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Your new-built home is almost complete. You’ve been waiting for this day for awhile, and your excitement is mounting at the prospect of moving in. But, before you book the moving truck, there is a critical step in the home-buying process that you need to do first: take part in the pre-delivery inspection, or PDI.

The PDI is your first opportunity to review your new home, inside and out, and assess its condition before you actually take possession. This inspection, which your builder is required to conduct with you, involves walking through the home and carefully documenting on the PDI form any items that are damaged, missing, incomplete or not working properly. 

Is the kitchen missing a light fixture? Is one of the cabinets in the bathroom scratched? Did you turn on a light switch and nothing happened? All of these are examples of items you would put on your PDI form.  

Nothing is too big or too small to document. In fact, it is vitally important to be thorough so that your builder has a complete list of items they can address as soon as possible. 

It’s important to note that if you fail to note an item on the PDI form, this does not necessarily affect your new home warranty coverage. However, the PDI form is a useful piece of evidence if you need to submit a warranty claim for an item already documented as needing attention.

Here are five tips to make sure you make the most of your PDI.

1. Become familiar with the PDI form

Your builder is required to provide you with an accepted PDI form. There are two options: they can either provide you with the standard PDI form provided by Tarion, the organization that backstops the builder’s warranty on your home, or with their own form that contains, at a minimum, all of the contents of the Tarion form. You should review Tarion’s form on www.tarion.com before you conduct your PDI with your builder.

2. Print the PDI checklist 

Image removed.In addition to the PDI form, Tarion also has a handy PDI checklist that you can download from our website. It contains a comprehensive list of what to look for throughout your home, inside and out. You should bring a copy of it along with you on your PDI so that you won’t miss anything.

3. Jot down questions 

Before your PDI, start compiling a list of questions you can ask your builder to address during the inspection. The PDI is also an opportunity for you to learn about all of your home’s features. So, you can ask, for example, how the heating, air, electrical and plumbing systems work, or how to maintain your hardwood floors so that they continue to look amazing for years to come.

4. Think about bringing someone with you

There is a lot to take in during a PDI, so don’t hesitate to bring along someone else who can act as a second pair of eyes and ears during the inspection. You could even consider bringing someone with knowledge of home construction, such as a certified home inspector.  Whether you decide to bring a friend, a family member or a home inspector to be of assistance during your PDI, out of courtesy, it’s always best to let your builder know in advance.

5. Have a backup plan 

If you’re unable to attend your PDI in person, don’t worry – you’re allowed to send a “designate” in your place. Just be sure to complete the form for the appointment of a designate for the pre-delivery inspection that can be found on Tarion.com.  

Ultimately, the PDI is a great tool to help you protect what may well be the most important investment of your life. These five tips will help you make the most of it.