What You Should Know:
The first rule for every home inspection is: Do not try to conceal any defects you know are in the home.
The home inspector will find them anyway, and you will possibly be breaking the law.
Now that you have that rule down, here are some more ways you can be ready for the buyer’s home inspection:
Every home has problems, Understanding those problems can make the difference.
Driveway & Paths
The home Inspection starts from the curb, we'll Inspect the driveways & paths for proper grading away from the house or to an approved and proper drains. We'll look for adequate surface drainage; retaining wall conditions that may affect the home structure or water run off. Any potential dangers or damage associated with trees - such as root damage to driveways & walkways.
Grounds & Drainage
We'll Inspect the grounds for proper grading away from the house, soil in contact with anything other than the foundation, vegetation in contact with or close to the structure that could damage it such as vines crawling up the siding or tree branches in contact with the house or roof.
Foundation & Structure
We inspect the foundation walls, including the view from interior unfinished basements and crawlspaces. We report observed indications of cracking, settling, and active water infiltration. We look for shrinkage cracks, settling cracks, cracks caused by root or back-fill damage, step cracks and how they affect floor level and interior door and window framing.
We inspect structural components such as rafters, trusses, joists, sub-flooring, and framing. We inspect and report on any observed cutting and notching of framing members that may, in the inspector’s opinion, present a structural compromise or safety concern.
We inspect all utility meters and shutoffs for easy access. We inspect the siding, flashing, soffits, fascia, window frames, exterior doors, stairs/steps, and decks/balconies.
Roofing & Chimney
We walk on all roofs when it is safe and conditions permit. We inspect the condition of the roof coverings, the gutters,the downspouts, the vents, flashings, skylights, chimney and other roof penetrations. We inspect fireplaces and chimney conditions. We inspect the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors, or stairs.
Attic & Ventilation
We inspect the attic for access, insulation, roof sheathing condition, electrical, roof penetrations, and structural members. We check for proper and adequate ventilation through soffits, gable, roof, and ridge vents. We report on the general absence or lack of insulation and ventilation in the attic.
We inspect the crawlspace for access, insulation, vapor barrier, plumbing, duct work, ventilation, and electrical components. We comment on water infiltration, inadequate structural supports, and overall condition of the space.
We inspect the walls, ceiling, floors, windows, and doors. We inspect for handrails at steps, cabinets, counter tops, and other storage areas. We report on signs of water leaking into the house. We inspect the garage including firewalls, mechanical door openers, and safety devices.
We operate and inspect appliances that are present and deemed permanently installed by the inspector. This includes stove, oven, built in microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, garbage disposal, and trash compactor. We report on overall condition and any defects, such as leaks, that are present.
We locate the main water shutoff. We inspect and run all accessible plumbing components such as water supply piping, manifolds, drain piping, sinks, drains, bath tubs, showers, and toilets; noting any leaks, low pressure, clogged drains, loose toilets, and supply piping that has a record of poor performance such as galvanized steel and polybutylene.
We point out any visible fuel storage systems and sump pumps. We also inspect plumbing that is gas related including piping, shutoffs, and gas valves.
We inspect the water heater enclosure, heating system, exhaust piping, strapping, and relief valve piping. We report on the age of the appliance and overall condition, making note of excessive wear and leaking.
We inspect the electrical line coming into the house, the main disconnect, and determine the rating of the service amperage. We inspect panels, breakers and fuses, the service grounding and bonding, all switches, receptacles, light fixtures, AFCI/GFCI receptacles, and AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers.
We report on any receptacles in which power is not present, polarity is incorrect, or if the receptacle is not grounded, is not secured to the wall, the cover is not in place, the ground fault circuit interrupter devices are not properly installed or do not operate properly, or evidence of arcing or excessive heat is present. We report the absence of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Heating & Cooling
We inspect the the heating system and describe the energy source and heating method using normal operating controls and report as in need of repair furnaces which do not operate. We inspect the central cooling equipment using normal operating controls and report on cooling systems that do not function as intended. We inspect the visible distribution methods for deficiencies and visible venting methods for improper or deficient installations. We report on the age of the appliances and overall condition.
What You Should Know:
The Four Factors Concerning The Inspection Duration
The duration of an inspection varies widely, mostly depending on four factors:
- Home size
- Number of defects
- Thoroughness of the inspector
- The helpfulness of the owner when preparing for the inspection
- If you have moved out of the house make sure the power remains on.
- Make sure all light bulbs are working by changing them before the inspection. The inspector will want to be able to view all areas of your home. Also, he or she won’t need additional time to see if the receptacle is not working or if it is just a blown light bulb.
- Thin out your closets of clothes so the inspector can see the inside walls to verify if any damage or other safety issues exist.
- Remove items away from basement walls so they can be inspected for cracks and water penetration areas.
- If there is access to the attic in a closet, make sure it is accessible.
- Change the filters to your furnace and leave any service tags so the inspector can see them.
- If your home is vacant, make sure the power is on, and there is fuel so that the systems can be inspected.
Keep in mind that the home inspection is one of the most significant hurdles for a seller to clear. It is vital to make sure your house does not have any glaring defects. Do what you can to make this part of the transaction go smoothly.