A new home is like a blank canvas. It waits for you to decorate and organize on your preferences. But before the key changes hands and you have the chance to get creative, it pays off to inspect the whole property. The last think you need is a burst pipe that can damage your new floor, or worse. Consider these maintenance-and-check tasks as a precaution and investment.
On the very start, locate the fuse box and check if the switches are marked right. You need to know which switch breaks which circuit in the house. Check the light fixtures to see if they are installed properly and undamaged. Test each outlet with a phone charger to be sure that all of them work.
In a similar way, you need to locate the main water shut-off valve, too. Maybe you will need a wrench or a key to operate it. Just as a main circuit breaker, you can use this valve if there is a sudden plumbing leak in the house. Check every faucet, including those in the yard, to see if they turn off without dripping.
As you are inspecting your new house plumbing, check the bathtub, shower, sink and toilet for chips and cracks. Fill the bathtub and the sink with several inches of water and test the stopper to see if it leaks. Flush the toilets and check for leaks around the base. The toilet should be fastened securely to the floor with no wiggling. Also, when it comes to bathrooms, check what kind of bathroom heating options you got. Sometimes bathrooms have separate heating from the rest of the house.
After you check the countertops for scratches and cuts, inspect the cabinet fronts for any visible damage and loose hinges or handles. The drawers should pull out and go in smoothly. If the kitchen comes with electrical appliances, check if they work properly and make sure their cords are intact.
You can never be sure how many people have a copy of the house keys. Even if the previous owners handed over all the copies they had, maybe they forgot that they had made an extra one for the neighbor to water their plants while they were away. Not to mention the whole lot of people who were involved in the sale and had access to the house, like listing agents, selling agents, and maintenance workers.
Doors and windows
Light a match or hold a lighter around the edges of the closed window to see if there is any air leak to be found. As with kitchen cabinets, make sure that hinges and handles are sturdy. Check if the doors operate smoothly, with no scratching the floor.
Floors, walls and ceiling
Inspect the drywall for any seams, cracks or nail heads. Yellow rings indicate moisture stains and faulty roof or plumbing. Check if there are any loose wall or floor tiles. If detected, early scuff marks on hardwood floors can be your negotiating asset which you can use to lower the price or end up with a better deal. Check the carpeted areas for loose fitting carpet ends.
Heating and AC
Turn the heater on and listen how it runs. Make sure that hot air is coming from all the vents or that radiators are warming up evenly. Check the thermostat by cranking it five degrees over the room temperature. The heater should continue to run for some time and then turn off. Test the air conditioner in the same way, this time by lowering the temperature five degrees below.
The best ways to make these inspections is to make checklists divided into groups, either by rooms or utilities. When you complete the check, those lists can help you organize the priorities and tell the contractor what you need completed or repaired before you make the purchase.
About the Guest Author
Derek Lotts writes everything related to home improvement. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment. He blogs regularly at Smoothdecorator. In his free time, he likes spending time in nature with his wife. Check out his Google+ profile and follow him on Twitter.