Home Inspection Checklist
Home inspections provide a comprehensive overview to buyers and sellers outlining the condition of major systems and aspects of the home that could affect the comfort and value of a property. Inspections can be helpful in figuring out what exactly you’re getting into, and for negotiation of any repairs or replacements. Whether you’re buying, selling, or building a home, it’s important to know the points of a home inspection checklist so you can minimize unwanted surprises and be sure you’re getting the best value.
Examining the roof involves checking for damage, warping, deterioration, and age. This is a major checkpoint in any home inspection because an ineffective roof can cause serious problems to the home. Usually, inspectors will determine how much life the roof has left to determine whether or not it needs to be replaced before buying or selling the home.
Chimneys are included in home inspections, as well. Inspectors check for damaged brick, cement, or siding. A damaged chimney can be a hazard and should be fixed immediately.
Gutters & Downspouts
If any gutters or downspouts are missing or damaged, prepare to have them replaced. Missing or damaged gutters and downspouts can cause flooding issues as water isn’t being directed away from the home properly.
Siding & Foundation
If the siding of the home is damaged or deteriorated, this could cause the value of the home to drop tremendously. Small issues such as a crack in the vinyl siding or peeling paint won’t lessen the value by much. However, any holes, cracks in brick, or other damage to the foundation could mean serious future or current issues of the home itself.
Windows & Doors
Windows and doors are always checked for cracks, damage, or decay. Windows should seal properly to keep outside air out of the home. Door should also seal properly and should have no issues opening or closing.
The attic of the home will be checked for proper insulation and ventilation. If there is evidence of water damage, this could lower the value of the home. There also should be no evidence of animals living in the attic, as this suggests improper outside exposure.
Conditions of all surfaces including walls, ceilings, floors, and countertops will be inspected. Stains, water damage, cracks, chips, or damaged trim will reflect negatively on the inspection and the home’s value. Cabinetry will also be inspected for the same.
The fireplace will be inspected for evidence of improper operation or signs of animals living there. Your fireplace should be clean, free of debris, and able to open to the outside through the flu.
The stairs will be inspected to ensure there is no damage and that they’ll endure a long lifespan. Stairs should also be up to building codes.
Doors & Windows
The inspector will check doors and windows from the inside as well to ensure a proper seal and weatherstripping. Doors should easily open and close.
All appliances staying in the home will be inspected. The dishwasher will be checked for proper drainage, leaks, or damage to the appliance itself. Garbage disposal is checked for rust or deterioration as well as proper operation. Stove is inspected for proper operation.
All outlets will be inspected for proper operation, protection, and voltage.
All lights and light switches will also be inspected. Inspectors are looking for proper operation or any damage. They’ll also check that light switches work properly.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will be checked for proper operation. If not working, the seller should expect to have to replace these.
Service/ Electrical Panel
The service panel will be inspected for loose cables, as well as overheating breakers or fuses.
Visible pipes will be checked for leaks or damage that could cause flooding to the home in the future.
The water heater will be checked for age or signs of rust. The inspector should also check to ensure the hot water temperatures fall between certain degrees. The water pump will also be tested for short cycling.
Showers, Baths, & Sinks
Shower, bath and sink foundations will be checked for damage as this could also lead to flooding of the home. There should be no foundational damage or deterioration, and there also shouldn’t be signs of mold growth.
During the inspection, the inspector should find no signs of rust on the HVAC system. They will check for good airflow, proper ventilation, and that the system itself is in good condition. The system should also be turning off and on according to the thermostat’s settings.
There should be no cracks, damage, or missing pieces of the ductwork. If there is damage to the ductwork, the inspector will require a licensed professional correct the issue.
The inspector will check for an air purification system to ensure good air quality in the home. The air filter and the area around the outdoor unit should also be clean, which the homeowner can do before the inspector arrives.
What should the current homeowner do before an inspection?
- Clean the house and declutter so the inspector can easily make their way around
- Put pets away
- Check and change all light bulbs
- Replace filters in HVAC system
- Clean area around the outdoor HVAC unit
- Repair broken or cracked windows, screens, and frames
- Re-paint rooms where current paint is peeling
- Remove stains or replace carpets
- Replace or fix broken appliances
- Exterminate any infestations
- Trim trees or bushes that are close to or touching the house
- Get service or repair on your HVAC system to ensure it’s working properly.