Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What to look for in your home inspection

Plano Home Tips : What to look for in your home inspection

So you have gone under contract on a new home and your inspection is coming up. What do you need to know before you meet the inspector?? We have put together a great checklist of what you should be looking for and asking about on your inspection.


check the existing condition of all systems and equipment
look for unusual features that may increase or decrease appeal of the home
examine the general quality and condition of the structure
inspect routine repair and maintenance items
bring a powerful flashlight to use in basements and crawl spaces
bring a stepladder to check attic, underside of the roof, and light fixtures


make sure that all doorways, stairs, and walkways are free of obstructions
all stepping stones should be firm
railings should be steady
check external doors for good weather-stripping and thresholds
make sure doors are level, easy to open and close, with good hardware


make sure that spouts drain away from house
yard should slope away from the house to draw water away
earth should be at least 6-8 inches below top of concrete foundation
make sure gutters are well-attached and in good condition
look for a wet basement or crawl space


check for crumbling mortar around brickwork
look at stability of chimney
check for obstructions
make sure flue is lined with terra cotta (brick is in violation of most codes)
check to see if there is a working damper in the fireplace


check for water damage, especially around plumbing fixtures
test for soft spots in floor
check under house for water-damaged floorboards and supports
check the condition of the floors or carpet
check for moisture damage to parquet floors


check for cracks, shifting or settling
see if house is bolted to foundation (earthquake safety)
make sure mudsill is in good condition and dry
check if foundation has been retrofitted
look for structural problems like cracks in the basement floor


make sure furnace thermostat is operational
check the furnace venting
find out the ages of the heating and cooling equipment
ask about any problems the occupants may have had with the systems
run both the furnace and air conditioning to check output
check for attic insulation -- walls probably will be insulated too


find out if the owners have remodeled or made improvements to the house
inquire about the competence of the company who provided the service
check the licensure and credentials of the builder, owner, or technician


check that kitchen appliances and faucet are operational
check for asbestos, radon gas, and lead
check for cracking or peeling paint
check for attic ventilation (1 sq. ft. for each 150 sq. ft. of floor space)


look for termite and beetle holes in wooden supports and under house
check attic vents for hornet or wasp nests
check for rodent droppings in cupboards and under house
look for chew holes in roof, eaves, and wiring from squirrels


check for leaks around pipes and fixtures
test water pressure (turn on more than one faucet at once)
test hot water pressure (same method)
check walls around shower and for water damage
look for rust or leaking around hot water heater
make sure water heater is up to code
check the water pressure and see if there is enough hot water
find out the age of the water heater
ask whether the hot water system has been updated in any way


check for leaks or conditions that might lead to leaks
make sure no trees touching or overhanging the roof
look for dry rot or other problems around overhangs
check condition of shingles
find out the age of the existing roof


make sure cleaning and filtering system works properly
test thermostat
check for leaks or cracks


check the condition of drywall walls and ceilings
pay particular attention to the condition of taped joints
look for waves or cracks in the walls or ceilings
look for water spots from leaks in the roof
look for settlement cracks in walls


check for dry rot on panes, sills and frames
check for cracks in glass
make sure windows open properly
check that windows seal tightly and check caulking
check for moisture damage inside
see if bedroom windows are large enough to escape through in case of fire
open the windows to ensure that they are not painted shut
check casement window to see if the hardware is working properly
see whether double-hung windows have broken sash cords


test outlets, light sockets and switches to ensure they work properly
check to see if system is updated -- 3-prong outlets, circuit breakers, etc.
look for GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) outlets in bathroom and kitchen
look for broken or loose outlets
test light fixtures
check blown fuses, overloaded circuits, broken outlets, or flickering lights


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