What to inspect after the home inspection…

The home inspection.  It’s a scary moment for a new homeowner.  What will the home inspector find that we didn’t find?  Will it cost us hundreds thousands of dollars to repair?  Do we have to repair it straight away or can we wait a few months?  These were a lot of the questions that were logging some serious frontal lobe time while we were at our (almost purchased) home back in July!  In fact, when J and I showed up, our home inspector had already made himself at home on our roof, inspecting our shingles, and when we showed up, we were surprised how quickly and efficiently he went through our house while we merely twiddled our thumbs with anticipation…

Luckily, nothing truly came as a surprise to us.  We purchased a house that had been vacant for quite some time and was void of any and all furnishings, window treatments, and/or anything else that could potentially mask some sort of problem from a potential homebuyer.  And while we knew our laundry list of “To Dos” was going to be quite long (even before the inspection), we also knew pretty well what lay ahead of us like a lot of painting, repairing window seals, installing miscellaneous things like a garage door opener, and even “reinstalling” some items like our kitchen sink, which the previous owners just couldn’t seem to live without.  Gives a whole new meaning to taking everything but the kitchen sink, huh?:

But one thing that crept up on us after the dust settled, before we had truly unpacked all of our boxes, and something an inspection was never able to catch was a leaking hot water tank.  From day one (or perhaps day two), our water tank decided to give us a little bit of a water board treatment from the get go.  Terrific (insert sardonic tone here).  After some research online and calling a few plumbers who specialize in Hot Water Tanks, we figured that there just wasn’t an appropriate (or legit) way to repair it.  The Hot Water Tank was going to have to be replaced.  Fast forward almost 7 months and we still haven’t replaced it!  Originally we had plans to replace it in November, but then life intervened and told us not to, so we figured sometime after the first of the year would be the best time to do so.  Sooooo….it’s after the first of the year!!  And what have we been doing?!?!  Sitting on our duffs, that’s what!

Well, the time has come….the time is nigh….the end is near….and we are procrastinating to high heaven on replacing a very essential, yet very boring, item in our house.

How will this all play out?  Stay tuned.  This weekend we will begin the trek to find out just what we will be buying, how we will be installing it, and the who, what, where, whys, etc.  Ooooh….super duper exciting.  Can’t we just get back to painting and hanging curtains?  Sheesh…


11 thoughts on “What to inspect after the home inspection…

  1. Are you replacing it with another tank, or going the more “green” route and getting a tankless? 30% tax credit for most of them in 2010!

    • Andy –

      We are still in the “decision mode” on whether to green-i-fy our hot water tank or just stick with the cheaper option. A lot of it might come down to resale since we aren’t planning on staying in this house forever, we are wondering if we’d be able to recoup the costs for resale. More info to come!


  2. Did you have a home warranty? Wouldn’t that cover the hot water heater? We’re about to move into our first house next week, and little surprises like this are making me super nervous!

    • Hi, Jeannette –

      Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately, we don’t have a home warranty. We probably would still have one had our homebuilder not gone the way of the dodo bird – D’oh! We also did not purchase one when we closed on our house because it was recommended since we had a newer-ish house, major fixes probably wouldn’t be necessary. In the end, a Hot Water Tank isn’t a super-expensive thing to replace, but replacing a roof or a furnace would be terribly expensive, so if you have any nervousness about that, then I’d recommend looking into the home warranty. I honestly don’t have a lot of information on it, but it’s definitely worth researching before you take the plunge!

      Good luck! And don’t be nervous about stuff like that! On one hand it’s nervewracking to have to deal with all of this stuff, but on another it’s also liberating, too! Especially if you’ve been a renter for such a long time and have to rely on landlords to fix things, sometimes it’s just easier to take the bull by the horns and do it yourself!

      Hope this helps!

  3. Our hot water heater was one of the first things we did in our new house- exciting project!

    But it took over two years to do something as simple as replacing the toilet that was kind of leaky (just this last weekend). Oh well. To pay penance for using the water sucking toilet for so long, we installed a High Efficiency Toilet that only uses 1.28 gallons per flush. It’s surprisingly effective!

    • Hey, Thaddeus –

      Did you replace your HWT with a tankless model or the straight-up tank? We’re indecisive about what we’re going to do. If we were planning on living here for 100+ years, then we would definitely spring for the tankless, but since we know this is our “first” house and not our “forever” house, we’re trying to decide.


      • We had a gas tank water heater and were having serious ventilation issues (like not exhausting at all). It was also getting pretty old and would have needed replacement in a few years anyways. We needed quick, easy and cheap, so we ended up with an electric tank water heater, which has served us quite well.

        I considered gas tankless, but didn’t have a good place to hook it up, and found that the double insulated exhaust ducts for those is really expensive! I also had yet to do any gas line work, so that was scary. That wouldn’t put me off now.

        I also considered electric tankless, but the models that are designed to work for the whole house (not just a bathroom) need an main circuit breaker that’s 200 amp rated and our house only has a 100 amp feed.

        Overall, not a hard job if you’re comfortable with some basic plumbing and heaving a heavy tank around!

      • Thanks for the tips! J has replaced a gas HWT at his dad’s old house, so we feel pretty comfortable being able to replace it. Though since we live in Portland and disposing of the original tank might be an issue, we may have to have it installed professional so that the disposal doesn’t become a problem. We’ll be sure to update once we know!


  4. Pingback: We’re in Hot Water, Pt. 1 “To Tank or not to Tank” « Tell'er All About It

  5. Pingback: We’re in Hot Water, Pt. 2: Replacing the Hot Water Tank « Tell'er All About It

  6. Pingback: Shut the Front Door! « Tell'er All About It

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