Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Final Walk-Through Checklist

While viewing other blogs, this blog had a nice long list for things to check at your final walk-through. Although we're super far from that stage, I wanted to make sure I had it saved somewhere for when that time comes.

Just saving this blog on a separate tab/page so it's easier to locate...

I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) OCD... so I've been going through blogs (like Thomas's @ Ravenna Speed) and various realtor websites with suggestions of things to check and/or ask during the final walk-through.  I compiled a pretty long list of things to check and/or ask, so I thought I'd post the compiled checklist in hopes that it'll give others ideas of what to check and/or ask during their final walk-through.

If you think of something that is not mentioned on the checklist please let me know so I can update it.

Final Walk-Through Checklist
(You may want to bring a level, measuring tape, notepad, and pen.)


Make sure the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house.

Make sure the water does not pond in swales.  To check, water the areas with a hose, if possible.

Check for signs of erosion.

Make sure basement window wells are clean and graveled.

Make sure the shrubbery is placed at least 2-3 feet from the foundation.

Roof and Gutters

Make sure the shingles flat and tight.

Make sure the flashing is securely in place.

Make sure the gutters, downspouts and splash blocks direct water away from the house.

Exterior Appearance

Make sure the trim and fittings are tight.   

Make sure the paint covers the trim smoothly.

Make sure all shutters are straight.

Make sure exterior lights work and are properly aligned.

Check foundation for cracks/damage.

Make sure foundation is fully painted, if applicable.

Make sure landscaping is installed according to your contract.


Open and close all doors.  Make sure doors are properly fitted and operate as intended.

Make sure all six sides are painted – front, back, top, bottom and both ends.

Make sure locks, including deadbolts, operate properly without binding and that thresholds are adjusted correctly.

Check for warping.

Make sure hinges are clean and free of paint.

Make sure locks are securely installed and do not rattle when the door is closed.

Make sure the exterior doors have been sealed with weather-stripping.


Open all windows.

Make sure all locks operate properly.

Tracks should be lubricated to prevent binding.

Make sure screens are in place and not torn.

Check for broken window panes.

Make sure the windows are sealed and protected by weather stripping.


Walk the perimeter of each room, checking floor and ceiling moldings to be sure they are uniform.

Look for gaps that need caulking, protruding nail heads and proper finish.

Examine all wall and ceiling surfaces under natural light, and if possible, at night under artificial illumination.  Poor drywall work tends to show most when the lights are on.

Look for visible seams, nail heads, or other irregularities.

Be sure the walls are square.  Otherwise, tile floor or patterned vinyl flooring will be askew.  In small spaces, anything that's out of line will become a constant source of irritation.

Inspect the wall finishes for uneven paint coverage.


Be sure all wall outlets and switches operate correctly.

Test light fixtures, making certain they are attached securely and contain the correct-wattage bulbs.

Locate the main electrical panel and review the function of each circuit breaker and fuse.

Your new home must be equipped with ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupters (GFCI and AFCI).  GFCIs protect bathroom and exterior receptacle circuits, while AFCIs protect bedroom receptacle circuits.  Ask your builder how to test these devices.

Check all electrical fixtures and outlets.  Bring a hair dryer (or outlet tester) to test the outlets.

Test the doorbell.

Test the intercom system, garage door opener and any other optional electrical items.


Walk across all floors.  You should hear only a minimum of squeaks and notice a minimum of spring when walking on the floor.

Make sure floor coverings have a relatively flat surface.  Due to the nature of wood, a wood floor system will have a certain amount of unevenness.

Examine carpeting for stains, shade variations, loose edges, ripples, or tears.

Examine seams in carpets and vinyl to make sure they are tight.

Examine ceramic tiles and grout for surface cracks.  Joints between ceramic tiles should be adequately filled with grout.

Make sure molding is installed and painted.


Check countertops, cabinets, and appliances for any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns.

Make sure the cabinets and appliances are level and properly anchored to the wall or secured to the countertops. 

Make sure cabinet doors and hardware are properly aligned.

Check all cabinet doors and drawers; they should open fully and without binding.

Make sure all appliances operate properly, including the range hood fan and light and the garbage disposal.

Make sure all appliances are the model and color you ordered.

Check spaces for standard appliances unless specific measurements were given to your builder.  The space allotted for your appliances should be correct.

Ask for the instruction manuals for every appliance in the house – the range, refrigerator, dishwasher, furnace, heat pump, water heater, electronic thermostat, everything.


Look for scratches, chips and nicks in the sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets.

Examine caulking around tub and shower enclosures and at countertop backsplashes.

Make sure all faucets work properly.

Check that the sink and tub stoppers hold water, and that the shower strainer is fastened securely.

Make sure the toilet is securely fastened to the floor.  Do not test the toilet by trying to rock the fixture back and forth because that will break a seal that is correctly installed.  Just sitting on the toilet is enough to tell if it is tight.

Make sure the toilet-paper dispenser is at the right distance and height.

Make sure the towel bars are in practical/proper locations.

Make sure cabinets are securely fixed to the wall.

Check cabinets for any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns.


Test the air conditioner, furnace and hot water heater.

Ask about the capacity, shut-off mechanisms and the type of filtering systems installed.

Review the operation of your heating system.

Locate the furnace filters and ask about their care and maintenance.

Make sure heat registers are not located below a thermostat.

Check the location and number of cold air returns and make sure they are unobstructed.

Learn the location of any fuel lines (gas, propane or oil) and understand how to operate any shut-off devices on these lines.

Make sure the fireplace draft and damper work.

Mechanical ventilation

Locate the switches for ventilation and circulation fans (normally placed near the thermostat).

Locate supplemental fans and switches in each bathroom and in the kitchen and make sure they are operating.  Make sure you understand how to achieve proper ventilation in order to avoid condensation problems, which may not be covered under the warranty.


Locate the shut-off valves for the main water supply and the location of other shut-off valves throughout your home.

Check all faucets and plumbing fixtures, including toilets and showers, to make sure they operate properly.


Examine the basement walls and floors for indications of dampness or leaks.

Check for any obvious defects in exposed components, such as floor joists, I-beams, support columns, insulation, heating ducts, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Certificate of Occupancy

Ask if your local municipality has signed off on your house.


  1. I hope the list helps you! =)

  2. Walk in the shower and tub to make sure there is no popping, creaking or "give" that shouldn't be there.
    Look extra close at the trim (door frames, baseboards, etc) you shouldn't be able to see the marks from the nails/brads or very many other flaws.
    Check edges that wouldn't normally be visible. I've had a bit of trouble with the door frame edges facing the wall- one of them had 1/8" crack the whole height of the door, and another was unpainted.

    1. Julie- Good point about the shower and I'll be sure to double check the things that we probably easily overlook.