Inspecting Inspection Problems
Hello from a home inspection! Today I’m sitting in a living room of a house while the home inspector does his job. Unfortunately, the inspector is finding plenty of “home handyman” repairs. It’s going to work out for my buyer, but the seller is going to double-pay. The first time they paid was when they did it wrong for themselves. The second will be when they re-do everything correctly for my buyer.
The inspector had a moment, so I asked what issues he sees most often. Here’s what he had to say.
- Home handyman repairs.
This includes things like unprotected romex (electric wiring outside of a proper conduit), handyman wiring, improper use of extension cords, and handyman plumbing work. Dishwashers without air gaps are especially common.
- Negative grading and siding too close to the soil.
Negative grading is a fancy way to say “the dirt’s angled toward the house instead of away from the house.” The problem with negative grading is that water rolls toward the foundation and eventually into the basement.
Siding too close to the soil is another common issue. This forces moisture against the house and siding. It’s especially problematic for wood siding.
- Roof problems and chimney issues.
Since roofs are expensive, many homeowners try to get away with substandard contractors. These contractors improperly install flashing (if they install it at all), nail through the wrong part of the shingle, or don’t properly seal openings like the chimney.
Pennies saved up front cost the seller thousands of dollars at the time of sale.
Chimney problems include cracked crowns, loose mortar, broken caps, bad or broken lining, and bad flashing. A good mason is usually all that’s needed to handle a troubled chimney.
- Moldy attics.
Out of sight, out of mind. Attics are one of the least-visited parts of any home, so nobody notices if the venting is improper or plugged or when bathroom vents get disconnected. Mold absolutely loves moisture build-up and stale air.
- Settling pavement.
It’s completely normal for pavement to settle. However, sometimes settling creates a trip hazard or becomes a negative grade concern. Mud jacking is generally the best way to handle settling, although sometimes total replacement is the only way to go.
- Garage issues.
Building code requires that the photo cells (safety eye beams) and the “door bell” opening button be specifically placed to protect children. Since many homeowners find those specified heights annoying, they relocate the photo cells and opener.
Sellers, would you like to avoid these and other home inspection problems? I have an excellent home inspector who will find issues before you go live on the market. The benefit to you is lessening your liability (your pre-listing inspection mitigates your liability and places it on the home inspector) and keeping you, NOT the buyer, in the driver seat.
Let’s talk about lowering your legal liability and keeping YOU in charge of YOUR sale. My name is Mike Kwiatkowski and I am a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Brookfield, WI. You can reach me at Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 414-207-2938.