Ask for maintenance records

Ask for maintenance records
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It’s important to check how well a home’s systems components have been maintained. “If the septic system is pushing the 30 to 40-year mark and has not been pumped regularly, the buyer should expect a major system failure during the time of their ownership,” says Sam McLennan, a real estate agent. Inquire about major components such as the HVAC, roof and appliances. “While it’s normal to replace one or two components, nobody wants to get hit with having to replace several within a five-year period,” says McLennan.

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Asbestos

Asbestos
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Sometimes hazardous elements aren’t so easy to spot, with McLennan warning that the removal of asbestos lurking in elements within an old building can be a potential money pit. If you’re considering a home built before 1978, the presence of lead paint is also an important health issue to consider.

Here are 33 home repairs you need to make before someone gets hurt.

Sticky door and loose nails

Sticky door and loose nails
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Cracks are one sign of foundation problems, but Tonya Bruin, CEO of To Do-Done Renovations and Handyman Services says there are also some less common ones, including: if the crown moulding has gaps from the roof, nails are coming loose or falling out, and doors are sticking and hard to open. “These issues could be caused by other things as well, such as simply a bad contractor, but it’s a good indicator that you should schedule a foundation inspection before buying,” suggests Bruin.

Carpenters that aren’t human

Carpenters that aren’t human
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“Carpenter ants can cause damage to wood structures, such as wall studs, as well as the unseen structural timbers, the more aesthetic areas such as window sills, or in areas that could cause safety hazards, such as wooden steps,” says Bruin. Carpenter ants and dampwood termites both like moist and decaying wood, which could lead to costly structural issues.

Here are 13 simple solutions to get rid of ants for good.

Lumpy insulation

Lumpy insulation
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Grab a flashlight and check out the insulation in the roof space. John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada says lumpy, uneven and saggy insulation could indicate a leaky roof and an environment for mould to thrive. Damaged insulation also means losing warm air in the winter and cold air in the summer. Another sign that could point to water in the attic: “If you walk inside a house and see paint discoloration or stains in the ceilings, it’s a good indication that water got into the attic and not only damaged insulation in that area but also leaked into the drywall of the ceiling.”

Learn about the basics of insulation.

Your roots are showing

Your roots are showing
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The big old tree in the yard is gorgeous but overgrown trees and shrubs, especially if they are against the house, could be a bad sign of things to come. “After rain storms, water might be accumulating by these shrubs and seeping under the foundations which can cause structural and mould problems,” says Bodrozic. That’s not your only problem: “Rodents love to get into the house by climbing on trees onto the roof and into the attic, and large tree roots next to a house can cause damage to foundations, sewer pipes and landscape drainage piping as well.”

Learn the tree secrets your arborist won’t tell you. 

Permits and building codes

Permits and building codes
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Gutting a house down to the studs? Be aware that a complete renovation often requires permits and local inspections that may call for updates to the house you weren’t expecting. “State and local building codes change over time to primarily increase safety and health standards with construction materials and processes. When doing a complete remodel, this requires a permit and local inspections, which often results in even more money being spent to update the house to the latest code requirements,” says Bodrozic.

Whatever your plans, if you’re considering one these 12 home improvement projects – better call a pro.

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Source: RD.com