Sterling Ranch Homes

Checking in on Your Sterling Ranch Home Build: A Guide to Navigating County Inspections

Building a new construction home is thrilling, and naturally, you want to make sure everything is being done properly. While the builders are generally good at keeping you updated, there's a sense of security that comes from seeing it with your own eyes, or by having a home inspector's second opinion.

I always advise my clients to consider a third party inspection for an unbiased look, but you might find it equally insightful and, honestly, pretty interesting to check out the county inspectors' comments yourself. Following the International Residential Code, Douglas County requires multiple inspections at various construction stages to confirm that everything is up to code, and all this info is part of the public record.

You can easily start looking through these inspection comments through the Douglas County online permit search tool:

➡️ Douglas County Permit Search Tool

Just remember, the county inspectors are focused on code violations, not cosmetics. While they often catch structural, electrical, and plumbing issues, they do not comment on non-code violations such as scratched or warped finishes. Those items will need to be brought to your builders attention by yourself or your own inspector. (I can also help with holding the builder accountable, if needed)

In particular, take a look at the rough framing and electric inspections, and the final building and final electric inspections as they are available. These are the largest inspections and often turn up the most issues. If an inspection is failed, the builder generally works for another week or two to address the issues before requesting another.

Inspection results for a Sterling Ranch home
Inspection results for a Sterling Ranch home

When reading the comments, you may see some abbreviations and shorthand. Here are some common terms used in the inspections:

  • NEC: National Electric Code (Douglas County now uses the 2023 version. The inspector may refer to a specific requirement of the code)
  • IRC: International Residential Code (They use the 2021 version)
  • DWV: Drain-waste-vent (The non-pressurized waste section of your plumbing)
  • HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning (This is your AC/furnace and ductwork)
  • NP: Nail plate (likely asking for nail-plates to be added to a stud to protect a wire that is off-center)
  • LVL: Laminated veneer lumber (A large beam composed of laminated layers of lumber. Joists are connected to this and framers can forget to nail them properly)
  • NM: Non-metallic cable (The standard type of wire used inside your home)
  • ECG: Equipment grounding conductor (Something may not have been grounded)
  • PEX: Refers to the pressurized section of your plumbing. This is a flexible plastic pipe that is used instead of copper these days.
  • FP: Front porch
  • LV: Low-volt (referring to low-voltage wiring such as ethernet or cable lines)
  • GC: General contractor (likely referring to your supervisor)
  • UFER: Ufer Ground. Rather than using a grounding rod as seen on older homes, the home is grounded by connecting to the rebar mesh enclosed in the concrete.

Take note of the inspector's points. It's not unheard of for a busy developer to nail down most issues but accidentally skim over a couple. And remember, while the county focuses on safety and code adherence, they won't be eyeing the aesthetics---that's where your trusty third-party inspector comes in.

Purchasing a home or watching it rise from the ground up should be a fun adventure, not a cause for sleepless nights. My goal is to help your home-buying journey be smooth sailing from foundation to rooftop. Let's turn that dream into the well-crafted reality you deserve.

Let's find your new home!

Chris is a real estate agent who specializes in helping clients build, buy, and sell homes. Here are some benefits I offer to new construction clients:

  • Projected Budget of Your New Home
  • Pre-Drywall Inspection
  • 3D Matterport Model
  • On-Site Photos During Construction
  • Lot Selection & Design Center Consultations
  • Full Service Realtor Services

Remember, the builder pays my commission, so these benefits are available at no cost to you!

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