Author: David Haigh

(12)   Articles
You've carefully selected the home you're buying.

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Your Home Inspector Will Check Decks, Porches and Garage Doors By David Haigh

  in Real Estate | Published 2010-03-03 21:36:26 | 977 Reads | Unrated

Summary

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, having it inspected by a qualified home inspector is a must Your inspector will look over the inside and outside of the home to give you a report on its condition

Full Content

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, having it inspected by a qualified home inspector is a must. Your inspector will look over the inside and outside of the home to give you a report on its condition. Areas prone to safety issues may need special attention.

Some of the most important areas on the outside of the home are porches, decks and balconies. Because these are exposed to the elements more than most other parts of a home, your inspector will check their condition carefully. This is also important for safety considerations because you wouldn’t want someone to be hurt f
alling down rickety steps or through a soft deck floor.

Your inspector will check all porch, deck, and balcony supports for signs of loose or rotted parts. Masonry or concrete piers should be plumb. Any structural connections to the main building should be secure and protected against corrosion or rot.

What about the porch floor? Does it slant away from the main wall of the house? Is it rotten anywhere? Is there any water seeping in at door sills where the porch floor or deck is close to the level of the main floor in the house?

What is the condition of railings and stairs? Every stair with more than three steps should have a handrail located 34 to 38 inches above the edges of the stair tread. Are the railings secure and fastened well? Are wooden steps strong, and do they have good support? Is there any rot or insect infestation?

Your inspector will check steel stairs for strength, rust, and see if they’re securely attached. Stair treads should be as level as possible without holding water. Stair riser heights and tread depths should be uniform, respectively.

Any stairs in questionable condition must be repaired or replaced.

Garage doors can present safety issues as well and can hurt or trap someone if they’re not operating properly. Your home inspector will check garage doors for correct operation, weather tightness and overall condition and fit.

There are different kinds of garage doors, such as those made of wood, hardboard on a wood frame, steel, fiberglass on a steel frame, fiberglass, and aluminum. They can have glazed panes in a wide variety of styles.

Your inspector will check the wood and hardboard for rot and water damage, as well as examining hardboard for cracking and splitting. Steel doors are checked for rust and aluminum for dents. Fiberglass may be checked for ultraviolet light deterioration.

In hurricane prone areas, Your inspector will check garage doors, particularly single doors on two-car garages, to see if the assembly (door and track) has been tested for hurricane wind loads. Has it been reinforced?

A garage door without a motor should be opened and closed manually to check it. Doors with motors should be checked for proper and safe operation. While the mode of operating a motorized door may vary, there should be a means of operating the door from the outside. Does the door open smoothly, quietly and safely? Is there a means of reversing the door, and does it work as it should?

Are there any problems like rust, loose connections or damaged pieces on the exposed areas of the door?

It’s well known that many accidents occur at home, and this article has only touched on a couple of the items a qualified home inspector will check when he prepares his report for you.

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About the Author

You've carefully selected the home you're buying. Make sure you're as careful when selecting your home inspector. Don't get stuck paying for repairs missed by a quick home inspection. Author David Haigh is a professional home inspector in NJ. Click now to view a free sample report of a New Jersey home inspection.