New Construction Inspection Process

Rough framed home

This service is for general contractors, builders, and individuals acting as their general contractor (owner/builder).

We follow Alaska Housing Finance corporation’s (AHFC) guidelines for new home construction inspection process, called PUR-102. For a full review of the PUR-102 process check out AHFC’s website. To paraphrase we come to the work site at set points of completion to insure that the home is being built in such a way as to meet Alaska’s Minimum Construction Standards. The process ends up consisting of several inspections of limited focus. These inspections are completed in the following general order:

1. Plan Review

Plan your work then work your plan, saves time in the long run. Here is when we avoid mistakes like bathrooms so small you can turn around in them when the door is open, not enough electrical outlets where they are needed, gas meter location too close to a window, is one light enough for the whole living room or should more be installed, and so on.

2. Footing

The foot of your new home, a wide heavy piece of concrete reinforced with iron rebar that sits directly on the ground.

3. Foundation

A wall of concrete and rebar that sits on top of the footer. The gravel and dirt are placed against the outside of the wall with heavy equipment (called backfilling).

4. Framing

Building of the walls with lumber, sheet goods, and fasteners. We inspect for things like nailing pattern (are the right kind of nails being used with the right amount), are the hold-downs (pieces of metal hardware that keep your house from falling over from earthquakes and wind) located correctly and in the right spot, lateral bracing of trusses has been installed like it shows on the truss plan drawings.

5. Electrical/Mechanical/Plumbing ‘Rough-In’

When pipes, electrical wires, and air ducts are installed inside the wall it’s called ‘roughing-in’. This is before the drywall is installed. We look at things like: were the holes drilled too wide or too close to the edge of the lumber (this reduces their strength); is everything fastened in place the prescribed distance; are ducts and vents sealed.

Insulation and vapor barrier: Is the right insulation being installed in the right places at the right amounts in the right way? Is the house sealed up to keep moisture from forming in the walls leading to mold and heat loss?

6. Conditional Approval

Sometimes the home is completed enough that you can live in it but then there has to be a plan to finish up in the near future.

7. And Final Approval

Time to make sure the electrical boxes all have covers, cabinets are secured to the walls and won’t fall on someone, water hammer arrestors present at the laundry machine hookups, and all the other little things. Then it’s time to move in!
The goal here is to work with the builder not slow them down, which means keeping open lines of communication and updating inspection scheduling as the project progresses.