Dear PoPville – Having Trouble Getting a pre-drywall inspection

Photo by PoPville flickr user Vileinist

“Dear PoPville,

I am a first-time homebuyer in the process of purchasing a newly constructed townhome in DC. As the process nears completion, I requested that the developers allow me to do a pre-drywall inspection. Such an inspection is crucial in identifying problems with the foundation, framework, electrical work, and plumbing that can be easily hidden with drywall and insulation. The developers flat out denied my request for the pre-drywall inspection. They stated that they’d allow me to do a walkthrough of the property before the drywall and insulation was installed but that I could not bring an inspector with me. I know nothing about DC building code or proper craftsmanship so having me simply walkthrough the property and look around would be utterly useless.

When I mentioned this to the developer’s realtor and expressed my concern about having this inspection denied, he got snarky with me and said he doesn’t understand what I’m worried about; shoddy construction? That’s exactly what I’m worried about! He then goes on to tell me that the District of Columbia will inspect the property and that the developer would be offering me a home warranty, so I really shouldn’t be overly concerned. While he may put all the faith in the world in DC inspectors, I don’t and the last time I checked, home warranties don’t cover structural issues.

I’m now reevaluating whether or not I want to continue with this purchase. Has anyone else in PoPville dealt with something like this? What recourse would I have if something goes wrong that could have been discovered during the pre-drywall inspection?”

Anyone ever have trouble getting a pre-drywall inspection before? Is a pre-drywall inspection common? Is the developer or the buyer being unreasonable?

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