Purchasing a home is most likely the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime. As a new homeowner, it is critical to inspect the condition of your home before and after you move in. Checking for building defects could very well save you from some unpleasant surprises. However, having a professional home inspection service could be rather expensive. Therefore, you could save some money by performing a quick home inspection walkthrough yourself first before hiring an inspector. Saying this does not mean that we should not find ourselves a professional home inspection specialist. If financial conditions allow, it is still recommended to find ourselves a home inspection specialist. Please do remember that not all property defects can be seen with our naked eye, some are hidden and subtle, therefore we need the help of the professional inspectors to check out every corner in the house. They can help to alleviate all risks found and make sure that the house is in buying condition.
Hiring the home inspection specialist is indeed decent but this does not mean that you cannot check the house yourself before giving your money to the inspection specialist to do the job. There are four main categories of things that we can inspect ourselves, and the four respective categories are general building problems, plumbing, electrical, and external.
General Building Problems
Starting off with general building problems, we should first check the conditions of the doors and windows of the house. We need to make sure that the hinges are working and there are no cracks, rot or adhesives left on the glass. We should also check all of the doorknobs and locks in the house, testing all the keys provided to make sure they are able to open and close easily. Next we should check the walls, notice if there are any cracks, watermarks, uneven surfaces, and uneven paintwork. After finishing checking the walls, we shall move our attention to the floors and tiles. Same thing that we need to notice if there are any cracks, uneven surfaces, hollow tiles, no discoloration and also making sure the tiles are consistent joints with the wall. After the floors, we move our sight to the ceiling. We need to look out for any gaps, stains, cracks, uneven paint or watermarks. Lastly we need to check all of the wall cabinets and countertops. We need to check the condition of the cabinets to make sure it is clean and no scratches on it, also we shall test all drawers and cupboards to make sure they function well.
First we need to check out the fixture and faucets, make sure that all the taps in the house are working and look out for scratches and leaks. For the mixer tap, make sure that the hot and water comes out the right way. Next we do need to check the water heater to make sure it works and the temperature is okay. We also need to check the water pressure of all of the hoses in the house. If the water pressure is too low, there might be problems with the plumbing works and shall be reported to the plumber. Toilet bowls should also be checked, ensuring that there are no blockages while flushing it. Lastly is the drainage system, we should check the sink, tub, shower and drains. We need to make sure that the water drains easily, and should not have any stains or rust around the tub, shower, and wall, and most importantly make sure the drainage system isn’t blocked.
Checking the electrical of the house is very important as it is the most used thing in our daily life. First we need to check the lights by turning on all lights to make sure that they are all working without any issues, we also need to check all switches are installed properly without any gaps. Secondly we should bring along an electrical item to try out the power outlets to make sure every single one in the house is working properly. It is also recommended to hire an electrician to ensure all the wiring is in place and no exposed wiring.
For landed property, owners need to remember to check the outdoor areas like the walls, roof, garden and car porch. Not only the indoor walls need to be checked, the walls outside should also be checked just in the same way like how we check the indoor walls. Check for the wall paint, evenness, consistency, cracks and watermarks. In the car porch, examine the floor for evenness and ensure that the tiles are properly laid. The floor gradient needs to be checked as well to ensure that water flows out of the house. Check the gate by opening and closing it to make sure the gate is aligned and does not make any squeaking noise. Owners might need to climb up to the roof to check for any missing or damaged shingles. The last but also the most important one is the gutters and drains, owners need to make sure that there are no leaks in the gutters and no blockages in the drains.
Before you begin examining every inch of the property, you should equip yourself with a few different tools that can help you a lot when checking your new home for defects. The tools that are needed are test pen, coin, papers, marker pen, pen, masking tape, spirit level, torchlight, stool, ladder and a camera or camera phone.
Here are some tips of how you can make use of the tools listed above:
Used to check wall switches and plugs, this is to ensure that no direct metallic contact with the circuit is required.
To check for hollow tiles, by using the coin knocking lightly against the tiles. When you hear inconsistent sounds this means that the tiles are installed in a wrong way. The tiles will be less stable and prone to popping over time.
Use to leave a mark on the place that have defects
Reach high levels to check the walls and ceilings for defects such as cracks or uneven paint jobs.
In case of an area that cannot be marked by marker pen, masking tape is another solution for it.
Camera phone & selfie stick:
A camera can be used to take pictures of the defects area as a reminder for later on. Combining a phone camera and a selfie stick can become a very nice tool to check some spot that is too high just like checking the unpainted part of a door frame.
To check whether a surface is level on the horizontal or the vertical planes.
Needed a few to check whether the toilet bowl flushing system was able to work well or not.