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

Blue Tape Walkthrough: Defined And Explained

Emma Tomsich3 minute read
September 22, 2021

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 walkthrough.

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

What Is A Blue Tape Walkthrough?

A blue tape walkthrough typically occurs 3 – 4 weeks from a home’s final completion date and is one of the final steps of a new home build. During this walkthrough, the buyer will meet with an on-site worker and the builder’s agent or customer service representative.

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 walkthrough” comes from.

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

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.

Before we focus on the concluding steps, let’s make sure that you’re aware of everything you should look out for during your home’s blue tape walkthrough.

Blue Tape Walkthrough Checklist

As a buyer building your home from scratch, it’s important to have a checklist with you during your blue tape walkthrough. This will help make sure you don’t miss any issues. With that in mind, here’s our recommendation for a blue tape inspection checklist, taking into account the interior and exterior of your home.

Interior Checklist

The interior of your house will most likely have more items on your 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, 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 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:

  • Doors: Make sure the doors open and close properly and all sides are painted. You should also check locks, hinges and knobs.

  • Windows: Open and close all windows, including screens, and make sure to check locks, panes and tracks.

  • 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.

Other Things To Look For In A New Home Walkthrough

If you find any issues during the walkthrough, they should be reported to the builder to ensure an on-time move-in date. There will be a final walkthrough days before the closing date to ensure the builder fixed any and all issues. If they don’t, it’s not that uncommon but 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 walkthrough, having a checklist is critical. Be observant and make sure you don’t miss anything. It’s also important to understand that it’s OK 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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Emma Tomsich

Emma Tomsich is a student at Marquette University studying Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations. She has a passion for writing, and hopes to one day own her own business. In her free time, Emma likes to travel, shop, run and drink coffee.