1) Windows/ Screens
Replace what is broken, cracked, or missing. Check seals on double glass panels. Open, close and re -lock all windows to see that they are working properly.
*Hot Tip: A silcone spray like WD-40 helps make windows open more smoothly.
2) Peeling Paint
Cracked, chipping, bubbling paint, and places where moisture builds up may all be indicators that your house could use a new exterior paint before you sell it.
3) Cracked Caulk
You may need to purchase high -grade caulking that fits the application needed to fix any areas where your caulking has cracked.
4) Siding/ Trim
Refasten or replace loose boards.
*Hot Tip: If replacing exterior siding, be sure to match the original color and texture!
5) Deck/ Fences
Look out for loose or damaged boards and railings. Check the framing of the fence for loose panels, and secure them back in place.
6) Crawl Space/ Positive Drainage
For at least the first 3 feet, rainfall should flow AWAY from the house. Make sure that downspouts pour 3 feet away from the house or into a storm drain or a splash block tray. Clear debris from foundation vents. Remove dirt/ earth for a 6 inch clearance from the bottom of the siding. Check the foundation for any cracks and repair as needed. Clear out the crawl space of any debris or moisture. If a crawl space is flooded, a sump pump may need to be installed.
Always clean out your gutters before an inspection.
Repair missing or broken shingles, clean debris, check sealant and replace where needed. In your attic, remove insulation or anything blocking eave vents. Check for air flow and proper venting. Check pipes for proper connections and venting to the outside. Replace missing insulation. Check for signs of microbial growth (such as mildew etc.).
9) Air Conditioner
Your outside unit must be clear from any plants or debris to allow it space to cool properly.
10) Garage Door
Test the sensors: Open the door, then have someone hit the button to close it. As it's closing, wave your foot in the path of the infrared beam (electric eye path near the ground). It should stop and reverse to the open position. For the next test, do the same thing, except instead of waving your foot, grab the door with both hands to make it stop. It should offer some push against you then reverse back to open position.
11) Heating/ Cooling/ Water Heater
Replace the furnace filter and all interior filters no matter what month it is. Clear out anything blocking HVAC equipment, water heaters, electrical panels, the attic, and crawlspace as the home inspector will need to access these areas. Have a professional HVAC company service clean your AC unit and furnace.
12) Showers/ Tubs
Check for cracks in the grout or caulked joints. If you find any, match the grout color and texture and re- grout the damaged areas.
13) Ceiling Fans
Check to make sure all fans are working properly. Replace/ repair all broken fans. Bonus points for dusting them off and making sure they're sparkly clean.
Replace any burnt out lightbulbs.
Buy a $10.00 outlet tester from any home improvement store. It will show you any outlets that will fail the inspector's test. Some outlet testers will even test GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets. Make sure the electrical panel is easily accessible. All switches, outlets and junction boxes must have cover plates without cracks. There can be no exposed "Romex" (home in -wall wire). It must be in a metal or plastic conduit.
Repair all leaking faucets. Fill all sinks halfway with water, then pull the plug to see if they drain normally. If they drain slow, you may need to clean the P-Trap. Check under all sinks and in cabinets for any moisture on the bottom, supply lines, or valves. Check the crawl space for any leaks and pipe connections.
Flush all toilets. If there is a leaking sound before flushing, it's probably the flapper valve which is easy to install and costs between $5-12.00. Make sure all toilets are securely fastened. Check caulking at the base.
18) Safety Detectors
Smoke detectors are mandatory in the hallway of bedrooms and one at every level. Replace batteries and push the test button. Replace detectors with a 10 year lithium battery unit and replace hard wired units with hard wired units. Smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years according to Oregon state law. Don't forget to also check your Carbon Monoxide detectors!
The balustrade (entire baluster system) will be checked for sturdiness. If any of it is loose, you might want to have that repaired before inspection.
Run the dishwasher through its cycles, turn on all range/ cooktop burners, oven, vent fan and light and if included in sale, check all functions of the refrigerator. Repair or replace any appliances as needed.