The purpose of a home inspection is to visually examine the physical condition and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. A licensed home inspector can identify the need for minor or major repairs, as well as any necessary maintenance. Once the inspection is complete, you will know more about the house, which will solidify your decision in purchasing the property.
The fee for a home inspection can vary depending on various factors including the size of the house, and possible optional services such as septic, well, or radon testing. Do not let cost be a factor in your selection of a home inspector or the tests they will perform. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth it.
Home inspections will vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing. A large historic home, for example, will require a more specialized inspection than a small condominium. Here are some fundamental elements that a home inspector will check. You can also use this list to help you evaluate properties you are considering.
The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, and doors. A home's siding, trim, and surface drainage is also part of an exterior inspection.
- Doors and windows
- Siding (brick, stone stucco, vinyl, wood, etc.)
- Attached porches, decks, and balconies
Take note of the roof's age, condition of flashing, roof draining systems (pooling water), buckled shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, skylight, and chimneys.
An inspection of the inside of the home can reveal plumbing leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and other issues. An inspector should take a close look at:
- Walls, ceilings, and floors
- Steps, stairways, and railings
- Countertops and cabinets
- Garage doors and garage door systems
Examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall into this category. Weak water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion may indicate problems.
Safe electrical wiring is essential. Look for the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also, take note of the number of outlets in each room.
It is also vital for the home's heating system, vent system, flues, and chimneys to be inspected. Consider the age of the water heater, whether the size is adequate for the house, speed of recovery, and energy rating.
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