My Home Inspector Blog: The Three Most Common Write-Ups At A Home Inspection

The Three Most Common Write-Ups At A Home Inspection

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.


 


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Comment balloon 37 commentsSteve Stenros • July 19 2011 04:05PM

Comments

Thanks for sharing this information in your post.  I need all of the help I can get when it comes to dealing with Home Inspections.

 

Betty

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) about 9 years ago

Steve thank you for the heads up on these items.  Should be easy for homeowners to remedy before the inspection.  The one I see that is extremely common: no gfci in the kitchen or baths.

Posted by Christine Koch, Realtor - eXp Realty San Antonio TX (eXp Realty) about 9 years ago

Steve, Good to know. Those are very simple problems to remedy. I think I need to check my air filter.

Posted by Donna Malone, Homes and Property for Sale Nova Scotia (Waterfront, Luxury, Family, Affordable, Cottage, Deals) about 9 years ago

Hi Steve,

Good info and I guessed at 2 out of your 3. The tipping stove has only come up a few times on the inspections I've experienced...yet (almost) without exception a dirty filter is found! Ha, and mine at home is probably the same way and I thought about it as I looked at the 2 news ones stacked in my closet...thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) about 9 years ago

Betty: You're welcome! Every little bit helps!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Christi: Very true! That one could have easily been on my list!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Donna: Good idea! Extend the life of your system!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Lynda: That's funny! I'll see a dirty filter at an inspection, and then find a pack of new in the closet down the hallway. That doesn't count! I would say about 98 out of 100 free-standing ranges I see are missing the anti-tip bracket.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Good Morning Steve, the 'damper clamp' is often missing in this area.  They are either never installed or removed by a home owner or tenant who does not realize their importance.

A great post for home owners to review!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) about 9 years ago

And three easy and inexpensive things to take care of before you get there!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 9 years ago

Thanks again, Steve, making the home inspection process more intelligible and far less daunting. These are very easy tips for home owners and agents to put into action!

Posted by David Companik, Realtor ▪ The WoodlandsTX ▪ davidcompanik.com (Keller Williams Realty - The Woodlands) about 9 years ago

Great information, I thought you were going to say "Caulking", because that seems to be number 4!

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) about 9 years ago

Dan: Most people get a blank look on their face when the damper clamp is mentioned. Most have never heard of it!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Yes, Joni, they really are easy and inexpensive to fix ahead of time!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Agreed, David, take the "daunt" out!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

That's true, Jane. Caulking and duct tape can fix a lot of things- many times it's used where it shouldn't be!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Steve - This is a very helpful post and this is why I always am getting an education reading home inspector blogs. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) about 9 years ago

Thanks, Lisa & Robert! Just a few simple things that may help a transaction go a little smoother!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Oh those dirty air filters. I have been in houses where the air filter looks like it hasn't been changed in 100 years, Steve. You wonder how people were able to breath in there.

Great information in your post; thank you for sharing with us.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) about 9 years ago

Toni: Isn't it unbelievable? It will really shorten the life of the system as well as the life of the occupants!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the heads up. The anti tipping this is frequent!

Posted by Rhonda Fee - REALTOR®, @ Aspire Realty Services (Luxury Property Agent, Home Sales, Relocation) about 9 years ago

Thanks for your comment Rhonda!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

#2 and #3 are quite common, but the only time I've ever seen #1 is in new construction. However, the anti-tip bracket is always in the oven drawer or a kitchen drawer, so it's just a little labor to install it.

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 9 years ago

Jim, I would say about 90% of the ranges I see are not secured.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Steve - As an MLO here in Los Angeles & Ventura counties, I see a lot of home inspections but I hear about a lot of inspection reports from many of my borrowers.  Like others have stated, #2 & #3 are very common problems around here but I have never heard of #1.  Other issues around here (especially with REO's) are sub-par or damaged electrical panels, no pans under the water heater or no anti-siphon valves or improper piping that didn't lead out.  The GFCI switches are common too as well as dry rot.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) about 9 years ago

Donne: The other issues you mentioned are also very common here. Never heard of #1?

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Steve --

You are sooooo right about the anti-tip brackets. The good inspectors always mention this during inspections, but I have yet to see it being done.

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) about 9 years ago

Pacita: Change happens slowly over time. I am beginning to see more of the brackets installed, at least in my area.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Since I just spent $2500 for a new stove so I am hoping they installed the anti-tipping thing, ha. What simple things that people miss...good info.

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) about 9 years ago

Shar: Some of the higher-end ranges do not require one since they are heavier and will not tip over. The manufacturer will include one if it is necessary.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Thanks for letting me know Steve....appreciated.

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) about 9 years ago

Steve, I wonder if it's area particular. .  These particular issues have not surfaced in any of our sales that I can recall. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 9 years ago

Well now, you've got me there, Judi!  If you have boilers instead of forced air furnaces, the air filters would not be an issue.  If most of your fireplaces are wood burning only, the damper clamp would not come into play.  As for the freestanding ranges... no answer for you. Thanks for your comment!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

OK Steve, this is the last one before I can call it a day.  But this is great information.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the re-blog, Gene!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Steve - Donna mentions pans under the water heater as a common home inspectiion find. Is that a requirement?

Posted by Steve Davis, Carlsbad CA (Davis Coastal Properties) about 9 years ago

Steve & Carol: The IRC code says, "Where water heaters are installed in locations where leakage of the tank or connections will cause damage, the water heater shall be installed in a galvanized steel pan." So, if a water heater is installed at an interior location, I will write it up as a defect if a pan is not present. For water heaters installed in a garage, I write it up only as a suggestion or upgrade. Technically though, the case could be made that leaks in a garage will still cause damage, so I can't fault her for that.

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

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