Ideas on what to check during a house inspection

Here is a list that we have compiled of things that you should check in your newly built house BEFORE signing your “Happy Letter”. Realistically, you shouldn’t have to sign the letter saying you are happy with the house if you are not, so check carefully:


  1. the strips joining the ceiling boards are nailed in properly
  2. all the cornices are lined up and sealed/painted
  3. the skirting boards are straight and varnished
  4. windows and doors are varnished
  5. tap the tiles to hear if there are any hollow tiles, check for cracks
  6. all doors fit and close properly without rattling
  7. cupboard doors and drawers open and close without sticking
  8. shower doors close properly
  9. windows close properly
  10. taps open and close properly
  11. flush the toilets to ensure that the toilets function correctly
  12. Turn on all taps at once (shower, bath, etc…) to ensure that pipes aren’t blocked and the water flows freely
  13. walls/corners are square/straight/90 degrees (Good luck)
  14. no paint splatters on the cupboards, walls, windows, etc…
  15. lights come on and all work
  16. turn the stove and oven on
  17. make sure bathroom taps don’t drip into cupboard underneath
  18. chips in the granite in bathrooms and kitchen
  19. test all plug points and check that they’re in all the rooms
  20. ensure the stove plug is not directly behind/above the stove as you won’t be able to turn the stove off in case of fire (and this is illegal)
  21. make sure the floors are CLEAN before laying carpets. The dirt will show through evetually as stains.


  1. the roof is sealed everywhere, no missing tiles, etc…
  2. the grass (if you are getting any) has been laid and isn’t covered in (or covering) rubble
  3. outside gates close, etc…
  4. garden tap(s) function properly
  5. steps up to patio are square and level
  6. no gaps between bricks outside, and they’re all ok. You don’t want drafts coming through.
  7. check windows are not cracked or broken
  8. make sure garage doors and windows close and lock properly

4 Replies to “Ideas on what to check during a house inspection”

  1. I am a member of HPI Home & Property Inspectors, and we specialize in what’s called Snag Listing. It’s an detailed inspection done for the owner of a new property before acceptance from the builder or developer. We do not only check and test all fixtures and installations, but we also check for craftman’s ship, finishes, quality control and compliance.

  2. Hi Charles… So, any chance you could add a few tips to this article? 🙂

    It would be great if you could give us an idea of what you look at or look for when you say “finishes, quality control” etc…

  3. I’m able to carry out building inspections along the Garden Route on an ad hoc basis.
    Have 30+ years experience in the building industry the last 5 years with out- sourced inspectorate for the NHBRC.
    Please contact me if you think I may be of use to you.

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