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 the 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 two pictures above were taken on new houses that were complete, had received their Certificate of Occupancy, and were move-in ready.
The first picture, taken from an area of the roof that was impossible to see from the ground, did not have the stone 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 home 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 1700 inspections, this same situation has been found 5 time. One of those houses was 13 years old at the time of the inspection.
The second picture was also taken at a new house. This photo shows only one of five other crawl space beams that lacked the proper support under the beam itself. The superintendent was quite surprised and had supports installed under each of the five beams. If the beam in the photo had started to fail, the kitchen / breakfast area floor would have begun to sag directly below the breakfast table.