After personally completing thousands of home inspections over the past eight years, I've narrowed it down to the three most common write-ups at a home inspection. Since the cost to correct all three items is only $15.00, it makes me wonder why I see them so often. A homeowner can easily fix these items in less than 30 minutes. Ready? Here they are:
1. Anti-Tip Brackets: A home inspector will always check to see if an anti-tip bracket is installed on a free-standing range. An anti-tip bracket is a small metal device designed to prevent the range from tipping over and is included in all installation kits. The bracket screws to the wall and secures one of the rear range legs. If not equipped with one of these devices, the range may tip over if enough weight is applied to its open door, such as that from a large Thanksgiving turkey, or even a small child. From 1980 to 2006, there were 143 incidents caused by range tip-overs. 33 of the incidents resulted in death, mostly small children. Cost: $4.00
2. Dirty/Missing Air Filters: Forced air heating and cooling systems circulate air through a home. Unconditioned air is drawn into the system, heated or cooled, and then distributed. Homes have a lot of dirt and dust in them (some more than others!), so this air must be filtered. Air filters are installed either in the furnace or in the return air register. Dirty or missing air filters are noted in most home inspection reports. If dirt and dust enter the system, reduced efficiency and shortened life-span will occur. Cost: $5- $7.00
3. Fireplace Damper Clamps: Many of the fireplaces I inspect here in southern California have a gas fixture (a log lighter or decorative log set). If they do, a damper clamp should be installed on the fireplace damper or its linkage. A damper clamp is simply a C-clamp with a long bolt. When properly installed, this clamp will prevent the damper from closing. If a gas leak occurs, the gas will not enter the living space, but will be vented up through the chimney. This simple device takes approximately two minutes to install with a wrench. Cost: $4.00
So there you have it: The three most common write-ups at a home inspection! 30 minutes and $15.00 can remove these three "nuisance" items from 98% of home inspection reports! Steve Stenros- First Choice Inspections is a CREIA MCI inspector serving San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties in southern California. Steve can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection.