Taking a little time to prepare for an Inspection of your home can mean the difference in a completed sale and/or potentially thousands of dollars in Repair Request items. Many of these are things that a homeowner can take care of themselves, and when a professional is needed, you benefit by finding someone on your own terms, rather than when called out to Buyer on their Inspection Report and you have a limited time to make repairs to buyers satisfaction.
What will a home inspector be looking at and how you can
prepare for a home inspection? The below listing may be helpful in
preparing for a home inspection. Many of these items can be done with
little or no cost and many are regular maintenance items for a home.
- Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding. Six (6) or more inches of clearance is preferred.
- Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.
- Divert all water away from the house; i.e. downspouts, sump pump,
condensation drains, etc. Grade should slope away from the structure.
Clean out basement entry drains.
- Trim trees, roots and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding and chimney.
- Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors.
- Seal asphalt driveways, if cracking.
- Seal or point up masonry chimney caps. Install metal fluecap.
- Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
- Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
- Test all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.
- Update attic ventilation if none is present.
- Have the chimney, fireplace or woodstove cleaned and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
- Seal masonry walls in the basement.
- Don’t do quick cheap repairs. You may raise questions that will unfairly cause great concern to buyers and inspectors.
- Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked window panes.
- Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks)
are in proper working conditions. Check for and fix any leaks. Caulk
around fixtures if necessary.
- Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources. Test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
- Check sump pump for proper operation.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs.
- Remove rotting wood and/or firewood from contact with the house.
- Ensure that proper grading is followed under a deck.
- Install proper vapor barrier in crawlspaces.
- Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
- Check to ensure that the crawlspace is dry and install a proper
vapor barrier if necessary. Remove any visible moisture from a
crawlspace. Moisture levels in wood should be below 18% to deter rot
- Check that bath vents are properly vented, not clogged with dirt/dust and in working condition.
- Remove paints, solvents, gas, etc., from crawlspace, basement, attic, porch, etc.
- If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers.
- Have clear access to attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
- If the house is vacant, make sure that all utilities are turned on,
including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air condition and
breaks in the main panel.
Credit: NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors)