Give your home an annual check-up - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

Give your home an annual check-up

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:45 am

We schedule annual check-ups for ourselves, our kids, our pets, our cars…what about our homes?

Giving your home an annual check-up, like visiting your doctor every year, is a great preventative measure to ward off future issues and problems. It’s a way to check vital signs, see what is working and what needs attention. It’s also a good thing to do if you are thinking of selling your home and want to get it in the best possible condition for an inspection that a potential buyer is likely to schedule.

Autumn is a great time to do this. Right before the holiday rush and when the weather here in Arizona is glorious. You can enlist help from family members or team up with a neighbor to examine your homes together. You won’t need a stethoscope; all you need is a few hours and a few tools to complete the check-up. Don’t forget a pen to check off the items from the list below.

Annual home check-up list:

• Make sure all plumbing fixtures are in proper working order with no leaks.

• Check that toilets are secured to the floor.

• Check that bathroom vents operate.

• Check all interior and exterior light fixtures to make sure they work.

• If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas.

• Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords.

• Ensure all windows operate smoothly.

• Replace all damaged window screens.

• Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails, also check to be sure all interior and exterior doors latch.

• Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor and that it is in proper working condition.

• Divert all water away from the house, i.e. down spouts, sump pump, condensation drain, etc.

• Check under carpets and around windows for visible mold or mildew.

• Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding/stucco, preferably 6 or more inches of clearance.

• Clear away all dead vegetation around the home. Trim away all vegetation touching the house such as tree branches and leaves.

• Remove wood/firewood from contact with the house.

• Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.

• Install window wells and covers where windows are at or below grade.

• Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources; check present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.

• If your house has a crawlspace, check to see if it is dry and properly vented.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Liz O’Neall is co-owner of AZ Property Inspections, a Valleywide home inspection company.

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School highlight: Summit School of Ahwatukee

Lyndsey Klein reads to children from Homeward Bound.

Throughout the years, Summit School of Ahwatukee has been assisting children with entering school with its preschool program.

Ages for the preschool program are from 30 months to 5 years old; all students must be potty trained prior to entering school.

There are four classes within the preschool, with a maximum of 18 students per classroom.

“We are a quality school, with quality coming first,” said Andrea Benkel, director of early childhood education. “Instead of a more traditional model, where there is a classroom with students and a teacher and an aide, each one of our rooms has two teachers. That allows us to high-functioning and high-quality.”

Summit School’s preschool program has been voted the top preschool in Best of Ahwatukee for six consecutive years.

According to Summit School’s website, children are given the opportunity to participate in large and small group settings.

The private-school curriculum focuses toward growth in areas such as social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, math, science, technology, social studies and language comprehension.

Benkel said teachers add to the success at Summit School, with each of them being passionate about furthering their students’ education.

Teachers and administrators are gearing up for the first day of school, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 6.

For additional information about Summit School, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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