Making Home Repairs Means Shopping!!!

Home repairs require shopping.

While doing a home inspection in Maple Grove Minnesota today I quickly came to the conclusion that this house was maintained and repaired by a typical do it yourself person based on the poor quality of work.  I have nothing against people attempting to repair common things in a home but as a home inspector and a person who repairs his own home I found something that we struggle with that can result in doing a poor job on that repair.  That thing is finding the correct part to make the repair. Obviously there are other factors but I would like to focus on shopping for the correct item.


  • incorrect sink drain fittings, this one is very common
  • incorrect heat supply and return registers
  • incorrect breakers installed in the main or sub panel
  • incorrect outlets used
  • incorrect wire size used
  • misfitting door weatherstripping
  • floor drain covers replaced with the wrong size
  • incorrect wire type used
  • missing or wrong thread sealant on gas pipes
  • incorrect size window well covers
  • gas or water supply pipes supported with the wrong hanger or strap
  • light fixtures or ceiling fans incorrectly mounted using the wrong junction box seen from the attic
  • incorrect non insulation contact can lights installed in a ceiling below an attic
  • incorrect hardware used especially on decks


This is not a complete list but it indicates a problem that people are using the wrong items to repair their house. There are several reasons for this but from my own experience repairing different items is that most of the time its hard to find the right part while shopping at your local home improvement or local hardware store. I find myself going to all of the big name stores to look for what I need because I refuse to settle for whatever they have at the first store. I assume most people are not like me and just get whatever they have saying, “that will work”

The devil is in the details. On your next job plan out exactly what you need and don’t settle for what they have and “make it work”.  Shopping for the correct item will become a major pain at times but your completed job will be better, safer, last longer, and you will be happier when its all done.  When you go to sell your home, your buyers home inspector will be happy you did.

Pete Busch
Minnesota Home Inspector



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