“The true method of knowledge is experiment”
It finally happened.
After telling you time and time again how to inspect, protect and maintain your home, I finally had to do the same. After saying ‘Yes’ to a house that has so many lovely characteristics and just as many hidden projects, it seemed clear that the best way to know exactly what we had gotten ourselves into was to hire a Home Inspector.
Luckily for me, I know one.
As any standard home inspection goes, a detailed walk through of the house is the first step. Checking for any obvious errors or accidents waiting to happen, then going back for and combing through for anything that may have slipped through the cracks.
Don’t worry, there is a checklist.
The list covers all that a house is required to have by law (according to whichever state you reside in). Taking note in issues as mundane as missing door stops to more urgent issues, such as exposed live wires.
Sure, after the inspection (and after already signing the paperwork), the task at hand feels a bit daunting, to say the least. However, as some dude in a band once said “Living is easy with eyes closed.” Though it’s probably not safe. I would much rather know what issues there are so I can address them immediately. Luckily for us, our “new” home had more cosmetic concerns rather than structural. (Obviously, this is preferred but still costly!)
Once the home inspection is over, the inspector writes up their findings and sends you a full report. Though, it is not their job to tell you how to fix the issues, you can at least find solace in knowing exactly what needs to be done and then you can prioritize from there. For example, one serious concern that was found during our inspection was the reversing of polarity in an outlet. Meaning the “hot and neutral are reversed.” Which could be a potential shock hazard (which I’d like to avoid, for obvious reasons). However, now that I know exactly what the issue is and where, I could have a professional electrician come out and take a look. Not the most pressing of matters, seeing how we could simply avoid using the outlet but great to know, nonetheless. Other issues, such as live wires are a bit more pressing. Especially, if exposed to the residents. Again, because this is in the attic, the risk of us shocking ourselves is low but, if you have one in an area that has a lot of traffic, it would be in the best interest of you and your family to hire a professional electrician to TCB (take care of business, that is.)
Other information that was provided may be issues that aren’t necessarily urgent, though they may require that you monitor the situation. While shingles are designed to withstand all that nature has to offer, the chance that they will last the life of your home is unlikely. Like most situations, it is better to know ahead of time that way there is time to plan. At the moment, we do not need to be too concerned with the state of the shingles, but thanks to our home inspector we know the damage it has undergone and in what areas.
Sometimes, situations arise when there cannot be a full inspection due to certain limitations. In our case, we had not had the gas turned on so checking all appliances that required gas was based on a visual inspection, rather checking the functionality. In these cases, once the situation has been rectified, the home inspector should return and check at a later date. (I know AVID will!)
Overall, we were quite pleased to learn the in’s and out’s of our new old home and recommend that anyone in this stage of life do the same. Don’t just trust my recommendation. Listen to your gut! If you have questions about the state of your new investment (which is what a home is, an investment) why not hire a professional to assist you?!
Don’t just take my word for it!