The housing market has become extremely hot, with the price of newly listed homes rising 13.5% since March 2021 and 26.5% compared to March 2020. This means getting your dream house within your budget is more difficult now than it has ever been, and if you have found the perfect match, you must ensure it is top quality before you invest all your hard-earned money into it.
A home has many risks that can build up over a short period if not correctly maintained. A thorough home inspection does not only include testing and checking security alarms and looking for frayed wires, although that is equally important. However, focusing on the house’s interior and exterior maintenance and construction to see if it can withstand the test of time is a huge part of any home inspection checklist.
This article will discuss a comprehensive home safety and testing checklist to ensure you make the right decision when buying a new home.
Let’s get started!
A property may look attractive enough from the outside, but the inside and foundation matter more than you might think. The inherent strength of a house is essential for its long-term value and liveability. The following are some factors to keep in mind when determining the quality of a house’s construction:
- Structure: Here, you need the help of a professional to analyze how efficiently the walls, roofs, columns, and beams are built. The structure should be strong and rigid to withstand harsh weather conditions and natural hazards. It should also be fire-resistant.
- Concrete quality: Your home’s foundation should be strong enough to bear a heavy load, and this greatly depends on the concrete quality. You should get information about the brand and concrete type used to ensure it contains the right ratio of sand and concrete.
- Fittings and fixtures: Examine all the fittings and fixtures in the house to ensure they are working as promised. Check the bathroom(s), individual rooms, and kitchen to and look for visible water leakage or cracks. Check all the electrical connections and sanitary appliances like the washbasin, pipes, showerheads, etc., to see whether they comply with the required standards.
- Wall thickness: The wall thickness of the house is mentioned in the legal documents. To ensure that the walls match the thickness, you need to call in a construction expert and verify the information. This will give you an idea about the sturdiness of the house, and will also let you know whether you’re doing business with trustworthy developers.
The only way to maintain the value of your home over time is to ensure the outside is as spectacular as the inside. While you cannot control the weather conditions, you can adopt preventive maintenance strategies and make repairs immediately to minimize exterior repair costs and maintain the value of your home.
Below is a simple home exterior maintenance checklist you can follow to check the quality of a new home:
- Inspect the roof and see if any shingles are missing or loose. Check the chimney and gutters to inspect whether they require repair. Use binoculars or a digital camera to zoom in and inspect the roof from different angles.
- The 4 sides of your house take the worst of the harsh weather conditions like rain, thunderstorms, or even sunlight and wind. Inspect the wall, window, and doors, and check whether the material is resistant to water and sunlight. All the siding and trims, like corner boards, must be painted, secure, and in good condition.
- Lawn care is a crucial part of home exterior maintenance. The lawn should be mowed, maintained, and fertilized routinely to ensure proper growth. The irrigation systems also need to be checked to see if they are ready for the growing season.
Planning, tracking, and managing the entire home interior design process is essential to ensuring the developers build the home of your dreams and don’t skip out on crucial things. Thus, you need a home interior design checklist and limit your expenses greatly.
- Kitchen: proper lighting, wall and floor tiling, pantry unit, kitchen countertop, kitchen sink, exhaust fan, storage cabinets, and appliance racks.
- Living room: bar unit, dining table, shoe cabinet, foyer, crockery unit, sofa.
- Bedroom: couch and sofa, bookshelf, TV unit, dresser, wall-fitted wardrobe, switchboards.
- Electrical connections: ceiling lighting, replacing switchboards, extra plug points, power points for all accessories.
- Bathrooms: storage rack, tiling, flooring, washbasin, shower partition, towel hangers.
The abovementioned list is standard; if you have unique preferences and requirements, be sure to add them before starting any work.
Another important thing in the home safety and testing checklist is overall home maintenance. This includes interior, exterior, seasonal maintenance, and inspections. It is important to focus on this to prevent severe damage and reduce repair and improvement costs. One type of maintenance that we will focus on is move-in maintenance. This includes:
- Replacing home filters: checking and replacing the air filters in your HVAC system and vents are very important to ensure healthy and clean air is circulating in your home. Generally, air filters should be replaced every 60 days.
- Deep cleaning: before moving in, consider a deep cleanse of your home. Hire a professional cleaner, scrub the walls and exterior, wash all the carpets, and check the appliances for dust to ensure your move-in day is smooth and stress-free.
- Checking security devices: check all the security devices and add other security measures necessary. Real estate agents also recommend changing the locks and replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspecting controls: find all your water and electric controls and see how they operate. Learn how to control the valves and fuse box in case of emergency.
Whether you have lived in a home for 2 days or 20 weeks, you must follow the home safety and testing checklist to ensure your new home is safe for you and your family.
- Upgrade the doors: an old wooden door can easily be kicked in. Thus, it is recommended to upgrade old wooden doors with a windowless solid door or metal door. Add door jammers or security bars to increase safety.
- Home’s perimeter:
○ Make sure your house number is not visible across the street.
○ Shrubs and trees should be pruned away from driveways, sidewalks, porches, windows, doors, and gates to eliminate hiding places.
○ If you’re installing a fence, use one that offers visibility, such as wooden slats with gaps.
- Add proper lighting: a dark pathway is a safety hazard. Ensure that your home’s exterior, especially the doorway and windows, has adequate lighting to detect motion.
○ It should have a secondary lock or barrier.
○ Secondary locking devices include double-paned windows, storm windows, and glass security laminates.
Architects, Builders & Engineers
If you are building your new home, you need to look for the right architecture according to your needs and requirements. The entire housing process can be highly stressful, and you are bound to waste money if you don’t have the right tools, resources, and professional help. An architect’s expertise and knowledge will be beneficial in building a house with a unique personality, a solid foundation, and conforming to the home safety and testing checklist.
But with so many options available, how do you find a good architect or engineer? Have a loot at the following list:
- You first need to create a brief of the house you want. For instance, the number of rooms, bathrooms, architectural styles, and materials you prefer.
- Next, ask your close friends and family about their architect choices and how they would rate their work. Nothing is better than referrals, and you can trust them as well.
- Ask the right questions, such as whether they have certifications or accreditations. What are their fees? Can they work well with interior designers and planners?
- Ask for their portfolio and see if their work matches your style.
Home Inspectors & Appraisers
You will also come in contact with home inspectors and appraisers when buying a new home. Inspectors work for the buyers and sellers and help analyze the potential home and everything wrong or right. For instance, home inspectors have knowledge and expertise in structural integrity, foundations, and basements, roofing, plumbing, etc.
In contrast, an appraiser works for the lender. Their job is to determine the fair market value of a home by doing an on-site inspection and taking notes of the home’s amenities, construction materials, number of rooms, and updates throughout the house. Both play a critical role in house safety and testing and are vital to ensure you are making the right decision.
That’s it for our home safety and testing checklist. Buying a home is a big investment; you need to find a safe place for you and your loved ones. Following our checklist above, you can gladly invest in a house care-free and enjoy increased value in no time.