When a home inspector is coming to inspect your home, there are a number of ways you can prepare ahead of time to make sure the inspection goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. Here are 11 tips to prepare for a home inspection that is free of distractions or hassle.
1. Remove pets. This is particularly true of dogs but keep in mind that the inspector will be reviewing every room and every area, including crawl spaces, attics, water heater closets and other areas you would not want your pet to hide in. If you can have your dogs visit a friend and kitties in a crate or other secure area, that is best and safest for both your pets and the inspector.
2. Find a sitter for children. Young children need a lot of attention and can be very distracting. Children can also attempt to access crawl spaces and other areas you would not want them in. The best bet is for young children to be visiting friends or at a sitter’s house during the inspection.
3. Shut down and unplug any sensitive electronics. Things like computers, televisions, tablets and other electronics can be sensitive to power fluctuations. The inspector will be checking the breakers and electrical system of the home so it is best to shut down and unplug these items to protect them from possible power fluctuations.
4. Clear away storage from key areas the inspector will need to access, including the attic, basement and garage. First, make sure the attic access way is open and clear for the inspector to get into the attic. Secondly, make sure storage is moved inside the attic so that the inspector can move around and see all of the walls clearly. In the basement and garage, make sure storage is moved to give a clear view of all walls and any drain areas to inspect for any leaks or cracks.
5. Move all items away from the electric panel. If you have storage or other items near or in front of the electrical panel, be sure to remove them from the area as the inspector will be checking the electrical panel and will need unencumbered access. Note: Make sure electric service to the home is on and electrical panel is on inside the home.
6. Remove storage and items from around the furnace and hot water heater. Not only is storing anything in these areas a fire hazard, the inspector will need to be able to inspect fully around these units without items in the way. Note: Make sure the water heater is turned on and operating normally.
7. Make sure the water is turned on to the home. The inspector will be testing faucets, appliances and inspecting plumbing for leaks, which requires the water service to be on and running. Ensure the main connection outside is on and the water switch inside the home is on as well.
8. Clean and remove dishes from the sink and the dishwasher. The inspector will be checking the drains and any appliances that use water in the kitchen such as the dishwasher and the garbage disposal.
9. Clear clothing from the clothes washer and dryer to allow the inspector to fully inspect the interior of the machines and their operation.
10. Replace dirty air filters in your HVAC system. The inspector will be checking this system and testing its operation. Making sure the filter is clean allows the inspector to better evaluate the HVAC system’s operation.
11. Replace all light bulbs that are burned out or not working with fresh bulbs both inside and outside. A bulb that isn’t working could simply be a blown bulb or a sign of a more serious electrical issue with the light fixture. This would require the inspector to either note the light fixture as possibly malfunctioning or spend extra time investigating. Save time and hassle for everyone by having all burned out bulbs changed out and working before the inspection.
A home inspection is a very thorough review of all of the home’s systems, structures and mechanical elements. It’s important to prepare for your inspection by creating easy access to areas the inspector will need to review and minimizing distractions of pets and children during the inspection so you (or your buyer) can get valuable information and make the most of the home inspection.