Homeworks inspection checklist for homeowners
Each year, Homeworks Construction President and CEO Jim Byxbee features a checklist for homeowners in his “Build New Or ReDo” radio show.
Broadcast weekly on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. on KHVH AM830, the show is co-hosted by Rick Hamada and includes listener call-in.
Because of the favorable response of listeners, Byxbee is making the checklist available to readers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Renovation section.
“Many of the items we covered may see seem obvious, but unless you actually make notes and a commitment to follow up on replacements and repairs as needed, things probably won’t get done until a critical stage is reached,” Byxbee said.
First and foremost on Byxbee’s checklist are roofing and raingutters.
Byxbee said, “Because the roof is generally not in full view, serious deterioration could go unnoticed. If you see ragged shingles, or if the rain gutters are stopped up with leaves and overflowing, it’s time to call the roofer. If the roof is composition shingle, it may be possible to patch or maybe it’s time to plan a reroofing project and budget it out for next year. Cracked tiles should be replaced.
Water seepage and leaks are serious problems that should be handled immediately because they can lead to electrical shorts and possibly fire. If water gets into the drywall, you will almost surely end up with mold and mildew. Water running down the walls, whether inside or outside, will attract termites. Eliminating mold, mildew, and termites can be expensive, so it’s always a good idea to check for leaks and keep the roof in good condition.”
Byxbee continued, “If exterior paint and stain are beginning to wear, plan to add a new coat and caulk cracks or seams before water infiltrates the wood and causes rot. Once rot gets started, it can be removed and the wood repaired, but often it makes sense to replace the affected wood, whether decking or siding. The big danger is rot penetration into beams and joists. The result can be collapse of a section of deck or a sag in your flooring. Once a floor begins to sag, you will probably notice cracks in dry wall, and doors and windows that no longer open and close properly. Again, you are looking at a potentially expensive repair — and also a hazard to occupants of the home. If you suspect that rot or termite damage is undermining the foundation or supports of your home, you should contact a licensed builder or termite company right away.”
Regular home maintenance items among the checklist priorities include:
• Checking under kitchen and bathroom sinks for leaky pipes. Call the plumber unless you have the skills to repair properly.
• Paying attention to any irregularities in lighting, such as flickers and dimming. Call the electrician — never try to do your own electrical repairs.
• Removing rust from metal fixtures and appliances before it penetrates and the only alternative is replacement. Check with hardware or paint stores for best preparation to use — some are harsh and emit vapors.
•Testing smoke alarms and replacing batteries regularly if not connected to the electrical system.
•Replacing and/or cleaning air conditioning and air purifier filters.
•Cleaning screens that may be clogged with dust, mold and/or mildew.
• Soaking paving with a mold/ mildew/moss killer to prevent slipping. A variety of household products can work — repeat applications if the product doesn’t do the job the first time.
“One of the big concerns these days is energy conservation,” Byxbee added. “If you have old appliances without Energy Star ratings, replacing them will save energy and money over time — as will replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. If you have an old, inefficient air conditioning system it could be adding a substantial amount to your monthly electric bill. When you build or remodel, make natural ventilation a priority and consider installing ceiling fans wherever possible to increase and maintain air circulation throughout the home.’
Byxbee noted that with hurricane season already here and expected to continue through November, it would be advisable to check your home for hurricane preparedness.
A free Homeworks “Build New Or ReDo” seminar will be held Tuesday, July 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Homeworks Showroom at 2111 S. Beretania St., ground floor. Topics will be “Designing and Building a New Custom Home and Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Update.” A question and answer period will follow the presentations. Free parking and refreshments will be available. Please call for reservations at 955-2777.
In the photos accompanying this article, Marshall Hickox, Homeworks president and chief administrative officer, conducts a seminar in Homeworks showroom; and Jim Byxbee and Rick Hamada host a Build New Or ReDo Show in KHVH Radio Studio.
Photos courtesy of Phil Spalding III
ADDRESS 2111 S. Beretania St.