As real estate developers and licensed general contractors who have gut rehabbed numerous properties in disrepair, we have seen, well, pretty much everything! It can be overwhelming–not to mention frightening–sorting through the list of items a home inspector finds. Remember: It’s a home inspector’s job to find EVERYTHING and ANYTHING wrong that they possibly can. That’s what you’ve paid them to do! While some items indeed do carry weight and must be tended to sooner than later, there are areas we see commonly noted on these reports that may not be as big of a deal as you might imagine. Not that they don’t need attention. But they’re not as urgent as the inspector might indicate, or as you might interpret when reading through the initial report. Below are some of the more common items we see on home inspection reports and how they can be easily remedied.
1. Problem: Electrical outlets not working properly. This doesn’t necessarily mean there are electrical issues in the house. Fix: It could simply be a bad GFI and the outlet needs to be replaced.
2. Problem: Leaking or loose toilets are quite common because people sit on them and use them so frequently. Fix: Simple fix could be a new wax ring and/or tightening it to the floor
3. Problem: Inadequate insulation in the attic. Back in the old days, they didn’t have the same energy codes that we have now. Most inspectors today will say there is not enough insulation up there because of newer code regulations. Fix: It’s easy and relatively cheap to blow in additional insulation into an attic. Check out this article from The Spruce to learn more about blown-in insulation and how it differs from traditional fiberglass.
4. Common Issue: Exterior doors that don’t seal properly due to wear and tear over time or improper installation. Homeowners may understandably fear that cold air or water can enter, leading to issues with damaged floors, mold, and increased energy bills. Fix: The door usually just needs additional weather stripping (ie a new seal) or to simply to be replaced, which can cost a few hundred dollars.
5. Problem: Screws popping in the drywall are common as the houses settle over time. Usually this is caused by movement in the house which causes the drywall mud to come loose from the screw (ie ‘to separate from the screw’). Fix: A qualified painter can easily remove the old mud that popped off, replace it with new mud, and repaint.
6. Problem: Water in the basement. Fix: Investigate the draining on the exterior of the home. Sometimes with settlement we find the yard is pitched towards the house, so rain water gathers along the foundation and travels into the basement. The yard should be pitched away from the home to keep water out of the house. A professional landscaper can take care of this. Dirt settling around the foundation is common. So the landscaper will bring in more dirt and build it up higher around the house, and then pitch the yard away.
Have you found anything on an inspection report that seemed more serious than it really was? Share your thoughts with us!