Owning a home is a major investment, and it’s one that you need to take care of properly. Making sure the home is in good shape means that you need to do periodic home inspections. Using this 1 year home inspection checklist can help you to ensure that you’re doing everything necessary to keep the home in good condition.
It’s usually best to go system-by-system in the home so you don’t miss any critical signs that something is amiss. Print out a 1 year home inspection checklist and mark things off as you check them. You can also make notes about what you need to have done so you don’t forget anything.
You have to tailor the 1 year home inspection checklist to your home. For example, you need to add spa maintenance to this list if you have a home spa. The same is true for a pool or other special features on the property. The more detailed you make the 1 year home inspection checklist, the less likely you’ll be to overlook something that will require costly repair if it gets out of hand.
The roof of your home is its number one line of defense against rain and snow. Making sure that it’s in good condition is critical. In fact, you should contact a local roofer to do a professional annual inspection on the roof. This doesn’t have to be at the same time as your 1 year home inspection checklist, but it’s something that you need to ensure happens every year.
A self-inspection of the roof should include looking for broken, curled, lifted, or missing shingles. You also need to look for mold, mildew, or moss on the roof. All of these are signs that your roof needs immediate repair.
The professional inspection of the roof is a way to get a closer look at the shingles. The local roofer can get on the roof and look for signs that your home’s roof needs attention. They should provide you with a report, either verbal or written, after the inspection to let you know what you need to do.
During all roof inspections, make sure you check the gutters and flashing. These are two areas that are often overlooked. The flashing helps to prevent water from seeping into the roof along chimneys and other similar structures. The gutters help to funnel water off the roof into an appropriate location so the water doesn’t pool right at the foundation.
Remember, shingles have a specific lifespan. This averages 25 years, but can be less for some shingles. When it’s time to replace the roof, be sure the local roofer replaces the underlayment and replaces any damaged roofing boards. While these add more cost to the project, they’re well worth the increase in cost because of the additional protection they provide for the home.
The home’s plumbing must be up to code and fully functional. Any issues with the plumbing must be addressed immediately. Leaking faucets and pipes can cause damage to the home that’s very costly to repair.
If you notice any signs of plumbing issues, contact a plumber service to come out for an evaluation. Most plumbers offer plumbing maintenance that can help to keep the plumbing in a home up to par. Be sure that you have the exterior plumbing features on your home checked. Outdoor faucets and pipes should be protected during the winter. Even if you do this, it’s still a good idea to look for signs of damage once the winter is over.
As you’re going through the plumbing section of your 1 year home inspection checklist, be sure that you check all fixtures. Look for signs of leaks or slow draining. You should also grab the water bills from the past year and find out if there’s an upward trend in how much water your home is using. A much higher usage could signal a hidden leak that you need to have fixed.
One thing to consider as you review the plumbing in your home is that older fixtures may need to be replaced for more environmentally friendly options. Unless there’s something amiss with the fixtures, you can have them changed out as your budget allows. For example, you might do the fixtures in the kitchen one month and then start on a bathroom a few months later.
Your Heating and Cooling Systems
The heating and cooling systems in the home can be very costly to replace. The better option is to maintain the systems. You can contact a heating and air conditioning service to come do an annual inspection of the system. This can be in the place of you doing a self-inspection as part of the 1 year home inspection checklist.
It’s a good idea to schedule a duct cleaning when it’s time for you to do the 1 year home inspection checklist. This service removes dust and other debris from the ducts, which can help to keep the air in your home cleaner. If you have anyone in your home who has asthma or allergies, this can be a positive thing to do for their health.
You might need to contact a heating and air conditioning service to come out for a repair if you notice that the hot air isn’t getting hot or the cold air isn’t staying cold. You should also contact them if you find that certain areas in the home aren’t staying at the proper temperature.
While it isn’t a part of the heating and cooling system, you should also check your insulation when you’re doing this part of your 1 year home inspection checklist. Insulation that’s in need of replacement can impact how the heating and cooling system in your home works. When there isn’t enough insulation, the climate-controlled air can seep out of the home and make it feel like the system isn’t working properly.
Make sure you check the hot water heater when you’re going over the 1 year home inspection checklist. Almost nothing is worse than trying to get into the shower and realizing that you don’t have hot water. If you notice a rotten smell in the hot water or that the water isn’t getting as hot as it did before, it might be time to contact someone for hot water heater repair or replacement.
Your Electrical System
The electrical system of the home must be inspected annually. You have to look for signs of frayed wires or overworked circuits. It can be difficult to do this on your own, so you may want to call in a professional for this part of the 1 year home inspection checklist. At a minimum, you can check outlets and plugs for dark spots that signal a problem.
An electrician can do specialized checks on the system to ensure that it’s in good shape. They may even be able to handle minor electrical repairs right away. More involved repairs, such as electric panel replacement, will have to be scheduled.
Signs of an electrical system issue, such as smelling something burning without a known cause, should be evaluated immediately. Electrical issues can lead to fires, so this isn’t something that you should take a chance with. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to electrical system issues.
If you have a generator for your home, add a spot for a generator inspection on your 1 year home inspection checklist. This might be done by a professional if you have a whole-house emergency generator. In fact, this is sometimes provided as a service of the generator purchase or installation. Many companies offer packages that include this service.
Inspecting the appliances in your home is another necessary part of the 1 year home inspection checklist. Some appliances, such as your refrigerator, have filters that need to be checked. If you see these are dusty, clean them. You may have to change them, so check the owner’s manual to find out how to handle the situation.
Make sure the stove is in good working order. If you have an electric stove that has a liftable top, now is the time to lift it and clean out anything beneath it. Check the wires for obvious signs of fraying and avoid using any burner that has this. You may need to have someone come out to check a gas stove.
You should also check the dishwasher, washer, dryer and any other appliance you have. Look for signs that water is leaking if it has plumbing. Always check the plugs to ensure there aren’t any brown or dark spots that could indicate an issue with the power source.
Appliance repair companies will sometimes offer packages for appliance maintenance and inspection. It might be easier to contact them for that service if you’re really busy when it’s time for you to do the 1 year home inspection checklist.
Your Floors and Carpets
The floors and carpets of your home are one of the areas that get a lot of use. Your 1 year home inspection checklist should include checking floors for signs of wear. If you have hard floors in your home, check the finish of the floor to ensure that it’s in good condition. Hardwood floors may need to be refinished.
Floors that have grout should be inspected to ensure the grout is still in good condition. You may have to schedule a time to have the grout cleaned or replaced. Broken grout or tiles can lead to water seeping beneath the floor. This can damage the subfloor and cause mold and mildew to set in. This could result in the entire floor having to be replaced much sooner than what would have been necessary if the floor had been properly maintained.
If your home has carpet, now is the time to deep clean it. Even if you vacuum throughout the year, the carpet will still need to be cleaned. You can hire a professional to tackle this job or you can rent a carpet cleaner.
Be sure that any stains are treated before the carpet cleaning. If you’re cleaning the carpets yourself, be sure you don’t oversaturate them because the moisture could seep through the carpet and padding. This can damage those and the subfloor to the point that they will all need to be replaced.
Reminders for Completing Your 1 Year Home Inspection Checklist
Remember, you didn’t wait for the annual inspection to correct things that you are wrong in the interim. Instead, you should always address issues as you spot them. This can help you in several ways, including spreading the cost out for the necessary repairs and enabling you to focus on only one thing at a time.
As you go through the 1 year home inspection checklist, you should still check things that have been addressed since the last time you completed the 1 year home inspection checklist. Things can go wrong in a home without much notice.
Be sure you keep records of the 1 year home inspection checklist and any repairs you have done. This can come in handy if you decide to sell the home because you can provide the information to the new buyer. A homebuyer will likely appreciate having detailed records of home maintenance and repair because it can give them peace of mind.
Those records can also be used when you discuss selling the home with a Realtor because you can provide firm dates for repairs, as well as proof that the repairs happened. This could help to increase the asking price of the home and may also improve the offers you get on the home.