How to Look

at a House


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to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 4)Anti-tip bracket installed at kitchen range. It’s primarily for child safety, and secures a free-standing range to the back wall or floor to avoid the possibility that a youngster sitting or standing on an open oven door will cause it to tip over and crush or scald them. But the elderly, too, can be injured while using an unsecured range for support while cleaning. An anti-tip bracket is included with every range sold in the U.S., but many do not got installed.

  2. 5)All door locks should be functional and secure. No double-deadbolt locks at exterior doors—the kind that require a key in order to exit the home. In a fire, the tenant can become trapped in the house while fumbling for a deadbolt key.

  3. 6)No trip or fall hazards. Any cracked driveway or walkway concrete that has an abrupt change in the walking surface of more than a half-inch is a potential trip hazard.  Also, a fall hazard is created when an indoor-rated tile with a smooth surface is installed at an outdoor location. Tile for exterior installation is required to have a slip-resistance rating, called a “coefficient of friction,” of 0.60 or more. Ramps require a rating of 0.80 or more. The manufacturer lists the coefficient of friction in their specifications on the packaging.

  4. 7)Stairs are safe. This is a lengthy subject unto itself. To learn about all the requirements of a safe stair, go to our blog at:
    What do you look for when inspecting stairs?

  5. 8)Railings in place where necessary and secure. Railings should be in place for any walking surface more than 30-inches above the ground or an adjacent floor. Give them a good shake once in a while to make sure the railings are secure.

  6. 9)No exposed electrical wiring connections. Replace any missing or damaged receptacle and switch cover plates. Any electric panel should have a cover plate around the breakers without any openings to the interior of the box.

  7. 10) GFCIs at kitchens and bathrooms. They may not have been required at the time the home was built, but they are now an accepted safety standard.

  8. 11) Dryer vent exhausts to exterior and not clogged with lint. Clogged vents can cause both mold and fires. To learn more about checking a dryer vent, go to our blog at:
    How do you inspect a dryer vent?

  9. 12) Garage door opener safety devices working correctly. The garage door is a heavy and suspending moving object. To learn about how to check out a garage door for safety standards, go to our blog at:
    What do you check when you inspect an electric garage door?

   Sometimes a tenant is reluctant to tell you about a safety issue in the home. So we make a point to always ask if there is anything that is not functioning properly when we visit a property for a safety check.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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