After going on hundreds of inspections, there are things that come up time and time again. There are tons of little things, along with larger items. But as I've mentioned elsewhere on this site, an inspection is to make sure that what you are paying for a home is in balance with what you are expecting. It's to find hidden problems that are not readily observable. Some of the items on this list are very small items, while others could be a sign of an expensive problem:
1. Missing dishwasher high-loop. This is easily one of the smallest items on the list. The dishwasher drain hose should start near the floor, then go as high as it will go inside the cabinet, just touching the underside of the counters, then to the appropriate drain connection. If it isn't set up correctly, dirty water can backflow into the dishwasher. The fix is a simple clamp that holds the drain line under the counter. (under $5)
2. Missing GFCI outlets in garage, basement, or kitchen. GFCI outlets are required anywhere there could be water. Very frequently these GFCI outlets are missing in these locations. They are really inexpensive and easy to install so the cost isn't very high. (under $10 each)
3. Grading issues around the foundation. The dirt around the house always settles over the years. It's easy to add more dirt and pack it down so that the slope is about 1 inch per 4 feet away from the house. This helps keep the water out of the basement. (cost of dirt)
4. Missing downspout extensions. Gutters and downspouts. Water is the worst enemy of a house. Water from the roof is carried away by gutters and downspouts. Downspout extensions carry the water further away from the foundation and many times they are missing or damaged. This is also a low cost repair as new extensions cost under $20.
5. Clogged dryer vent hood. It's easy to pull lint out of the dryer vent hood on the outside of the house and should be checked periodically. If there is a high amount of ongoing buildup, there might be a problem with the lint screen in the dryer itself. It is important to try to keep lint out of the dryer venting system as it can pose a fire hazard. ($0 to clean it out)
6. Double tapped breakers. This is when two wires are hooked into one breaker and the breaker is not designed for two individual wires. Some breakers can take two wires, but most cannot. This is also a relatively simple fix by adding a pigtail to the two wires, and wiring the single pigtail wire into the breaker. (wire and wire nut $1)
7. Missing kickout flashing. If there is a roof edge that meets siding, there should be a piece of flashing in that corner that directs water away from the wall below. This "L" shaped flashing usually directs the water into a gutter. (one piece of flashing under $3)
8. Chimney tuckpointing issues. The mortar between the bricks oftentimes will break up and fall out leaving gaps between the bricks. The repair is called tuckpointing. If this repair is not done, bricks will start to crack and or spall. This repair is expensive and can range between $1000 and $3000 for just what is visible above the roof.
9. Handrails not returned to the wall. The ends of the stairway handrails should have a piece that is connected to the wall so that a purse strap cannot get caught on the end of the rail. If this is missing, people can be knocked over by snagging their purse strap on the end of the handrail. This repair usually costs a few hundred (if you hire it out) because you'll need someone to cut the existing rail and find matching new rail pieces to nail and glue on the ends of the existing rail.
10. Attic bypasses. Attic bypasses
11. Sewer line issues. Sewer lines
There are always more inspection issues that come up time and time again. These are just a few of the most common items that we see here in Minnesota. Otherwise, here is a LinkedIn post with more common inspection issues: