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.
When do I need a Home Inspector? Do some research. While you may have already decided on looking for a new home, why not start your search for a home inspector as well. Referrals work well, I still recommend checking credentials as well as experience. If you can not get a referral, many sites offer services you may need and, they already did your homework and checked the credentials.
If your buying a home, once you have reached an accepted offer, you can now get your inspection scheduled. Most contracts give you a 10 day inspection window where others may only have 7 days. Check with your Realtor agent.
Pest inspections or Wood Destroying Organism Inspections may be required by your lender.
If you need one of three insurance inspections as per requirement, before a new policy or renewal, contact an inspector right away to get on the schedule. Most inspection companies can accommodate insurance inspections within 48 hours. These inspections are as listed; Wind Mitigation Verification reports, Four Point Insurance Inspections and Roof Certification reports. All must be performed by a qualified Licensed Inspector on approved forms.
Anyone wishing to put their home on the market would benefit from a pre sale inspection. A pre sale would give you the edge, knowing what the issues are before listing. Many items found during a pre sale inspection could be corrected and minimize the repairs or conditional requests from potential buyers. Most buyers who purchase a home with a pre sale inspection will waive the inspection period, resulting in a quicker sale.
11 month warranty inspections can be ordered within the 11th month. These inspections cover all aspects of the home 11 months after build to avoid an out of warranty issue.
Do newly constructed homes need Home Inspections? A professional home Inspection of a new home is very important. I can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. As a qualified home Inspector, I may find problem areas where the sub-contractors have taken shortcuts or have exhibited poor workmanship.
The good news is that hiring a professional licensed home inspector can pay for itself many times over both monetarily and with peace of mind.
New construction homes have many problems. Building a home is a complex orchestration involving many different subcontractors and their employees each working on a different system of the house usually without regard to the other house systems. With all the separate activities occurring at the same time, it is nearly impossible for the builder to carefully check all phases of construction.
The job of municipal building inspectors is to check for compliance with applicable building codes. Building codes are minimum standards. While most municipal building inspectors are doing their best, factors beyond their control prevent these inspections from being enough.
Problems found before you buy can be fixed before moving in to your new home. You won’t have to deal with the dust and noise from repairs, or the inconvenience of having to stay home from work while workers are in your house. While there will likely be some minor touch-ups that will need to take place after you move in, you will want the builder to fix any significant repairs right away.
Defects can be repaired before they result in serious consequences or costly damage. Safety items such as gas leaks need to be addressed to protect you and your family. Missing attic insulation that will result in higher utility bills can be installed. Raised shingles which can lead to rotted roof sheathing can be repaired before purchasing your new home.
When you decide to sell your formerly new home, the buyer will likely get a home inspection. Problems that date back to the original construction will be discovered even if you never knew they existed. At this point, it’s too late to get the builder involved. You now own those problems.
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.
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.
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.
What is a wind mitigation you ask? Wind mitigation is the implementation of certain building techniques in order to limit damage caused by intense wind.
In Florida, the portion of a homeowner’s premium covering wind damage can be up to 70% of the total, depending on location.
Generally, a wind mitigation inspection is needed to determine which credits apply to a home. During a wind mitigation inspection, a certified inspector looks for key features and add-ons that reduce the amount of damage your home may suffer in the event of a hurricane or strong windstorm.
In summary, wind mitigation is a strategy designed to limit the amount of wind damage inflicted on a structure. Various incentives are in place to motivate homeowners to implement these enhancements, and qualified inspectors can determine which improvements are necessary.
A windstorm inspection, also referred to as a windstorm mitigation inspection, windstorm insurance inspection or wind mitigation inspection, is a kind of home inspection common in the coastal areas of the Southeastern United States.