Updated: Aug 13, 2018
7 things to check before a home inspector does!
If you're selling your home, there are things that home inspectors find over and over which end up costing sellers more money than necessary. Once home buyers have a home inspection report they will push to have all repairs done by a qualified contractor. Having a contractor make a service call for a quick repair can frustrate sellers creating animosity between sellers and buyers making the real estate transactions even more difficult than it already is. These 7 things should be checked before you have a home inspector in your house. Don't forget to check out my other blog posts.
1. Check your electrical receptacles
Use a receptacle tester to test every electrical receptacle in your house. Many times these are easy DIY fixes, but once an inspector is involved the buyer will typically require an electrician to fix it which can be expensive for what it is. These inexpensive testers are good to have around the house, and make diagnosing receptacle issues easy. The testers have 3 lights on them that will correspond to a legend on the tester. Below is a link to a good video on how to diagnose a receptacle that is wired incorrectly. YouTube Tip: click on the setting gear icon, then click on speed and set to 1.25.
GFCI protected outlets should be installed in the following locations, Bathrooms, Kitchen counters, wet bars, garages, exterior receptacles, unfinished basements or crawl spaces, laundry, utility spaces, pool and spas. Not all receptacles need to be a GFCI receptacle like the one pictured below but they do need to be GFCI protected which can be achieved by having a GFCI breaker or properly install a GFCI receptacle at the first required receptacle on the branch circuit. See this link for more information: "Wiring Multiple GFCI Outlets".Test the GFCI and make sure everything is working properly with your new handy-dandy receptacle tester.
Unless you are 100% comfortable and educated to work on electrical please leave any repairs to an electrician. Make sure that you turn off the electricity and double check it with a non-contact voltage tester prior to doing any work.
2. Downspout extensions.
Have your gutters cleaned and make sure that you have downspout extensions installed that direct water away from foundations, walks, and driveways. While underground extensions are preferred, they can be a lot of work to do for a house you are selling. Properly installed above ground extensions work just as well. Having grown up watching this old house I couldn't help but get at least one link to them; this video covers different downspout options.
3. Check your garage door
If you have overhead springs installed on your garage door make sure that safety retention cables are installed. Check out this link for more information: Garage Retention Cables
Make sure you have the safety photoelectric eye and reflector installed 6" above the floor on each side of the door. Installing them somewhere else in the garage pointing at each other so they can't be tripped doesn't count, they have to be on either side of the opening (yes I had to write this up on a home inspection).
Check the auto reverse control: when the door comes into contact with an object the door should reverse and start opening again. Check out this link for more information: How to adjust a Garage Door
4. Have your HVAC unit cleaned and serviced
If you haven't had your HVAC unit(s) cleaned in the last 6 months, have it done and make sure to leave the paperwork for the inspector to review.
5. Check your sinks and traps for leaks
Check your sinks and traps for leaks. If you have older chrome plated brass traps give them a squeeze, sometimes they will crumble in your hand and may need to be replaced.
6. Clean out your window wells
If you have window wells, keep them cleaned out. If you don't clear out leaves and debris in your wells, it can stop water from draining and could allow water to backup under basement windows causing all kinds of damage. Once you clean it out, get an inexpensive window well cover, so it doesn't need to be done again for a long time.
7. Check the grade around your house
Many times when houses are built the grade slopes away from the foundation at a minimum of 6 inches over 10 feet but over time the grade that was back-filled around the foundation can settle and end up sloping towards the house. This can cause water in your basement and make your sump pump work harder than necessary. Here is a link to some more information on fixing your grade issues: Family Handyman - How to Cure a Wet Basement
If you need a pre-listing inspection before selling your house or a home inspection if you're buying a house contact grandview architecture, pllc today at (585)735-4822 don't forget you can always book online at https://www.grandviewarchitecture.com/inspections!
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