THE RULE IS 1%
When you consider the life cycle of every component of a home, the estimated annual cost of normal maintenance is 1% of the value of the home. One year you may replace the furnace, a few years later you replace the roof. In addition to unexpected repairs you average 1% a year. This rule, is a very good estimator and can be applied to very expensive and inexpensive homes. The home inspection service does not give quotes or estimates regarding replacement or repairs due to the simple fact that costs vary due to seasonal timing, contractor and other variables.
The home inspection check list will spell out the systems and components that are inspected during a typical home inspection service. A home is made up of cosmetics, structure, roof, exterior envelope and systems, the systems are components such as heating, plumbing, electrical and cooling. All components eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Each component has it’s own life cycle and homes tend to settle into a maintenance cycle, we will call normal maintenance. The home inspector during his home inspection service will advise the client and indicate in his report what items require normal maintenance that he/she can repair themselves and what items require a qualified person for repair or replace.
Over the course of many years finding the perfect house is not really in the hands of the home inspector, but, his client. The client may like the house despite its’ faults, but, not the surrounding area and vise verse. The job of the inspector is to point out areas or items of concern that his client may not recognize that could influence his critical decision.
ADHESIVES, CAULK, AND PAINTS
Surface prep and paint quality are the most important determinants of a paints life expectancy. UV rays, high humidity indoors and outdoors can affect life span, therefore, they should be inspected and maintained regularly.
Decks are exposed to a wide range of conditions, regular inspection of the structure, fastening connections and the building materials is required to maintain a safe usable space.
Steel and wood doors with the proper maintenance will last a life time, however, the weather stripping should be inspected periodically to ensure the door has a proper seal to prevent incoming drafts and the escape of house air.
Remember that faulty, damaged or overloaded circuits are the major cause of electrical fires, GFI’s do have a life span. Regular inspection and replacement of old or damaged components is necessary.
Foundations whether concrete, block or stone can last a life time if they are properly installed. However, cracks from external forces does happen and the result is water seepage into the basement area. Efflorescence, peeling paint are some indicators of water or moisture problems.
Theses are mechanical systems and the life span is related to regular maintenance, usage and repair costs.
Roofing life span has many variables, quality of underlay, quality and type of shingle, exposure to UV, weather conditions, attic ventilation and contractor’s installation. Flashings can last as long as the roof cover, but, usually the fasteners and/or sealants are the problem, regular inspection and repairs are required before water damage occurs.
Windows can last a life time with proper maintenance, especially wood frames which are subjected to weather conditions, however, energy efficiency is now a prime consideration for change, caulking should be inspected regularly.
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