Tips on How to Inspect a New Home

​You explored different neighbourhoods, poured over house designs and floorplans, took a deep breath, signed the sales agreement, and then you waited with anticipation for your new home to finally be built. Now the day for you to move in has arrived at long last. But wait!

Before you actually take possession, there’s a critical first step to keep in mind. It’s called the Pre-Delivery Inspection, or PDI.  This is critical because it’s your first real chance to get a top to bottom look at your home in its completed state. So, you may be close to calling it your new home, but keep in mind there’s still some work to be done before you start making it your own.

In Ontario, it’s mandatory for new home builders to conduct a PDI on every home and condominium unit. This is your builder’s chance to show you how the various systems in your home operate. For the homeowner, it’s a chance to inspect your  home’s overall condition before you move in.

This mandatory inspection is part of the warranty process. Almost all new homes in Ontario come with a warranty provided by your builder, and backed by Tarion. The warranty includes deposit protection, delay compensation and three separate warranties lasting up to seven years for various defects in workmanship.

While the PDI is mandatory, new home builders can and often do approach the PDI in their own way. Generally speaking, a builder should take you through each room and around the exterior of the home. He or she should demonstrate that all the systems (like heating, plumbing, electrical) are functioning properly. As the homeowner, you should be satisfied that there is nothing missing, incomplete or damaged.

Here are some additional tips from Tarion on how to thoroughly inspect a brand new home:

  • Examine it inside and out. Look for things like chips in bathtubs and sinks, scratches on counter tops, damage to floors, walls, cabinetry or other finishings, plus doors and windows that are not secure or do not open and close easily.
  • Outside, check things like the quality of brickwork and siding, whether window screens have been installed, and the appearance of the driveway and landscaping.
  • Take photos of any defects in your new home. These may be helpful later on if you make a warranty claim to Tarion.
  • Review the notes your builder takes carefully to make sure they’re complete. This will become the official record of the condition of your home before you moved in.
  • If you are contemplating the idea of hiring a professional home inspector, a good time to do so is before the 30-day or year-end warranty period ends. You’ll have much more time to get to know your home and its systems and will have a better indication of any potential problems. If you do hire a home inspector, ask if he or she is certified in conducting new construction inspections.

Additional information, including a PDI checklist and helpful videos, is available at