Self Inspection of the Home
(NOTE SELF INSPECTION IS RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR NEW HOMES. FOR OLDER HOMES YOU ARE HIGHLY ADVISED TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTOR WHO IS A LICENSED CONTRACTOR WITH A BACKGROUND IN HEATING SYSTEMS AND PLUMBING.)
Toolkit to take with you: 100 foot garden hose, night light and extra bulb, flashlight, latex gloves, ladder, oven thermometer, wiggle waggle stick (long pole with a light ribbon tied to it)
Do these things in this order. Do not do all items in one room and then do all items in the next room. You will forget things that way. Focus on each system separately and inspect that system through all elements and rooms before moving on.
Open and close every window in the home.
Open and close every door, including closet doors
Open and close every appliance door
Open and close every garage and exterior door
Did they all move smoothly?
Did they secure and lock properly?
Are there gaps around the frames when closed or are they tight and free of air flow?
You can close everything and turn on all the exhaust fans in the house (bathrooms, laundry, kitchen hood) and then feel around door and window frames for incoming air.
Run the full cycle of each appliance:
Dishwasher: _________ Then examine for water on the floor, steam leaks during cycle, any water left afterward in bottom of chamber.
Range or Cooktop: ____________ All burners work fully? All work fully on and simultaneously without popping a circuit breaker?
Oven: __________ Good heat? If you take an oven thermometer how hot does it get?
Refrigerator: __________ Is it cold? Is the freezer really cold? Any ice build up? Does the water come through the door? Does the ice come through the door? Is it producing ice? Is it clean in the cooling coil area? Is it on a separate circuit breaker?
Microwave: ___________ Take a microwaveable bowl with you and run tap water and zap it, does it heat nicely? Does the timer work OK?
Hood: ____________ If it has more than one speed do they both work? Is there a light and does it work? How clean is the filter and the vent above it?
Heating and A/C system: _____________ Is all construction trash removed from the chamber below the filters, in and around the equipment? Are the filters in place and clean?
Does it heat?
Does it cool?
How much noise is there from the vents? Are the vents well secured to their supporting drywall or framing? Is the flow of air from each vent adequate for the size of the room where they are located?
Flush all the toilets and watch the water go down. Does it seem to go quickly or slowly? Then turn on all the water in the home at once – every faucet, every shower/tub and flush all toilets simultaneously. Do they slow down significantly?
Test every Smoke Detector. They all should have a test button.
Check all outlets with your night light tester.
Check all half-hots to the switches associated with them.
Walk every square foot of the land, including flower beds.
Does anything sink down when you walk on it?
Is it spongy or outright wet?
Look for low spots where water could accumulate.
Does the neighboring properties drain into their own, or onto your property?
Does the land slope away from the home or slope toward it?
If it slopes toward it, are there proper drainage swales to draw the water off and away from the footings of the home?
Run a hose down any yard drains to assure they are not plugged up.
Make sure water will come out of every hose bib outside the home with enough pressure
to do you some good.
Check gutters and downspouts to assure clean and properly connected. See where the
water is directed and make sure it flows away from the footings of the home.
Lean against all fences and make sure they do not move.
Winter trees may look dead. If a stem snaps off it is dead. If it bends the tree is alive.
Turn on all sprinkler systems and if they have one, test timer through its full cycle.
WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED BE SURE TO TURN EVERYTHING OFF. NOTHING LIKE HACKING OFF THE SELLER BY LEAVING THE AIR CONDITIONING AND THE OVEN ON. REMEMBER YOU WILL BE ASKING THEM FOR THINGS IN THE NEGOTIATIONS AND YOU WANT THEM TO LIKE YOU. LOCK UP THE HOUSE WELL AND PUT EVERYTHING BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT.
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