Home Inspection Checklist – a Home Inspector will Examine

A home inspection is warranted before buying a home and the intention is to assess whether there is any revision that is required on the negotiated deal value. It is essentially an exercise performed to do a more accurate value assessment, and thus allowing a more informed decision on part of the buyer.

Most home inspectors tend to ignore the minor defects as it causes an unnecessary deviation of attention from more important defects, which would lead the buyer to spend a substantial sum of money for repairs. The exercise is crucial as it could have material implications on the deal value and in some case it also turns out to be a deal breaker. The home inspection findings are usually very definitive and if the buyer and seller remain committed to the deal these can be resolved.

home inspection checklist

image by denisp12

Discussed below are the typical check points that home inspectors usually take a clue from regarding the property condition.

1) Electric wiring condition

In order to ensure that there are no electric wiring issues, an inspector would typically look for the following issues –

  • Whether or not there are any uncovered wires
  • Supply wires should be cleanly entering the home
  • Are there any damaged or burn out electrical points
  • Check the proper functioning of all electrical points and their ratings

2) Plumbing systems

A home inspector would try to understand if there are no leakages in the system or if there are any blockages. To ensure the same, an inspector would typically check all taps and other water outlets to see if there is adequate pressure.

3) Dampness in basement

The typical problems that plague basement is dampness. An inspector, while visiting the basement, would check for white powdery mineral deposit on your wall just above the floor level. If you haven’t stored anything in the basement, the inspector is likely to suspect problems. He would also check for mild dew like odor in order to ascertain any dampness related issues. If the signals suggest possibility of water / moisture seeping in a water proofing will be recommended.

4) Structural issues

Structural issues are most critical as the stability of the structure is threatened. Home inspectors try to identify structural problems by looking for –

  • Leaning columns or studs
  • Exterior wall cracks or bowing
  • Chimney cracks
  • Column or beam cracks
  • Foundation cracks

A visual inspection may not reveal all structural issues as cracks may be hidden behind patches or exterior and interior finishes.

5) Heating systems

There are commonly two reasons why the heating systems may be functioning inadequately. Either the insulation would be ineffective or the furnace could have outlived its optimum functioning life.

6) Leaky roof

Improper water proofing on your roof could result into a leaky roof. A home inspector would try to spot areas where the paint finishing on the roof is wearing out.

7) Rot damage

Inspectors have a moisture meter which can tell them about the moisture content in the wood. If the moisture content exceeds 20 percent, it is a red flag. If a rot is suspected, the inspector would use a carpenter awl to probe the wood. Sometimes the rot shows up as cracks or as fungal growth.

8) Mortar deterioration

The inspector may probe the mortar wall with a screw driver in order to get a clue on whether there is any deterioration of its strength. If the strength is below a threshold level, there is a risk of collapse of the structure.

9) Number and types of cracks

Cracks can reveal a lot on the hidden problems. Most inspectors are likely to observe and analyze the cracks in greater detail. They may not spell out the problem instantly, but are likely to take home the details on cracks. They will look at various details like number of cracks, their orientation, direction and continuity. This will help them spot a fundamental problem.

10) Security Issues

A home inspector will look into the safety aspects of the property by inspecting the performance of security systems and the devices monitoring the levels of smoke and carbon monoxide installed in the house. He would also examine whether all the locks and deadbolts are functioning normally.

As a seller if you want to successfully clear the home inspection, you would need to focus on these maintenance issues much earlier. Basically, even before you put up your property for sale, you should get a home inspection done on your own. Based on the results of the inspection, you should get the rectification done and only then post the property for sale.


Home Inspectors Look for in a House

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