Yearly home maintenance

I know, home maintenance, not your favorite topic. But, without it, it becomes house maintenance or worse, the banks issue. Actually, home maintenance shouldn’t be a chore, rather a way to mindlessly block out the normal day to day. Don’t look at it as a challenge but a goal. Most homes here in sunny southwest Florida are a one story ranch style with not more than 10′ to the gutter. Others may need more ladder and nerve , otherwise, maintenance covered here is the same.

If you had the mindset to have a home inspection and your report is still available, use it. The inspection has every aspect covered and, if you go section to section you can spot trouble areas before they get worse or perform the basic maintenance needed at that time. A visual inspection can save you time and money in the long run. Neglect costs money, isn’t your time valuable?

A typical 30 minute walk around the house inspection can make you aware of potential failures just by sight. Many are cosmetic, some only by sound and still others that just fail. You can usually spot the warning signs of failure before deficiencies make the checklist.

  • Look at your roof and roof components such as vent pipes and ridge vents
  • Check your trim boards and soffits, look for loose damaged sections
  • Exterior walls, chalky paint, damaged siding, cracked stucco, dirty surfaces
  • Windows, doors and trim. Any damaged glass, rusty doors, missing caulking?
  • Gutters and downspouts, clean and seal. Extend diverters where needed
  • Landscaping, cut and remove if close to structure. Trees 20′ and bushes 2′ away from structure which will help keep moisture away from home.
  • Grading. If water is pooling against structure, regarding and more drainage is needed
  • Driveways/walkways/patio surfaces. Clean all surfaces, seal cracks or reset pavers
  • Screen cages or enclosures. Check anchor bolts and screening, replace as needed
  • Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical components, if visual looks like it needs attention, consult a licensed professional for advise on repair or replacements.
  • Pools, seawalls, docks and decks all require annual maintenance. Check each component and repair/replace as needed
  • Pests such as ants, termites, rodents and bees can all be spotted and deterred if caught in the early stages.

Keeping the exterior will help ensure the interior will stay dry and comfortable for many years. As always, many components of your home will require proper permits and/or a Licensed contractor to perform some of your annual maintenance. Pay a little today or pay a lot later, your choice.

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Questions to ask your Home Inspector

How does it work?

Most Inspectors will show you where the main components are and how to operate them. Typical items such as the main water shut off valve and the main electrical shut off and breaker panel. HVAC systems require maintenance as well as the plumbing and roof systems. Your inspector can point out these items and explain typical maintenance requirements.

Is it really as old or bad as it looks?

Inspections are based on facts. If it looks old, it probably is. Many mechanical components in homes have data plates or tags that may or may not be readable or legible. Now it becomes the “opinion” of the inspector as to its age. What may look like a major costly repair to you could be just a cosmetic issue in the inspectors mind. Many items have life expectancies and your inspector may call it out just based on age, sometimes, that straightforwardness makes it hard for you, the home’s buyer, to understand what a big deal is and what so much isn’t. All this information is what you need to know whether to move forward with the deal, whether to renegotiate and what to plan ahead for.

Can you show me?

During the inspection your inspector will be busy collecting data, crawling through spaces and doing laps around the perimeter. You take this time to visualize where your new sofa will go and wonder will it be too big for this room. Soon you realize somewhere the inspector is inputting data and you had a question. If the inspector is finished he/she should take 10 or 15 minutes and walk you through the place, pointing out all the items they’ve noted need repair, maintenance or further inspection.  When you get the report, then, you’ll know what and where the various items belong. Also, choose an inspector who takes digital pictures and inserts them into each section of their reports!

If you were to buy this, what would you do first and how soon?

Our job as inspectors is to point out all items in need of upgrade or repair to include maintenance and routine time lines for future inspections and possible failures.

But, no home is perfect.  What should you do if something is at the end of its useful life? My opinion may be “Do nothing until it breaks”. That could be today or 6 months from now. Point is, we can’t predict a failure, but we can prepare. We can give you a better understanding of what does and doesn’t need to be repaired, how to repair in order of importance, and how a home warranty can be a big help during the buying process to protect your money in the long run.

Can you refer me to someone to fix it?

Most home inspectors will probably tell you that you can fix some things yourself. This may help minimize the laundry list of repairs at the end of an inspection report to know that a number of them are really DIY-type.  Even uncomfortable Buyers feel empowered to either (a) watch a few YouTube videos that show them how it’s done, or (b) hire a handyperson to do these small fixes, knowing they shouldn’t be too costly.

And even on the larger repairs, your home inspector might be able to give you a few referrals to the plumbers, electricians or roofers you’ll need to get bids from during your contingency period, which you may be able to use to negotiate with your home’s seller, and to get the work done after you own the place. And same goes for any further inspections they recommend – if neither you nor your agent knows a specialist, ask your home inspector for a few referrals.

 

Should I be at the Home Inspection?

Should I be there for the Home Inspection?
You are not required to be there for the home Inspection. However I recommend that you be present. It’s a valuable learning experience for most people and will help you get the most benefit from the home Inspection. By following your home inspector you can ask questions directly and the home inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. I feel you will be able to better understand the finished home inspection report and get the most benefit from it by having attended the home Inspection. I will not leave the property until you are satisfied I have answered all of your questions.

Can I just do the home inspection myself?
Chances are that even If you happen to be very familiar with home construction, you still do not have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. I have inspected thousands of homes. I are not only familiar with all of the systems and components of a home, how they work and need to be maintained, but I also know what to look for warning signs for potential problems. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional home Inspector brings, it is important to remember that the home inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a house, it’s impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your good judgment. As your professional home inspector I will provide unbiased, objective reporting of the facts.

 

11th Month Warranty Inspection

11th Month Warranty Inspections

An 11th Month Warranty Inspection is conducted specifically to benefit new homeowners that have lived in their residence for slightly less than one year.

Builders and selected subcontractors typically extend a one year warranty to the first/new homeowner covering many aspects of a new home. This warranty will typically cover structural components (including the roof), electrical systems, mechanical systems (including appliances that were furnished as a part of the home), and possibly other structures such as pools, spas, and even landscaping.

Many homeowners forget that their warranty is about to expire, missing the opportunity to have the builder correct defects that they are liable for. Most builders typically do not warn the new homeowner that their warranty period is about to expire.

An 11th Month Warranty Inspection creates a “punch list”, where items that need attention are called out. This punch list might then be discussed with the builder before the warranty period expires. In many cases, items might be discovered during a warranty inspection for which the builder is not responsible (for example, adjustment to a garage door opener installed by the homeowner), but it nevertheless presents a safety hazard that needs attention. Warranty inspections, unlike a real estate buyer’s inspection, might call out cosmetic deficiencies.

If your home is currently under a builder’s warranty that is about to expire, an 11th Month Warranty Inspection is money and time well spent.

11th Month Warranty Inspection 11th Month Warranty Inspection

For a small fraction of what you paid for your new home, a professional home inspection can pay dividends in peace of mind and in helping to identify and correct minor problems before they can become major ones.

 

Home Inspections

What is a Home Inspection? A home Inspection is a professional, complete visual examination of the all of the systems and physical structural elements of a home. My emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that would affect a purchaser’s buying decision, or provide them with information they can use to their advantage when negotiating with the sellers.

Why do I need a Home Inspection? A home is by far, the largest purchase most people will ever make. Learning as much as possible about the house you are interested in before you make that final financial commitment only makes sense. You can avoid costly repairs and problems with your new home if you are informed about all of these problems prior to making the huge financial commitment. Our thorough, accurate home inspection report will also advise you of what maintenance is required to keep your home in top condition for many years to come. A home inspection by a certified, professional home inspector will give you a clear picture of the many systems, components and structural elements that make up the property. If you are selling your home, a listing home Inspection will point out any problems that might be uncovered later by the buyer’s home inspector. Discovering them early will give you the opportunity to address them before listing your home, in preparation for a quicker and smoother sale.

What does a Home Inspection Include? My home inspections cover all of the major systems, components, and structural elements of the house such as ceilings, windows, walls, floors, doors electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roof, structure, grade and drainage plus a visual mold and wood destroying insect inspection. Items cosmetic in nature are not reported, but may be discussed. Maintenance is an ongoing part of home ownership and will be discussed throughout the inspection.

How long will the Home Inspection take?
The time will vary depending on the size, condition and age of the home. For most homes, 2 – 3 hours Is an average time. I will not leave the property until my client has exhausted all questions and feels comfortable with my inspection.

What is the cost of a home inspection? Costs vary depending on size and additional services that may be needed. Check my pricing blog or my website for a list of prices and services.