Get an Inspector
Have the home professionally inspected just as you would with a resale home (see Home Inspectors). Most people do not have new homes professionally inspected, relying on the builder’s construction supervisor and the city or county inspector to assure them that their home is done right. This is a mistake. Even with the best builders, professional inspectors routinely find significant construction defects. We’ve found new homes where a bathtub drain was not connected, where heating ducts were not connected, where ceiling insulation had not been installed, where soffits and siding were not installed, and where floor joists had been sawed through to run heating ducts. At a minimum, have the home inspected before your final walk through with the builder. You should also consider an interim “pre-drywall” inspection when the electrical, plumbing and heating systems are in but the drywall that covers them up is yet to be installed. This allows the inspector to help the builder correct some mistakes before it becomes prohibitively expensive to do so.