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Home Inspections Utah County: How to Pass

How to Pass Your Utah County Home Inspection

Whether you own an old home or a brand new home, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. The home inspectors in Utah County are very fussy. In my estimate, I think about 75% of Utah County buyers are requesting home inspections before buying a home. If you wait until the home inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether.  In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you're looking for. (home inspections Utah County)

And knowing what you're looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.  There are certain problems that seem to come up time after time, especially if “Bob homeowner” or his dad or sister has been doing the repairs. Here are some typical repairs I see on inspection reports:

Faulty Wiring - Amateur installations can create a real safety hazard. I see ungrounded outlets with three-hole receptacles and multiple outlets with reverse polarity. This kind of work shows it was done by someone who didn’t know what he/she was doing. It seems the weekend handyman has been busy. These are simple repairs, but what else has been done wrong? Let's hope nothing has been buried in the wall. A look in the electrical panel often reveals improperly sized wires or circuit breakers. Exposed splices and loose wires are commonly found in attics, garages, crawlspaces and basements.

Outdated Fuse Panels - A lot of older homes in Utah County still have the original fuse panels in use. These are generally outdated by today's standards. Times have changed, and we tend to use a lot more electricity with the addition of computers, home entertainment centers, and all the kitchen and bathroom appliances. Most of the time, to keep the fuses from blowing out with common use, people will just put in a larger amp fuse. It is not uncommon to find 30 amp fuses throughout the fuse panel. The problem with this is that the wire size is too small to handle the new amperage and will overheat before the fuse will blow, creating a fire hazard. Electrical and wiring problems are the most common problems I see on homes.  I have seen many buyers start walking away from a sale because of wiring problems.

home inspections utah county

On inspection day
It's best if you attend the inspection yourself. Inspectors report all defects they find, no matter how minor. Home buyers sometimes get excited about minor problems simply because they don't have an understanding of what's really wrong. Witnessing problems first-hand will give you a better grasp of what is and is not an issue.  I will only work with Inspectors that do a walk-thru with my buyers before they leave the subject property. I want the inspector to personally explain the problems in person.

Tile, Tub, and Shower Pans - These areas are notorious for leaking. A little known fact is that grout needs to be sealed, and caulk needs to be maintained regularly. If this maintenance is not kept up, damage can occur behind the wall and out of sight. The older shower pans did not have a waterproof membrane like we use now, so it is only a matter of time before they will leak. Once these leak you can have major damage. Even new installations can and do leak. These leaks can be difficult to determine in the early stages. Remember you must legally disclose any defects with your property in writing on the Sellers Condition Disclosure. Don’t just hide a problem and then think it doesn’t need disclosing.

Toilets - Toilets are often not fastened to the floor properly and the wax rings are leaking. A wax ring that leaked in the past is often the reason the toilet has not been fastened to the floor in the first place. The floor may have rotted where the toilet was bolted down so that when a repair was attempted, there was nothing solid for the screws to grab. Toilets need to be firmly secured to the floor with screws or bolts….not caulk. Inspect your toilet. If you need a new toilet seat you can pick one up at home depot for about $10-$15. It is simple to change.

Furnaces - Furnaces need to be serviced regularly. The same goes for other gas appliances, which need tune-ups to keep them burning cleanly and safely. If the basement or garage has been finished, take into consideration that the combustion air source that allows your furnace to operate safely may have been eliminated or reduced significantly. Often the air filter looks like it hasn't been cleaned in years. This can cause stress on the system and potential overheating, which can lead to premature wear on a furnace or even a cracked heat exchanger.

Roof Leaks - Flashing is a material used to protect the building wherever there is penetration through the roofing. It prevents water entry and is an integral part of the roof system. It is often missing. Penetrations that are merely tarred or caulked should be considered temporary repairs that need to be monitored and maintained. Installing proper flashings is the permanent fix. Remember the roof is protecting the house.

Stucco - 99.9% of our homes here in Utah use stucco as the exterior finish. Stucco cracks. Stucco is not a good product for the Utah climate. We have extreme summers and winters. These extreme seasons cause great stress on stucco. In my opinion, stucco is best suited for warm, dry states like Arizona.

My brother can do it.
Some people truly do have a friend or family member who can perform an inspection. But even though your brother may have some building experience he may not have the equipment or expertise required to do a thorough evaluation of the home. What if he misses a major problem? Will it create hard feelings within the family?

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