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This DIY Home Inspection Checklist Can Help Protect Your Investment

Home inspection checklist

Many of you remember the inspection from when you were considering buying your home. The specialist you or your real estate agent hired reviewed and assessed your prospective home from foundation to roof, looking carefully for items which might require repairs or a significant investment to correct.

If you have lived in your home for some time, chances are that you haven’t looked at your inspection report for years, nor have you taken a look at your home with an inspector’s eye.

Have you heard of a DIY Home Inspection? Like it sounds, you as the homeowner can use our house inspection tips as a way to make sure you are taking care of your biggest investment. Click here to download our printable checklist.

DIY Home Inspection Checklist

Once you have printed out your checklist, you’ll want to gather some basic tools to help you assess your home.

Items Required

For this DIY home inspection, you’ll want to have these materials on hand:

  1. Gloves.
  2. Flashlight.
  3. Flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers.
  4. Your camera or smartphone.
  5. A clipboard with our printable home inspection checklist and a pen to document what you see.

You’ll also want to put on clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

How To Complete The Checklist

We’ve highlighted ten things you can inspect in and around your home.

To complete the checklist, inspect each item carefully and rate it Good, Fair or Poor. Make any needed notes in the area provided. Take photos of any areas of concern for reference and to share with the appropriate professional who can make needed repairs.

#1: Check For Wood Rot

In your attic, touch joist ends and sill plates with a screwdriver, looking for soft spots which may indicate wet or dry rot. Also, look for bubbling or rippled paint and check behind siding for rotting wood.

Take action: Wood that is rotted or unsafe with holes should be replaced immediately.

#2: Look For Termite Tubes

Inspect along joists in your attic for termite tubes. Termites build these passageways out of mud to protect themselves from predators. These termite highways are the width of a pencil and snake along joists and may mean trouble.

Take action: Break any tubes you find to termites. If termites spill out or the tube is repaired by termites in a few days, it’s time to schedule a pest control inspection.

#3: Assess Your Roof  

Using your binoculars, walk around the perimeter of your home and look for cracked caulk; rust on flashing; wood rot around your fascia; animal nests in vents and roof overhangs; tree limbs touching the roof; missing, buckled or broken shingles; debris in gutters or an accumulation of granules from worn shingles.

Take action: Repair any missing or damaged shingles before a leak happens. Keep roof and fascia clean and clear of debris.

#4: Conduct A Drainage Check

Does water drain away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached?  How does the interior of the roof structure look in the attic? Are there any signs of leaks? Finally, check ceilings and around the windows in each room.

Take action: Call in a specialist if anything is not in good working order or if you see sights of damage, such as a leak.

#5: Listen To Your Water Heater

If you hear your water heater snap, pop or gurgle, it is likely that you have sediment built up.

Take action: Drain out sediment on your own or with the help of a professional. Flushing three to four gallons through the system prolongs the life of the heater.

#6: Study Your Circuitry

Take a close look at your electric box (otherwise known as your fuse box) and see if there is any spliced wiring outside electric boxes. Are all your fuses labeled? Do all your switches work throughout your home? Do you have GFCI outlets? Are there any obvious malfunctions?

Take action: Sloppy work at the box means you should check out the rest of the home’s wiring for potential problems. Making a list of other items that might need attention can save you a repeat visit. An electrician can help.

#7: Examine Your Foundation

Look for cracks in your foundation. Hairline cracks in a block or poured concrete foundation are common, but those that are both horizontal and vertical, or cracks that are growing may signal a foundation problem.

Take action: Keep track of how wide the cracks are with photos; if they get bigger, call in a pro.

#8: Survey Your Floors

Are there any deteriorated carpets, wood or laminate planks or cracked ceramics? Any water staining or other damage? Note any sloping or sagging areas.

Take action: Repair the floor to avoid any leaks and reduce the risk for falls.

#9: Consider Your HVAC Performance

Do your air conditioner and heater adequately heat and cool your home? How old is your furnace?

Take action: Perform regular maintenance, including changing air filters according to the manufacturer’s specifications. A HVAC technician can help.

#10: Think About Your Appliances

What is the age and condition of the dishwasher, cooktop, oven and refrigerator? Are they all functioning properly?

Take action: Watch for any missing parts or a change in the functioning of these appliances.

Let Us Help with Your Action List

If home repair is your passion, you can take the information you gather from your DIY home inspection and make needed changes. If not, trust the experts at ABC to help you get rid of termites or fix broken or poorly functioning HVAC systems or contact the appropriate home repair professional to initiate needed repairs so that you can get the most out of your biggest investment.

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