What Your Home Inspector Will Look For

What Your Home Inspector Will Look For

When buying a home to live in, to rehab, or to wholesale, do you know what to look for when trying to calculate your repairs and then your offer price?

When you think your rehab is finished, what additional things might show up when your buyer has the property inspected.

Here is a brief list that shows many of the things home inspectors look for so you should, too.

Grounds
____ Proper grading drainage away from house
____ No evidence of standing water
____ No leaks from septic tank
____ Yard, landscaping, trees and walkways in good condition
____ No branches or bushes touching house or overhanging the roof
____ Exterior structures (fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls, detached garages) in good condition, no evidence of termite damage or rotted wood
____ Railings on stairs and decks are adequate and secure
____ Driveways, sidewalks, patios, entrance landings in good condition, and pitched away from structure
____ Downspout drainage directed away from structure

Structure
____ Ridge and fascia board appear straight and level
____ Sides of house appear straight
____ Window and door frames appear square (including bowed windows)
____ Visible foundation in good condition – appears straight, plumb, no significant cracks

Exterior Surfaces
____ Adequate clearance between ground and wood siding materials (6″ minimum); no wood-to-earth contact
____ Siding: no cracking, curling, loose, rot or decay
____ Masonry veneers: no cracks in joints, no broken or flaking components
____ Stucco: no large cracks
____ Vinyl or aluminum siding: no dents, damage, no bowing or loose siding
____ No vines on surface of structure
____ Exterior paint or stain: no flaking or blisters
____ No stains on exterior surfaces

Windows, Doors and Wood Trim
____ Wood frames and trim pieces are secure, no cracks, rot or decay
____ Joints around frames are caulked
____ No broken glass (window or storm panes) or damaged screens, no broken double paned, insulated window seals.
____ Muntin and mullion glazing compound in good condition
____ Storm windows or thermal glass used
____ Drip caps installed over windows

Roof
____ Composition shingles: no curling, no cupping, no loss of granulation particulate, no broken, damaged or missing shingles, no more than two layers of roofing
____ Wood shingles or shakes: no mold, rot or decay, no cracked/broken/missing shingles, no curling
____ Flat roofs: no obvious patches, no cracks or splits, minimal blisters and wrinkles, no silt deposits (indicates improper drainage), sealed tar at flashings
____ Flashing around roof penetrations
____ No evidence of excess roofing cement/tar/caulk
____ Soffits and fascia: no decay, no stains
____ Exterior venting for eave areas: vents are clean and not painted over
____ Gutters: no decay or rust, joints sealed, attached securely to structure, no bending or sagging, no sections of gutter or downspout missing, gutters clean, no mud deposits
____ Chimneys: straight, properly flashed, no evidence of damaged bricks or cracked joints, mortar/cement cap in good condition

Attic
____ No stains on underside of roofing, especially around roof penetrations
____ No evidence of decay or damage to structure
____ Sufficient insulation and properly installed insulation (moisture barrier installed closest to the heated area of the house)
____ Adequate ventilation, clear path into attic for air entering through soffit vents, adequately sized gable end louvers, all mechanical ventilation operational
____ No plumbing, exhaust or appliance vents terminating in attic
____ No open electrical splices

Interior Rooms
____ Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight and plumb and level
____ No stains on floors, walls or ceilings
____ Flooring materials in good condition
____ No significant cracks in walls or ceilings
____ Windows and exterior doors operate easily and latch properly, no broken glass, no sashes painted shut, no decay; windows and doors have weather-stripping, “weep holes” installed
____ Interior doors operate easily and latch properly, no damage or decay, no broken hardware
____ Paint, wall covering, and paneling in good condition
____ Wood trim installed well and in good condition
____ Lights and switches operate properly
____ Adequate number of three pronged electrical outlets in each room
____ Electrical outlets test properly (spot check)
____ Heating/cooling source in each habitable room
____ Evidence of adequate insulation in walls
____ Fireplace: no cracking or damaged masonry, no evidence of back-drafting (staining on fireplace façade), damper operates properly, flue has been cleaned, flue is lined

Kitchen
____ Working exhaust fan that is vented to the exterior of the building
____ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (“GFCI”) protection for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s)
____ Dishwasher: drains properly, no leaks, baskets, door spring operates properly
____ No leaks in pipes under sinks
____ Floor in cabinet under sink solid, no stains or decay
____ Water flow in sink adequate
____ No excessive rust or deterioration on garbage disposal or waste pipes
____ Built- in appliances operate properly
____ Cabinets in good condition: doors and drawers operate properly
____ Countertops in good condition

Bathrooms
____ Working exhaust fan that doesn’t terminate in the attic space
____ Adequate flow and pressure at all fixtures
____ Sink, tub and shower drain properly
____ Plumbing and cabinet floor under sink in good condition
____ If sink is metal, it shows no signs of rust, overflow drain doesn’t leak
____ Toilet operates properly
____ Toilet stable, no rocking, no stains around base
____ Caulking in good condition inside and outside of the tub and shower area
____ Tub or shower tiles secure, wall surface solid
____ No stains or evidence of past leaking around base of bath or shower

Basement or Mechanical Room
____ No evidence of moisture
____ Exposed foundation; no stains no major cracks, no flaking, no efflorescence
____ Visible structural wood: no sagging, no damage, no decay, no stains, no damage from insects, sills attached to foundation with anchor bolts
____ Insulation at rim/band joists

Crawl Space
____ Adequately vented to exterior
____ Insulation on exposed water supply, waste and vent pipes
____ Insulation between crawl space and heated areas, installed with vapor barrier towards heated area
____ No evidence of insect damage
____ No evidence of moisture damage

Plumbing
____ Visible pipes: no damage, no evidence of leaks, no signs of stains on materials near pipes; drain pipes slope slightly down towards outlet to septic/sewage system
____ Water heater: no signs of rust, vented properly, sized to produce adequate quantities of hot water for the number of bedrooms in the house.
____ Water pump: does not short cycle
____ Galvanized pipes do not restrict water flow
____ Well water test is acceptable
____ Hot water temperature between 118 – 125 degrees Fahrenheit

Electrical

____ Visible wiring: in good condition, no “knob-and-tube” wiring, no exposed splices, cables secured and protected
____ Service panel: adequate capacity, all cables attached to panel with cable connectors; fuses or breakers are not overheating
____ No aluminum cable for branch circuits

Heating/Cooling System
____ Appears to operate well throughout (good air flow on forced hot air systems)
____ Flues: no open seams, slopes up to chimney connection
____ No rust around cooling unit
____ No combustion gas odor
____ Air filter(s) clean
____ Duct work in good condition
____ No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes or air ducts
____ Separate flues for gas/oil/propane and wood/coal

Miscellaneous
____ Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where required by local ordinances
____ Stairway treads and risers solid
____ Stair handrails where needed and in good condition
____ Automatic garage door opener operates properly, stops properly for obstacles

We’ve put together inspection lists for use in our office and have modified and changed them over the years. This list came from Total Home Inspection in Connecticut and we’re grateful!

Will this list be helpful for you?

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