Buying a home is a tonne of work. First you need to search around and find the type of home you’re after, then you need to attend inspections for the next 10 months, every weekend. Then once you’ve found that home that you know you can see yourself purchasing (that’s if you make it through auction) you need to be sure that there’s nothing wrong with it right? Nobody wants to be buying into a money pit. I was recently involved in some renovation works at an old home in Bentleigh East that needed some work done to the stormwater. Well needless to say after a few hours of investigating, I had to let the owner know that there actually wasn’t any stormwater drain! We had to install a new one! Unfortunately the owner didn’t see that coming. So on that note we will start with our first of the very important and easy items that you can check before buying a home save yourself from spending a fortune!
1. Check your stormwater drains.
This first one is easier than you think. I’m not talking about sticking your hand down the drain or a hose down to see if it flows well. A simple visual check that you can do is to take a look at what material is at the bottom of the downpipes. If it is white plastic pipe, then it’s safe to say that you’re in the clear and the drain has probably been updated. If it’s an old brown terracotta pipe, chances are that it’s probably full of roots or has even been crushed by a couple of tree roots somewhere along the line. This can be a costly thing to have re-done.
2.Turn on the taps.
This is an easy one, everyone know how to use taps don’t they? Seriously though, make sure you turn on all of the taps in the house to check the pressure. If the pipes are old galvanised ones they will be full of rust and not only will you have poor pressure but can you imagine what all of that rust would be doing to your health!
3. Check for water stains on the walls.
This one is particularly important! Check behind all of the bathroom walls behind showers and baths for any signs of moisture. You can even try touching the plaster to see if it is flat of even if it’s soft. Any signs of staining or moisture usually means that the bathroom definitely was not waterproofed properly. This one can cost people a fortune because it will turn into a full bathroom renovation and depending on the size of the bathroom it could mean over $10,000.
4. Check the roof sheets.
Not every house has a tiled roof. Many homes, including much older ones have a corrugated roof. This can be checked quite easily by giving it a good visual check all around the house. If it looks like it could be a little borderline or rusted then you’re probably right, a new roof for a house can be well over $20,000, Things are adding up now aren’t they!
5. Find the hot water tank
No this is not a game of hide and seek. If you have a look around the house for your hot water tank and can’t see one, you’re not going crazy. It will be up in the roof and be an old gravity feed electric hot water tank. Not only are these hot water services old and highly in efficient, they offer the worst possible water pressure and scalding hot water which is definitely not safe for kids. I’m sure they were great back in “the day” but things change and this change can be costly. A changeover from an old gravity feed to a new storage tank can be well over $3000. If you can see the hot water tank, check the age of it. You can easily find this on the back of the service door where you would normally light the pilot. anything older than 15 years doesn’t have much left in it.
6. Have a look at the heater.
Very old Vulcan and Pyrox space heaters were very good heaters and still can be up until today. If one exists in the house you are looking to buy, It may be an idea to have it checked for any carbon monoxide leakage. It may not even turn on and will definitely mean replacement.
7. Last but not least, Flush the toilet.
One of the more costly repairs you can need to make is to replace your sewer drains. Checking this can be done a number of ways, flushing the toilet and filling up the sinks to see if they drain ok, and also listening for any gurgling. This can be a sign of drainage issues. If you’re not sure and really concerned you can have your local plumber come out to inspect with cctv camera to be absolutely sure that everything is spot on. A drainage renewal is a lot of work and can cost up to $5000 or more.
Almac plumbing are your Bayside Plumbing professionals based in Hampton, Vic.
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