Prepare for Your Home Inspection!

Ten Tips to Prepare For Your Home Inspection

Here are some tips to prepare the house prior to the inspection. Your home inspection will go smoother, with fewer concerns to delay closing.

  1. Confirm that that the water, electrical and gas services are turned on (including pilot lights).
  2. Make sure pets won’t hinder the home inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from the premises or secured outside.
  3. Replace burned-out light bulbs to avoid a “light is inoperable” report that may suggest an electrical problem.
  4. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace dead batteries.
  5. Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters. They should fit securely.
  6. Remove stored items, debris and wood from the foundation. These may be cited as “conducive conditions” for termites.
  7. Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electrical service panels, the water heater, attic and crawlspace.
  8. Unlock any locked areas that your home inspector must access, such as the attic door or hatch, the electrical service panel, the door to the basement, and any exterior gates.
  9. Trim tree limbs so that they’re at least 10 feet away from the roof. Trim any shrubs that are too close to the house and can hide pests or hold moisture against the exterior.
  10. Repair or replace any broken or missing items, such as doorknobs, locks or latches, windowpanes or screens, gutters or downspouts, or chimney caps.
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Fall Maintenance for Northwest Florida Panhandle

The calendar has turned to November; the month during which we transition from fall into winter (not so much in Florida).

With less sunlight, colder temperatures, and shorter days ahead for Northwest Florida , it’s an opportune time to cross those last-minute maintenance items off your homeowner to-do list.

Practicing preventive care — both inside and outside your home — can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. What follows is a brief checklist to get you started.

For outside the home :

  • Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires.
  • Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are falling, redo after leaves are off all trees.
  • Inspect and test outdoor railings and stairs.
  • Have problem trees trimmed, including those that may damage your home in a storm.
  • Protect outdoor water faucets from freezing. Consider using foam cups, sold at hardware stores.

For inside the home :

  • Change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, whether they’re “dead” or not.
  • Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils, plus the front bottom grill. Empty and clean the drip pan.
  • Inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Hire a certified chimney sweeper to clean the chimney, if needed.
  • Insulate bare water pipes running through your home to prevent freezing and to limit condensation on cold-water lines.
  • Inspect automatic garage door opener. Lubricate chains according to manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.

As a constant series of chores, home maintenance is a four-season job and one which should not be taken lightly. The tasks of each season are unique and November’s jobs are mostly preparatory in advance of colder weather.

If your routine maintenance uncovers larger issues including a faulty HVAC unit, or a leaking faucet, for example, seek professional help to make the repair.

Trends in Home Improvement

If you are thinking of tackling a home improvement project or are buying a home and looking to renovate, here are some of the latest trends in remodeling.

Floors – Carpet, linoleum and even ceramic tile floors are being replaced by wood flooring.

  Countertops – Laminate countertops are making a comeback versus granite.  The latest European-inspired laminate counters that offer high definition texture and natural finishes are often preferred. 

Bathroom Fixtures – Bronze is the preference for bathroom fixtures such as faucets, towel bars, and shower heads. 

Paint – Flashy paint colors are out and warm colors and earth tones are in.  Homeowners are adding color with accessories instead of painting the walls bright colors. 

Outdoor Living Spaces – This is not a new trend, but is becoming more popular.  Adding an outdoor space such as a patio or deck makes the house look and feel larger. 

Green and Energy Efficient – Environment-friendly  and energy saving features include upgrading the HVAC system, windows and doors and adding more insulation as well as radiant heating, geothermal heating and solar heating.