Cleaning for a Home Inspection

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Your home doesn’t have to be clean for a home inspection, but it can help.

You want the inspector to have an overall positive report for the buyers and a clean home will help with that.

You also don’t want clutter or dirt to prevent a portion of the inspection and lead to an “incomplete” report that could deter the buyers.

You should complete these cleaning chores before the home inspector arrives:

#1. CHIMNEY

The home inspector will want to climb onto the roof and inspect the roof and the chimney if you have a fireplace.

You need to either hire a professional chimney cleaning service or you can perform DIY chimney cleaning with tips from our blog.

You don’t want soot or debris limiting the inspector’s visibility and ability to properly report on the current quality of the chimney.

#2. CARPET

If you have older and dirty carpet in your home, you should consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning service near your home.

The service you hire should be able to eliminate and remove deep dirt and surface level soil for a clean carpet.

This should discourage the home inspector from recommending you replace the carpet or tear it out prior to completing the sale of the home.

#3. BASEMENT

You need the walls of your basement to be clear of clutter so that the inspector is able to properly grade and evaluate the foundation of the home. If the inspector is unable to access and inspect various sections of the wall and foundation, he or she might fill out the report as “incomplete” and require another inspection at a later date which could delay the selling process.

#4. ATTIC ACCESS

Your attic will need to be accessible to the home inspector. Often, attics are accessible via a closet in a home and that closet is filled with clutter or other items of the homeowners’.

You need to clear the space to allow easier entry to the access for the inspector so he or she is able to lower the ladder and evaluate the insulation and interior of the roof of the home in their report.

#5. GUTTERS

You should clean your gutters two or three times each year and once before a home inspector arrives at your home.

Clogged gutters can lead to foundation problems from rain overflowing over the sides of the gutters and resting in pools and puddles near the foundation of the home.

The home inspector will notice the puddles and pools of rain and will assume there are either problems with the roof or the slope of the foundation. Both are significant issues that can derail the sale of a home.

Cleaning your gutters is one cleaning project you absolutely want to complete before a home inspection.

No home inspector wants to traverse a dirty home during their evaluation. In general, it is a courtesy to clean your home before the inspector arrives.

Plus, as you can see from our tips above, there are some additional benefits to completing various cleaning chores before a home inspection that could help the results of the report be positive.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

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Buying a home is a major investment and the process itself can cost a lot of money. You might consider passing on hiring a home inspector to save money but we do not recommend this.

A home inspector could save you thousands of dollars in the long run if he identifies a major issue with the home that will need attention. If you do not hire an inspector and purchase the home unaware of the issue, you will be responsible for the costs of repairing it.

The risk involved is not worth the amount of money you will save if you do not hire a home inspector before you buy a home.

So, how much does a home inspection cost?

There is no set cost for a home inspection. The prices often range from $200-400 depending on a variety of factors. Factors include the size of the home, the age of the home and the estimated time the home inspection will require for completion.

You should ask a home inspector how much he charges right away as well as his qualifications and referrals from previous realtors or home buyers.

He will explain the rates for his pricing and an estimate on how much the inspection will cost and an idea of how long it will take.

A larger home that is several decades old can require up to 4 hours or more to complete an inspection so if an inspector charges based on an hourly rate you should expect the cost to be more for a larger, older home.

However, condos and smaller homes might only require 2 hours or less to complete an inspection. More often than not, the amount of time the inspection requires will often come down to the condition of the home.

Additional costs for a home inspection can occur if the inspector performs radon tests or mold tests in the home. We recommend you include these tests in the cost of the inspection since the inspector will often charge less if he performs them at the same time as the inspection.

You should expect to pay $300 on average for a home inspection. The money spent on a home inspection before you purchase a home can save you thousands of dollars if the inspector identifies serious issues in need of repair.

Install GFCI Light Switches

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In our last post, we stressed the importance of installing smoke detectors in your home prior to a home inspection. Today, we want to encourage you to install GFCI light switches in your home.

GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter”. The internal device in this light switch shuts off electric power to the switch if it detects a current moving in the wrong direction.

GFCI light switches are now standard in new home remodels and a home inspector will require you install them as part of his report.

HOW TO INSTALL A GFCI LIGHT SWITCH

  • Locate the circuit breaker in your home and turn off the power to the room you will be installing the GFCI light switch.
  • Test the outlet with a circuit tester to ensure the power is off and then remove the face plate with a screwdriver.
  • Test the interior of the outlet again to ensure there is no power.
  • Remove the mounting screw from the outlet and then remove the outlet from the wall.
  • First, remove the black wire from the outlet.
  • Second, remove the white wire from the outlet.
  • Lastly, remove the ground wire from the outlet.
  • Straighten the neutral wire and the ground wire and and strip ½-inch from the wires with a wire cutter.
  • Now attach the ground wire to the GFCI.
  • Now attach the neutral wire to the GFCI. Push it through the end of the GFCI on the end with the hole and the screw to tighten the hole around the wire.
  • Now attach the black wire with the same process.
  • Now organize the wires into the outlet box and push the box back into the wall.
  • Mount the outlet with a screw and screw on the face plat.
  • Now return to your circuit breaker and turn the power back on in the room.
  • Test the GFCI outlet.

You should repeat this process for all of the outlets in your bathroom, kitchen and outdoor living areas.

The presence of GFCI light switches and outlets in your home for sale will help you to pass your home inspection and complete the sale of your home.

If you are not comfortable working with electricity, we recommend you hire a professional electrician near you to install GFCI light switches.