Buying a property, especially a house is a huge deal. The process is also quite exhausting. But the most important and impactful task is the home inspection.
We do not go out every day planning to buy a home. So it is essential to plan perfectly and double-check the entire house before purchasing it. There is nothing better than a home inspection to cross-check the house and get a perfect home for you.
What is a Home Inspection?
A professional home inspection process assures home buyers before they make their final move of buying the house. A home inspector will use inspection services and inspection software to check the house. It is basically a visual examination of the house that helps find the problems or spaces that need repairs.
If the inspection results in unearthing specific problems, you can ask the seller to repair the issues or bargain for a reduced price. Sometimes, if the problems are significant or irreversible, you can even decide to cancel the purchase.
It takes place after both parties sign the purchase agreement. It costs, on average, around $300-$450. However, the pay range varies based on the area in which the house is located, the size, and other factors.
Each space will be thoroughly examined, from the small areas of the interiors to the lawns in the exteriors, and any hidden problems will be identified. Since it is a very extensive process, a home inspection checklist is handy.
Home Inspection Checklist
There is no bigger trouble than a damaged roof in a house. First, the home inspector will check for the roofing materials and see if there is any evidence of excess roofing patches.
- Condition of Shingles – Not missing or damaged
- Flashing is present and properly used
- Vents are clean
- Chimneys are not damaged and are straight with proper flashing
The attic is also inspected along with the roofs. It needs to have proper ventilation, and insulation should be installed correctly.
Checking the outside structure is essential; it gives you an idea of how good the house is. The damage to the outside structure is quite easily visible.
- Walls appear straight
- The foundation that is visible looks in good condition without any cracks
- The siding has no cracks or decay
- Bricks are intact and do not have any damage, especially in the joints
- Paint is not stained, old or blistered
- Properly maintained lawns
The inspection services also include grounds and foundations because damaged grounds can prove to be quite expensive and can lead to issues with the house’s structure.
- Proper drainage facility away from the house
- Has no standing water
- The Septic tank does not have any leaks
- Deck railings are secure
- The trees are in proper condition
- The walkways and driveway are not cracked
- The sheds and garage are in good condition without any damage
Checking the interiors of the home is another prime task. From the basement and small spaces to each room and the electrical and plumbing facilities, each area should be examined. The essential interior examination includes typically:
- The walls are in good condition without any crack
- The paint on the walls and ceilings are intact
- Windows and window latch are in proper state and are sealed with caulk
- All rooms are properly insulated
- Walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and all other areas are free of moisture
- Proper ventilation facilities are provided
Doors and windows
Doors and windows should be adequately maintained, and the seal should be intact, with easy opening and closing. Here are the primary sections to check.
- Drip caps and storm windows are installed
- Doors and windows have a latch
- Joints are caulked, and the frames are secure without any cracks
Heating and Cooling
Checking the heating and cooling systems installed in the home is vital as we use them regularly. In addition, the HVAC system should be adequately maintained and used.
- No odor of gas
- The airflow from heating or cooling systems is adequate and evenly distributed
- The systems are in proper working condition
- Air filters are clean, and ductwork is proper
- No sign of rusting around the cooling unit
- Proper ventilation is maintained
Electrical issues and problems need to be immediately identified and repaired. Any severe damage can cause severe consequences. So the professional inspection services also include checking electrical systems thoroughly. Some also use inspection software to detect the issues.
- Electrical circuits should be evenly distributed
- Wiring should be proper. If they are visible, they should be given a secured outline and should be protected
- No kind of electrical faults should be found
- The switches for light, fan, and bulbs should work fine
- The service panel has proper and adequate capacity
- No aluminum cable
- Protected electrical supply without any exposed splices
After checking electricals, the next crucial aspect is identifying whether any plumbing problems require major attention.
- No sign of damage or leaks is visible
- No rusting of the water heater is in good condition, and the manufacturing date establishes that the water heater is within the usage period
- There are no major stains around the pipes
- The water pump produces a steady flow
- All taps, faucets, and pipes are in working condition
- The drains are clear
Most of us fail to take notice of the basement in the home we buy. An inspection officer will examine the basements as well.
- Has no moisture or water damage
- The foundation is strong without any major cracks
- Joints appear straight and have no stains
A crawl space is an area of limited height, usually under a floor or roof. Many houses have wiring and plumbing access space here.
- It should have adequate ventilation to exterior
- Proper water supply insulation
- No moisture or damage
Kitchen and Bathroom
Special inspection services for the kitchen and bathroom are crucial. Since we extensively use these rooms and safety is essential, checking these spaces require special care.
- Exhaust fans and vents are proper
- Adequate water flow is available at all fixtures
- The plumbing under the sink is good, and the doors have no water/moisture-related damage
- Doors and drawers in the kitchen work well
- The shower or tub does not leak in the bathroom