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Whether you are building a new house or just a new kitchen, you want to make sure that the job is done to your satisfaction even if this is a DIY home improvement project.

If you are working with a contractor, you should have a contract that spells out exactly what the job entails. If this is a DIY project, you should begin with your list of goals and check that each goal is achieved. The final walkthrough should occur after the final inspection and aspects of the project that require a permit or formal inspection are complete and approved by the inspector. 

 

What to Expect

Expect that the final walkthrough should take between one and two hours for a full home evaluation and as little as a half-hour for a kitchen remodel. Plan to come prepared to test plugs and to open and close doors and windows. Be sure to bring a file folder, note pad, and a small plug-in appliance like an alarm clock or radio. Because every project is different, we've approached this as a new home checklist. 

 

Examples of Check List Items for Your Walkthrough. 

Final Project checklist itemsCheck fixtures for lights — Turn on each light fixture to see if it works. If there is a light fixture in conjunction with anther fixture such as a ceiling fan, then test that fixture too.

Outlets — Test every outlet by plugging in the small electrical appliance that you brought with you. Be sure to test that the outlet will hold plugs and that each outlet is in the right spot.

Appliances —Test every appliance including toilets and faucets, garbage disposal and house exhaust fans. The fridge, washer, dryer, stove, oven, and microwave should all be looked at and tested. You will want to collect the warranties for all new appliances and the information for service recommendations.  

HVAC — Test the Heating and AC or HVAC unit and be sure to ask about filter size, warranty, and service recommendations. Test the vent flow in each room too. 

Doors and Windows — The goal here is to make sure that every door closes securely, the locks work, the dead bolt locks are easy to latch, and the doors are hung squarely. You want to look at the door jams and the door for signs of scraping and wear. A properly hung door should not scrape when opened or closed. Test every door and window to make sure it opens and closes easily. Do the same for windows. All should open and close easily and lock and unlock easily. 

Walls, Ceilings, and Floors — Your goal here is to check for flaws, spots of paint on the floors, runs on the walls and drop formation on the ceiling. You also want to make sure that the paint is applied evenly and that you cannot see what is under the paint. Check paint, plaster, and wallpaper for quality, damages, or flaws. 

Yard and Landscaping — Be sure to walk through the entire yard if the yard was part of your project. Check sprinklers, look for damage to the outside of the home, and messes. Make sure that all debris is gone and that the yard is as it should be according to your contract

Garage and Outbuildings — As part of finalizing your project, be sure to check the garage. Click the garage door opener to make sure that it works and that the door opens and closes safely. Ask to be shown how to open the garage door if there is a power failure. 

Part of making sure your project is done correctly is to come prepared for your walkthrough. Be sure to bring a file folder so that you can collect all of the warranty information for each appliance, and gadget. Be sure to bring a notepad and pen. You will want to take notes and write down information. It is helpful if you bring a list of your goals with you, copies of your contract, and any other information that is pertinent to your project. As a last task before signing off, be sure to take down contact information for questions you might have later and go over what the process is if something comes up in a few days, months, or a year. 

 

David S. loves to tell stories. He came from a fishing family so storytelling is likely genetic. His writing style translates easily to both blog and article formats. He is a patient writer who takes the time to understand your project. David writes a great deal about home living. His favorite place in the world is his home. He has a vast knowledge of antiques, art, and deep love of cooking. He likes to entertain and is the master of small parties and intimate dinners. They say home is where the heart is and they happen to be correct.

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