Many home buyers don’t think about getting a home inspector. Because the house is brand new, they assume it doesn’t require one. They may also think their uncle, who is an HVAC technician, can inspect it. This could end up costing you thousands in future repairs, which is something most people don’t realize. These items can have been identified earlier and could have been used to negotiate the sale of your home. What are the most important items that a home inspector will look for? Let’s take closer look.
My clients are most concerned about the roof’s age and condition. A new roof costs around $10,000 for a typical Orlando home. This is for a 3-tab shingle, which can be cheaper than the cost of a larger home with a tile roof. On a typical asphalt roof, I look out for hail damage, granule loss and proper bonding. In Florida, proper bonding is crucial to prevent damage from hurricanes. Before we arrive at the house, a permit search is performed to determine the age of the roof. An asphalt shingle roof in Florida will last between 15-25 years, while a metal or tile roof may last for much longer.
It can be difficult to inspect the plumbing system. After the drywall is installed, we are limited to what we can see. We can also provide a sewer scope as an add-on service. Some materials are no longer in use, which can make it difficult to get insurance. These materials include polybutylene and galvanized pipes. PEX is another new material that was installed before 2011 because of problems with brass fittings. These materials are not something that most home owners/buyers will be aware of. It is important to inspect the house before you buy it. This will allow you to determine what kind of material it is, and whether there are any problems with your insurance.
When we pull up to a house, the first thing we do is check the area around it. Are there areas where the ground slopes towards foundations? Is the grading sufficient around the home? The most important items for home buyers are the bathroom countertops and kitchen cabinets. We focus on the less interesting. We check to make sure drainage has been installed if the ground slopes towards the home. We recommend that the buyer add drainage or have it done by the seller before closing.
My home inspection always starts with the exterior, and then I work my way in. The majority of homes in Orlando have block walls with stucco coatings. This is a solid foundation that will last for many decades. We see problems with homes that are two-story and stucco. Block first floor, wood frame second floor are the norm for 2-story homes. These tract homes are often built so fast that they don’t take the time to ensure they are water tight. We often see problems on the 2nd floor where stucco has not been applied correctly. Water gets behind the stucco and begins to deteriorate the wood below. It is crucial to perform a phase inspection in order to catch any missing steps.
It is vital to maintain the electrical system as any problems can cause a fire or electrocution death. The majority of Standards of Practice guidelines for home inspectors say they don’t have to remove the dead panel from the electrical system. This is a disservice to my client as there is no way of knowing what the issues are underneath. If a 4-point report is required for insurance, I will remove the panel cover. Sometimes we can find simple fixes such as double-tapped wires and a breaker too big for the conductor. Sometimes we’ll find panels such as Federal Pacific, Zinsco, or Challenger. These brands have a reputation for having issues, and they can cause problems when you shop for insurance. To find out if there are heating breakers in any panel we inspect, thermal imaging is used.
It’s obvious that a Florida A/C system is just as important as oxygen. Nothing is worse than an August day that’s hot and humid, when your HVAC system freezes over, rendering it useless. Buyers who skip home inspection in ocoee fl may not be aware of HVAC system problems. Sellers will add refrigerant to a system that has problems if they want to hide it. It can appear that the system is in good condition, but it’s not. The buyer would then find out that they will need to spend $5500 on a new system when they move in. I date the units, and inform the clients that the Florida system is expected to last for 15 years.
In August, an attic in Florida is my enemy. But it’s where we find the most serious problems. Sometimes, roof leaks do not reach the ceiling. You will notice staining on your roof deck, and we will let you know if it needs to be repaired. Another important factor is the condition of the ductwork. I don’t know how many times I have seen ducts blowing cold air into my attic. This is a waste of money and energy. It will also cause your home to become depressurized, which could lead to backdrafting of furnace flues. Can you say carbon monoxide poisoning? This would have been prevented if a home inspection had been performed, rather than saving a few hundred bucks.