to prevent leaks? e.g. Velux brand
  • Furnace / AC – Are supply ducts sized right to minimize static pressure drop? Has a proper heat gain/heat loss calculation been performed to ensure the right sized equipment is being installed? Show proof of calculations.
  • Water Heater – Is heater sized right for number of occupants? Is the heater equipped with an expansion tank?
  • Fan / Dryer Ventilation – Are all fans and dryers vented to the exterior of the home?
  • Water Supply Piping – Are water supply lines 3/4 inch diameter as they feed each group of fixtures? 1/2 inch water lines should never serve more than two fixtures.
  • Valves – Are all valves in the water supply system ball valves? These cost only a few dollars more and are washerless. They allow full bore water to flow through the valve!
  • Drain Piping – Are plumbing drain lines that take water waste cast iron? If not, will they be insulated to minimize noise?
  • Soundproofing – Are bedroom wall plates caulked at floor contact? Are walls filled with sound batts? Are bedroom doors solid wood or solid core?
  • Electric Service – Is electric panel sized so that you have 5 to 7 empty slots? Is a whole house surge protector installed?
  • Wood Sub-floors – Are wood sub floors screwed to floor joists in all hallways and walk path areas in rooms?
  • Owner’s Manuals AND Installation Instructions – Are all owner’s manuals for ALL items being saved? Installation instructions are VITAL. They must be saved in case you need to show that an item was not installed correctly.
  • Photos / Videos- Are you photographing all aspects of construction on a daily basis? Things that seem dull or unimportant will be valuable to an expert at a later date.
  • Truss Lift Connectors – Roof Trusses should NOT be nailed directly into top wall plates. A special inexpensive L shaped connector connects trusses to interior wall plates.
  • Insulation – Does attic insulation meet minimum code requirements for your area? Are baffles in place over exterior walls to keep ventilation path open between soffit and roof ridge?
  • Wall Blocking – Is solid wood blocking in place for all wall fixtures such as drape rods, towel bars, tub grab bars, heavy pictures, or any other heavy item that will be hung from a wall?
  • Ceiling Fans – Are bedrooms wired for ceiling fans? Are special fan electrical boxes in place for future fans? Are wall switches in place for these fans?

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