Fixes for home inspections can be made easily for less than $20. Over the years, we’ve found that the majority of homes we inspect have the same list of repairs. Some of our customers become a little nervous when they see the items highlighted in scary red.

These red flags could make you cringe when it comes to your hard-earned money. Before you reach for the carb-laden coping mechanism to calm your nerves, let’s go over some of these simple-and most importantly, cheap-fixes.

Missing gfi(s)- fix 1 for home inspection

Also known as a ground-fault circuit interrupter. This electrical safety device is designed to interrupt electricity flow to a fixture quickly when moisture is detected. This device is designed to protect electrical equipment and reduce the risk of serious injury from an electric shock. These are needed for electrical outlets in areas that get wet, such as bathrooms, kitchens and patios.

This is a serious safety issue and the red highlight is there for a good reason, even though each one costs around $20 at Home Depot.

Manual Flue Lock #2:  Home Inspection Repair 

Also known as a damper clamp. When is a damper stop clamp needed? Code requires a damper clamp when gas logs or a log lighter are used in an open fireplace. Gas logs can produce carbon monoxide when the fuel (natural gas or propane), is burning. Here, ventilation is essential. The clamp prevents accidental closing of the damper.

We don’t have many wood-burning fireplaces in our desert home, but when we do we use a manual chimney lock to keep the heat inside.

This easy fix can be found on Amazon for as little as $7 (that’s right, it’s well under $20).

Home inspection fix #3: smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms

These guys are well-known to most of us. Carbon monoxide alarms are relatively new additions to the mandatory home safety requirements. This invisible, odorless gas is a deadly noxious gas. It kills thousands of people each year. California State Law requires that smoke alarms and CO alarms be installed in single-family dwellings. According to the 2019 California Building Codes, carbon monoxide detectors must be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions in every area/hallway that is adjacent to sleeping areas, any bedroom with a fuel-burning appliance (or a bathroom opening onto a bedroom) and on each floor of the building.

Home Depot sells a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in combination. It costs about $40, but it’s because they are sold together.

No seismic strapping for water heaters Fix #4

Since 1982, the Uniform Plumbing Code requires seismic safety straps on water heaters. It’s hard to believe that so many homes are still out of date, especially if you live in an earthquake-prone area like we do. This requirement was created to protect against fire, explosion and water damage in the event that a water heater were to topple over during an earthquake. The seismic strapping holds it to the adjacent wall studs, preventing any plumbing or gas lines from breaking during an earthquake. Each strap must be placed at a distance of 1/3 from the top and bottom to ensure a balanced and secure restraint.

Here is a link for Home Depot to buy a pair straps that are under 20 cents each:

Missing dishwasher gap air  fix #5 : home inspection

The dishwasher air gap is the cylinder fitting which connects your kitchen sink drain with your dishwasher. This prevents dirty water from flowing in and out during the wash cycle. (ew!) A dishwasher can be protected from floods by using an air gap. Clogged drains and blocked sinks can cause dirty water to flow back into the dishwasher. Most plumbing codes require dishwashers to drain through an air gap fitting. Air gaps aren’t just for code compliance, they’re also a great way to protect your dishwasher against backflow. After upgrading counters, I have noticed that homeowners forget to install this small protuberance. This is probably because they don’t want it to interrupt the seamless aesthetic look. But, this item is usually marked up.

Here is a link for Home Depot air gaps at just an extra 20 dollars:

You may also see other home repair issues on your report. Feel free to contact your friendly neighborhood home inspector in Kitchener! This list should have removed any lingering doubts. Although some of these items will be listed as needed repairs, and rightfully so, they won’t break the bank.


Hello there! I am Freya, the mind behind Real Moms Real Views. Known for our brilliant take on the general things along with the topics that people want to be covered for easy decision-making, our blog has a spectacular reputation for being reliable and fun. Visit today to decide for yourself.

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