What is a Home Inspection?
What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
- Structural elements. Inspectors look at the construction of the visible foundation and search for evidence of sagging or bowing.
- Grounds. Most inspectors look for leaks from a septic tank and ensure a proper drainage system is in place. They also check the condition of fences, sidewalks and driveways.
- Roofs. A standard inspection usually includes checking on the condition of shingles and whether there have been roof repairs, as well as whether there’s any damage to the exterior of the chimney or gutters.
- Exterior. Your inspector will check the condition of the home’s exterior, including its paint or siding and outdoor electrical outlets.
- Interior. The inspector will check window, door and cupboard alignment, go into the attic to search for insulation, ventilation and signs of water damage, and check the systems and appliances.
- Systems. Most inspectors check the condition of the home’s HVAC system, water heaters and fireplaces, as well as electrical systems to ensure breakers, outlets, light fixtures and fans are working and properly wired.
- Appliances. Typically, home inspectors check stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances that will be included with the home’s purchase.
- Basements and garages. Your inspector will check for a solid foundation and look for signs of water damage, as well as determine whether the electrical system meets code, outlets and garage door openers function properly, and more.
Although the inspection covers quite a bit of the home, from the foundation to the roof, you’ll most likely have to hire a specialized inspector to check out some fixtures (such as swimming pools). You’ll also have to hire specialty inspectors to look for things like:
- Pest infestations
- Radon gas
- Lead paint
- Toxic mold