TEXAS STATE PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTOR • TREC LICENSE #20867

Home Setup Checklist


  1. Smoke detectors – Smoke detectors should be installed in every sleeping room and outside of every sleeping room and at least one on every floor, usually near sleeping rooms. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. If age cannot be verified, we recommend replacing them all.
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors – Provide according to manufacturer’s recommendations, typically in every sleeping room.
  3. Locks – Change locks on all the doors. Installing deadbolts may reduce insurance costs.
  4. Heating and air-conditioning systems – Most HVAC companies recommend annual inspection and service. We recommend a home warranty or service contract to ensure the equipment is properly maintained. It makes sense to protect these expensive systems.
  5. Main shut-offs – Find and mark the main shut-off for the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. You need to be able to shut things off quickly in the event of an emergency.
  6. Electrical breakers – All circuit breakers in the electrical panel should be labeled for quick identification.
  7. Wood burning appliances – It is recommended to have chimneys inspected and swept annually.
  8. Outdoor air-conditioning unit – Make sure the unit is clear of any debris or vegetation.
  9. Clothes washing machines – Use stainless steel braided hoses instead of rubber hoses. This reduces the chances of water damage in the event of a ruptured hose.
  10. Clothes dryers – It is recommended to clean the vent annually to improve efficiency and reduce the chances of a fire.
  11. Fire extinguishers – Provide at least one fire extinguisher for every floor. The fire extinguisher in the kitchen should be suitable for grease fires.
  12. Fire escape routes – Plan fire escape routes from the upper stories. Obtain rope ladders is necessary.
  13. Safety improvements – If your inspector has recommended any safety improvements, these should be addressed immediately. This often includes electrical issues and trip hazards, for example.

Home Maintenance Checklist


Monthly

  • Smoke detectors – Test to make sure they work in the event of a fire.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors – Test to make sure they work in the event of an appliance malfunction.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters – Test to make sure they work in the event of an electrical malfunction.
  • Heating & air-conditioning filters – Clean or replace to reduce heating / cooling costs, prolong equipment life and improve system efficiency.
  • Garage door openers – Test the auto-reverse and photo sensor systems to prevent injury while closing.
  • Range hood filters – Clean to maintain efficiency and reduce the risk of grease fires.
  • Central vacuum systems – Empty canister and clean filter (if applicable).

Quarterly

  • Sliding doors and windows – Clean tracks and make sure drain holes are open to reduce the risk of water damage in home.
  • Bathroom exhaust fan – Clean grill to ensure good air flow

Spring

  • Gutters – Clean to extend the life of the gutters and to promote efficient draining.
  • Air-conditioning system – Have it serviced before turning it on- to protect the equipment.

Fall

  • Gutters – Clean to extend the life of the gutters and to promote efficient draining.
  • Heating system– Have it serviced before turning it on- to protect the equipment.
  • Outdoor hose bibs – Protect to prevent freeze damage to pipes.

Annually

  • Trees and shrubs – Trim all trees and shrubs away from outdoor air-conditioning units and away from the home.Vegetation can interfere with your home’s foundation and roof components. Vegetation is also an entry point for rodents and insects.
  • Bathtub and showers – Check tile grout and caulk to prevent concealed water damage.
  • Attic – Check for evidence of pests and roof leaks to prevent infestation and water damage.
  • Structure exterior – Inspect for water tightness, siding, trim, doors, windows, wall penetrations to prevent concealed water damage.
  • Exterior paint and stain – Check and improve as needed to prevent exterior wood rot and water damage. Make sure there is no wood to earth contact.
  • Fire extinguishers – Check gauges and or expiration dates.
  • Garage door hardware – Lubricate to ensure door moves freely. Check all safety reverse features.

Ongoing

  • Septic systems – Set up a program with a septic company for regular maintenance and inspection. Tanks are typically pumped every 3 years.