What’s included in a home inspection?

January 27, 2018

What’s included in a home inspection?

First, congratulations on your upcoming home purchase.  This can be an exciting, scary and confusing time in your life.  Buying a home is not easy.  It’s filled with demands from strangers who want to dissect your income and lifestyle choices just so you can have a place to live.

And while this may be fine for most people, you want to know what’s going on.

so if you’re curious about what’s included in your upcoming home inspection, this is the right place.

Let’s get to it.

At the very least, a professional home inspection should include the following areas (get ready, there’s a lot):

1. Landscaping

  • Drainage and grading
  • Driveway
  • Front porch
  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Handrails and guardrails
  • Rear walkouts
  • Covered patios
  • Covered porches
  • Rear landings
  • Terraces

2. Exterior

  • Retaining walls
  • Foundation
  • Wall siding, flashing and trim
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Siding
  • Lights
  • Chimney
  • Window wells
  • Ceiling fans
  • Access to basement or crawlspace

3. Central Cooling System

  • Condition of A/C condenser or heat pump
  • Refrigerant lines
  • Evaporator unit
  • A/C condenser age
  • Air temperature (when outside air temperature is >60°f)
  • Thermostat control (when outside air temperature is >60°f)

 


4. Roof

  • Soffits
  • Fascias
  • Gutters, downspouts and drainage
  • Downspouts
  • Shingles
  • Ventilation
  • Flashings
  • Skylights, chimneys and roof penetrations

5. Carports

  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Guardrails
  • Ceiling
  • Lighting
  • Circuit wiring
  • Outlets
  • Access doors

6. Attic And Roof Structure

  • Access
  • Roof deck
  • Roof rafters
  • Ventilation, fans and exhaust ducting
  • Wiring
  • Insulation
  • Pest and animal damage
  • Attic view of skylights, chimneys and roof penetrations

7. Bathrooms

  • Water flow through faucets
  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Door
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Exhaust fans
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Vanity, cabinets and countertops
  • Pantry
  • Toilet
  • Tub and enclosure
  • Jetted tub and enclosure
  • Shower and enclosure
  • Heat vents

8. Entryways, Hallways, And Loft Areas

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Windows
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Attic fans
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Closets
  • Doors
  • Stairs and rails
  • Front door
  • Patio door
  • Smoke detectors
  • CO detectors
  • Heat vents

9. Kitchens

  • Water flow
  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Patio doors
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Sink and faucet
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Pantry
  • Garbage disposal
  • Dishwasher
  • Stove/Oven/Cooktop
  • Range hood
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Trash compactor
  • Heat vents
  • Smoke detectors

10. All Interior Rooms And Bedrooms

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Patio doors
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Heat vents
  • Smoke detectors

11. Fireplaces And Wood Stoves

  • Hearth
  • Front
  • Mantle
  • Doors
  • Firebox
  • Throat
  • Flue
  • Damper
  • Electric start function
  • Blower fan
  • Gas valve
  • Chimney
  • Chimney cap

12. Garages

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Siding
  • Garage doors
  • Garage door openers
  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Lighting
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Wiring
  • Patio doors
  • Access doors
  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Sinks

13. Basement And Crawlspace

  • Stairway and railing
  • Floor
  • Foundation and walls
  • Ceiling and subfloor
  • Rim and floor joists
  • Vents and windows
  • Doors
  • Walkout doors
  • Lights
  • Ceiling fans
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Plumbing and drainage
  • Wiring
  • Columns, beams and posts
  • Insulation
  • Heat vents
  • Smoke detectors
  • CO detectors

14. Laundry Area

  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Patio doors
  • Lights
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Sink and faucet
  • Washer and dryer (if staying with home)
  • Heat vents
  • Smoke detectors

15. Central Heating System

  • Energy source
  • Heating equipment
  • Furnace enclosure
  • Thermostat and controls
  • Automatic safety controls
  • Chimneys
  • Flues and vents
  • Airflow
  • Heat source in all living spaces
  • CO detectors

16. Plumbing System

  • Supply line
  • Water main valve
  • Hose bibs
  • Water lines
  • Drain lines
  • Vent lines
  • Water heater fuel system
  • Water heater
  • Water heater ventilation
  • Sump pumps

17. Electrical System

  • Electrical service lines
  • Electrical service meter
  • Main electrical panel (including removing the cover)
  • Wiring
  • Outlets
  • Lights
  • Grounding
  • Sub-panels

 


 

When it’s over this information will be neatly organized into a home inspection report that you can use for purchase negotiations or maintenance and repairs after you move in.

But at its best, you will show up and get involved.

Discuss any questions and concerns you might have. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the finer points of your new home from the person most qualified to talk about them – your home inspector.

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Steve Rodriguez

Steve is a Certified Master Inspector® and owner of Bulldog Professional Inspection Services in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the author of The Ultimate Consumer Guide To Home Inspections and has been a professional home inspector since 2003.

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