“You Must Have the Perfect House”

I get this quite a bit – my client will say to me during the inspection that I must have a perfect house or if I were to do an inspection report on my house I’d find nothing wrong.

 

In actuality, it’s quite the opposite.  Every house has problems – even new constructions homes. Just to back up a little – my main concerns in the inspection of a house are safety and functionality. I test all the major systems of the home and put it all together in a report. I include pictures and ratings based on severity.

 

Many times there are major safety issues or non-functioning systems in the home that need to be addressed. And they rage from an easy, inexpensive repair to extensive, very costly repairs.

 

There are commonly also maintenance, or deferred maintenance, items that need to be addressed. Some of these may need to be fixed in the near future or just something that gets added to your household maintenance checklist.

 

I see my job as testing all the systems in the home and giving an evaluation of these systems. Unless it’s a brand new home, systems in a home are always in different stages of service life – some may be new, some in the middle of their life and others at the end or passed the end of their typical service life. I make recommendations based on these assessments – i.e. keep up the typical maintenance, time to budget and plan for replacement or that should have been replaced a year ago.

 

Back to my house – there are no major safety issues, but I’ve got lots of maintenance issues. There’s always an ongoing checklist of items to monitor.  And I’ve got to balance those with the ‘to-do list’ my wife has for me too.

 

Our water heater’s getting old, so it’s time to keep an eye on that and think about replacing it.  I replaced the dishwasher last year, so we shouldn’t have to worry about that for a while. But our washer and dryer are getting older.

 

I like to think I’m pretty good with keeping up with the home maintenance. I check and change the furnace filter monthly. I test the water heater’s TPR valve at least once a year. We’ve got some nice, big mature trees in our yard, so I inspect and clean the gutters a few times a year.  I even clean our sinks drains occasionally. The list goes on.

 

Is there more stuff I could be doing? Sure, but it’s hard to find spare time with two kids. Really it’s about taking care of the major issues, keeping up the maintenance and making the other repairs when you can.

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About Jon Errickson

A home inspector in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.
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