Most people are familiar with the idea of having a building survey done before you purchase a new home. However, this should not be a one-off experience. It is essential that you know the issues with your own home and takes steps to rectify them, preventing further problems and costly repair bills.
The best way of assessing the issues and creating a repair plan when necessary is to do a DIY home inspection. It should be noted that you should still have an independent building inspection undertaken periodically and definitely before you commit to purchasing a house.
But, understanding the elements of a DIY home inspection will help to ensure your house stays in great condition.
When doing a home inspection you will want to look at the wood in your home. Wherever it is visible take a look at it to ensure it still looks healthy. You should choose a spot that won’t be noticed and push your screwdriver into the wood. It should be impossible. But, if the screwdriver goes in you have rotten wood. Pay particular attention to bubbling or rippled paint.
This means you will need to replace the wood in question. Rotten wood will cause structural issues. The question is whether the wood is rotten due to insects or dampness. Knowing which it is will make it easier to locate the source of the problem and deal with it.
Replacing the rotten wood is essential but, if you don’t find what caused it, you will simply be dealing with the same issue in the future.
The first thing to do with the water system is to ensure the faucets are all off. Then make a note of the meter reading and look at it again a couple of hours later. During that time don’t use any water, the meter reading should stay the same. If it doesn’t you have a water leak and need to find it.
It’s also a good idea to look and listen to the water heater. Any sign of corrosion or unexpected noises means there could be an issue with the water heater. You’ll need to get professional help to deal with this.
Living in a house will quickly show up any electrical issues, such as flickering lights, funny odors, and even small electric shocks. But, when you are doing a DIY home inspection you should visually inspect as many wires as possible. Any damage can cause short circuits or increase the risk of a fire.
This is an issue that will need to be resolved quickly and by a professional.
Under The House
This is one area that is generally neglected as people don’t generally have a reason to crawl under the house. However, it is important to inspect the foundations periodically. Very small cracks in the concrete foundations are not an issue. But, if a crack is horizontal and vertical, or if it appears to be growing, you have a structural issue.
Regularly checking the foundations will allow you to assess the cracks and identify if they are changing, in which case you will need specialist help.