Preparing for a Home Inspection

With a bit of effort and preparation you can help me in the home inspection process. 

It is always good to fix small things like repairing gutter downspout or replacing missing electrical cover plates are always a good idea.  Although fixing small items is unlikely to affect the major findings of the systems and components, this effort can give the house a neater appearance and help me be more efficient in the inspection process.

There are some things I recommend that you do prior to the inspection.  Let’s go over them.


Exterior

· If there were any major improvements or additions done to the property, keep documentation handy for my viewing if needed. These might include things like receipts for work done and building permits and the like.  

· Make sure that all exterior doors are accessible.

· Check to make sure all exterior door locks are working and keys are on hand.  

· Clean leaves and other debris from the gutters/downspouts and trim any shrubs or trees so they are not touching any part of the house.


Foundation

· Remove any stored items such as wood or other debris away from the foundation.
 

 Garages

· Please make sure that the garage is unlocked and keep stored items to a minimum. If at all possible do not park cars in the garage during the inspection.

· In keeping enough space around the garage walls you will allow me to see the walls for a better inspection. 


 Electrical

· The electrical panels need to be accessible to me. Please move anything stored that is blocking the panel.
· Excess use of extension cords is never recommended. Remove them and put them away.

· If there are any burned-out light bulbs, change them.

 

 Plumbing

· Obviously, plumbing leaks can cause water damage.  Have the leaks fixed and tell me about known leaks and their repairs prior to the inspection.

 

Heating and Air Conditioning

· Put in a new air filter. Some filters are re-useable when cleaned.  If this is the case, clean it and re-install it.

· Have the unit cleaned and serviced by a qualified professional.  Regular maintenance is important, not just when things break down.  

· Keep all repair and maintenance records on hand.


Fireplace/Chimney

· Have the fireplace and chimney cleaned by a professional chimney-sweep before the inspection.
 

· In many cases, the majority of the inside of the chimney cannot be seen by me during the inspection.  Having the chimney sweep record on hand may help you verify a clean bill of health.

 Interior 

· All interior areas and rooms should be accessible for inspection.

· If there is crawl space access from the interior, it needs to be clear.

· Stored boxes and items can block areas from being inspected.  Every effort should be made to move these things out of the way.

· Access to the attic hatch needs to be clear. This is especially important if the access panel is in a closet. Make sure that items are cleared so I can put a ladder under the hatch. If the attic access has pull down stairs, warn me if they are loose or are in poor condition. Informing me in advance can help prevent an accident since I will be pulling them down.

· It is best for attics to be empty of stored items and boxes. This will allow me to see more of the attic for inspection.


Pets

· I would prefer that pets be removed from the premises during the inspection. It is not always easy to predict how your pet will react when a stranger like me is on the property.

· I need access to the entire home, so keeping the pets in the garage or the backyard is not the best solution. Having another family member or neighbor watch them off the premises is a better idea.
 

 Utilities

· All utilities including electricity, gas and water need to be on.  Any pilot lights that serve gas appliances need to be lit.  

· I will not turn on utilities and I will not light pilot lights.