Home Inspections: Top Ten List of Repair Items

U.S. Inspect, one of the more respected and used inspection companies around town, has recently issued a list of the most commonly called-out items that they see in home inspection reports:

  1. Damaged or deteriorated trim. Water problem! Permits water intrusion. Repair or replace the trim.
  2. Missing GFCI receptacle. Danger, shock hazard! Hire an electrician to install a proper receptacle.
  3. Light fixture doesn’t work. Hello, it’s Dark! Repair or replace the light fixture.
  4. Loose toilet base. Water hazard! Causes leaks and water damage. Replace the wax ring and secure the base to the floor.
  5. Debris-filled gutters. Water hazard! Permits water intrusion. Clean the daggone gutters!
  6. Missing downspout extension. Danger, small kid alert! Water hazard! Extensions carry roof run-off water away from the foundation. Install a downspout extension.
  7. Automatic Garage Door Opener. Danger, small kid alert! Reverse must occur within two seconds of closing on a 1.5″ object on floor. Repair or replace the opener.
  8. Missing electrical cover plate. Danger, shock hazard and fire hazard! Install a cover plate.
  9. Missing anti-tip device. Danger, safety hazard! The range or oven can fall forward. Install an anti-tip device.
  10. Damaged or deteriorated siding is a water hazard. Moisture penetration causes more deterioration. Repair or replace the siding.

Notice that many of these make reference to a possible water issue, which is always something that should be identified and fixed.  But not all of the items on this list are big ticket items, and in fact can be inexpensively remedied.

Lesson?  Sellers, take care of the little things before putting your home on the market, especially anything safety or health related.  And PLEASE make sure all light bulbs are functional so that home inspectors don’t have to call out lights that don’t wok when it’s just about the bulb.  Buyers, understand that some repair items are more important than others.  I see all of the items time and time again in the home inspections I attend, and many of them are actually a very minor expense to repair.