"We are hired by the buyer of a property to inspect the exterior of the house, basement, and structure along with all of the home systems," James Brock of Boston Home Inspectors told Bored Panda. "We test all the outlets, appliances, windows, doors, and bathroom fixtures. We, both, look for items not installed properly or that may be deteriorated, defective, or have an item of concern. For example, a leak or unsafe conditions."
Besides looking for problems or issues, the company educates the buyer about the investment that they will be making. "We teach them how the various components in their new home work and what to expect for life expectancy and what to plan for future maintenance."
During the past 24 years, Boston Home Inspectors have seen quite a bit in their job. From crazy DIY solutions to years of neglect, they share pictures of their most interesting finds on social media. Here are some of the most popular ones.
When talking about common problems, Brock said their Instagram is a pretty good representation of the big picture.
"As you can see, decks seem to have the most issues. Many are not built right or inspected annually for issues. Wood and metal deteriorate and corrode. Too many times people have a deck built and never give it a second thought for 15-20 years, meanwhile, the wood is starting to rot and the metal components rust."
"Also the famous uncle who knows just a little about everything, but is master of nothing, has now built your dream deck wrong! The deck is now potentially dangerous. I understand homeowners are trying to save money, but most times these items will cost them more in the long run," Brock explained.
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There are a lot of things that could make a home dangerous: it could be the hot water temperature (140F), stairs without handrails, loose toilets, uneven front steps, leaning basement stairs, non-GFI outlets next to a bathtub, window seats in a child's room, clogged fireplace flues, large icicles hanging from the gutters, uneven basement floors for tripping, fire hazards like clogged dryer vents or wiring not to code. The list is long. Apparently, there are many items in a home that can become unsafe if installed incorrectly or have started to age/deteriorate.
"I love to use the analogy with home buyers, do you take your car in for regular maintenance and yearly inspection? Your home is no different than your car," Brock said. "Your home needs the heating and air conditioning system serviced and maintained annually. Same with the roof, dryer vent, foundation, decks, water heater, fireplace, etc."
If you want to prolong your home's lifespan, Brock advises having a professional tradesman, who you can build a long-term relationship with. "[Your home] is your investment and it needs to be protected (inspected, serviced, and maintained). There are several dozen homeowners who have Boston Home Inspectors at their home every 3 years to inspect the major items and components and give them a list of the next few things they should focus on.
For example, Brock said that in the next 3 years, some of these people will have the chimney pointed, repair some deteriorated wood and paint the weathered side of the house, fix the loose deck handrails and repair the leaning fence. "[Regular annual maintenance of the home and its items] gives the direction and what to focus on next."
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While creating the Instagram page, Brock wanted it not to be a science book or manual, lecturing people on what they should or not should do, we get enough of that all day long, he said.
"I wanted a spot where people could go, relate to a picture as a homeowner, laugh, and say 'I'm glad that's not my house.' And at the end of the day, they can look at their own home ... and they can say 'At least my deck post is not sitting on a bolder.' Or 'At least my home doesn't look like that.'"