A professional home inspection begins with a comprehensive visual examination of a property. As a buyer, a thorough home inspection is your first step toward protecting your investment in your new home.
When you hire a home inspector, you can expect that he or she will carefully examine the property before preparing a written report that describes the construction of the home and the working condition of all its systems. Many inspectors will also include digital photographs of defects, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as the crawlspace, roof and attic.
The following home inspection checklist outlines all areas a thorough inspection should include.
Persons present during the inspection, approximate age of the structure, construction type and style, weather and soil conditions at the time of inspection, residence type, number of stories and approximate house orientation (direction the house faces).
Description of the Lot, Grounds and Landscaping
Grade relative to drainage, yard drains, walks, driveway, landscaping, patio/slabs, outside lighting, dangerous trees or limbs, fences and gates, outside faucets and retaining walls.
Condition of the Foundation and Basement/Crawlspace/Slab
For basements: Accessible areas, moisture penetration, piers, foundation walls, floor joists, sills, girders, subfloor, slabs and insulation.
For crawlspaces: Accessible areas, moisture penetration, sump pump, vapor barrier, piers, foundation walls, floor joists, sills, girders, subfloor, ventilation and insulation.
For slabs: General condition of viewable components, cracks and signs of settling.
Condition of the Home’s Exterior
Repairs with the siding, shutters, trim rot, paint and caulking, fascia, soffits, eaves, porch, porch rails, stoop, stoop rails, deck, deck rails, doors, or sliding doors, garage, garage openers and windows. One time a family friend forgot to check the garage and ended up spending a fair amount for a garage door repair in Aurora CO.
Current State of and Estimated Life Expectancy of Roof
Material type, roof style, flashing and roof penetrations, skylights, gutters, downspouts, splash blocks, rafters and other upper framing elements, ceiling joists, roof decking, water penetration, whole house fan, ventilation, insulation and attic access.
State of Chimney and Fireplace
General condition, gas logs, damper, chimney condition, flue liner, signs of settling and loose masonry.
Condition of Electrical System
Service entrance, service wires (size and types), grounding equipment, main panel, sub panels, over current protection, ground fault protection, 110 volt and 220 volt circuits, receptacles, light fixtures, switches and safety concerns.
Condition of Heating System
Unit manufacturer, model number, serial number, location, air temperature rise, general condition, heating unit description, energy source, system type and total capacity relative to area served and approximate age.
Condition of Cooling System
Unit manufacturer, model number, serial number, location, air temperature drop, general condition, cooling unit description, energy source, total capacity relative to area served and approximate age.
Condition of Plumbing System
Water supply, well pump, water shut offs, water pressure, water pipes, water pipe support, water pipe insulation, water heater, waste water disposal, waste and vent pipes, waste pipe support, plumbing fixtures, laundry connections, dryer exhaust and bathrooms.
Assessment of All Interior Spaces
Rooms, floors, walls, smoke alarms, ceilings, stairs and doors.
Current State of and Estimated Life Expectancy of Permanently Installed Appliances
Unit manufacturers, dishwasher, disposal, oven and energy source, range and energy source, refrigerator, trash compactor and microwave.
Final Thoughts on Your New Home Inspection
Remember that an inspection is simply an examination of the current condition of a home. It is not an appraisal or a municipal code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not “pass” or “fail” a building, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items need repairs or replacements.
You, as a buyer, will find the information contained in the home inspection to be an invaluable resource as you make an offer on the home, negotiate that offer, close the deal, and assume ownership of the home.
Advantage Inspection Raleigh
. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors. Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
“more than just an inspection company!”