Home Maintenance Inspection

Home maintenance

Maintenance Inspections

homeowners maintenance inspection

Maintenance inspections are ideal for homeowners and busy homeowners who don’t have the experience or the time to maintain their own homes. Furthermore, this type of inspection is especially suited for older or physically disabled homeowners. It is for any homeowner who wants to know what the real condition of his or her home is.

This inspection type allows you to take the next step in arranging for professional maintenance and repairs. It’s the equivalent of a home medical checkup.

A Home Maintenance Inspection gives you a full picture of any minor repairs that need to be completed before they become major repairs. I inspect from the boundary wall to the ridge of your roof and everything in between!

What is a home maintenance inspection?

A Home Maintenance Inspection is just like the inspection you can have before you buy a home.

I will check out all the main systems of your home such as the roof, walls, foundation, air-conditioning, electrical, plumbing etc.. In addition, I will flag anything that might be starting to malfunction.

I will uncover problems you have not noticed. I will detect the little signs that something is starting to go wrong. This may be small cracks, spots, uneven wear, or fixtures such as a geyser reaching the end of its life. I will also make you aware of the regular maintenance you should be doing in your house.

Like an annual physical, my maintenance inspection can catch issues early and give you the peace of mind of a clean bill of health. It’s a way to keep little problems from turning into big problems.

What happens during the inspection?

Just like at a home buyer’s inspection, I will inspect your home with you. I will show you what I find and explain what it means. You will have a chance to ask questions or get clarifications. Usually, I will also point out things you should be doing regularly to keep all of your home’s systems functioning in tiptop shape.

Furthermore, you’ll get a written report detailing everything I have found. Of course, you’re the one in charge of tackling items on the to-do list yourself. Alternatively, you can arrange for professional maintenance and repairs to be done. It is an itemised punch list to address whenever maintenance issue you choose when you have the finances available.

Do you need a maintenance inspection?

Once every three to five years, you should have me come out and do a maintenance inspection. During the inspection, I will detect minor defects before they become major issues.

Another advantage of a home maintenance inspection is that I provide an unbiased opinion. I have no gain out of the evaluation of things that need repair (e.g., your roof or foundation).

If you do suspect something is in disrepair, it’s wise to call me before you call a repair company. Repair companies have a vested interest in getting work. As a result, you have to careful in accepting what they say requires repair or replacement.

I am not trying to sell you anything. Furthermore, I’m not going to make any money off repairs that need to be done. All I sell is the truth!

Who should do the inspection and how much does it cost?

I am uniquely qualified to do a maintenance inspection because of my years of experience in the construction industry. In addition, I have obtained many inspection certifications from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

The inspection process is exactly the same process as a Home Buyer’s Inspection. Therefore the cost will also be the same.


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THE HOME DETECTIVE » maintenance costs

A Smelly Shower

Smells in your shower


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Often what happens in a shower is that excess tile adhesive and grout are washed down the shower drain while the tiler is tiling the floor. As a result, some of this grout may be lodged somewhere in the drainage system causing a blockage.

The following may have happened:

  • Either the trap or drainage pipes were damaged during an attempt to unblock the drain.
  • Grout is lodged in the trap and drain pipes.
  • The stub stack vent valve may be below the level of the highest plumbing fixtures on the drainage system in the bathroom.  As a result, the lowest fixture, such as the shower P-trap water seal may be syphoned out of the shower trap.

Of course, a combination of all three may occur as well. Unless the shower trap or drain pipes are damaged, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself.

Mould in the P-trap

If your shower drain smells musty, you most likely have active mould growing underneath the drain cover. But, if your drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage, you’re either smelling bacteria from a clogged or dirty drain or sewer gases that have escaped from your drainage pipes.

As part of their metabolic process, active mould spores release a gas that has a distinct musty smell. In addition, gas can be dangerous. If inhaled, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Continue reading “A Smelly Shower”

Buying vs building


Buying vs Building a House

building or buying new homes
The biggest mistake people make when they are building or buying a new home is to trust the builder to do a great job. The fact that he is NHBRC registered is no guarantee! Do yourself a favour, and get interim inspections done. It’s not expensive!

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Buying vs building

With buying vs building, it is generally true that buying is approximately 20% cheaper than building a new home!

In times of uncertainty, buying or building a home remains a safe and reliable investment. The economy is not in the best shape, but the surge of new developments makes it easier to own property.

For home buyers and property investors considering buying and investing in property, the time is now! The recent negative real property price growth makes for a buyer’s market.

Buying an Existing Home

Advantages of buying:

  • Security: it is less likely that there are vacant stands in the vicinity.
  • Established neighbourhoods have the necessary major arterial routes and amenities. Therefore, a central business district, public transport, schools and shopping centres are close by.
  • It is easier to determine current and future property values in an established area.
  • Older houses usually have larger rooms and larger stands.
  • You can get expert advice on patent and latent defects in the house. A home inspector will assist you.

Disadvantages of buying:

  • The area you buy in may be in decline.
  • Older properties are bought with the ‘voetstoots’ clause. There is no recourse or warranty.
  • Costs for repairing latent defects and building maintenance could be exorbitant.
  • Design and finishes may not be to your taste.
  • Renovation costs may exceed the overall value of the property.

Homebuyers also need to consider that the voetstoots clause in sale agreements means they are purchasing the property “as is”. Therefore, the onus is really on them to check carefully for any defects before signing on the dotted line.

Homes more than 10 years old are likely to be more spacious than new ones because of steeply rising building costs. In recent years developers and architects have had to design smaller homes in the interests of affordability.

Better still, get a home inspector to do so for you. And remember, the seller must provide you with the required certificates of compliance and a seller’s disclosure.

Building a new home

Advantages of building:

  • When buying a home from a developer the price includes VAT. As a result transfer duty falls away.
  • You have a 5-year major structural defect warranty and a 1-year roof leak warranty. All building contractors registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) must comply with this regulation.
  • The overall design of the house is according to your needs and taste.
  • Maintenance costs are low.

Disadvantages of building:

  • New developments and vacant stands are usually on the outskirts of major urban areas. Security could become an issue, as well as access to major arterial routes and amenities.
  • Costs may escalate architect and engineer fees, land excavation and land preparation costs etc.
  • Building projects often have time overruns.
  • You have little impact on the design of other constructions in the vicinity.
  • Stand sizes are usually smaller.
  • Project managing the construction of the house is a time-consuming and stressful endeavour.

On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like a home that is purpose-built for your needs. But for most South Africans, the thought of building a house from scratch is more than a little overwhelming.

The good news is, with help and a lot of planning, it’s possible to build the house of your dreams.

Again, employ a home inspector to do periodic quality inspections before making progress payments to the contractor!

Investing in property

However, investors should understand that building a house is unlikely to be the cheapest option. Therefore they should consider buying a previously owned house and renovating it before building a new home. Our relatively high construction costs tend to make building significantly more expensive than buying. 

Wise investors ensure good value by having a property inspection or multi-unit inspection before they commit to buying investment properties.


Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®


THE HOME DETECTIVE » maintenance costs

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