Now that summer's humidity is gone, check doors for swollen spots and sticking.
Look for loose hinges and doorknobs.
Check the floor for popped nails, loose boards, loose tiles, and springy spots that could be a sign of joist trouble.
Look at ceilings for stains, which could indicate a roof or plumbing leak.
Make sure ceilings and floors aren't sagging or cracked in new places, which might mean a bigger problem causing a shift in the house. Look above doors for cracks.
Check walls for popped screws and nails on drywall or new cracks in plaster.
Point a flashlight into the fireplace and up the chimney, checking for loose bricks, cracks, signs of animal nests, or excess soot that could spark a chimney fire.
Make sure the damper operates properly.
Check around ceiling fans to be sure they're well secured to the ceiling and not working their way loose with all the summer use.
Jiggle the stair balustrade to test its sturdiness, and take note where balusters and banisters have come loose.
Test all smoke and CO detectors and replace batteries immediately if something doesn't work.

Download a printable version of the entire Yearly Inspection Checklist here.

See some of the crazy things house inspectors find in Home Inspection Nightmares.

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