Also, what are some easy home
quality checks that I can perform?
Start splitting equal doubles from 0.7" down to 0.4". If it never fails
splitting them then your scope is OK.
Caution on this, though. Make sure that the night you choose to do the
check has really good seeing. Poor seeing will make it appear that a
decent mirror is a piece of junk, so be careful.
You can always rig up a test bench using a homemade foucault tester.
Lot's of info on these online - if you go this route I'd recommend
making a "slitless" tester. They're easy enough to make, though you will
need to practice with it a little while before you accept the data
you're getting. It will give you a rough idea of your mirror's quality
and you don't have to wait for a night of outstanding seeing, which in
some parts of the country never seems to come along.
But the best way to test your mirror is via a star test. That will tell
you the most. For info on this, take a look at Suiter's book on star
Don't assume that your mirror is junk. Good ones get through, too.