Is an inspection worth the extra expense on a new house?
This is not a foolish question. After talking to numerous builders and superintendents, most if not all, highly recommend a home inspection. A house may have received its Certificate of Occupancy from the city's building department, but the two inspections are not the same. A city inspector's job is to verify that builders have met the minimum requirements set forth in the local building codes.
A home inspector on the other hand, should be checking to see that the many components in the home function properly. Along with that, there are recommendations that should be made concerning areas the building inspectors are not required to comment on or consider.
Most builders will give the new homeowner a 1-year warranty on most parts of the house and its appliances. That may seem to be a fairly good insurance policy, but there are things that can be overlooked for years before a problem is discovered. The picture above was taken on a new house that was complete and had received its Certificate of Occupancy, and was move-in ready.
The photo above had been taken from an area of the roof that was impossible to see from the ground. As you can see, it never had the rest of siding installed. If the inspector had not walked the whole roof, this could have remained undetected for quite some time. The area below was directly above the inside door of a office storage closet. Because water takes the path of least resistance, there is no telling when and where this would have revealed itself. The masonry contractor would have been embarrassed to let slip by and one the builder was glad to have caught. In the last 2400 inspections, this same situation has been found at least 5 or 6 times. One of those houses was 13 years old at the time of the inspection.
The exterior wall on this new house never had the rest of the siding installed.