Pre-loved or even brand new, one must have a keen eye when doing home inspections. They say it can run you as much as 25% in hidden damages or substandard materials used in building the property. From the very foundation of the house to the top of the roof, there are vital signs you need to pick-up quickly as these can affect your safety, livability and its resale value.
Before you hang your hat on a place that you might call “home” soon, here are 7 tips on how to sharpen your property-hunting senses when you start looking around the house,
- Foundation – The most important part of any house as this is where the all the load of the structure rests. Look for uneven sinking of floors, sagging beams and roof lines, retouched crack on beams, floors, columns and walls. For the exterior, check the shingles if they are warped and if there is tilting of the house. Best to look for another property if the foundation is weak.
- Structural – Structural cracks can be caused by a number of factors namely inadequate load design, low quality materials used, undersized or corroded steel bars and poor construction. Progressive cracks could mean the structure is deteriorating. The repairs can be costly.
- Flooring – Make sure the interior flooring is smooth and flat. The outdoor floors are always sloped to drainages to avoid unwanted flooding. Also look for cracks along the joints of the flooring used.
- Electrical – Faulty electrical and substandard materials used are main drivers of fire. Try bringing your phone charger and plug in those sockets to test if all are working well. It is still best to bring an electrician especially for those old houses.
- Plumbing – Water leak can be a nuisance though it usually happens to old and new properties. Open the faucets to check the water pressure and see how fast the water travels then see how fast the drainage gulps the water as well. This can be a quick test of a good or bad plumbing is in place
- Doors & Windows – Aside from opening and closing it with ease, make sure the thickness and appropriate materials for the respective rooms are used.
- Roofing – Check for stains on the interior walls and ceilings. Inspect also the gutters and see if there are any debris blockages or holes.
Conclusion… As sellers can always withhold vital information from buyers via the “caveat emptor” rule, I feel it is always best to hire a contractor/engineer to take a deeper look. As we can only go so far inspecting a home, by gauging the quality of the property built as a whole, you’ll get a fair idea on the craftsmanship and materials used in building it.
By: Peter Norrdell
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