Did you know that inspectors have a checklist of about 1,600 items to check for in each house? There’s no way homeowners can go over all of these while trying to sell their house. Lucky for you, we broke down all 1,600 items inspectors check for into 10 manageable sections.
Home Inspection Checklist:
- Property Grounds: Things happening outside of the house itself can predict future issues—standing water is a sign of drainage or water supply issues. Inspectors will also be looking at the condition of pathways, retaining walls, sheds, railings, and trees and shrubs.
- Exterior: Cracks in the sidings, rot, or decay, cracking masonry, cracks in stucco, bowing vinyl, and blistering or flaking paint are things home inspectors look for when evaluating the exterior of a home.
- Roof: The inspector is looking for faulty shingles or fascia and any other defects which can cause leaky ceilings. This leads to loose gutters or even, damaged chimneys and skylights.
- Structure: The structure of a home is scrutinized more when evaluating an older house. Solid foundation, straight sides, square windows and door frames are all indicators of a home with a strong structure.
- Doors, trim, and Windows: Again, looking for rot and ensuring proper caulking, undamaged glass and, the doors and windows are in working order.
- Interior: Ceiling stains indicate a possible water problem, leaning walls are a sign of faulty framing. Inspectors are also concerned about adequate insulation behind walls and rooms lacking sufficient ventilation.
- Kitchen: Kitchens must have a range hood fan that vents to the outside. Electrical outlets within 6 feet of a sink must be protected by GFCI’s or, ground fault circuit interrupters. Inspectors also check for leaks and that cabinets and drawers operate properly.
- Bathrooms: Do the toilets flush? Are the drains draining properly? Is the shower spraying? Are the tubs secured?
- Plumbing: Pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature will all be examined.
- Electrical: Visible wiring and electrical panels need to be in good shape. Also, there needs to be enough outlets in each room, and light switches must work.
Common Problems Found During Home Inspections
- Roof problems. Improperly installed or aged surfaces are the two most common reasons for roof problems.
- Inadequate insulation and ventilation in attics causes higher than usual utility costs
- Faulty wiring is more common in older homes. Worn or outdated systems can be cause for major safety concerns.
- Plumbing issues caused by problematic or outdated systems.
- Poor drainage around the structure which causes water intrusion; water needs to drain away from the structure.
- Signs of mold growth is a potential environmental problem.
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How to Prepare for a Home Inspection
There are some easy things you as a homeowner you can do to ensure the home inspection goes smoothly.
First, clean the house. First impressions apply to home inspections too and a filthy house may indicate to inspectors that this house is not cared for.
Second, leave the utilities connected. The inspector needs to turn on the stove, dishwasher, furnace, air conditioning unit and, pilot lights must be ignited. If the inspector is unable to check these things they will have to reschedule which could delay closing on your transaction.
Also, leave keys for anything on the property that is locked—unattached garages, sprinkler systems, electrical boxes, etc.
Inspect attics, garages, basements before the scheduled inspection. Check for spider webs or animal droppings that would indicate a rodent or pest problem. Also, make sure there is no standing water in the basement.
Ensure exterior inspection points are accessible. Home inspectors will not move anything themselves; if tree branches or brush are preventing access to these inspection points, the inspector could suggest a specialist to the buyer. Specialist have much more knowledge and easily notice more things wrong with a house than a general inspector would find. So sellers want to make sure the general inspector has easy access to everything.
Provide any repair or remodeling project documents. It is always a good idea to share as much documentation as you have.
Finally, inspections can take up to three hours to complete. Make sure you are prepared to either stay and ask questions throughout this time or, if you will be out of the house during the inspection, you have made arrangements for children and pets prior to the appointment.