10 Things to Expect From a Home Inspection
December 17, 2010
Before buying a home, a home inspection is crucial to make sure the interior and exterior of your new home are in proper working order. Read on to find out what you can expect from a home inspection.
A quality inspector you feel comfortable with
Interview several inspectors if necessary, and choose one with certification from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
An inspection of the home exterior
As part of the exterior home inspection, the inspector will check the land around the home for signs of drainage problems. Any outside vegetation will also be checked to make sure the root growth doesn't interfere with buried utilities or the home's foundation. Balconies and decks are also inspected, but any outbuildings like tool sheds are not usually included.
A structural inspection
A home's structure includes its entryways, siding, foundation, and porches. An inspector looks for any signs of trouble like foundation cracks, obvious rot or infestation, or siding damage.
A roofing inspection
Whether the inspector climbs onto the roof or inspects with binoculars from ground level, they will examine all aspects of the roof, including roof flashing and drainage systems, and can usually give you a good idea of the life left in the home's roof.
A plumbing inspection
The inspector should test the water supply and distribution system inside the home, including water pressure and hot water availability. Toilets and water heating equipment are also tested.
Inspection of electrical systems
Inspectors will check to make sure there is no aluminum wiring in the home, as it is a serious fire hazard. The inspector will also do a thorough inspection of the electrical system and check smoke detectors.
Inspection of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment
An inspector should test the furnace regardless of the time of year. Air conditioning equipment, however, cannot be checked if the temperature is below a certain point.
Because poor ventilation can cause mold, mildew, and health problems, the inspector will test ventilation systems throughout the home, especially in high moisture areas like the bathrooms and attic.
Home appliances like the dishwasher will usually be run through a full cycle to make sure they are in working order. The inspector will check all appliances that come along with the house.
The inspector should visually inspect the fireplace for any sort of blockage, and check the interior and exterior of the chimney for any signs of damage.
Knowing what to expect of a home inspection will help you feel more prepared, and a clean bill of health for your home will make you feel great about moving in.