An In Depth Look at a Residential Home Inspection - Your Checklist

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 06 June 2018 05:21
home inspections include testing electrical panels and outlets for erros home inspections include testing electrical panels and outlets for erros

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination and if possible testing of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It includes everything that can be looked at without moving structure, fittings like built in cabinets and carpet, or furniture and personal belongings. Testing of systems is only limited by access and time of year. We'll take more about that in the what's included section.

Inspecting a house is not an appraisal for your mortgage. That is carried our by a licensed appraiser and serves a different purpose. An appraiser will value the house.

What's Included in My Report?

Before any home inspection is carried out you'll be required to sign a contract between yourself and the inspector. You must acknowledge any limitations as well as the scope of the inspection. You may ask to see an inspectors license or home inspection certification. (Depends on state).

Townhomes and condos are a little different to single family homes. This is because often the exterior is maintained as part of an Home Owners Association. While not part of any inspection repair negotiation, a good home inspector will still provide a home inspection checklist so you can address any HOA issues directly with the HOA either before or after closing.

Here's what you can expect your inspector to look at. He'll provide a full report and usually a summary sheet and photos to show any issues he finds. This is not a complete list and I am not a licensed home inspector. 

He's should inspect and report findings on:

  • Property Exterior - asphalt surfaces, concrete and brick surfaces, retaining walls, lot grading and drainage, electrical outlets, exterior faucets, presence of things like a lawn sprinkler system but wont test it, exterior siding, trim and flashings, doors, windows, decks, patios, balconies, steps and staircases.
  • The Roof - how is he inspecting, materials used, flashings, gutters, downspouts.
  • Attic - access and location, insulation, ventilation, electrical, vents and ducting, presence of vermin.
  • Garage - Type, floor material, overhead doors and hardware, openers, fire door and service door, windows, walls, firewalls, electrical, stairs to attic if there is one, additional components like heaters.
  • Chimneys, Flues, Vents - Materials used, visible condition, flue, rain caps.
  • Structure - Foundation type, foundation walls, exterior framing, roof framing, roof sheathing, floors, columns, beams, storm drainage.
  • Basement - Stairs, floors, walls, and if necessary the finished product the same as the rest of the interior.
  • Plumbing - water supply system, sewer, gas meter and piping, water lines, drain waste and vent pipes, storm water pumps, ejector pumps, plumbing components.
  • Water Heater - location, type, supply, condition, age.
  • Electrical - Amperage and voltage, grounding, panel components, wiring, fusing, risk.
  • heating - Type, energy source, general conditions, functioning, filters, distribution, ducting, humidifier,
  • AC Units -  Type, energy source, condition, drainage, testing if conditions allow it.
  • Kitchen - Appliances, electrical, counter tops, faucets, disposal.
  • Bathrooms - sinks, faucets, tubs, showers, toilets, condition, drains and water supply.
  • interior - in addition to everything already mentioned, visual inspection of walls for cracks, or repairs needed, electrical outlets.

Not all things apply to all houses, this is meant as a general guide. Connect with your home inspector with any questions about your report. It is an extensive report and while you may for focused on the inside the exterior is more important. The biggest issue for any residence is water. It is the most damaging of things to go wrong.

You can read about your home inspection, what's not included, the average cost at our full article.

How do I Find an Inspection Company?

Your agent likely has several names they have crossed paths with over time. You can also search online in companies like Yelp, Angies List or HomeAdvisor. Google Home Inspector Near Me and I am sure you'll find several. You can also for recommendations from friends in the area.

Look for inspectors that have passed the AHIT course. The American Home Inspectors Training Institute. There are also the AHSI home inpectors, members of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Membership indicates passion and extensive experience.

What Happens After The Inspection?

You will need to read and digest the report and then discuss with your attorney any remedies you wish the seller to carry out. All homes have minor issues and the idea is not to nit pick the entire report. Focus on the big issues. This like non functioning systems, or systems at the end of life. Common issues are plumbing leaks, electrical issues, mechanical systems not working or failing.

Read more about this article at Real Estate in Barrington by Corinne Guest, certified luxury marketing specialist.


Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.