“It’s the holiday season …”, and so the classic Andy Williams song goes. Yes, we made it around the circle once more to the time of year when we hyper focus on family and friends, on gift giving and vocally giving thanks, and on lights, colors, and candy. Ah, the holidays.
For our homes, the holidays are a time when electrical systems get taxed, HVAC systems put in overtime, and our floors may feel the strain under added family and friend presence. Not to mention the added toilet flushes, shower drainage, and machine washes (clothes and dishes!). All of this we take for granted, so long as it keeps working. That’s the thing with home ownership – most of us don’t pay attention to the systems that “make” our homes because those systems simply run in the background continually.
Don't Take Them For Granted
As a home inspector in our lovely Upper Cumberland region of middle Tennessee, I can’t take any of these systems for granted. Walking down into my basement usually involves review of some portion of my plumbing, or electric – where I want to add supplemental support to my old, fatigued framing, or how I want to add more light to one area. It’s a never-ending process of re-seeing my home for the ways I want to revise the systems to be safer and function more efficiently.
Of course, all of this involves monetary investment. For me, this usually is voluntarily. After thousands of homes inspected, I have a pretty good sense of what goes wrong and which little gremlin is responsible for throwing the proverbial wrench in the cog. But, I’m the exception. Even contractors are mostly unaware of their home’s needs (trust me, I inspect several every year for potential new homeowners). And, ignorance of our ignorance very likely can result in large repair bills foisted upon us at the most inconvenient, or inopportune, times!
A Home Inspection Is Proactive
All of this is context for why, as homeowners, we should think twice about running blindly forward for years without some sort of assessment on the conditions of our home’s systems. Your home isn’t going to break on that nice, mildly warm day when no one has plans. Nope. It’s more likely going to break when any one system is placed under strain outside the norm, or placed under abnormal strain for an extended period. Dollar for dollar, spending money on a home inspection – be it prior to purchase, prior to listing/selling, or simply a routine check-up – is worth it. I am the one-stop shop that can tell you where the home is feeling strain, whether deficiencies have crept up that could cripple your home and wallet, and if another seven inches of insulation in your attic is wise (spoiler, sometimes it’s not).
Final Thought: Spend Wisely
We give gifts this time of year. Give yourself, and your home, a gift for 2020 – have it inspected. Oh, and don’t thrift shop for a home inspection. A cheap home inspection is like sledding down a hill in a cardboard box – it seems like a great idea … then you get passed by real sleds with less friction, the box gets wet, and you stop halfway down the hill and get dumped out. No one looks at that experience and says, “Well, I feel that was the right choice.” Do your homework, vet your inspector, and have a conversation with them. There are several types of inspectors, but most boil down to two: Those that simply want money, and those that want your respect and want to help (and be fairly compensated in doing so). I recommend the latter.
Happy Holidays, from all of us at WIN Home Inspection in Cookeville, TN.