Woman doing a blue tape walkthrough on a new home purchase.

Blue Tape Walk-Through: Definition And Checklist

Miranda Crace4-minute read
September 22, 2021

When considering if they should buy a house, some potential home buyers decide that building a new home is the way to go. Building a home can be an exciting yet extensive process. Before you move in, it’s important to inspect your home. To ensure you move into a finished home with no damages or faults, you’ll need to complete a blue tape walk-through.

We’ll explain the steps and tell you everything you need to know to ensure a thorough blue tape walk-through is conducted on your soon-to-be home.

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What Is A Blue Tape Walk-Through?

A blue tape walk-through is an important part in the home building process that gives the buyer an opportunity to check the home. During this walk-through, the buyer will meet with an on-site worker and the builder’s agent or customer service representative to identify any improvements that need to be made to the home before it is ready to be lived in. A blue tape walk-through typically occurs 3 – 4 weeks from a home’s final completion date and is one of the final steps of a new home build.

How Does A Blue Tape Walk-Through Work?

The buyer and the builder representatives will walk through the home, pointing out any areas that are incomplete or need additional work or repair. Each item identified by the buyer and builder representatives will be marked with a piece of blue painter’s tape, which is where the name “blue tape walk-through” comes from.

There are many reasons something could be marked with tape during the walk-through, but the most common callouts are small cosmetic flaws, including scuffs on a wall, chipped paint or cracks in the tile. More serious issues identified during a blue tape walk-through are incorrect installations or missing outlets.

What Happens After A Blue Tape Walk-Through?

Once the house has been inspected and everything is marked, the builders will agree to fix each issue. The builders and buyer may also discuss other matters of business such as home warranties and final expectations.

How Is A Blue Tape Walk-Through Different From A Final Walk-Through?

Another common walk-through that occurs during the home buying process is a final walk-through. This is one of the key differences between the processes for buying and building a home. A blue tape walk-through is for new construction homes that are being moved into for the first time, while most home buyers will have a final walk-through regardless of whether the home is new.

The final walk-through gives buyers an opportunity to ensure nothing has drastically changed with the condition of the house during the home buying process. Final walk-throughs are done in the last days leading up to closing.

Blue Tape Walk-Through Checklist

As someone who is having a home built from scratch, you may want to consider having a blue tape inspection checklist with you during your final walk-through. This will help make sure you don’t miss any issues. With that in mind, here’s our recommendation for a new construction walk-through checklist, taking into account the interior and exterior of your home.

Interior Blue Tape Walk-Through Checklist

The interior of your house will most likely have more items on your new construction walk-through checklist than the exterior. Here’s what we think you should take a double look at:

  • Doors: Make sure the doors open and close properly and all sides are painted. You should also check locks, hinges, knobs and anything else on the door’s surface from the top to the bottom.
  • Windows: Open and close all windows, including screens, and make sure to check locks, panes and tracks.
  • Walls: Check floor and ceiling moldings, surfaces, visible seams and finishes. Also make sure you’re happy with your walls’ colors and paint jobs.
  • Electrical: Test light fixtures, outlets and switches to ensure you won’t run into any electrical problems in the future.
  • Stairs: Keep yourself and your family safe by checking the handrails, flooring and carpeting.
  • Flooring: Make sure there are no squeaks and cracks in your flooring. Check for missing grout or molding and keep an eye out for any damage. If you have carpet, make sure it was installed properly.
  • Kitchen: Before you start thinking of new recipes to make, check your kitchen’s countertops, cabinets, doors, drawers, appliances, sink and garbage disposal.
  • Bathrooms: Go through each bathroom and inspect the sink, faucets, tub, toilet, toilet paper dispensers, cabinets, drawers and towel racks.
  • Heating/AC: Finally, don’t forget to check the furnace and turn on the HVAC to see if it works properly.

Exterior Blue Tape Walk-Through Checklist

Even if there are fewer items on the exterior checklist, checking the exterior is equally as important. As you admire your front and back yards, make sure to also inspect these items:

  • Patios: If there is a patio, check and make sure everything is installed properly.
  • Decks: Similarly, if you have any decks, make sure flooring, rails and everything else is installed properly.
  • Balconies: If there are any balconies, keep yourself and your family safe by checking if flooring, rails and everything else is installed properly.
  • Gutters: It’s very important that you check the gutters and make sure they will be cleaned before the closing date.
  • Garage door: Make sure the garage door opens and closes properly.

What Happens With The Findings Of A New Construction Walk-Through?

If you find any issues during the walk-through, they should be reported to the builder to ensure an on-time move-in date. As mentioned before, there will be a final walk-through days before the closing date to ensure the builder fixed any and all issues. If they don’t, it’s not that uncommon, but any outstanding problems will need to be addressed before you’re able to move into your home.

The Bottom Line

As you prepare for your home’s blue tape walk-through, having a checklist is critical. Be observant and make sure you don’t miss anything. It’s also important to understand that it’s okay for some things not to be completely finished, but if that’s the case, remember to keep note of those issues for the builder to fix. As you prepare to be a homeowner, be sure to learn more about the final steps of the home buying process.

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Miranda Crace

The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.