The home inspection is a visual evaluation of the condition of the home and its many systems. During the inspection we will evaluate the grounds (grading, walkways, patios, driveways, porches, decks, etc.), the exterior siding/masonry, eaves, windows and doors. We will attempt to walk the roof whenever possible to determine the condition of the roof coverings, chimneys, flues, flashings, and other penetrations. We inspect the condition and functionality of the gutters and downspouts. We will inspect the mechanical systems in the home: the electrical service, wiring, electrical panels, receptacles, lights, and switches. We will evaluate the condition of the plumbing system; the condition of the supply and waste piping (where visible). We will operate all of the plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, identify the age and condition of the water heater, identify the main water shut-off valve, clean out locations, etc.). We will conduct an operational check of the HVAC system(s), identify their age, ensure all of the registers are operating, and identify the filter location(s). We will conduct a cursory evaluation of any fireplaces, including lighting gas logs when permissible. We will enter all accessible attic areas to check for roof leakage, the condition of the roof structure, ventilation, insulation, and other conditions. We will evaluate basements for moisture intrusion by checking all of the outside walls with a moisture meter and look for any indication of past moisture. We will evaluate the condition of the foundation and floor structure in unfinished basements. We will enter and crawl through any accessible crawlspace, evaluate the condition of the visible floor structure, plumbing, ductwork, foundation, ventilation, and look for indications of a moisture problem. We evaluate the interior of the home by documenting the condition of the walls and ceilings, operating all of the accessible doors and windows, checking the stairs and railings for safety, identifying floor unevenness and other floor defects. We operate all appliances included in the sale of the property (kitchen, laundry, and other household appliances). For more information about the scope of the home inspection, we encourage our clients to read our standards of practice, set forth by the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNachi) https://www.nachi.org/sop.htm
Though we abide by these standards, we often exceed them in our attempt to go the extra mile for our customers.
The evaluation of all of these components will often reveal a list of defects (it is not uncommon for us to find 50 or more defects during an inspection). We will meet with our clients at the end of the inspection to go over the findings of the inspection. We understand how nerve racking this stage of the home buying experience can be, so we strive to convey our findings as accurately as possible. We will present the issues with the house in a concise way and offer recommendations. We encourage your real estate agent to be present for the inspection overview, as they are typically responsible for negotiating with the seller on any repairs (should the contract allow it).