So you’re looking at a new home purchase and the kitchen is “brand new” but just how well was it done? You’re excited and can’t wait to start cooking up a storm in your new kitchen. Before you pay top dollar for this house and you start unpacking all your pots and pans out of storage, you need to take another look.
Look closely at the cabinets
Get up close and look at each cabinet (the uppers and lowers). They should be straight, level, and properly anchored to the wall. They should all line up evenly with one another as well as the appliances. When inspecting your kitchen cabinets, keep an eye out for any gaps between them and the walls and the ceiling – you shouldn’t see gaps!
Open all the cabinet doors and drawers all the way. Make sure nothing is in the way and they are able to open fully and close without any problems. The doors and drawers in your kitchen should not bump one another or rub up against each other or any of the appliances. Not only should the cabinet doors and drawers open and close easily, but you should also make sure that all drawers remain on the tracks installed. Inspect all cabinet hardware to ensure that they are all securely fastened and working properly.
Check the countertop
Inspect the countertop, not only with your eyes but also run your hand over it to feel for any seams, deep scraps or scratches, or other noticeable defects. If it’s a natural stone or concrete countertop has it been sealed properly? Look carefully at the caulking that seals all seams and joints, where the countertop meets the wall or backsplash. The caulking should be neat and clean. The best caulking for kitchens is one that is waterproof and mold and mildew resistant.
What about the electrical?
Take a look at all the electrical outlets. Are they at least 2 feet away from the kitchen sink and GFCI protected? They should be! If they are less than 2 feet from the kitchen sink, they WAY TOO CLOSE which is a big safety issue. Outlets should be space no more than 4 feet along the countertop. If there is an island or peninsula, an outlet should be within 12” inches from the countertop and there shouldn’t be an overhang longer than 6” inches above it.
Look at the light fixtures that were installed and check that they all work. There should be no visible wires and cover plates should be installed on ALL electrical junction boxes (check under the sink and above the range/hood).
Finally, how about the oven and appliances?
If a gas range was installed, you should look at the shutoff valve and the line that was installed. There should be no gas leaks. The shutoff valve must be in the same room and accessible. The line installed should provide enough space for you to pull the stove away from the wall. Try to pull the oven away from the wall. An “Anti-Tip” bracket should be installed to prevent it from tipping forward. Was the cooktop installed next to a wall or cabinet? There should be at least twelve inches between any style range top and the closest sidewall/cabinet. Any closer and you’re creating a fire hazard and you won’t have room for your pan’s handles. Is there a line installed to the refrigerator for ice and water? Is the dishwasher drain installed appropriately to avoid cross-contamination? Is the range vent vented to the outside, NOT the attic or another interior space?
Hire an InspectorRemember, you don’t have to be the expert. You can hire a qualified professional licensed inspector to do this sort of review for you. The items noted above are just some of the things that Sahm Home Services will review for you when we do your pre-purchase home inspection. Call today 708.232.8881 or visit our website www.SahmHomeService.com to schedule your inspection.