When was the last time you did a home inspection? If your home is new or less than ten years old, it may go for an extended time without a home inspection. However, your home could benefit from a home inspection every five years regardless of its age.
According to the American Association of Home Inspectors, a home inspection is an objective and visual examination of a home’s physical structure and systems from foundation to roof. It takes about 2-3hours. It’s highly recommended before buying a house, but you can also do it before selling a house, or for your home.
Even when you know the importance of a home inspection, you can be at a loss on what home inspections you should do. Your chosen home inspector will guide you on their chosen checklist. In this article, you’ll learn the top list of home inspections you should get before the end of the year.
Why Should You Do Home Inspections?
Nerd Wallet says you’ll spend about $300-500 on home inspections. With such a cost, knowing how a home inspection will benefit you would be essential. Here are five benefits of doing home inspections.
1. To Discover Problems, You’d Have Otherwise Not Noticed
Some problems in the house are easy to notice. You can note that the shower isn’t working or the pavement has cracks. However, a home inspector can discover things you haven’t noticed or those that are a bit hidden, such as electrical failures. Since they are experts, home inspectors have vast experience in identifying structural and system damage in houses.
2. To Save You From Investing in a Money Pit
Home inspections are highly recommended if you buy a new house. They give you peace of mind that you invested in a worthy house. If the house has some issues, it would be best if they came up on an inspector’s report rather than discover them once you’ve moved into the house. If the house has too many issues requiring repair, it’ll be a relief not to invest in a money pit.
3. To Turn Negotiations to Your Favor
Most home inspectors will guide you on home inspections you should get before purchasing a house. The discovery process will highlight issues that might need repair and replacement later. You can use this knowledge to negotiate a better deal when buying a house. You can opt out of the contract if the repairs become too much.
4. To Guide You in Prioritizing Home Repairs
A home inspection report is done by a third party with no invested interests in the house. Therefore, they’re in a position to guide you on the repairs you should prioritize. For example, you may have planned to repair something with low stakes, but they can guide you on using building integrity and safety as priorities.
5. To Save You From Costly Repairs
If your house has issues you have not detected, they may worsen and require more expensive repairs later. An unbiased home inspection will highlight issues before they can worsen. For example, they may discover faulty electrical wiring which could have caused extensive damage if left unattended.
Why is the End of the Year the Best Time to Do Home Inspections?
You can have a perfect checklist of home inspections you should get for your house. But when is the best time to schedule a home inspection? Summer? Before winter? Before the end of the year?
The short answer is you can schedule home inspections any time of the year. But the end of the year would be a fantastic time to schedule a home inspection. First, you’ll have a complete list of repairs to focus on in the following year. That will help you in the planning of finances, considering other financial obligations.
Second, most people view the new year as a fresh beginning. Wouldn’t it be pleasant to start the year with the go-ahead from a professional home inspector? If they discover any repairs needed, you can start immediately to give your house a fresh start, too.
Top 9 Home Inspections You Should Get Before End of Year
A home inspector will have their checklist of home inspections they’ll do in their package. However, it’s proper to have your list to know what to expect. If you find that your chosen home inspector hasn’t included one of the inspections in your list, ask them why they skipped it. Here’re the home inspections you should get before the end of the year.
1. Generator Inspection
Only a small percentage of American households own a generator. According to Market Watch, in 2013, only 3% of households owned a home generator. If you’re in this minority, you probably understand how vital it’s to have a power backup, especially during weather-related power outages. But your generator would be of little use if it’s in poor working condition.
A generator inspection is part of routine generator maintenance, and it’s essential even if your generator is in good working condition. The home inspector will first do a visual inspection to ensure no obvious issues. They’ll check fluid levels and pressure. Additionally, the inspector will also check hose fittings, electrical wiring, and the automatic transfer switch. An inspection will reveal any abnormal noises when the generator is running.
2. Garage Door Inspection
One of the most vital home inspections you should get before the end of the year is a garage door inspection.
Your garage may be one of your home’s most functional but often forgotten parts. The garage door protects your vehicle’s assets and acts as a barrier.
Your garage door must be in good condition for security purposes. According to the FBI, in 2017 alone, there were about 1 401 840 burglaries, with the majority being forcible entries. A garage door inspection will ensure that your door is doing its work. The inspector will check for any loose hinges, problems with opening and closing, and any visible damage.
3. Mold Inspection
Mold is one of the nuisances that can go unnoticed until it’s too late. However, mold inspection companies have multiple ways to inspect for mold and offer recommendations. They’ll use the obvious visual testing, do moisture mapping to check for hidden leaks, do air sampling and check the AC. Some of these tests are best done by a trained inspector.
Mold is the last thing you want in your house, especially if you have young kids. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, molds have the potential to cause health problems, including allergic reactions and asthma. Some reactions include having a runny nose, sneezing, and eye irritation. So, a mold inspection is essential to ensure the health of the house residents.
4. Roof Inspection
Roof replacement is one of the most expensive home projects. According to Forbes, the average cost of roof replacement is $8000. It would be quite an amount to cough out of your pockets if you had not prepared. However, a routine roof inspection will guide you on when to schedule a meeting with a local roofing contractor.
Therefore, a roof inspection should top the list of home inspections you should get before the end of the year. It will save you unplanned repairs and replacements. A home inspector will give an educated estimate on when you should schedule roof replacement with local roofing companies. So you will have enough time to prepare financially for when your roof fails.
5. Gutter Inspection
Gutters may seem like the last additions to a home- a thing you would sacrifice for other projects. However, they play an essential role in maintaining the building integrity and safety of your house. They prevent water damage to your roof and deterioration of shingles. Gutters also protect your home’s foundation and window sills from moisture damage. However, they can’t perform these roles if they have leaks or loose fittings.
A gutter inspection will check for potential leaks and problems at gutter seam joints because that’s where leaks typically start. A home inspector will want to know if water is channeling downwards and away from the foundation. Some of the problems preventing this function include sagging and missing downspouts. They may recommend looking for a local gutter guard company to schedule an upgrade.
6. Plumbing Inspection
One of the aspects you won’t miss in any home inspector’s checklist of home inspections you should get before the end of the year is a plumbing inspection. Water is one of the most critical essentials in any house, and the repeated use of plumbing fixtures will likely lead to plumbing issues. A residential plumber will check to ensure all fixtures are working well; there are no blockages or leaks.
A home inspector will check the pumps, valves, and taps for leaks, ensure toilets can flush, drains are working properly, and no odor is coming from water systems. While you can easily do some plumbing inspections, some require a trained plumber, especially if the inspection requires opening and screwing back fixtures.
7. HVAC Inspection
You should also include an HVAC inspection on the list of home inspections you should get before the end of the year. Even when your HVAC is working, it may have issues you can’t see without inspection. Your HVAC may also be working but using more energy than it should. According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your energy usage by 50% by using higher-efficiency HVAC equipment.
HVAC inspection is one of the areas you should not rely on your DIY skills. It’s best to have a skilled professional to ensure your HVAC is working optimally. They’ll ensure the drain isn’t clogged, clean the air filter, check for leaks in the ductwork and ensure the evaporator coil is clean. If the HVAC works poorly, they may recommend looking for local air conditioning contractors to replace it.
8. Foundation Inspection
Your foundation may jeopardize your safety even without your knowledge. Some of the problems are more visible: cracks in the wall and window openings. Good paintwork may hide these cracks. You might not associate other problems with foundation failure, for example, if your door requires a lot of work to close and open or your chimney is leaning. A scheduled home inspection will inform you if your foundation is firm and upright.
They’ll check for obvious signs of a faulty foundation and the not-so-obvious. One of the advantages of a home inspection is that it can give you the go-ahead that your foundation can hold your house. The results don’t have to reveal a problem. However, if your foundation is faulty, you could get concrete foundation service.
9. Water Pump Inspection
One last thing you shouldn’t skip on your list of home inspections you should get before the end of the year is a water pump inspection. Many Americans rely on water pumps to ensure a regular supply of water. It would be so inconvenient if your water pump suddenly stopped working without notice.
A home inspector will check whether all fittings are in place, pump pressure is optimum, and energy use is within the manufacturer’s recommendations. Faulty pumps may work but use more energy to pump water. If the pump is beyond repair, you can get water pump services to replace the water pump.
You now have a comprehensive checklist of home inspections you should get before the end of the year. The end of the year is a good time to schedule home inspections because you can give your home a fresh start by acting on the inspector’s report. If you’re planning to invest in a house, you’ll have comfort in knowing that you made the right investment.
The list isn’t exhaustive but highlights the most vital aspects of a home’s structural and system integrity. It takes into account building integrity, safety and functionality. When looking for a home inspector, ensure they have a comprehensive list of things to check.