If you have or ever bought or built your own house, you can relate to the excitement that comes with knowing that you have a place of your own. Well, as a homebuyer, the last thing you want is for your dream to be cut short by an error or problem in the house structuring. It’s even worse if you bought the house, only for it to start falling apart a few months or years down the line.
On the same note, for home sellers, defects, and mistakes in the structure of your property can delay the sale of the home. To avoid disappointments, you should conduct your structural inspection so you can note any defects or damages that need fixing. With the larger bias on home buyers, here are a few things to look out for during a structural inspection.
Foundation and Exterior
The basis of any inspection is getting the foundation and the whole structure assessed. When doing your inspection, you have to be keen on the details you notice. By default, inspectors are detail-oriented. You, therefore, have to try and be the same. When making your house inspection, you have to look at all signs of hazard and defect, not because you want the house to comply with the standards that are in place, but because you are the one to live in that house, and your safety is paramount.
Be keen on the foundation; it is usually the one that, if not well-structured, results in a future disaster. Be eager to look for the cracks and shifts in the foundation. Try and see if the house is properly leveled in all areas. While this part can be challenging to inspect without taking any measurements, look for any signs of defect, and inform your contractor. Do not gamble your life by living in a house whose foundation was not well laid.
As for the exterior, there are several features that you need to be keen on. Check to see whether there are drainages carrying water away from the house. Every house should have a proper drainage system. Look at the landscaping where the house is built. Check to see if there are any water pools or there is a part that looks soggy. These types of areas are not the best for building a house.
Also, check the wood used in making the house. Is there any termite damage to the wood? Are they rotten at any point? What about the windows? Are they square or bowed in any way? Some of these defects may not be easy to notice, especially if you are not familiar with building and construction. Other things you can take a look at are:
- Does the paint show stains?
- Is it peeling?
- Has the color been faded by the sun?
- Does the roof have any patching, or does it seem to be decaying?
- Is the chimney well-constructed?
- Do the gutters drain properly?
- Is the septic tank well-constructed?
The exterior alone can dictate a lot about the condition of the house. Even before you can inspect the interior and other aspects of the building, such as the HVAC, the plumbing, or the electrical system, start with the exterior. It can tell a lot about the structural integrity of the property.
At times the interior looks like a straightforward part of the building during an inspection. It is, however, essential to be keen. Here are some of the things to look at when inspecting the interior of your new house:
- Are there strange odors from the house? If any, ask for confirmation where they are coming from.
- Are there any stains on the walls and other parts of the house?
- Do windows, doors, and all cabinets open and close properly?
- Is the house well ventilated?
- Are the electric cables in the attic open or closed up?
The interior has quite a lot that you can look at. You just have to check the main areas that you already know.
The house you buy should have a sound plumbing system. At times, however, people don’t know how to check if the plumbing of any home is good enough. When doing a structural inspection, you shouldn’t fail to look at the plumbing to be sure the house is well piped and there are no leakages in the house. When doing a plumbing inspection, check for the following:
- Are there any leaking pipes?
- Is the water pump working correctly?
- Are the pipes damaged or rusted?
- Do the pipes restrict water flow?
- Are all the joints in the pipes well tightened?
- Are the taps leaking?
- Is the toilet working correctly?
The plumbing of any house should be checked thoroughly, and any corrections made immediately. This prevents most disasters that occur due to water leakages in the plumbing system.
One major issue that would happen and lead to significant damage and probably injury or death is the interaction between leaking water and the property’s electricity. Again, do not gamble with your life.
Another essential part of any house is the electrical system. This is one of the areas that any homeowner should always be keen about. An electrical inspection should be done once in a while to ensure the safety of those in the house. It is advised that no matter what you notice in an electrical inspection, always call a professional and never attempt to repair it on your own. When doing an electrical inspection, check for the following in the house:
- Are the lights flickering or dimming?
- Are there funny smells in the house?
- Are the sockets and switches warm?
- Is there any light in the house that isn’t working at all or taking time to light up?
- Is there any loose wire in the building?
- Are there any non-functional sockets?
The electrical system is very delicate. This is why during an inspection, you should make sure not to touch any of the wirings if you don’t have the training required to do so.
It is everyone’s dream to own a house that they can call their own. The construction process and all other building processes can be promising and straightforward, but once an inspector doesn’t approve the house, the dream can be shuttered. This is why it is essential to look at the home and make the necessary repairs before the inspector comes. Whether you are buying or selling a home, a structural inspection benefits you in many ways.
Learn more about Brother Home Inspection