How Home Inspection Can Improve Your Property Value?

Who doesn’t dream to own a home? In India, around 69% households in urban areas are found to be living in owned houses. In rural areas, this percentage is 95%. On an average, around 86% of households live in owned houses. A humble, two-storied house, a large bungalow, or a 2BHK flat in a housing society – they may vary in shapes and sizes. But, owning a home is largely common in Indian society.

In a lifetime, no purchase is as important and as big as buying a home. Buyers are exceptionally cautious about spending their hard-earned money as a huge amount of financial transaction is involved here. It is not enough if the house is only beautiful. A property with the facility of “ready-to-move-in” is mostly preferred. Options that involve less investment of money, time and effort top the list of preferences. Buyers need assurance that the house of their choice is in good shape. They do not want their investment to go into something that would need a repair here, a brush-up there every alternate day. If as a seller or developer you can give such an assurance then, automatically your credibility increases and you can quote a higher price for your property. A home inspection is just what you would need.

Before we explain to you the positive effect of home inspection on property value, here is what the service is all about – What is Home Inspection? Learn the Basics of It..

Benefits of a pre-sale home inspection

For a Homeowner/ Seller

1. Identify the repair needs before selling. Result – A more alluring property
It is very much true in real estate that the first impression makes the last impression. To make sure that your house is at the top of the priority list of your buyers, you have to make it “the best” in the market. A beautiful house is definitely enough to attract attention. But, it needs to be in perfect condition as well. How can you ensure that without inspecting it in the first place?

Getting a third party perspective, in this case, proves to be even more helpful because, after all, it was your home; you are unlikely to see any real defect in it. Professional home inspectors can identify the underlying problems with your home and also make out its potential in an unbiased manner. Additionally, attending the problems would add to the aesthetics which further enhances its appeal to the buyers.

A home inspection is likely to find out some common issues you might be experiencing the outcome of. Plumbing and fixture problems, electricity issues, problems of walls, floor, and roof, damage due to moisture intrusion, leakage in the roof, etc are common outcomes you get to know about after a successful home inspection. You would think – “but these are costly to repair!” You are right. But then, why would anyone want to buy a property with so many issues at a high cost? Automatically, the perceived value of your property gets lowered.

A home inspection gives you the scope to attend the problems and mend them in a time before you put your house up for sale.

With the tendency of buyers to incline more and more towards choosing “ready to move-in” properties, it is less likely they will care even a tad bit about repairing before moving in. So, if you leave the issues unattended, the number of potential buyers will automatically become less. Once you repair them, the aesthetics and ‘liveability’ quotient of your house increase manifold and you get more buyers.

Now as a seller, you may not have the required amount of time to attend all the issues the home inspection points out. No worries. Try fixing as many issues as you can. Fix the electrical problems, mend the leaky pipes, treat the roof, ceilings and walls for dampness, and replace the locks of doors and windows. These will improve your property condition a lot and deliver a feeling to the buyer that you do care about your house. Quick and easy selling with high selling price guaranteed.

2. Lesser chances of price negotiations. Quicker and smoother selling process
You will be amazed at the issues home inspection will point out to you, many of them you were completely in the dark about. You can attend them once you get the report within a few days.

If you leave it upon the buyers to call for home inspection, be prepared for 3 consequences, any of which would follow. The buyer might fix the issues, negotiations for lower selling price will come up or no deal will take place.

Pre-sales home inspection will eliminate any surprise elements for the buyers. You, the seller, know them beforehand. You can either fix them at your cost or disclose them to prospective buyers and reduce the selling price. But don’t make the mistake of hiding them, as truth will be revealed eventually.

Early disclosure of the problems would eliminate buyers’ suspicion. Price concession negotiations will not come up either. Altogether, you will have more selling power to you and the entire process will become faster.

3. Pre-listing home inspection helps generate more number of genuine leads
To list your house on property listing websites and marketplaces1, you need to log in as an ‘owner’, ‘agent’, or ‘builder’. After that, you have to fill up the online form there with complete details of the property and post its pictures. Upon verification, your listing is made visible to your prospective buyers.

Only a good property listing – complete with all the information and pictures showing various parts of the house helps you draw more eyeballs. So, to make your property picture-perfect, you must get a thorough home inspection done and clean and repair everything that looks shabby and damaged in it.

In a nutshell, if you are a seller, try to consider everything from a home buyer’s perspective. See with a buyer’s eyes and you will know the true value of your property.

To give you a clearer idea, here are our 5 reasons to get a home inspection before listing your property for sale.

For a Developer

1. Improved trustworthiness & better business
How often have you heard marketers saying “Don’t sell a product, sell trust?” In today’s scenario, this is the ultimate truth, especially in real estate. A developer or realtor who promises a home inspection before handover and gets that heard through proper channels and promotion earns additional points. His credibility increases manifold and he can set a higher price for the property he is intending to sell.

Buyers too feel safer to enter into deals with real estate brands that promise them better service and take care of their interest. Business growth and stronger customer relationships are a natural outcome.

Click here to know more for further details.

2. Home inspection and property value: How is a buyer benefitted?
Today’s home buyers are much aware and cautious about what they are buying. They bank on information and genuine reviews before making an investment decision. So, when a seller or developer gives them the assurance of a pre-sale home inspection, they feel safe about that deal. Because, home inspection for a buyer comes with a bunch of advantages:

  • It gives buyers a protection against the unknown hazards
  • A timely inspection and rectification of issues save their money and valuable time
  • Safeguards them with RERA2
  • Gives them health and safety assurance against moisture, damp, and electrical issues
  • Allows them to forecast future repair/ replacement costs
  • Educates them about prolonging the life of their property

Above everything else, a home inspection gives buyers peace of mind that comes from knowing the fact that the home they are buying has a solid foundation. It is not just a construction that looks good from outside. Its health has been checked and ‘Okayed’ by a team of experts. This very thought helps to increase the perceived value of the property in the buyer’s mind and the deal reaches its completion smoothly.

Hence, the property value is definitely increased by home inspection. If you are planning a buy a new home or planning to put your home up for sale, do make sure you opt for the service or else you will get to face unwanted issues, a complete ‘un’-match for your dream abode. Call for it now and schedule a home inspection.

Office Inspection: For a Safer Workplace and Happier Team

Almost on every weekend you spend time fixing something or the other in your home, right? You make it safer, more secure, eliminate any chance of damp – in simpler words, you strive to make your home more ‘liveable.’ But have you ever wondered the same issues may also be present in commercial spaces as well? If work is worship for you, your office must be your temple. Unfortunately, we do not pay the same attention to the health of the building where we spend almost 9 hours daily, working, and completely skip office inspection – well, almost, in most cases! It is high time we became aware of the attention commercial properties need. It will cumulatively make our life in and outside our home much safer and beautiful.

Quite similar to home inspection, office inspection also covers a wide range of services. To get an idea of what all comes under the umbrella of this so-called ‘inspection,’ read this article on Diversity of Home Inspection.

Major services under office inspection

Maintaining health and safety at the workplace is of utmost importance. Hazards can take place due to plumbing issues, electrical issues, and leakage or damp problems. All of them need individual attention when it comes to inspection. In fact, none of these issues can be left for them to arise in the future. The concerned authority must be proactive about checking every facility at regular intervals so that the chances of faults and failures can be reduced and any downtime due to them can be avoided.

Following are the major service categories that ensure complete safety of an office building:

1. All-over inspection

Professional property inspectors conduct a non-invasive, visual examination of all the accessible areas of an office complex using modern technology and specialized tools and look for issues that require immediate but long term resolution. They even help to identify areas that may become problematic in the long run. After inspection, they generate software-driven reports (with relevant images) mentioning issues observed and deemed critical. Some of the major areas that come under the scanner include:

  • Exterior walls
    • Are there any cracks, efflorescence, or plants growing on the walls?
    • If the paint condition is good or not.
  • Basement/ driveways: Water stagnation, peripheral drainage blockage, etc.
  • Floor
    • Slope
    • Tiles – hollow tiles, joints grouting, dampness, slip resistance, etc.
  • Stairways: Condition of the handrails, height of the risers, slip resistance of the steps, lighting, etc.
  • Ladders, ramps, and guardrails
  • Roof: Covered or not, slope, drainage system, stagnant water, cracks, seepage problem, etc.
  • Plumbing system: The overall condition of the external as well as concealed piping system, leakage or blockage in the pipes, piping material, etc. Also Leakage or loose fittings in any component of the washrooms, tank, blockage in the basins, the functionality of the showers, etc.
  • Overall sanitation of the washrooms and pantry
  • Doors and windows
    • Locks and latches – Crucial for ensuring security
    • Sliding/ swinging door operability
    • Door and window frames – if there are any gaps in between them – pathways to water seepage
    • Proper opening and closure
  • Interior walls
    • Cracks
    • Paint condition – popping paint or other paint deterioration
    • Dampness/ seepage
    • Wall tiles
    • Wallpaper condition
  • Ceiling: Watery patches due to excessive condensation or leakage, paint condition, etc.
  • Electrical system: Concealed wiring, switches, plugging points, lights, and machines and appliances, safety issues, etc. Checking all these things come under electrical inspection which is further explained below.
  • Fire handling equipment
  • Furniture, material storage, and other equipment

An exhaustive list – isn’t it? Inspecting all these for issues, small or big, is crucial for maintaining basic working conditions in an office. Faults in any of these systems may otherwise lead to unexpected downtime and loss in productivity.

2. Damp Assessment and Inspection

Damp can deteriorate a complete building – be it the private property or commercial space. This can be a result of faulty roofing, low-quality building materials, lack of proper ventilation or plumbing issues. Leaky pipes and fixtures are also responsible for dampness. With a proper damp assessment and inspection, you will save not only the office building but also the occupants. Damp assessment will list down the issues found in the building and inspection will reveal the sources – all with the help of advanced thermal imaging technology & tools that the inspection professionals carry with them.

Damp issues if ignored can severely affect the health of the workers as well as the building. How? Read Moisture / Damp / Seepage – The Invisible Silent Killer: Unsuspecting Criminal.

3. Electrical Inspection

Imagine a day at work when suddenly the lights went out and the computer monitors in front of the employees went blank. Reason? Short circuit, maybe. Of course, you can always call an electrician and mend the wires after it happens. But what about the loss of money and time and data when an electrical problem makes its way in?

Imagine electrical issues of a more serious nature. A short circuit can be as big as a fire break-out also and you know the consequences of it, right? To avoid any such untoward phenomenon that may also cause casualties, you must invest in a timely electrical inspection for it is a preventive maintenance function that reduces labour and material cost while reducing the amount of reactivity to failures.

To learn more about the differences between preventive and predictive maintenance, click here1.

4. Checking fire safety

As already mentioned, a thorough inspection of the office building will invariably cover the aspect of fire safety. An office building is a commercial hub where many individuals come and work for long hours on a daily basis. So, there can be numerous risks of fire – some due to wrong habits like smoking in an enclosed area other than the designated zone, using ovens with LPG cylinder for cooking inside the canteen, and others due to electrical hazards.

In India, the National Building Code (NBC) published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the basic model code for building construction and fire safety2. For ensuring compliance under this code, commercial buildings need to use equipment/ installations that are duly certified under the BIS Certification Marks Scheme. Plus, they must also meet other quality requirements. An office inspection checks the fire safety controls and points out issues that may turn out to be hazardous in the long run. Some key areas that are looked at for ensuring fire safety include:

  • Smoking zones
  • Fire exits
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Electrical sockets
  • Flickering lights
  • Fire safety equipment

Why office inspection so important?

It would not be exaggerating to say that office inspection is the ultimate necessary thing for your office. The inspection would eliminate a number of issues which would add to your cost and human health on a recurrent basis:

  • Safety hazards arising from faulty wiring system, non-functional switches, and unsafe working practices will be managed.
  • Unhealthy conditions inside the office, growth of fungi, microbes, and pests lead to a myriad health problems. Be it plumbing issue or faults in the designing, damp assessment and a thorough inspection would eliminate any such possibilities from the commercial space.
  • Excessive condensation problems in the building which may arise due to issues in AC installation/ maintenance and its continuous use can be checked.
  • Hazards may occur due to uneven distribution of electricity as many equipment and appliances run simultaneously in an office. With office inspection in place, all possibilities of such hazards will be eliminated.
  • If inspection points out civil issues, it will help the office authority financially also. Repairing can be done before they become severely damaged and replacement becomes the last option.
  • Though not direct, but indirectly it affects employee satisfaction also. With a safe workplace and an office regularly inspected, employees develop a feeling that the management and authority are concerned about their overall well-being. And you can never deny that satisfied employees would mean improved productivity, achievement of objectives, and increased profitability; can you?

So, there you are. Starting from the exterior environment to work stations, all come under office inspection. When qualified inspectors give your office a visit, they will point you out where attention needs to be given more. A proper office inspection covers the parking lot, storage areas, wet areas (kitchen/ bathroom units), amenities, elevators – in a word, the entire workplace.

Office inspection informs the management about the risks of any level – mild, severe or moderate. You can control the threat and continue your work-life peacefully. As much as you care about the work, give attention to the office also because it is where you spend nine hours of your day, five to six days a week. Office inspection will provide you with multiple benefits. Be proactive and reach out to a trusted home inspection service provider.

Facts and Trivia on Home Inspection

The word ‘inspection’ means looking at a product, process or setup and comparing its ‘state’ with the specified requirements under a given condition. Now, that should give you a hint at what ‘home inspection’ can be. Let’s be a bit more lucid. Remember your school days when school inspectors would pay an occasional visit to your school? What was the reason? – To see if the school was running as per norms and to check the quality of education imparted there. The same is true for your home also. You need to inspect the nukes and crannies of your home from time to time to ensure that it is running as ‘it should be.’ This is the very point to introduce you to the term home inspection. We know you have questions flooding your mind right now about this. Don’t worry dear reader; we are here to help you.

So, what is professional home inspection and what does it cover?

In simple terms, a home inspection is examining your old or new property so that all accessible areas can be inspected for understanding the condition of home the systems and the components are in. It is essentially a visual process that also employs modern-technology tools1 specialized for this purpose. The issues found and the issues that are likely to occur – both are documented and reported by the experts. Finally, you get an inspection report generated by software-driven apparatus. The reports you get have written observations and solution suggestions in them along with scanned images of the damaged parts/ areas of your home.

The next obvious question that comes to your mind is – what all comes under the wings of home inspection. Here you go:

The home inspection coverage is of a W-I-D-E variety. The whole of your home’s interior, exterior, systems, and components can be under the magnifying glass of the inspection services. Read on to know more.

Hall, bedroom, study, dining area, Puja Ghar, alleys – all interior living spaces come under the extensive home inspection coverage. Washrooms, kitchen, the lobby area, and garage – all of them are covered. Be it your balcony or staircases or the lofts – home inspection reaches everywhere.

Even in exteriors, from stairs to driveways, home inspection coverage is inclusive of all. If your property has some attached structures, that would also get inspected.

As for systems and components, walls, flooring, ceiling, door, window, plumbing fixtures, water supply, even electrical system – you name it and a home inspection has it covered. The AC installations, ventilation process, the condition of the installed appliances are checked with equal diligence. The cabinets and countertops are not left unattended either.

To put it simply, home inspection coverage stands on 3 Ds – Detecting the issue, Describing the issues what can be the outcome, and Directing the solutions for effective rectification of the issues at hand. Materials used, finishing, installation procedure, safety issues are also covered along with the functionality of each system and operations of the installations.

Old or new, home inspection is here for you

You are already feeling interested in the service and are thinking to avail of one yourself, right? But some of you who own an old property might still be in a dilemma. Relax. Even heritage properties are also inspected here. Learn how to identify defects in old buildings and if you come across a couple of these signs, give a buzz to the most reliable home inspection service in town.

New homebuyers in India are also found to be vouching for these services. Say you have booked a single apartment in a building complex or getting a bungalow built of your own, home inspection is for that ongoing construction also. It can literally make your investment all the more worthwhile. Here are the benefits of employing home inspection for a new property..

Not only residential properties, commercial spaces like office, school, hotel, retail spaces like shopping mall and multiplex, and warehouse also come under the inspection coverage. To know more, click here.

Health check-up for you, home inspection for your property

If you are already convinced, great! But some of you may still wonder how a home inspection can possibly help you to determine the condition your home is in. Well, why do we get a health checkup from time to time? Doesn’t that help us understand our health condition? It is pretty much the same for your home too. Each professional home inspection performs in-depth monitoring of the home.

As your health check-up reveals whether you have diabetes and whether you need to be cautious about sugar intake, home inspection identifies any issues or defects in the components or elements of the property such as high moisture content, seepage/ leakage, dampness, or problem in the electrical circuit, etc. Areas that need improvement or immediate attention are brought under the radar of home inspection. Though you yourself can make out from the self-explanatory report, home inspection experts are always happy to help. Remember, you get scanned pictures of the issues identified in your home. Easier to realize the problem, isn’t it?

A Point to note – No repair work done by the home inspection Company

A point of caution here: Yes, it is absolutely right that home inspection will leave you with a detailed report about the condition of the home and related solutions. But the job of a professional home inspection ends there. It is not within the home inspection coverage to look into the software-driven report and make the actual repairs in your home. You need to call for other experts for that. Of course, some useful suggestions can be shared with you for further repair jobs, but that would not be inclusive of the home inspection services. So when you do opt for a home inspection for your property, make sure both the parties are clear of this fact.

Now that you have come to the end of this, we are sure you are a bit more aware now, aren’t you? If you are living in your ancestral home or planning to buy a new home, make sure to get a home inspection done. If an advertisement of a residential complex just caught your eyes, do not get brainwashed by the outward appearance. Look deeper and take the help of experts. Only a home inspection can save you from untimely disturbances with your old property or prevent any undesirable issues from arising in the new property you invested in, be it residential or commercial. Be wise, act wiser, and put home inspection to use without further delay.

To explore the bouquet of MACJ’s home inspection services, click here and go to Our services section.

Diversity of Home Inspection: Residential & Commercial

The decision to buy a house is always a major one. There are tonnes of considerations to be made before zeroing in on the one you like. But our work doesn’t really end there, does it? After buying the property, we need to be 100% sure that it is in a liveable condition. That is a tonne of work as well, right? – Inspecting the home for every teeny-weeny detail and then running behind the developer to get it fixed. The job is even more tedious if it is an old and comparatively less looked-after property. Then it is almost like a guilt trip that you have been avoiding embarking on all this while.

We have a simple solution for you. Home inspection, which is already in high demand in the West, is now slowly but steadily finding a place in the Indian market too. Although the concept is fairly new to the Indian audience, it has managed to gain immense popularity in the real estate value chain. Homeowners – old and new, builders, buyers, and NRIs – it is a win-win deal for all.

What is home inspection all about?

For those who are relatively new to the idea, a home inspection encompasses a wide range of services that aim at digging out problems affecting the exterior and interior components of your property. These include walls, railings, doors and windows, plumbing and electrical, and the like. To learn more, click here.

Importance of Property Inspection

We, at MACJ – A Buyers Choice, specialise in providing inspection services not just for homes but also for commercial spaces. This is because we believe that one tends to spend a major portion of his day outside the house& in the office for various works. So, it is equally important to keep that space free of wear-off and risks. Seriously, just think, how many of us are aware of the safety status of the office building1 we are walking into everyday?

Detailed below are some of the places where we offer property inspection services:

I. Commercial Buildings

1. Offices

We spend nearly 10 hours of the day here. It is a lot of time! So, it only makes sense to ensure safety at the workplace. And by safety, we do not only mean fire safety. That is a bare minimum requirement. You must have your compliances met and the fire safety equipment ready at the right places. But at the same time, you must also see to it that there is adequate number of fire exits in the office and that the pathways leading to those exits are wide enough. The staircase is not slippery. There are no hollow tiles on the floor. The false ceilings are sturdy enough and not made of inflammable material, and so on and so forth.

What are the other things that you as an employer must be proactive about? – Paying heed to any complaint coming from employees about a plumbing fault in the bathroom, water dripping from an AC unit, a persistent musty smell inside the office, or a stinking basin in the pantry area, etc. You must engage a professional property inspection team and try to resolve these issues from their roots.

Remember – a healthy and happy workforce is the true resource of an organization. Make safety a ‘hygiene factor’ for them and see their energy, commitment, and productivity soar higher.

2. Schools

Another crucial place that is a must-include for inspections for the simple reason that they are occupied by children. You just cannot take any risk with them. Plaster falling out from the wall or ceiling means a child might put it in its mouth, loose hinges may cause a door to fall anytime causing casualties, or worn-out and slippery staircase may lead to serious accidents.

Keeping dampness at bay inside a school is also of paramount importance. As school authority, you can always hold parents responsible for their wards’ ill health and absenteeism but you cannot turn a blind eye to your own responsibilities. Can you?

According to the research titled, ‘Coexistence of allergic rhinitis and asthma in Indian patients: The CARAS survey’(Vikram Jaggi, 2019), in India, the burden of allergic diseases2 has been on a rising trend in terms of prevalence as well as severity. The All-India Co-ordinated Project on Aeroallergens and Human Health, New Delhi, in 2000, showed that 30% of the Indian population suffers from these, and that 15% develops asthma.

So, do not look at maintenance as just a rulebook thing. Precede the job with a thorough property inspection to ensure utmost safety to the children.

3. Hospitals

They cannot afford to take any chances with the health and safety of their patients and patient parties. A minor plumbing or electrical issue can literally put a crucial surgery on halt and cost life. Excessive dampness can lead to the growth of microbes and spread deadly infections.

This is even more important for ICCUs and ITUs where critical patients are kept. Bed sores in aged, bed-ridden patients are not uncommon in old hospital buildings; no amount of disinfection and sanitation seem to be enough for preventing these infections. Dampness, if not the only reason, is certainly one of major causes behind such uncontrolled proliferation of micro-organisms.

Then there are the weak, poorly-managed building parts like doors, gateways, partitions, and false ceilings. A sudden collapse of any of these structures can cause huge casualties. Hence, it is important to ensure that the health of all the buildings inside a hospital compound is as good as that of its patients.

4. Multiplexes/ Malls

Another popular area infested with people almost all times of the day. They need to look good at all times too. That is how they would attract crowds. Plus, the interiors and other utilities always need to be in good shape for use by the masses.

Pleasureful factors play an important role in increasing the footfall in a multiplex or shopping mall. A consistent negligence in maintaining the basic hygiene and safety can lead to a significant drop in popularity.

5. Warehouses and retail chains

Storehouses are common housing grounds of seepage, fungus, and bacteria. It can mean immense damage to the stocks lying therein.

Similarly, retail chains like supermarkets, house tonnes of perishable and non-perishable goods for consumers. Both the places always need to be high on maintenance to ensure longer shelf-lives of the stored items and keep customers happy and coming.

6. Hotels

If hotels have a damp/ seepage problem, then these can create bad reputation infront of customers and also can create various health problems too if not rectified soon.

There are sometimes electrical safety hazard3 happened which could have avoided if some safety measures have been taken earlier. Have a inspection done to have a healthy and safety place.

II. Residential Properties

1. Old Houses

Property is a lifelong investment but we often forget to maintain it for a lifetime. Homes that turn old with us need equal maintenance as our own bodies. This is where home inspection can play a significant role. Our inspectors would conduct a 3D-coverage of your property detailing all the issues in both the exterior as well as interior parts. We would then assist you with solutions for the same.

2. Newly-Built Homes/ Flats

The general idea is that since a flat is newly built, it is already in perfect shape. On the contrary, new homes too have several hidden flaws, which as a buyer might concern you. They usually come to the surface only as you start living in it for a while. The construction may be weak, plaster may start peeling off, or faucets may become loose. A thorough home inspection before moving in can help.

A Variety of Inspection Services for Homes and Commercial Properties

Now we know that a complete health check-up is equally essential for your living space. Most importantly, property inspection is essential not just for your home but for all kinds of commercial properties as well. This is why we, at MACJ, offer a diverse range of inspection services, all under one umbrella, to ensure that every party in the real estate value chain is benefitted.

Real estate inspection services for buyers/ sellers

We understand that buying and selling of real estate are crucial life decisions. This is why our inspection services are available both at the time of buying and selling a property. Our inspectors thoroughly check all areas and components of the space under a deal and provide a seal of approval to go ahead with the transaction, so that you do not risk of losing your valuable money.

Construction finishing inspection for new homebuyers and builders/ developers

Sometimes it isn’t easy to figure out any loophole in construction which may have been left by the builder/ developer in newly built homes. A third eye to the whole situation can actually be of immense benefit, if any minor/ major issues can be brought to light and fixed at the initial stages itself, it can save considerable inconvenience and expenditure later on. Even builders and realtors appreciate our service because it helps them create long-term loyal relationships with their clients.

Home inspection for existing residents

Our services are not just meant for new buyers, we also assist existing homeowners in the upkeep of their properties. You can call us anytime if you feel that your house needs a complete check-up.

Complete property care for NRIs

Living abroad with your property back home is always worrisome. Will the property be safe from rain, seepage issues, plaster wear-off, electrical and plumbing breakage? We’re here to put all your worries to rest. Just hire us before you leave and we’d be happy to take care of your property in your absence.

Not just for NRIs, our home inspection services are ideal for cross-city residents as well. If you need to move cities for work or other reasons, you can bank on us to take care of your property back home while you are gone.

Our entire bouquet of property inspection services for you. To know more, Click here and go into Our services section.

Home inspection is no longer a luxury. It needs to be looked up to as a bouquet of necessary services that concern your most valuable possession – home. Hire us today to take care of your asset and we’d do so just like our very own.

Challenges of Season Change: How to Safeguard Your Home?

Remember Nana Patekar lip-syncing to the famous lines “Sardi, khasi na malaria hua?” Yes, sounds familiar during season change, doesn’t it? A sudden fall in temperature and cool breeze from the north right after the rainy days makes you feel the change in the air. But it is the sneezes in the morning and viral fevers that let us know more prominently about the transition. Well, your home is no exception. While it doesn’t have the chance to catch a cold, it does have risks of getting badly affected by the weather change. Be wise beforehand and prepare accordingly. Read on to know more about safeguarding your home.

Before we move on to what you should do to safeguard your house, let’s have a quick look at what are the problems you should be aware of. Most of them you already know. Let us just double-check once.

  • Extreme heat during prolonged summer causes cracks to appear on your walls.
  • Months of monsoon invite damp, moisture intrusion, algal and fungal infestation in any random corner of your home where you were least expecting them.
  • Wooden doors and windows become enlarged as moisture swells them up during the rainy season. But when that ends, it is a pain to close them properly as the size has changed.
  • Winter intensifies condensation and any damp that you might not have noticed and turns it into a nightmare.

We’re sure you have come across a lot of other issues which you never suspected could happen due to season change. However, now let’s see what you can do to save your dearer-than-life home. Here are some useful home maintenance tips for forthcoming winter:

1. Ventilate your house well

Now that the monsoon has finally bid us farewell, let your house feel the warmth of the sun. Open the windows and doors and ventilate your house so that the indoor moisture content is lowered. This will also help any superficial dampness on your walls to dry and disappear. But be sure the damp spots aren’t skin-deep (read wall-deep). To ensure, take professional help. Call for a home inspection team that will conduct a damp assessment and check all your plumbing lines and fixtures for leakage. Once you repair the identified faults, you are more than sorted.

To learn more about leakage inspection, read on.

2. Take care of your windows

They are not there only to let you enjoy the outside scenery or allow light and air to pass. It is very important to check the condition of windows at regular intervals. See to it that there is no gap around the window frames. This will harm the window and the wall as well. Give extra care if you have wooden window frames. Try to dry them off after the splashes of rain have ceased. For metal frames, which are more common these days, replacing and reinstallation will be a better option. Also check the latches and tighten them if they are loose to make sure there is no gap between the windowpane(s) and frame.

Always check if there is a provision of drip mould in the window chhajja as it helps in stopping raindrops from coming in contact with the windows directly.

With glass windows, you should look for cracks very minutely. Even a hair-line crack can become a menace in later times. Broken glass offers little to none protection against the harsh environmental conditions brought about by season change.

Inspect your tracks and rollers regularly. Most houses and apartments are built with sliding windows. If your home is no exception, be careful about the tracks and rollers. Stormy air, dry sweeps of wind, etc can bring in dust, twigs, and dead insects with them and stock them on the roller channels. Clean them.

A small home decor tip for homeowners having glass windows: Replace your breezy curtains with blinds. They will help you ward off cold wind during the chilly winter nights.

3. Look for air passages

A crack on the window glass, gap around the window and door frames, and window panes and doors not closing properly can create unwanted air passages. Cold air from outside will make its way inside on a wintry night thereby lowering the comfort level.

On a hot summer day, you often wonder why the AC cooling is not working but you hardly bother to check if there is a gap around the window and door frame. But before winter, you need to be careful about these things. Otherwise, you may end up creating health risks for your family.

You can always put your effort into mending these faults but if you are not experienced, it will be in vain. Before every season change check the entrance and exit points of air in and from your room. Correct the cracked portions or door frames to allow proper air circulation. Rely on home inspection teams for making your work easier. But make sure you do what they recommend!

4. Leakage inspection

Being a tropical country, India has a lengthy monsoon season. While the rain is boon to many, it can bring ill fate to a home, especially if the house is made with poor quality materials or one is not regular with maintenance. Roof, ceiling, and floors can give way to seepage or leakage. A pre-existing crack you didn’t care about will show how much it is capable of damaging your home. Never ever leave a crack or leakage unattended. Repair it whenever you come across one.

The leakage of water from the overhead tank is critical. It will not only cause wastage of drinking water but also make the adjacent areas completely slippery. A wet roof with an old or faulty waterproofing or gaps in the tile joints on the roof can also lead to seepage in ceilings. Repair them with immediate urgency or be ready to face the ordeal during winter.

If you find leakage in your walls it is best to treat it as soon as possible. You may want to plaster your walls and apply waterproof coatings1 to prevent water damage. Thanks to advance technologies, you now get paints with superior water-resistant properties. So,while deciding on a new shade for your walls, think of these paint varieties to add more protection to your walls.

Sometimes when you are unable to detect the source of dampness/ leakage. You can call professional who are expert in this job. Click here to know more.

5. Electrical inspection

It is of utmost importance to implement timely electrical inspection. When winter is slowly making its entry into our almanac, get ready for a surge in the electrical load. You will definitely start using geyser or immersion rods2. These are high electricity consuming products. So, you must perform a thorough electrical inspection to avoid any tripping incident in the electrical circuit. Once the usage starts, the appliances will give off one day, when you are probably in the middle of a bath! To save yourself the harassment, take timely precautions.

Before you call for an expert team for electrical inspection, do a few things yourself. Click here to get some excellent ideas on energy saving.

Conclusion

Safeguarding your home against all odds is a tedious job but you have to put your one hundred percent effort into it because after all, it is YOUR home we are talking about. It is your prized possession and you should be on high alert about it. Even a simple thing like making sure the latches of windows and doors are working fine can help your home withstand the harsh weather conditions. Be hands on in home maintenance.

Follow the advice of the experts, call for the home inspection and make your home secured against withering climate and fall in love with it all over again. All protected and safe, it will stand tall and unharmed even in the most challenging periods of changing seasons.

Moving to a New Apartment? Home Inspection Can Be a Saviour

So, your dream home is ready to be moved in? You must be getting impatient to do the interiors and plan your house-warming party but hang on! Don’t rush. There’s an old saying: Precaution is better than cure. Check the property thoroughly before dialing up packers and movers. Everything looks perfect when new, and a home is no exception. Once you start living in it, the construction-related issues begin to surface one after another. Old resale properties have more hidden issues than new ones but then, the latter gives you a broken heart! How to fix a broken heart? Oops, the defects in a new apartment? Get a professional home inspection done before move-in. At least, you can then ask your builder or seller (previous homeowner) to repair the defects, which ideally, they should do and save significantly on your recurring future repair costs.

Sounds ‘unnecessarily’ expensive? Okay, let’s make things a little easier for you to decide by providing you examples of key findings based on various inspections of new home. MACJ-ABCHI has performed 1500+ inspections combining individual and developer based units inspection. The team has found various kinds of issues and they also suggest the solutions related to specific issues which can help you to get rectified on time.

Key findings based on various inspection of new homes

The areas in your home or apartment will include Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Living and dining, Kitchens, Balcony (the number will vary accordingly) etc. The 7 basic elements comprises of wall, ceiling, floor, door, window, plumbing and electrical. Key findings based on several inspections of new apartment/home element-wise include:

1. Wall

Cracks, Hollowness on plaster, efflorescence and undulation are some common problems/ defect for walls depending on various inspections of new apartments.

  • Cracks – Crack can be seen on the wall of any new building in our country. Having cracks appear on your wall may just seem to be cosmetic, but it could be a moderate or indicate an important, structural issue. While it is true that that minor cracks can turn into bigger cracks thereby threaten the structural integrity of your home, and that every crack should be taken a look at by a professional. The first step to fixing the problem is identifying type of crack. There are two types – Structural and Non structural crack.
    • Non-structural cracks – These cracks are small, less than 3mm width,that do not at the moment threaten the integrity of your home. But of course if not treated at right time can create problem in future.
    • Structural cracksStructural cracks1 appear wider than 3mm width. They can appear in the wall beams or slabs. And they usually extend to the upper floor of your house.

    Tip related to cracks(non- structural depending width): Cracks can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Most significant is diagonal crack which is usually found at lintel level or load bearing element. To know the solution, read our 3D Knowledge series post.

  • Undulation – It happens due to uneven plastering or sometimes happen during putty application on wall i.e due to poor workmanship.
  • Hollowness on plaster – This happens due to improper curing after plastering, which can lead to further crack on it. Thereby resulting in decrease of strength.
  • Efflorescence – Efflorescence is a type of white deposit found on masonry and walls. Efflorescence is not a good sign as it means that the quality of construction material may not have been good. To know more details about the reason for occurrence and its solution, click here.

2. Ceiling

One significant and common observation based on several inspections is crack at ceiling at fan box position. This happens due to weakness in concrete and hammering. This can be repaired by crack seal.

3. Floor

Hollowness, cracks, gap at tile joints and improper slope are some common issues related to flooring which can create further problems if left unnoticed.

  • Hollowness – It is one of the common defects/ issues observed in homes. Hollowness can lead to further cracks in flooring & looseness from bed mortar. This can lead to water intrusion through cracks and which can create further problems in other associated or attached areas and damp/ seepage issues. To understand the Significance of checking hollow tile or stone flooring, click here.
  • Gap between tile joints – This is also very common issue which is neglected by people considering it as a minor thing. These gaps will be a path for water to flow and hence will create dampness/ seepage in associated areas. This source of water, if not rectified can increase damage in associated/ attached areas of the property. For this issue, filling the gap by tile grout as per manufacturer’s specification will be a solution.
  • Improper floor slope – An improper slope2 of the floor leaves scope for water stagnation. This problem is commonly faced in bathrooms. If the slope is inadequate or reverse around floor outlet then the excess water tends to stand and causes water pocket depending on cases. To get rid of the excess water you have to use wiper after every wash and every shower or get the floor slope corrected by a skilled vendor without delay.

4. Door

Misalignment of door panel, hinge problem, door not self latching are some issues which are commonly observed while inspection.

  • Misalignment of door panel – This happens due to improper installation of panel. If panel is not properly flushing with door frame after closing, then panel is misaligned. It can happen due to some other reasons too. So it is important to understand the reason.
  • Hinge fitting problem – If hinge is not fitted properly, then it will not be able to take load of door panel, which can create problem in operation of panel.
  • Door is not self-latching – This can happen due to improper groove plate installation problem or due to latch problem.

5. Window

Most common issues related to windows are absence of sealant and window installation issue like misalignment.

  • Absence of sealant – Based on inspection of new apartments, it is commonly observed that sealant is not provided at external sill and window frame. This gap will be a source for moisture to flow inside the home. If gap are not filled properly, it will lead to moisture intrusion, paint deterioration & damage to walls. Deterioration of sealant occurs in little older buildings.
  • Window installation issue – There are various types of issues which can occur in windows. Among this, most significant is installation issue. If not properly installed, can cause misalignment of windows which can create operational problem.

6. Electrical

Problem/ issues in electrical section can occur due to layout and fittings. Sometimes electrical layout has some issues which becomes difficult to change and sometimes fitting related problem as well as safety issues are also observed.

  • Layout related Problem – There are some times problems/issues in electrical layout of an area of home like position of socket board which can cause safety hazard in future.
  • Fitting related Problem – It includes improper connection of wires at DB, switch board and others.
  • Wiring/ Wire Gauge issues – If an electrical outlet of an equipment has inadequate wire gauge as per load, then it will cause overheating further leading to wire damage. Hence forth will cause equipment damage. Thereby creating a safety hazard for residents.

7. Plumbing

In plumbing also, issues can be due to layout and fitting. Loosening of faucets and other installation problems are some of issues that are commonly observed in new homes. If left unnoticed can result in increased moisture content of the home and dampness, watery spot on the walls and ceiling, damaged aesthetics, and long-term health threats.

Following are a few defects that aggravate plumbing problems multiple times:

  • Leakage in water pipeline – The use of non-branded, poor-quality pipes & improper installation can cause leakage in the water pipeline3 of even a new building. Some leakage are detectable with naked eyes and some are concealed which can be detected by professional services.
  • Grout Problems – If grouting around the floor outlet is not done properly, it can lead to seepage/leakage problem in below attached/ associated areas.
  • Leaky Faucets – A leaky faucet4 not only wastes water but also causes hassles for residents if left unnoticed. The typical causes for a leaky faucet5 include corrosion, mineral deposits on the internal parts, or defective gaskets etc. Ignoring leaky faucets can turn a simple cost into a nightmare. A guided inspection at an early stage can keep away these hazards.
  • Weak installation of water closet – A loosely installed water closet in the bathroom may give rise to annoying things like unchecked, continuous water leakage, sewer smell, etc. No matter how expensive WC you choose, a wrong installation can completely ruin its beauty and purpose.

Conclusion

We have just tried to give you an overview of commonly observed issues based on several inspections of apartments.

If still you need help detecting the probable defects of your apartment, Contact professional home inspection services. Remember, an aware homebuyer is a responsible homeowner. The earlier you detect the defects the better you are guarded against all future home ailments and accidents. This will help you have a healthy home for your family.

Are You Living In A Home Of Horrors? Check For Yourself

You have saved all your life only to step into your dream house and be content with your choice. After all, at the end of a long tiring day, nothing beats the comfort of your own house. But just a few days after you settle in, yours dreams turn into nightmare. You can hear a shrill screech when you open your backyard door. When you are watching your favourite show on TV, suddenly the lights start flickering, the TV screen goes blank. Does it sound like familiar scenes from horror movies? Have you landed yourself in a haunted house?

Hang on there! Horror these are – no doubt. But no need to tag your home infested with supernatural beings. It is just a result of skipping home inspection prior to buying the estate. Deploying a home inspector in time would have saved you the horrors of home. These might be a result of only some misfits of wiring system, use of bad quality fittings, workmanship and so on and so forth. So, before you start residing, you must know the nukes and crannies of the building you will fondly call ‘home.’

1. Flickering lights: Did you check the connection?

The most common aetiology of flickering lights is the fluctuation in voltage supply in the power grids. Sudden change of load causes consecutive voltage fluctuations. Also, the connecting wires often get loosened. Together, these cause the lights of your house to flicker and you experience a certain extent of dizziness along with a spooky feeling.Be wise and consult with a home inspector before moving in. Let a comprehensive electrical inspection come up with a detailed report.

2. Sudden Blackouts: It’s just MCB tripping

On a random day after coming back from office, you decide to vacuum-clean your house, wash your clothes in the washing machine, and do some cooking and so on. Putting your clothes in the washing machine you switch it on and then as you proceed to run your mixer grinder, suddenly the power goes out. Know why? You have been running a number of high-electricity consuming devices at a time on the same circuit. This exceeds the capacity of the particular circuit. The MCB trips whenever circuit overloading happens. A circuit overload is one of the main reasons why circuit breakers trip constantly. This occurs when you want a particular circuit to provide more electricity than its actual capacity. This will lead to the overheating of the circuit which puts all the electrical appliances connected to the circuit at risk. It is also a safety issue.

Apart from circuit overloading, short circuits and ground fault are the other causes of MCB tripping1. Call for an electrical inspection as soon as possible. With their suggestion, fix the problems and say goodbye to frequent blackouts.

3. Creaking doors: Check the hinges and lubrication

You feel a shiver up your spine sitting in your room when suddenly you hear your kitchen door creak open. A squeaky sound followed by a soft thud makes you get up only to reveal your four-legged pet coming out of your kitchen stealthily. Sounds familiar? The creaking sound is nothing but the door panel rubbing and hitting the frame because of the wrongly fitted hinges. If your house is not a new one, the doors have sustained friction for long. This has worn off the lubrication as well.

If you be a little attentive, you will see the sounds are more in monsoon. Wooden doors absorb moisture and expand in the rainy season. These then tend to hang downwards causing more friction with the floor. That brings up the squeaky sound you are worried about.

Make appointment with your carpenter and do the needful. Tighten the hinges, lubricate them and if it is monsoon, just wait for it to be over. Your doors will come to their previous size and you will be able to close them without unpleasant sounds. In most cases, only tightening the hinges will solve the issue. Find an easy guide to door maintenance for your home here.

4. Rattling windows: Misaligned installation

On a summer night, do you wake up with a strange sound coming from the window behind the heavy curtains? You perfectly remember to have them closed before you turned on the AC. To your utter disbelief, you find them open. Is that another horror story from your home? No. It is just a result of the carpenters and the window fitters not being attentive to details. The window installation may be misaligned and due to wind, it gives way causing the rattling sounds. Absence of a gasket and keeper plate can also be the reason.

A proper inspection of the window joints, latches, and hinges will take care of all these issues and let you live your life peacefully in your home. And you can also find a guide for maintenance of window here.

5. Feeling out of breath in your own home? Check the ventilation

You have never had any history of breathlessness until you moved in your new home or moved back into your ancestral house. When it struck you, it made you wonder why. Before you get freaked out, look into the matter keeping calm. Your house might have not been used in years. Years of dampness have made the air heavy which is the reason you feel suffocated. If it is a new house, your lack of experience might have let you skip checking the ventilation system. Bad ventilation setup does not allow the heavy air to exit and it circulates in the room. The dampness favours the growth of microbes and the air inside the room gets polluted. When you breathe them in, your respiration system goes through distress causing breathlessness.

Taking the help of home inspection will relieve you from such distresses. Dampened walls, closed ventilators, air exhaustion system- everything must be checked prior to moving in.

6. Dripping Water: Check for leaks

Imagine: you come back from a long tiring day at work, enter the kitchen and find it nearly flooded. You curse your forgetfulness and think that you might have left the tap open. But soon you realise that you have properly turned them off before leaving. Again you doubt that something is fishy with your home. To be truthful, that is not the case. The kitchen faucets might have loosened leaking water even when you think the taps are turned off. This might happen in bathrooms as well. If you find areas of damp spots on the walls of your home, it is some hidden leak2 that you must be worried about. Water seeps through the leaked pipelines keeping the walls wet and destroys your walls over the years.

Call for home inspection the moment you suspect leakage or, even better, prior to moving in. If needed, the pipes and other bathroom and kitchen fittings should be replaced. Some leakage issues which are visible can be solved by a plumber. But those that are invisible are difficult to identify. For that, you need an experienced pair of eyes. Call your plumber or hire a team of home inspectors.

7. Water leakage in WC: Result of various causes

In today’s world, when every part of the globe is experiencing water scarcity, the water tank in your WC decides to add fuel to the fire of water-misuse and continue to run even after a flush cycle is completed. This can occur due to a number of reasons. The most common of them is leakage in the WC. Sometimes the washer wears off causing leakage. This results in the drip-drip you hear from your washroom. One of the biggest problems that you do not have anything to do about, is high iron content in water. It is deposited in the pipes and reduces the water flow.

A good inspection by a plumber followed by replacing the damaged parts will relieve you of these worries. Not only will you avoid unnecessary loss of water but all the apparatus will be functioning properly also.

You can also follow a guide for maintaining your plumbing system to avoid further problems related to it.

To Summarise

All your horrors about your home are actually real issues you should care about and attend them as fast as you can. Home inspection is the ultimate necessity for doing away with potential problem situations of your home. It is those inspectors who will identify what is causing those ‘horrific’ situations and ‘prescribe’ measures to overcome them well beforehand. Thus, you get to enjoy the pride and comfort of your own home that you have always dreamt of. Happy home to you!

Purchasing a Resale Flat – Here is a Checklist for you

It is never easy to have the best of both worlds. When you are buying a resale property you are primarily listening to your wallet and going for a purchase that is easy on it. Plus, there are other advantages coming bundled up: The infrastructure in the locality is almost always in place, already. The waiting time for construction completion is zero, which means you can take immediate possession and get yourself a tax benefit from the first EMI itself. And, there are no sugar-coated or cloaked features for this market. Whatever you see in front of your eyes is yours once you own it. But hold on! Is that all that you see on the surface? What about the tricky thing called “quality” that lies somewhere underneath? Can home inspection help you get a true picture of it?

Here is a guide to help you unearth the quality issues in a resale property:

1. What is the age of the property?

A resale real estate property is considered as a good investment option when it is between 1 to 5 years of age. A property of a maximum of 10 years can still be considered for buying if it is found to be really well maintained. But then, how can you be sure about its maintenance status? The best way is to demand an inspection report showing clearance of the property against various parameters or at least, the documents showing the building’s repair history. If the seller/ broker fails to show any of the documents, go for an inspection yourself. Yes, the service will cost you a little more in addition to the property’s quoted price but will save you from bigger expenses and hassles in the long run.

2. Try to understand the reason behind selling

It may help you uncover the hidden problems and assess whether the issues can be addressed permanently. Some of the reasons are construction defects, hidden issues such as damp, leakage, etc.

3. Know the surroundings well

By surroundings, we do not mean only the neighbourhood and the amenities available in the vicinity but the landscape of the place. For example, if it is a low-lying area and water-logging is a problem there, then you can expect dampness or logistics of commuting to be the issues in the property. The same issue will be there if the place where the property is located is built on reclaimed swampland. In a township where the groundwater is too saline or ‘hard,’ salt corrosion and ugly stains will be usual problems, respectively. Try to know these details before deciding to buy the property.

4. Potential problem areas to look for in a resale property

While a professional home inspection is always advisable before investing in a property, you, as an aware homebuyer, can do this DIY visual inspection:

A. Interiors

Do you see paint-swellings or water patches on the ceiling?

Paint swellings are the most common visible signs of water damage on the ceiling. If you come across any such sign or see a watery patch, do not rule out the possibility of a plumbing system error. But, if your apartment is on the top floor and you are having this problem then it must be the roofing system that needs your attention. Nonetheless, you cannot think of a remedy unless you are sure about the reason behind the seepage. Only a professional home inspection can identify the root cause of such problems and help you make a decision regarding the best repair method.

Does the wall-paint appear uneven and flaky?

There can be multiple causes behind flaky or peeling paint: high humidity, excessive condensation, poor surface preparation, dirty wall surface, intense sunlight and high temperatures, use of surface-incompatible paint solution, and too many coats on the same surface. A repaint job can help you get rid of the flakiness but will it solve the underlying problems? How about considering a home inspection that guides you to a permanent solution?

Watch out for hollow tiles on the floor

Hollow tiles can be an indicator of tiles getting debonded which can lead to loosening and cracking of tiles. This can lead to water intrusion through cracks and which can create further problems in other associated or attached areas and damp/ seepage issues, thereby increasing maintenance cost and hassles to residents. If you come across tiles that emit a hollow sound by simple tapping,contact your builder or tile expert and get them replaced immediately.

Be careful with water stagnancy – an indication of wrong sloping

Floor slope cannot be checked without proper equipment but stagnant water can tell a lot about sloping. If you find water stagnation in any part of your home get the floor slope checked professionally. The best places to look for stagnant water are the kitchen, bathrooms, and balconies.

Doors and windows must open and close properly

This can be tedious but not a difficult task to perform – check all the doors and windows of the flat. See if the doors are squeaking, making contact with the floor while closing and opening, if the latches are in place, and windowpanes and frames are not leaving gaps when closed. This will ensure the quality of air inside the home and also check intrusion of water from outside.

Check plumbing fittings and faucets for leakage

Water leakage is an all-time nightmare for everyone. It has a multiplier effect. Leakage causes wastage of water forcing us to switch on the pump more frequently. Moreover, the addition of excess moisture to the indoor air leads to dampness which affects both the aesthetics of our home as well as our health in a slow but severe way. So, detect leaks carefully. Basin pipes and faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms are still easy to check but if there is a leakage in the basement area and crawl spaces? Get a professional home inspection done and fix the leakage permanently. Who knows- your home may need remedial waterproofing. It is better to get it done before you move in with your family.

Check for the switches and MCB box

A comprehensive electrical inspection is much needed for any home. Check for the switches if they are ISI marked and in working condition or not. The MCB box should be also checked if all its parts are fitted properly. Visual inspection helps but to be sure that there is no internal problem in your electrical wiring system, opt for an electrical & safety inspection.

If it is a semi-furnished flat look for decay in the woodwork

Damaged timber, patches of spore dust, fine strands on timber, mushroom-like fruiting bodies, and damp smell are the basic symptoms that your furnished flat has wood decay. Remove the particular piece of furniture right away and get the rest of it polished once again to breathe new life into them.

Give ventilation – The topmost priority

A well-ventilated house is at the core of a happy, healthy life. So, make sure your new home has enough windows and open space and nothing is obstructing the daylight from entering the rooms. Adequate ventilation keeps damp issues at bay extending the life of the property for years.

B. Exteriors

The exterior of a house is the part exposed to the scorching sun, rain, dust, humidity, and other pollutants. Its construction, durability, and maintenance play a crucial role in determining the health and condition of the interior. So, while inspecting the property, you must give special importance to the exterior, especially to the following areas:

Exterior wall paint

Opt for weatherproof emulsion paint1 for better protection of your house.

Piping system

If it is a standalone property and an old one, check if the plumbing system is done with PVC pipes or not. If you come across any cast iron or galvanized iron pipe, consider replacing it immediately for they tend to rust over the years and clog up easily.

Roof/ Terrace

Try to find out if waterproofing has been done. If not, you can consider doing it or covering it with a roof covering sheet. The best sheets for roofing are bitumen roof sheets, weather-resistant PVC composite panels, plastic material synthetic resin tile sheets, and cellular plastic sheets, etc.

Common spaces

You cannot make any change in the common spaces; still before making the purchase, look for the lobby, staircase, landing areas, garage space, boundary wall, and the main gate to be sure about the building security.

Nearness to any big tree or overhead cable line

If you spot any of these two things alert the builder and if possible, the civic authority for both can lead to accidents.

5. Why invest in a home inspection while purchasing a resale flat?

Home inspection is not merely a process of confirming the wellness of your property; it helps you understand your home better. When you purchase a resale property2 you invariably consider three things before moving in- repair, renovation, and making changes in the layout (sometimes). In all the three cases, a prior home inspection helps you get an idea on how to go about things keeping cost under control.

Let us try to understand this with examples from the real-life situation:

Repair

You purchase a resale flat where you see the wall paint is coming out at places. There is no visible damp effect anywhere in the apartment. You consider this as normal and after removing the old paint you paint the walls anew. After a year or so, the same thing starts happening and then, you discover the building is damp. If you had done a damp/ seepage inspection before, you would have been able to understand the real source of problem for repairs and invest in waterproofing the wall before repainting it.

Renovation

Renovation gives a completely new look to an old (or resale) property through needful changes. You may consider replacing mosaic or marble flooring with floor tiles, iron-framed glass windows with the windows with aluminium or stainless steel profiles, wooden bathroom doors of with uPVC doors and so on as per your taste but the money spent becomes worthwhile only when the renovation done is guided by a proper home inspection report. For instance, you can put up wallpaper on a wall shared by a bathroom not knowing it is damp but it will invariably start peeling within a few months.

Layout changes

A layout change gone wrong is a common thing in resale properties. It could be like poor space allocation to corridors and walkways, neglecting the need to create adequate storage, treating installation and furniture as an afterthought, changing the plumbing / electrical layouts or mismatching the floor plan and your lifestyle. Think wisely or hire a home inspector to guide you well in this venture. Even interior designers are not qualified enough to do a deep dive in most cases.

Nothing can be more profitable than buying a flat at a price lower than its market value! But it does not end with bagging a good deal. After all, a home is a home, whether it is resale or new. You are putting your hard-earned money into it, and in most likelihood, you will be living there with your family for a good number of years. So, you must not leave any doubt area unaddressed before moving into it. Get a home inspection done to identify the masked hazards and make your stay as hassle-free and happy as possible.

Over and above these, you should also go about protecting your property from the routine issues that may crop up while buying your home. Read through for these in detail…… www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/avoid-13-unlucky-mistakes-as-a-first-time-home-buyer.

How to Identify Defects in Old Buildings?

A home inspection is necessary before plunging into a property buying decision for it implements modern technology to identify issues. Defects affect the performance of a building during its occupancy stage. Older homes are more prone to be laden with defects as there are higher chances of worn out/ faulty construction, design issues, wear & tear due to efflux of time and lack of maintenance. The defects not only affect the building but also reduce its value. Re-modelling might also turn out to be a costly affair. Therefore it is of utmost importance that a third party property inspection is arranged for so that the issues can be addressed before it is too late.

There are several areas where issues occur in old buildings. Some of them might be right in front of your eyes while some are hidden problems. How to identify them? Here are a few ideas:

Damp, leakage and seepage assessment

Indian weather is varied but most parts of it have a tropical climate which means the buildings are exposed to rain and humidity for a long duration. Water seepage through the roofs and walls, leave behind damp patches on them- both on the exterior as well as interior walls and ceilings. The damp areas become bloated with time and in severe cases, the plaster and paint come off.

In old buildings, continuous seepage cause salt damage. Soluble salts penetrate into the buildings envelope with rainwater and moisture which transports them further inside. This happens mainly because old buildings do not have horizontal waterproofing1. The salts react chemically with the porous building materials causing severe salt-induced damage. Research says different contaminants and pollutants behave differently on mortar, bricks, stones, and wood (majorly used in old buildings instead of iron and concrete pillars). However, it is difficult to assess the impact in each case by just looking at the damp patches externally. One only gets to realize the extent of damage when elaborate renovation work is undertaken. It is then that the construction workers discover that the inner fabric of the walls and ceilings have been completely worn out.

Therefore, it is important to engage a professional home inspection team to assess the dampness & its source using advanced technology devices so that the detection is precise, and so is the repair job.

Electrical issues

One of the biggest boons of technology and science is electricity without which our daily life would come to a standstill. Older buildings are likely to have old wires, and the electric panels might be out of date too. Electrical problems make their presence felt by flickering lights, blowing up of fuses frequently, overheating of electric appliances, mild to moderate electric shocks, etc. The problems tend to worsen if the building is damp. Dampness means there is moisture or capillary water in the fabric of the building. This co-existence of water and electricity can turn out to be very dangerous. So, even a single issue requires immediate attention and home inspection is necessary to get rid of such issues and ensure the property to be safe

Plumbing System

Old buildings have old piping and plumbing system installed which are not compatible with the modern taps and outlets. In addition to this, waste lines and faulty fixtures installation also contribute to leakage from showers and toilets. Drains are clogged too. Such leakages give rise to damp. Earlier Indian houses had drain pipes made of cast iron which would give way quickly as rust would be formed. These faults should be inspected on a regular basis by experienced inspection officers as that would ensure the safety of the dwellers.

Foundation and walls

That the foundation of the old building2 is defective can be understood from many signs, the most important being crack at junction of plinth protection and external walls. Moreover, inadequate draining and cracking concrete are also evident. Cement, bricks, concrete, wood, etc. are the most common raw materials of Indian houses. Older houses have older bricks and mortars exposed to temperature fluctuations and moisture years after years. The frequent shrinkage and expansion cause cracks on walls, which widen as the building gets older. Warping, sloping or sagging wall and floor also speak of aging of the house.

Another cause of deterioration of the health of old buildings is rising damp. The treatment of this problem is complex and mostly, invasive. Before going in for any such an elaborate, cost-intensive procedure it is advisable to assess the damage properly. Inspecting an old building reduces the chances of any adverse aftermath.

Roof and Floor

In old buildings, roofs and floors are invariably made of concrete. The cold, strong concrete floors are almost synonymous with heritage properties. They seem to be so steeped in history and tradition. However, concrete surfaces are often found to have mild undulations, faulty sloping, and poor waterproofing. For roofs, especially, these features turn out to be quite disadvantageous. After a heavy shower, water stands still on them and if the roof is not waterproof, seepage begins. Concrete floors, on the other hand, develop hairline cracks with time. These cracks appear mainly due to an improper foundation (shrinkage cracks), temperature/ curing problems or as an aftermath of seismic vibration, that is, earthquake.

There are two types of concrete shrinkage cracks3: i. Meandering fine crack. ii. Straight crack.

Meandering fine cracks appear in the open floor area while the straight cracks appear at the juncture of the concrete floor and the base of the wall which it meets. While these cracks are usually very fine, prolonged neglect and regular wear can widen them leading to severe dampness, fungal growth, and pest problems. Only visual inspection is enough to reveal these cracks but you have to be very vigilant. Once the cracks begin to widen, they may require costly repair.

Ceilings

The awe-inspiring heights of the rooms of old buildings often make us overlook the signs of aging and disintegration on their ceilings. Designed to beat the expansive heat and damp of most Indian cities, the ceilings keep bearing the brunt of high temperatures and water intrusion for years before finally becoming shabby and leaky. Another common feature of the ceilings of old houses is heavy wooden beams. Due to lack of adequate maintenance, these beams become termite-infested but since termites eat wood from the inside, they continue to look perfect up till many years. Only a professional inspection can bring the state of infestation to light and prevent the building from gradually slipping into ‘sick building syndrome.’

Paint of the building

Indian household paints have been identified to have unacceptable levels of lead in them. Though there is no regulation confirming the lead content, it is wise to use paints sans lead as this will keep lead toxicity at bay. If re-modelling is scheduled in line, paints with nil lead content should be chosen. Also, in older homes peeling paint is a common phenomenon. The interior walls are found to have peeling paint which might be due to moisture seepage. In addition to this, seepage from the roof causes paint from the ceiling to be peeled off. This actually relates to the dampness of the old house as discussed earlier. Damp assessment is likely to do away with this issue. Post damp assessment, re-modelling the house and giving the old one a new coat of damp-proof paint4 would be effective.

Windows and Doors

Old buildings in their glorious times boast of beautifully crafted window panes, blinds, door panels, etc. But with age, the buildings lose their shine and aesthetics. Very commonly, the wood windows are found to have become lopsided. The bars made of iron become rusty and fragile. In fact, old wooden structures are often so infested with termites that the panes and panels become completely weak and crumbly. Old windows endure the rain and heat simultaneously and the wood often gives way as they become rotten. Therefore, inspecting the existing structures becomes crucial. Jumping into re-modelling is not a wise option here. Reconstructing may also found to be beneficial. That being said, any corrective action must be preceded by home inspection in order to justify the cost and time investment.

Old is gold, they say. But when it is your property where you plan to live the coming years, you must put the “old” to inspection tests to be assured that it remains “gold.” Regular upgrades are also recommended.

How Home Inspection Can Save You Time & Money

Modern-day lifestyle leaves us with little time to supervise the construction works of our dream home. Thanks to faster relocation needs, we are now becoming more interested in buying or renting ready-to-move-in residential properties. Nonetheless, we need an expert to guide us through this home buying process. This is the same as the way we seek expert guidance while making small investments in a financial scheme. A home inspection service acts as that guide to today’s home buyers.

What does a home inspection service include?

A home inspection (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/so-what-exactly-is-home-inspection) is a third-party property inspection a service that home buyers opt for to make a complete analysis of the condition a residential property. The analysis covers health, security, safety and other quality aspects of the property one is about to rent or buy.

People mainly focus on financing schemes, location, transport convenience, and other associated factors while buying a house. They rarely consider confirming if the concerned property is healthy, safe and well-built enough to justify its asked price and life. An experienced home inspection company does this job for them. It makes a complete assessment of the property by considering factors such as:

  • Construction accuracy in terms of architecture/ layout.
  • Construction quality in terms of used materials, the strength of the walls, floor and roof, the possibility of water leakage, quality of paint, quality of doors and windows, electrical issues, etc.
  • Functionality of the associated systems. For example, plumbing, cooling, drainage, electricity, etc.
  • Quality of the furniture and appliances provided with fully-furnished apartments.

The home inspectors use advanced technology scanning devices to carry out such elaborate yet non-invasive home inspections. Based on their reports, homeowners can get their preventive repair or actual damage repair jobs done and safely walk into their new home.

Sounds like a time-taking affair? But actually……

Home inspection saves you a considerable amount of time!

There are various ways in which a home inspection service can save a valid amount of time for a home buyer. First of all, it can take a lot of time for you to check the fitness of your home as per your own requirements. You will have to hire individual experts- a mason for doing the construction works, a plumber, an electrician, and carpenters to do each type of work. If you do not want to do that you have to believe what your builder/realtor or seller has to say about the property without probing further. Hiring an expert or a reliable home inspection service provider can fulfill all these inspection needs under a single umbrella.

Secondly, an inspection report produced by a home inspector can provide you with an accurate assessment of a property. Based on it, you can do price negotiations and make your buy decision without wasting time.

In the case of renting a property, a home inspection report can provide a complete overview of the maintenance needs. You get to know about the immediate as well as future repair needs of the associated systems. Thus, it can reduce your wait time to access the property.

A home inspection report can also make you aware of the necessary repair and construction needs that the builder skipped. So, you can ask the builder to make the necessary improvements in the infrastructure and systems without any delay.

Home inspection also saves you money

Contrary to the belief that you have to shell out an extra amount of money, home inspection offers significant cost benefits. First of all, an inspection report by an expert home inspector can show the property’s actual condition. Thus, it can provide you with concrete grounds for making a justified level of negotiation with the real estate agent or seller to buy the property at the most reasonable price.

Secondly, sellers and construction agencies often skip many necessary construction and repair requirements in a residential property to meet their own cost-cutting objectives. The home inspection services can identify these skipped responsibilities and save you from bearing huge costs in the future by asking needful actions from the seller.

The inspection report can also send out warnings about major repair and construction needs that could get worse in the future and cost a huge amount of fund for getting fixed. By paying heed to the warnings and doing needful you can avoid these expenses. Thus, it can save money for you by reducing the overall maintenance cost.

Why home inspection services are gaining popularity in India?

There is another push factor working behind this trend. According to the last available NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data, a total of 4,914 people lost their lives between 2010 and 2014 because of the collapse of residential buildings. The toll accounted for about 37.3% of the total deaths. This intimidating figure is somewhat making people think in favour of home inspection prior to buying a house. They think the price they pay for hiring a home inspector completely justifies its worth through ensuring safety for themselves and their loved ones.

A home is a lifetime investment and home inspection services help us to make an informed decision regarding that. That being said, the effectiveness of a home inspection depends on the expertise of the hired inspecting company. So, you must choose your home inspection service provider carefully to ensure better utilization of the associated benefits.

To learn more about home inspection, click here.

You can also read a content by Forbes to know the reasons why you should not skip a home inspection, www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2011/05/31/10-reasons-you-shouldnt-skip-a-home-inspection