How to Prepare For a Home Inspection
Your home inspector’s goal is to provide the most complete and accurate information that can be obtained in the few hours he or she is on site. By addressing the items noted below, you can help minimize obstacles to a complete inspection and making sure many of these common findings are NOT on your home inspection report when you are selling your home!
Preparing a home for an inspection is a very important part of the inspection process. A properly prepared home will ease the stress of the inspection for all parties, by keeping the inspection running smoothly and may prevent additional fees.
Here is a list that may be helpful for you in preparing your house for a home inspection. Many of these items can be done at little or no cost and are part of a regular maintenance program for any home.
- Ensure that all the utilities are turned on before the inspector arrives. This includes the electricity, water & gas or propane if applicable.
- Be aware that the inspector does not move any personal belongings, furniture or stored items to gain access to any area, panel or appliance.
- Be aware that the inspector does not energize any breakers or open any plumbing valves that have been shut off as they may have been shut off for safety reasons. If you have any of these items shut off due to the home being vacant, they should be opened or turned on prior to the inspection. (Your inspector advises against turning on any device or fixture if you do not know why it was shut off and how to turn it on safely. Always consult with qualified professionals if you are working with plumbing or electricity outside your realm of expertise.)
- Be sure all exterior doors are accessible.
- Be sure all door locks are working properly.
- Be sure keys are available for all locked doors.
- Remove soil or mulch from contact with siding. (6-8 inches of clearance to ground.)
- Trim trees, roots, and bushes back from the foundation of the home.
- Clean gutters and make sure downspouts are connected and intact.
- Be sure all doorways, windows and closets are accessible.
- Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition. Heating and Air Conditioning.
- Clean or replace heating and cooling filters.
- Have the chimney, fireplace or wood stove serviced and cleaned.
- Be sure the main electrical panel and any sub-panels are not blocked.
- Replace all burned out or missing light bulbs.
- Replace all broken and missing receptacle and switch cover plates.
- Ensure GFCI receptacles are functional.
- Repair any known leaks and all malfunctioning components, i.e. loose faucet handles, inoperable sink stoppers and ventilation fans.
- Be sure access to the under sink plumbing is not blocked at kitchens and bathrooms.
- Ensure that all plumbing fixtures such as the toilet, tub, shower, and sinks are in proper working condition and the supply valves are turned on
- Check bath ventilation fans to see if they are properly vented and in working condition.
- Clear out areas under sinks so they can be inspected
Basement, Crawl Spaces and Attics
- Remove all wood debris from the crawl space.
- Remove belongings that may be blocking entry to the attic and/or crawlspace.
- Check to ensure that the crawl space is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary.
- Check crawl space and attics for animals.
- Ensure that all pets are secured and/or removed from the premises.