What is a Pre-Drywall Inspection & When Should The Inspection Occur

A Pre-drywall inspection should really be completed prior to insulation installation, but after ALL trades have completed the “ROUGH-IN”. Each trade (i.e. electrician, plumber, HVAC etc) is required to obtain a permit, as well as the builder. Each trade will perform all of the “rough-in” work (typically the work that will be covered by the insulating & drywall process) and then call their respective code-compliance inspector to have the work approved & signed off, for the “ROUGH-IN” portion of that permit.

Once all of these trades are signed off & approved, the code-compliance building inspector for that municipality will be requested to perform a framing inspection. This inspector is checking for code compliance & usually has no regard to the quality or workmanlike condition. Once this inspector signs off, it will be then OK for the builder to insulate.

This is when it is recommended to get your inspector in. When everything is 100% completed & signed off, ready for insulation. Although not impossible it is more difficult to inspect the home once the insulation is installed (especially viewing any work behind the insulation).

One important thing to point out. Let your builder know as far in advance as possible that you will be bringing in your own inspector for the pre-drywall. Plus there is a value to the message of letting the builder know that someone will be looking over their work. It could even yield a better managed project & subsequently a better built home. Also inform the builder that you would like your inspection scheduled to be pre-insulation as described above. This will also let the builder give you their policy concerning home inspectors & inspections.

An example of items an inspector is looking for are things like:

  • excessively warped framing
  • missing hardware
  • headers &/or beams shimmed
  • crowning of floor joists
  • nail protector plates for wiring & pipes
  • wiring & holes wire passing through
  • ducts & pipes properly secured
  • sill plate properly seated
  • waterproofing measures utilized etc.

Your inspector can prepare a list for the builder to review & correct as necessary. Many times things are caught and save the builder a great deal more expense to remedy at this stage of construction. The next phase is your Final Walk Through Inspection. This is where items noted can be re-inspected to see how they were addressed, as well as performing a complete home inspection.

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