By Hunter Newell, NPI Property Inspector, Milledgeville, Georgia
When you have an inspection done on your first home, it may seem a little overwhelming. You will get a report that sometimes could be up to 60 pages long and may contain a plethora of technical terms. Your home inspector should be more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding the contents of the report. However, it may be necessary to ask questions that may not relate to the condition of your house. Below are some important things you should know about your new home that may not be included in the report. Make sure you use the walkthrough portion of your home inspection to find out this information from your inspector.
- “Where is the main breaker?” The main breaker is the primary electrical box going into a home. This is important to know its location if you need to shut off some or all of the power to your house. Be sure to ask your inspector where it is located.
- “Where is the water shut-off valve?” The water shut-off valve is very important to locate. Most appliances, such as sinks and toilets, have an individual shut-off valve in case they leak or overflow uncontrollably. These shut-off valves are normally located within immediate reach of the appliance. However, your home will most likely have a main water shut-off. It is important to locate this for use in an emergency.
- “Where is the gas shut-off?” This is extremely important to know in case your home develops a gas leak. Gasses that are used to operate appliances can be extremely hazardous to your health and pose a substantial explosion hazard. A home inspector will be more than happy to point out this shut-off.
- “How do I adjust water temperature?” The water heater controls the temperature of water used in plumbing fixtures, such as showers and sinks. The temperature may need adjusting up or down, depending on your personal preference. Normally, this is done by turning a dial located on or near the water heater.
- “How do I use my sprinkler system?” If your home has a sprinkler system, then they inspector may have checked the system. Regardless if it was reported on, the home inspector may be able to show you how to use it.
- “Are there any other health risks associated with the area I live in that were not inspected?” Depending on the part of the country you live in, you may be exposed to health risks not included in your home inspection report. These could anything from radon gas to excess pollen infiltration. If these were not inspected or commented on in the report, then it may be necessary to ask your inspector the risk of these detriments in your area.
All of these questions are important to know when buying your first home, but don’t limit your inquiries to this list. If you have any other questions about general maintenance, areas to focus your attention on, or even what to expect with your home, ask your inspector. Any good home inspector will be happy to help you out in any way they can.