A home inspection should never be skipped, even if it is new construction. There are a lot of moving parts when a home is built – and they all need to come together in the right sequence and correctly. Things happen, things go wrong. And that’s why it is important to have a home inspection, even on new construction.
Here is a short list of some of the things that I have seen:
One of the tools I bring along to home inspections is a thermal imaging camera. A thermal imaging camera detects infrared energy (heat) on a surface and converts it into a visual image. The visual image shows variations in surface temperature by translating the infrared energy into various colors depending on the temperature it detects. While it looks like it provides X-ray vision, the scan does not penetrate the surface – only the temperature on the surface is detected.
The photos can be useful in a variety of applications:
Confirm the presence (or absence) of heat: The camera can confirm air flow at registers, radiators warming and the operation of radiant floor heat.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2010 and 2014, fire departments responded to an average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers and washers each year. Fires involving clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the total. Fires can be caused by a combination of factors including but not limited to mechanical or electrical failure, human error and poor ventilation.
When inspecting a home that appears to have had electrical work done by a non-professional (not a licensed electrician), I often find receptacles that have a condition called “reversed polarity”. Reversed polarity happens when a receptacle is wired in reverse. The hot and neutral wires get connected to the wrong terminal screw on the receptacle or reversed somewhere along the circuit upstream. Reversed polarity is a shock hazard and can damage the equipment plugged into the receptacle.
I often see flexible drain lines installed under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms that have been remodeled. They are also called accordion or corrugated drain lines. Go into just about any store selling plumbing supplies and you will see them.
Why would you use a flexible drain line? Their flexibility allows them to be adjusted to different angles and alignments. They can be easily bent or shaped to accommodate situations where pipes don’t line up. Simply put, they are easy to install.
What is a double keyed deadbolt? It is a deadbolt that locks from both the inside and outside with a key. A double keyed deadbolt can be both safe and dangerous, depending on the specific circumstances in which it is used.
As a homeowner you might not think much about the air filter on your HVAC equipment (furnace and air conditioner). After all it’s out of sight and out of mind, right? As a home inspector, I have pulled out some really dirty, blocked air filters.
Changing your air filter regularly is essential for maintaining your HVAC system’s health and helps you ensure your home’s air quality. Here are a couple of reasons why changing your air filter is so important.
If you have navigated the housing marketing in the past couple of years, you know it isn’t an understatement to say that it is challenging. Low inventory with rising prices and interest rates have created a perfect storm. You might have needed to waive the Inspection Contingency on your Offer to Purchase. And now that you own the home, you are wondering if it is too late to have a home inspection.
It is never too late to have a home inspection.
A home inspection is a comprehensive assessment of a home’s condition, and it can reveal potential issues that may not have been visible during the buying process or apparent to the untrained eye. Identifying these issues early on can help you address them before they become more significant and more expensive to fix. Most importantly, the home inspection can identify potential safety hazards that should be repaired to help ensure your home is safe for you and your family.
During the home inspection we will walk through the house together. I will explain how things work and how to maintain them. All your questions are welcomed, and I will do my best to answer them.
After the inspection, you will receive a comprehensive report with photos, drawings and detailed descriptions. The report will help you create a maintenance schedule as well as plan and budget for repairs. A link to a home inspection sample report can be found here:
During the last couple of years, I have done many inspections after the home was purchased. Sometimes I can report that things look good, there are a few minor repairs to make, take care of the routine maintenance tasks and enjoy your new home.
But at times I have identified safety concerns and costly repairs. Some of the things I have seen include melted circuit breakers, foundations with structural issues and roof leaks. While this is never good news for the homeowner, knowing about these types of issues is so very important. The cliché “knowledge is power”, attributed to Francis Bacon, is perhaps overused but true. The home inspection provides the knowledge needed to help you live safely and comfortably in your new home.
Being a homeowner means that at some point in the future you will need to replace a furnace, air conditioner and water heater – hopefully not all in the same year. Knowing the age of your equipment will help you plan a budget for replacing them.
Determining their age is a relatively straightforward process. First of all, the go to website for almost all home inspectors is the Building Intelligence Center website: https://www.building-center.org/. This resource will help you decode the serial numbers on the equipment.
I am a home inspector and a lover of old houses, dogs and mountains.
Jill Hauk Home Inspections, LLC
1000 Giles Street, Stoughton, WI 53589
Home Inspector in Madison, Stoughton, DeForest, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, Cross Plains, Middleton, Monona, Cottage Grove, Verona, Fitchburg, McFarland, Mount Horeb, Brooklyn, Janesville, Evansville, Oregon, Edgerton, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Cambridge, Windsor, Johnson Creek and everywhere in between