Property inspections: Door and window defects

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  • Author Gavin Childs
  • Published June 23, 2009
  • Word count 492

Doors and windows can give a real indicator of the structural integrity of a house, but they are also one of the more complex aspects of building inspection. It is worth spending time to check them out thoroughly, because for many it is tempting to make assumptions about them based upon appearance. The reality is that each door and window needs to be separately trialled.

Inspecting door and window defects

Doors can be one of the more complex aspects of a building inspection and should be first looked at from the outside. Things to check include:

  • Whether the door opens and closes smoothly. Failure to do so may indicate there is structural warping in the building, or that the door has not been mounted properly

  • Door mechanisms should be checked thoroughly to ensure they work properly

  • Mechanisms should be in good condition and can be checked for corrosion, wear or other signs of age. Although old mechanisms can work fine, this needs to be factored in if it looks like they may need to be replaced

  • You can also check to see if door mechanisms have sufficient security attributes

  • Make sure doors seal tightly so that they are truly weather proof

  • Doors are the main entry point to a house so it makes sense to ensure they are in peak condition. They also indicate quite a bit about the structural integrity of a house. Windows are likewise important aesthetically and in terms of security and keeping the weather out. Windows need to be tested for:

  • Whether they seal properly. Manually try opening and shutting them. Keeping weather out is vital.

  • Check them for signs of wear and ageing. Windows in older houses may be held in place by putty and this can age and deteriorate, which can be costly to repair

  • Make sure mechanisms work properly. Test them by hand making sure they function smoothly.

  • Check windows both externally and from the interior, making sure mechanisms work and also note signs of wear and ageing

Windows and doors are extremely important to the overall value of a house and can give indicators of deeper structural problems. If they appear to jam this could indicate irregularities in the overall integrity of the building.

Looking for door and window defects when inspecting a house

Doors and windows define entry points to a house and should therefore be treated seriously. Inspecting them should involve a thorough inspection from the exterior and the interior making sure that all doors and windows seal properly and that mechanisms work. Signs of ageing should be noted and older windows which are set in putty may be subject to deterioration, which can be costly to fix. Doors and windows should open and close smoothly and jamming may indicate structural problems. Overall doors and windows can give an insight into the viability of a structure, and certainly whether or not greater costs will be incurred to ensure they conform to expectations.

Gavin Childs provides property inspection reports in Sydney, Australia.

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