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When the Repairs are Made, What’s Next?

If you have repairs being negotiated and performed after a home inspection, it’s important to request the proper paperwork and verify that repairs were completed and in a satisfactory manner. In this blog post, we cover why it’s important to request receipts and warranties after repairs and if a re-inspection is needed after the repairs.

Request Receipts

Requesting receipts gives you validation that the job was completed and helps provide protection for you in the long run. At minimum, it is a good idea to obtain any receipts for repairs should the need arise to speak to any of the repair persons in the future. These receipts will also be proof that any deficiencies noted in the inspection report were addressed.

Understand Your Home’s Warranty

Any items that would be covered under a home warranty need to be repaired in that repair amendment. Receipts of repairs will also be crucial should a claim ever be filed with a home warranty provider. Without receipts they may view the claim as a “known” pre-existing condition, which is not typically covered within a home warranty, and could deny the claim. A home warranty is a service contract that provides financial protection from unforeseen or unexpected repair or replacement costs of essential home components or appliances due to normal wear and tear but does not cover “known” pre-existing conditions. Having a home warranty in place can significantly reduce your risk of facing unexpected repair costs and will help provide added peace of mind.

Re-inspections Never Hurt

It is not uncommon for a re-inspection but almost never necessary if the proper paperwork and procedures were in place. If the repairs completed are judged by both the Buyer and Seller as satisfactory, then there may be no need for a re-inspection. However, if you do not receive the proper receipts and warranties after a repair, then it may be in your best interest to request a second look. While there is no requirement for inspectors to provide services to verify that any negotiated repairs were completed, most inspectors do offer re-inspection services to make these verifications for a fee.

We hope this blog post has provided insight on what to do once repairs have been made. For more information contact an expert today at The Home Inspectors!

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DECODING THE INSPECTION REPORT!

When do you need to have a home inspected? Most people only think of hiring an inspector when they are buying a home. While a home inspection is an important part of the home buying process, home inspections aren’t just for home buyers. Home inspections are also recommended when selling a home, building a home and as a part of your routine home maintenance plan. Below we cover the different types of home inspection services and why and when they are needed.

Home Buyer Inspection

If you are buying a home, a high quality home inspection can help you identify potential risks, make an informed decision, and will provide you with the education you need in order to move forward in the buying process and negotiate any repairs or price reductions. What many home buyers don’t realize is that getting their potential new home inspected is the buyer’s responsibility — not the seller’s. By allowing the buyer to hire a home inspector, you eliminate any bias or seller’s impact on an inspector. Though paying for a home inspection may seem like a lot for a house that doesn’t belong to you just yet, if you’re thinking of purchasing a home, a home inspection will always be worth the investment.

Home Seller Inspection

If you are preparing to sell your home, it may be wise to order a pre-sale home inspection. The last minute discovery of problems by a prospective buyer’s inspector can lead to delays, added expenses and can even derail a deal altogether. Your best solution as a home seller is to have a thorough inspection done prior to putting the house on the market. This allows you to resolve any issues or adjust the price of your home accordingly before they become a problem in negotiating a deal. Our Home Seller Inspections provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your home’s major systems and components. You’ll walk away knowing the current condition of your home, which will ultimately allow you to be in control of the sale!

New Construction Inspection

Many people assume that just because a house is new that it does not need to be inspected, however, this is far from the truth. The building of a home is complex and involves many different professionals and skilled trades that have the potential to overlook critical items. A New Construction Inspection is performed when a newly built home is ready to move in but before your final walk-thru with the builder. Compared to the cost of the home, the cost of a professional inspection buys significant peace of mind. Have an inspection report in hand for that final walk-thru and have any deficiencies corrected before you head to the closing table!

Builder Warranty Inspection

Newly constructed homes typically carry a one year builder’s warranty. Once this warranty expires and the home begins to age, there’s an increased risk of repairs which will no longer be covered. Our Builder Warranty Inspection is a comprehensive visual evaluation of your home which details any deficiencies that may have arisen during its critical first year. We recommend having this inspection about 30 days prior to the expiration of your builder’s one-year warranty in order to address any problems or defects that the builder may be responsible for.

Home Maintenance Inspection

As all homeowners know, routine maintenance is essential to preserving a properly functioning home much like having annual medical and dental exams or regularly changing the oil in your car. Problems that go unchecked for too long can become costly to repair. Schedule a Home Maintenance Inspection to learn the current condition of your home and what investments you need to make now in order to prevent small issues from becoming major problems. We suggest scheduling a routine maintenance inspection annually or every couple of years. We also recommend having a home inspection done after home renovations or major improvements to make sure everything was done correctly and didn’t cause other issues. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you a comprehensive look at your home’s structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, getting ready for a sale or building a home, The Home Inspectors is here for you every step of the way. We want to help you make confident, informed decisions about your home. Download a few of our FREE resources, schedule your home inspection online or get in touch with one of our experts.

With fluctuating storms and dramatic shifts in weather, winters in Texas can be a notoriously unpredictable time of the year for homeowners. Throughout the winter season, it can often feel challenging for homeowners to understand the steps they can make to prepare, protect, and maintain their home. Proper maintenance and extra steps towards weatherproofing and maintaining your home throughout the winter not only helps you enjoy a stress-free season, it can also play a large role in a more energy efficient home, saving you time and money. 

Here are eight tips to help you prepare your home and keep it in perfect condition this winter.

Clean Out Dryer Vents 

With an average of nearly 15,000 home dryer fires reported every year, proper dryer maintenance is extremely important for your family’s safety. Not only is a clogged dryer vent dangerous, it can also cost you money, raising your utility bills and negatively impacting your dryer’s long-term performance. This season take a moment to thoroughly clean out your dryer’s lint trap, outdoor vent cap, and empty your dryer hose.

 

Flush And Insulate Your Hot Water Heater 

Keep your hot water heater in perfect shape during the winter season. Flush your hot water tank annually to remove any sediment build up and extend the life of your tank. If your water heater is older, you can also wrap your tank with an insulating blanket to conserve energy and prevent your tank from losing too much heat in cold rooms and garages.

 

Clear Your Gutters 

Storms are a common occurrence throughout the winter, and with this weather comes debris. Clogged gutters or drainage issues put your home at high risk of overflow and roof damage. Ensure that you are taking the time to clean out and maintain your gutters this season to reduce your risk of damage and leaks.

 

Double Check Insulation 

One of the most important components to keeping your home warm throughout the winter is proper insulation. With limited or subpar insulation, you may notice higher energy bills and a colder home due to your home’s heat escaping. Take the time to inspect your home’s attic, looking for insulation wear and tear, compaction, or damage. If you find that your protection needs improvement, roll sheets of new unbacked insulation between your attic’s floor joists to help your home retain heat.

 

Check Your Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

While it is important to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month, winter is the perfect time of the year to give your home’s detectors a little extra TLC. Take the time to clean out your detectors of dust, spider webs, and debris and replace all of your batteries. This will give you peace of mind and confidence that your home is protected.

 

Apply Weatherstripping To Your Doors And Windows

When it comes to energy loss, air leaks from your doors and windows can be some of the most serious contributors. Keep your home draft free in the winter by taking the time to weather strip all of the windows and doors in your home. This can be done using nail-on strips, adhesive-backed tapes, or can even be a DIY project.

 

Reverse Your Fans

This quick and easy tip requires nothing but the flip of a switch to help you save on your energy bills this winter. Taking the time to reverse your fans clockwise in the winter season will help prevent your warm air from rising too far, keeping the heat where you want it and giving your furnace a much needed helping hand. To do this, simply flip the switch on your ceiling fan to reverse it. If the switch is not openly accessible or present on the outside of the fan, check inside.

Have Your Fireplace and Chimney Inspected

You may be excited to cozy up by the fireplace during cold, winter evenings, but take the proper precautions before you light that first fire. Throughout the course of the year debris, creosote, and other forms of build up can settle throughout your fireplace, increasing your risk of chimney fires. Set up a professional chimney inspection and cleaning to ensure your home is safe and sound.

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No matter the season, routine maintenance is essential to preserving your home and giving you and your family proper peace of mind. The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).

Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!

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To many, the idea of a new construction home is spellbinding. New construction homes offer endless opportunities for customization and the chance to really make your new place your own. In a brand new home you won’t ever need to worry about old, stained carpets or dated appliances, instead you are able to modularly select what fits best for your family’s unique taste. 

However, while picking out brick colors and countertops may be foolproof, the buying process for new construction homes can be tricky to navigate without proper education.

Here are five of the most common mistakes individuals make when purchasing a new construction home.

Not Researching The Community Ahead Of Time 

Far too often, home buyers tend to fall in love with their new home first and their community second. This can be a risky way to approach your big purchase. It is easy for buyers to forget that new construction neighborhoods are often works in progress and more than often, these communities are present in areas of faster than average growth and opportunity. 

This is why as a buyer it is crucial that you not only familiarize yourself with your potential home, but also research the future plans, layouts, and planned growth of both your new construction neighborhood and the surrounding area. Attend public forums in your potential city, look at business proposals and city plans online, and get to know the blueprint of your new construction community. After all, you may love your potential lot’s expansive countryside view now, but doing proper research before purchase may expose a plan to construct an apartment building in that space within the next five years. 

By ensuring you are familiar with the neighborhood in which your new construction will be located, you will help ensure your community fits your family’s desires both today and in the future. 

Not Vetting Your Builder or Developer 

Purchasing a new home will likely be one of your family’s largest investments in a lifetime, so before moving forward it is important that you are focusing highly on quality, especially when it comes to the developer or builder in charge of constructing your home. 

Even if you have fallen head over heels with a new construction community, never move forward with purchase until you have thoroughly researched the developer or builder. Look at their reviews and ratings online and see if there are any noticeable patterns – are there several complaints about delayed construction or premature issues in these homes? Are the developers ensuring homes are sold to qualified families or are they quick to sell to anybody who shows interest like investors who plan on turning their lots into tenant properties? If possible, reach out to your potential neighbors in the area and gauge their feelings on the buying and building process in the community. 

As a buyer, you can mitigate your risk by setting your standards early. As you begin researching new home construction communities, be aware of ratings and reviews for each developer before falling in love with a home. Doing so can prevent costly heartaches and headaches.

Not Protecting Yourself Throughout The Buying Process

While there are several similarities between buying a pre-owned home and a new construction home, there are just as many (if not more) conditions and considerations that must be covered when building a new construction. Because of this, unless you are an extremely experienced buyer, it is imperative to have proper representation and take precautionary measures throughout the purchasing process. 

Ensure you hire a realtor before visiting locations to help walk you through the process. While the property’s sales office may feel similar to that of an apartment complex, avoid treating purchasing your new construction home in the same manner as you would to lease a unit – do not visit the office without representation present. A realtor will work to ensure that you are set up for success from the beginning, handling communications, disclosing the pros and cons of the property, and they may even be able to help negotiate down costs. 

In addition to a realtor, when purchasing a new construction home it is also worthwhile to speak to a real estate lawyer before you sign a purchase contract. Without a seasoned eye, it is easy for developer protecting language, contingencies, and cancellation rights to slip through the cracks. Without proper negotiation or understanding of your liabilities as a buyer, you may set yourself up for failure in the unfortunate case of an issue or lawsuit. 

Not Properly Prioritizing Costs 

It is easy to want the best of the best in your new home. In the case of new construction, you have the unique ability to customize your home, from choosing between wood or tile floors to deciding whether or not to upgrade to marble countertops. Upgrades like these can quickly add up for new home buyers. While at the time you may not think twice about dropping a few more grand on a built-in hot tub, this addition may negatively impact your resale value due to Texas’ notoriously hot seasons. Before moving forward with an upgrade, ask yourself if doing so is truly necessary and what the result of your actions may be. Stay aware of how or if your choices will affect the resale value of your home or if shelling out all that extra cash will even make a difference when it comes time to sell. 

However, before you debate whether or not you would like to upgrade to heated tiles in your bathroom, make sure you review your contract carefully to ensure you will even have somewhere to hang your towel. New constructions often put certain items like towel rods, cabinet hardware, and fixtures on the buyer to purchase and builders may even charge a hefty premium to install these items for you. While these items may seem small, fully furnishing a home can add up quickly. Verify that you have extra funds allocated for these surprises and hidden costs before tackling larger upgrades and additions. 

Not Getting A Home Inspection

We know what you are thinking – if your home is brand new, why would you need a home inspection? After all, home inspections are meant for buyers to find issues like foundation issues and roof damage in older homes, right? 

It is a common misconception that new construction homes don’t need to be properly inspected before the buyer moves in, however, newer homes can actually have just as many problems as an older home. Even with the most thoroughly thought out blueprints and plans, builders are human and can make mistakes or miss important steps. A home inspection may help notify you of things the builder has forgotten to do or improperly installed. Additionally, a great inspector can even point out potential problems that could take place down the road to help you prepare and establish a game plan. 

In order to set yourself up for success, schedule your home inspection when your home is built and ready for move in, but before your final walk-thru with your builder. At The Home Inspectors, we are dedicated to providing you with peace of mind during your inspection process in your new construction home. Our inspectors are trained to understand each and every step of building a new construction home and how to locate even the smallest of issues. Additionally, our detailed reports are presented and emailed to you on-site at your inspection so you can go into your final walk-thru with confidence. 

By taking the time to schedule an in-depth inspection before you finalize your contracts, you can guarantee you are protected and that you can take full advantage of your builder’s warranty and correct any unexpected or hidden deficiencies before heading to the closing table. 

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New construction homes offer a multitude of opportunity and the chance to truly personalize a space of your own from beginning to end. While the process of exploring new homes can be intimidating, following these steps can help you approach the buying process confidently without any hidden surprises or regrets.  

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ARE YOU MOVE IN READY? DOWNLOAD OUR ULTIMATE MOVING GUIDE FOR TIPS OVER HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR MOVE EASY AND HASSLE-FREE.

 

Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!

There’s nothing more rewarding than owning your own home. With home ownership comes the responsibility of upkeep and unless you are willing to pay experts for every tiny detail– it is beneficial to know a thing or two on how to maintain your home. We compiled a list of a few important skills that every homeowner can master!

Changing the Air Filter

Figure out where the HVAC is located in your home. Most air filters are located in the blower compartment of the furnace. Determine what size the filter is, take out the old filter and replace it with a new one. Make sure you pay attention to which way the air filter should go in. It should have an arrow with the direction the air flows through it. Air Filters should be replaced every three to six months. Schedule to have air filters delivered to your house every three to six months and then it’s easy to remember when to change it.  

Knowing How to Turn Off the Water Valve

You’ll want to know how to shut off the water supply of your home if you ever have a leak, need to replace the water heater or for any other plumbing fixes. Depending on the home’s age, the shut off valve may be located inside or outside the home. Before turning the water supply back on, make sure repairs have been completed and that faucets, shower knobs, etc. are closed. 

With every home inspection, The Home Inspectors provides you with educational videos, specific to your home, that you show you how to turn off the main water, water heater and gas supplies and how to change your air filter.

Updating Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms can last up to ten years but the batteries in them should be replaced every year and smoke alarms should be tested once a month. Set a repeating calendar reminder so that you remember to do both of these. In addition to a smoke alarm, every house should have a carbon monoxide detector. Since carbon monoxide is a gas that is odorless and colorless and therefore cannot be seen or smelled, the only way to know if you have elevated levels is through a detector.

Cleaning Gutters

Making sure your gutters are clean is important as they collect all the leaves and debris that fall on the roof of your home. Check them often around the fall and winter seasons so that they will be ready for the spring rainy season. Otherwise, your gutters will get clogged. As a rule, you should at least clean your gutters once a year. To clean gutters, simply grab a ladder that can reach the height of the roof, gloves and start grabbing the leaves in the gutters until clean. If residue is left, you can run water down the gutter to clean it.

Watering for your Foundation

Watering isn’t just about keeping your flowers and garden looking nice. It’s important for the moisture level of the soil around your foundation to remain consistent. Going from a downpour to completely dried up and cracking soil can result in foundation issues. If your area hasn’t had a lot of rainfall, you should water your foundation using either a garden hose, soaker hoses or a sprinkler system. Simply water until ½-1 inch of water is distributed, or until runoff occurs. You want to water about a foot away from your foundation and remember that slow, consistent and uniform watering is the guideline to follow.

Checking Crawl Space Regularly

If you have a pier and beam house, then you have a crawl space to access underneath your house. This makes access for plumbing repairs a lot easier than with slab foundations. If you have a crawl space it’s good to look down there every once in awhile to make sure you have no plumbing leaks. It’s easy for there to be a small leak that goes unnoticed but leaves a pool of water under your home which can lead to mold and wood damage. Set a calendar reminder every couple months to look under there.

Routine maintenance is essential to preserving a properly functioning home much like having annual medical and dental exams or regular changing the oil in your car. The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).

Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!

When you’re investing in one of your most valuable assets, you need a team with experience and expertise in your corner! There’s a reason home buyers, sellers and realtors rave about The Home Inspectors! Dive into three reasons The Home Inspectors stand out among competing home inspection companies, and why customers are choosing them for their home inspections.

1. Simple and Stress-Free Inspection Process

While buying a house can feel like a long process, once your offer is accepted, you have limited time to find a home inspector, have the inspection performed, review the findings and negotiate any repairs or price reductions. The Home Inspectors makes it easy to book an inspector by offering 24/7 online scheduling and appointments Monday through Saturday to fit your needs. Their pricing structure is simple and straightforward. It’s based solely on the square footage of the home and doesn’t include all of the additional fees charged by others in the industry. The reports are presented and emailed on-site with color photos and easy to understand findings so you can quickly start any needed negotiations.

“Very pleased with The Home Inspectors’ work. Reasonably priced and included termite inspection, which is extra with other service providers. Had time to go over report and get questions answered by inspector on the spot. Report was available online too. Highly recommended!” -Patrick Phiri

 
 

2. Professionals That Get the Job Done Right

The Home Inspectors are thorough in their home inspections to provide you with the information you need to make confident, informed decisions. Reports are presented and e-mailed on-site with color photos and easy to understand findings. Every home inspection customer receives a lifetime subscription to HomeBinder ($300+ value). Your personal HomeBinder.com account will have your inspection reports (Summary Report, Inspection Report, Wood Destroying Insect Report), inspection photos, educational videos which are site-specific to the home as well as additional resources and maintenance reminders already uploaded to your online binder. All of their inspections are performed by State of Texas licensed inspectors and adhere to the Standards of Practice of the Texas Real Estate Commission and the official inspection procedures of the Texas Department of Agriculture, Structural Pest Control Service.

“I enjoy working with The Home Inspectors. They are thorough and provide such great inspections
for all of my clients. I highly recommend them!” -Jaime Resendiz

 

3. Here to Ease Your Worries and Truly Help

The Home Inspectors convey their findings and recommendations in a clear, straightforward, and non-alarming manner. They answer all of your questions during an informative walk-thru at the end of the inspection that will give you the peace of mind that no stone has been left unturned. They provide you with educational videos, specific to your home, that show you how to turn off the main water, water heater and gas supplies and how to change your air filter. Additionally, their service continues after the sale and are available to answer any questions which may arise in the future (yes, even if you’ve already moved in!).

“Our inspector today was Tim, and he made us feel at ease. He took his time with every little detail. Professional yet personable guy. Made us feel very comfortable talking to him and asking him questions. We’re new home buyers and he did well to explain to us every little detail. Thanks again Tim!” -Long Nguyen

 

 

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, getting ready for a sale or building a home, The Home Inspectors is here for you every step of the way. We want to help you make confident, informed decisions about your home. Download a few of our FREE resources, schedule your home inspection online or get in touch with one of our experts.

If you receive a bad inspection report on a home you’re buying or selling, don’t panic. There’s no such thing as a perfect house, so you aren’t going to receive a perfect report. Even new builds come up with negative things in their inspection reports. Here are four issues that tend to cause alarms to go off during a home inspection, but on further inspection may not be as big of a problem as perceived.

1. Foundation Cracks

You’ve probably heard of the saying – If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes and it will change. We have hot summers which causes drought and we have lots of rain in the spring and fall which causes flooding – just look at the rainfall records North Texas broke this past month. A lot of homes in Texas are built on expansive clay soil which absorbs water and then expands and puts pressure on the home’s foundation. Weather and soil conditions have a major impact on a home’s foundation but are out of your control. Remember all houses are going to have some amount of settling. There are some cracks that aren’t a big deal and there are some that are. So just because you see a couple of cracks, it doesn’t automatically mean the house is going to come falling down.

2. Presence of Asbestos

Home inspections do not test for asbestos, but your home inspection could reveal based on the age of the home that asbestos could be present. Most homes built before 1980 have building materials with asbestos in them. Do not panic just because the home contains asbestos. The presence of asbestos is only a problem when its fibers are breathed in and get into the lung. This only happens if the building materials containing asbestos are damaged or disturbed. If the asbestos has not been disturbed, it shouldn’t cause a problem. If it is encapsulated, the risk of a problem is very low and the best thing you can do is avoid the area. If you do want to have it removed or are doing remodeling, call a professional to do any removal or identification. Never try to do any sampling or removal yourself.  

3. Mold and Mildew

Mold has gotten a bad rap and people are fearful when they hear the word. There are several varieties of mold, but the really bad and not that bad tend to all be lumped into the same category. In a lot of cases, mold shouldn’t make you turn away from a house – like mildew in the bathtub that can easily be taken care of with a little elbow grease or solved by installing extra ventilation. Mold and moisture go hand in hand and can be very common in bathrooms. The concern is when there is mold, like toxic black mold, that is a health hazard. A home inspector won’t look for mold, but will point out water damage signs which may mean there is the possibility of mold. In this case, you should get it checked out and removed if necessary, especially if you have allergies or asthma.

4. Bugs and Rodents

The thought of roaches or mice in a house is very unpleasant, but it’s not the end of the world. Rodents sometimes do damage so you’ll want to check for that, but in most cases bugs and rodents can easily be taken care of by hiring an exterminator or rodent removal specialist, sealing up entrances and eliminating the food source. Termites, on the other hand, are a pest to be concerned about as they can potentially cause a lot of damage to the house. Termites feed on the wood of a home and do so in a way that it can be years before an issue is revealed. Fortunately, The Home inspectors offers a free termite inspection with every home inspection we do.

If you do receive a not so stellar home inspection report, remember not every home is perfect and it’s not necessarily a deal breaker. The Home Inspectors provide home inspections for buyers, sellers, new builds, builder warranties and home maintenance. We make it easy with 24/7 online scheduling and a simple pricing structure. Contact The Home Inspectors today for your home inspection! 

One important piece of knowing the current condition of your home, for Buyers and Sellers alike, is the home’s foundation. The foundation of a home is often the make or break for a transaction, and being aware of the condition of the foundation will help prepare you for the sale/purchase of your home.

So how do you know if your home’s foundation is in good shape? 

 
There are various warning signs of adverse performance of a foundation. The warning signs below will give you a good idea of what to look for when evaluating your home’s foundation and may even show you your foundation is in better shape than you originally thought!
 

Cracked Foundation

One of the simplest ways to check for foundation issues is looking directly at the source. Take a look at your home’s foundation to look for any noticeable cracks or sinking in your foundation walls. However, take this suggestion with a grain of salt, as not all foundation cracks are bad; because homes will naturally settle, some cracks are often normal. You can spot concerning foundation issues by looking for cracks that are wider at the top than the bottom or horizontal cracks.

Jammed Doors and Windows

Take the time to inspect all of the doors and windows in your home. While a creaky door or mildly stubborn window can be a common occurrence in any home, keep a close eye on windows and doors that are significantly difficult to close or any kind of distortion, separation, or problems latching. Because walls are at their weakest point near openings, these can oftentimes be an area where foundation issues stem.

Uneven Floors and Ceilings

Over time your home will naturally move and settle. This results in your moving foundation shifting your home’s walls and support beams, causing the weight of your home to sit unevenly. Closely inspect your home’s floors and ceilings for any obvious sagging, slanting, or cracking. While some settlement and shifting in your home is natural, issues like this are a telltale sign of more serious problems with your foundation.

Gapping Between Frames and Wall

Take a look at the exterior of your home and keep your eyes peeled for any kind of gapping between your front door or windows and the wall. Gaps are a sign that your foundation is shifting and pulling them apart.

Bowed Or Cracked Walls

Cracks or bowing both on interior and exterior walls are a clear and easily recognizable sign of foundation issues within a home. If you are able to spot these within your home, it is a clear indicator of foundation movement, hydrostatic pressure, or poor drainage.

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CHECKLIST

 

INTERIOR

 

DOORS & WINDOWS

  • Cracks extending from the drywall in the corners of doorways and windows
  • Gaps between the frame and the floor or wall
  • Binding or misalignment
  • Difficulty latching properly
  • Separation from framing or exterior finish

FLOORS

  • Cracks in the slab
  • Uneven or sloping floors
  • Cracks in floor tiles
  • Sagging or bowing floors
  • Separation between the floor and wall

WALLS & CEILINGS

  • Sheetrock cracks of .2”-.6” or more oftentimes located around doors and windows
  • Gaps where the wall meets the ceiling
  • Displaced or cracked decorative moldings
  • Corner cracks extending from windows and doors
  • Cracks

 

EXTERIOR

 

FOUNDATION

  • Cracks that are horizontal or wider at the top than the bottom
  • Sinking along the perimeter of the foundation

DOORS & WINDOWS

  • Separations between door jambs or brick moulding and the brick
  • Separations around window frames
  • Separation between garage frame and brick

WALLS

  • Frieze board separations
  • Rotating, buckling, or deflecting masonry cladding
  • Cracks of .2”- .6” or more oftentimes
  • Offset cracking where the brick is uneven on either side of the crack
  • Chimney cracks

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This is a fairly comprehensive list and having just one or two of these indicators may not be cause for concern. However, more than a couple of the indicators of adverse performance might suggest your home’s foundation may need some special attention. Knowing the current condition of a home’s foundation opens opportunities to negotiate the selling price, prepare for future maintenance, and stay on top of a potential purchase.

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