Home maintenance is a primary responsibility for every homeowner, whether you've lived in several homes of your own or have just purchased your first one. Staying on top of a seasonal home maintenance schedule is important, and your InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector can help you figure this out so that you never fall behind. Don't let minor maintenance and routine repairs turn into expensive disasters later due to neglect or simply because you aren't sure what needs to be done and when.
Your home inspection report is a great place to start. In addition to the written report, checklists, photos, and what the inspector said during the inspection not to mention the sellers disclosure and what you noticed yourself it's easy to become overwhelmed. However, it's likely that your inspection report included mostly maintenance recommendations, the life expectancy for the home's various systems and components, and minor imperfections. These are useful to know about.
But the issues that really matter fall into four categories:
- major defects, such as a structural failure;
- things that can lead to major defects, such as a small leak due to a defective roof flashing;
- things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home if not rectified immediately; and
- safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electrical panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed as soon as possible. Often, a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. It's important to realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in your inspection report. No house is perfect. Keep things in perspective as you move into your new home.