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Archive for the 'Home Inspection' Category
The perfect home simply doesn’t exist. Why? Well, in a brand new home, the contractor often is not aware of shortcuts taken by his subcontractors, and government building and code inspectors do not have the time or the budget to inspect everything in every home, so most government inspectors simply do a spot-check of homes in new subdivisions. A home that has been lived in usually has damage that occurred from simply living in it, or additions or remodeling that weren’t permitted. That’s why buyers need a professional home inspection.
The purpose of a home inspection is to document the overall condition of the property at the time of the inspection and to ensure that its major systems and components (water heater, heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are installed properly and working properly. The home inspection is not a warranty since the home inspector is only there for a couple of hours and never saw the home or its systems being built, so he has no idea about any quality control processes. While some items identified during the course of a home inspection might seem like minor items individually, collectively they could add up to major headaches involving both time and money. If sellers know what to look for, they can resolve many minor items before the buyer’s home inspection.
Below is a “check” list of items often found during the course of a home inspection. Completing repairs before the buyer’s home inspection helps ensure that escrow progresses more smoothly. If you have a pre-listing inspection, some, but not all, of these concerns might show up in that inspection report. A pre-listing inspection usually is shorter than a standard buyer’s inspection simply because descriptions of the house you’ve been living in are not necessary, and noting things like a hole in a screen window, or a small crack in a window corner, or a loose door hinge are not major items, all things considered, but collectively they can cause a prospective buyer to say, “No, thanks. Too many problems.”
BEFORE THE INSPECTION
Make sure all the dirt and landscaping material is away from the siding of the house. There should be 4-6 inches of clearance beneath the siding of the house.
Plant growth should be cut back away from the house at least 10-12 inches.
Any stored items should be moved as far away from the structure; stored firewood in particular should be moved as far away from the house as is reasonable.
Check the siding and trim for any damages and repair as needed.
Repair any missing caulking around doors, windows and over nail heads.
Make sure all exterior doors and door knobs/deadbolts are operating properly. You may wish to repair any damaged weather stripping.
ROOFING & GUTTERS:
Clean all moss and debris off the roof. Use a pressure washer only if absolutely necessary. A broom or blower is preferred.
Repair any damaged or missing roofing. Avoid using mastic or caulking as a repair as it is considered a temporary repair only and may be called out by the inspector.
Clean out gutters and repair any damages to the gutters such as rust through or sagging.
Make sure all downspouts are properly diverted away from the house, either with elbows and splash blocks or drain lies.
Check the garage door opener and adjust it as needed so it properly reverses against pressure.
Make sure the garage door itself is operating properly and repair as needed.
If the home is newer with solid core, self-closing door to the interior, make sure the door closes and seals properly by itself, with the weather stripping intact.
KITCHEN, UTILITY, & BATHROOMS:
Check for leaks under the sinks and around the faucets, repairing as needed.
Look for possible floor damage around toilets and adjacent to tubs and showers. If found, damages may need further evaluation by a contractor.
Make sure that all grout and caulking is in good repair. This includes tub and shower surrounds along the floor in front of tubs and showers.
Check to be sure all fixtures, fans and appliances are working properly.
INTERIOR & ATTIC:
Check interior doors and windows to make sure they are operating properly. This is particularly important for bedroom windows.
Make sure smoke detectors are in place and functional.
Remove any stored items from the attic space. Check to be sure all fan ducts are properly connected and venting outside the attic space. Repair if not.
Make sure all light switches are functional and any burned out lights are replaced.
Check your water heater for any leaking or damage. If present, repair or replacement may be needed.
If missing, install proper rated earthquake strapping to water heater.
Make sure the water heater pilot light is on.
Repair any plumbing leaks found in the crawl space.
HEATING & COOLING:
Inspect your furnace filter and change, or clean, if dirty.
Regarding air conditioning, make sure all debris is cleaned away from the exterior compressor.
Regarding a gas-fired appliance, which utilizes a pilot light, such as a gas log fireplace or older furnace, make sure the pilot light is on. The pilot light may have been turned off for the summer or if the house has been vacant.
Remove any wood, concrete, form wood and cardboard debris.
Remove or replace any damaged, fallen floor insulation.
Make sure crawl space is fully covered with plastic. Only use 6 mil black plastic, if adding more.
Reconnect any disconnected heat ducts.
Repair any damaged foundation vent screens and make sure all foundation vents are clear. Use only 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth for repair. Don’t use any louvered type vents.
ON THE DAY OF THE INSPECTION:
Make sure all animals are secured.
Make sure all utilities are on.
Remove any locks on outside gates, which prevent full access to the exterior.
Be sure there is total and complete access to the following areas:
Electrical Pane. (Panel cover will need to be removed)
Furnace. (Furnace cover will also need to be removed)
Attic Space. (Inspector will need to access inside attic space)
Crawl Space. (Especially if it is inside a closet full of stored items)
All bedrooms and living areas.
All exterior surfaces, siding, decks, etc…
Posted by Stephanie Hall // Please leave a comment.
Categories: Home Inspection posted on July 15th, 2014
Whether you are thinking about selling your house in the next few months or whether you plan to stay put for the foreseeable future, it is important to stay on top of home maintenance issues so a minor problem doesn’t lead to a more expensive issue or damage down the road. A recent article in REALTOR magazine highlighted the following as the 5 most common issues that arise during home inspections and what you can do to ensure these issues are not a problem.
1. Improper Electrical Wiring – Open wires, faulty wiring, inadequate overload protection – all of these are very common occurrences that could be cited on a home inspection report.
Preparation Tip: Call a qualified and licensed electrician to evaluate the wiring prior to the inspection so that you may alleviate costly repairs cited in the report.
2. Roof Deterioration – Old or damaged shingles can lead to leaks but easy and inexpensive repairs to damaged tiles or shingles can stave off more costly and extensive damage; i.e., water stains, damaged sheetrock or plaster, etc.
Preparation Tip: Use binoculars to check for any damaged, loose or missing shingles. Cut overhanging tree branches back from the roof.
3. Improper surface grading or drainage -Water can enter a home and cause major damage if proper drainage isn’t in place. Basements and crawl spaces are most vulnerable.
Preparation Tip:When it rains, grab an umbrella and observe how your home sheds water. Does it disappear into a window? You might need to install, realign or repair a damaged gutter and downspout system to ensure proper drainage.
4. Plumbing problems-Dripping faucets, corroding or mismatched piping, faulty fixtures, rocking toilets and improperly installed hot water heaters are all sources of common plumbing problems.
Preparation Tip:Make sure toilets are securely bolted. Check all faucets, valves and hose bibs for potential leaks and fix them right away so they do not lead to more damage such as mold, mildew or structural damage.
5. Poor overall upkeep-Cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces, inside and out can signal overall neglect. Decayed caulking around windows and doors may be more than an eyesore -it may be compromising the efficiency of your heating and air systems leading to higher utility costs.
Preparation Tip: Walk around the interior and exterior of your house at least once a year with a scrutinizing eye. Consider hiring a home inspector for a maintenance inspection to identify any conditions that may lead to more serious defects later.
Contact Stephanie Hall for more information on this lovely home.
Keller Williams Realty
Posted by Stephanie Hall // 2 Comments »
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