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One phase in selling your home is having an exterior home inspection. This key piece of information can have a huge impact on the sale of your home. A home inspection that reveals exterior issues can derail a home sale. It can also slow down a sale until repairs can be made. Neither scenario bodes well for the seller.

Conversely, a home inspection that reflects a home exterior in good shape can keep the sale on track. While there are some potential buyers looking for a “fixer-upper” most buyers are not looking to purchase homes where they inherit a list of home repairs. Providing a clean bill of health to your home’s exterior is the best option. By being proactive you can save yourself time, money, and headaches.

At SFW Construction, our company is contracted regularly to make repairs and improvements to homes that have had recent home inspections or have a repair addendum that needs to be completed to close. We have developed a great insight into the key areas that NW home inspectors are focusing on. In this article, we will provide five surefire tips to ensure there are no surprises on your exterior home inspection report. Who doesn’t like the answers to the test!

Siding And Trim

Siding and trim are the number one area pointed out by home inspectors. You don’t need to be a siding contractor to inspect your home for issues that a home inspector might point out. The easiest issue to detect are areas of the siding where paint is failing. Areas of siding with missing, flaking, cracking, or blistering paint expose the home to water damage and rot. They also look bad and show a lack of proper maintenance and upkeep.

Another relatively easy issue to detect is rotting wood. Look for areas of siding or trim that come in close or direct contact with soil, areas where roofs and walls come together, and windowsills and trim. Areas most prone to rot are areas that receive unfettered exposure to the elements, or areas that direct bulk water to certain locations. Areas covered by patio covers and large overhangs will most likely be in pretty good shape.

Window and door trim need to be flashed correctly. This is usually judged according to when the home was last clad. If you have an older home that hasn’t had exterior improvements since the 50’s or 60’s it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect homeowners to retrofit their homes to the latest flashing standards. Most buyers purchasing older or vintage homes accept they are purchasing homes built to lesser waterproofing and energy efficient standards. However, homes built in the mid 80’s through current construction will be expected to have properly flashed head trim. This will also apply to mounting blocks and other penetrations.

Gutters And Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are critical in effectively routing water away from your home. Make sure your gutters are clean and functioning and your downspouts aren’t clogged. Also, make sure your downspouts are emptying into the storm system plumbing, or they are ejecting water into a drainage plane. Downspouts that point load water close to your foundation without a proper place to go will be a red flag to the inspector.

The most common defect that a home inspector will catch is missing kickout flashing. Kickout flashing is a special piece of roof flashing that is bent to direct bulk water into the gutter trough and away from the building.

Roofs, Skylights, And Chimneys

Usually home inspectors will not physically go on to your roof. It is probable that they will climb up on a ladder and visibly inspect your roof. The easiest issue to spot on a roof is moss growth. Visible moss is a sign that there may be water issues on the roof, and they signal that regular maintenance has been lacking. Inspectors will note skylights while inspecting the roof and cross check that with any signs of water staining or damage to the interior finishes of the well, the finished tunnel that allows light into the interior.

Home inspectors will also make note of your chimney. If the chimney stack is made from masonry (like bricks, stone, or cement blocks) the home inspector will look to see that it is properly counter flashed, and that the surface and mortar joints are in good repair. If the chimney is routed through a wooden chase, inspectors will look for signs of visible rot where the roof and chimney chase intersect.

Decks, Porches, And Railings

Prospective buyers love decks. Decks are a great way to connect your home to the outdoors with usable space to entertain and relax. When selling your home, you want the deck to inspire buyers to imagine using and furnishing the deck to entertain friends and family. You do not want the deck to be a looked at as unsafe, or something the new owner will have to repair. Deck codes are straight forward. Decks that have issues with structure, improper hangers and hardware, unsafe railings, or improperly flashed deck ledgers are easily spotted by inspectors.

Soffits, Fascia, And Eaves

Much like the siding and trim, most issues with soffits-fascia-eaves involve failing paint and rotted wood. However, rotted or water stained soffits could be a sign of a roof leak. If noted by an inspector, that observation could lead to a request from a professional roofing contractor. That notation would certainly dampen the overall confidence in the roof system and could potentially lead to a costly repair, or roof replacement, as a condition of the sale.

How SFW Construction Can Help

We are experts at siding, roofing, flashing, and waterproofing. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners prepare for home inspections, as well as executing, often expedited, repairs to fulfill closing requirements in home sales. If you want to be in control of your home sale, be proactive and give us a call for a free consultation. Do not give up time and leverage that could ultimately stall or derail your sale. If you have needed repairs discovered during a home inspection, SFW Construction can repair these issues in compliance with industry standard. We will even photo document the repairs and provide a written repair scope that explains the materials and methods used in correcting the issues.