Home Inspection Checklist

Home Inspection Checklist (13 Points)

It is exciting to visit the home for the home inspection, as it can be your future house you are visiting. But it is not all about visiting home, you have to prepare a home inspection checklist to check each and every aspect of your future home that you aspect from the new home.

Flaws in the structure, interior, foundation, and elevation are disclosed in a home inspection report. You can either ask the seller to fix them or the price can be reduced. Or you can even cancel the deal if it is too serious. A comprehensive survey is done to analyze the condition of the house.

However, a home inspection checklist can become really exhausting if too many parameters are to be checked. But you can refer to the checklist provided below and can get an idea of what all you need to check unavoidably before the purchase.

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Following points shows why home inspection checklist preparing important before purchasing a home,

  • To avoid issues post moving in like leakages, dampness, plumbing, etc.
  • To recognize the hidden issues that are not visible and which the real estate agent hides from you
  • Structural or material defects are identified
  • Property located in a remote area can be assessed for its value
  • Loose wiring, illegal constructions, or faulty systems are recognized which can later create problems
  • Inspection report can provide you with an advantage in negotiations too

A home inspector works for the buyer and not the seller. It is his duty to make the buyer aware of what he will get out of the deal; the current condition of the property and what issues need to be addressed sooner.

A home inspection can last from 2-4 hours generally and the buyer accompanies the inspector. After noting down the key findings, he will provide an extensive report including any issues or potential threats.

Following are the 13 points to be considering while preparing home inspection checklist report,

1. Foundation:

In home inspection checklist foundation is most important feature to be check before buying home,

Home Inspection Checklist
Foundation Condition
  • There should not be any cracks visible at the base of walls connecting foundation
  • No part near the foundation should appear soggy or sunken
  • No large trees should be present near the foundation

2. Leakage or Seepage:

  • Check the area around the sink- if the sink showing any signs of leakage.
  • All the parts of the house like basemnet, roof- where water can easily invade should be checked for seepage.

3. Roof Condition:

Home Inspection Checklist
Roof Condition
  • Roof shingles should be intact- without cupping, curling, cracking, or damage
  • Extra patches of cement should not be visible on the roofs
  • Soffits should not show any signs of decay or rust. Moreover, their attachment to downspouts should be intact too
  • Gutters are securely attached to the downspouts and are not rusted. Also, ensure they are draining properly
  • Chimneys, if present should be straight. Its capping should be in good condition

4. Exteriors:

  • No visible cracks
  • No sagging or bowing in the walls
  • Bricks, if visible, should not show any cracks or damage
  • If aluminum or vinyl panels are installed, check whether they are not coming loose
  • Paint should not show flaking or blisters
  • No stains should be there on the walls

5. Windows and Doors:

Home Inspection Checklist
Doors and Windows
  • Weatherstripping should be done to the doors and windows
  • The latch of doors and windows should be intact?
  • Thermal glass or storm windows should be included
  • Double-paned windows can increase the value
  • No moisture spots should be seen around the frame of doors or windows
  • The joints around the window frames should be sealed  properly

6. Plumbing Condition:

Home Inspection Checklist
Plumbing Condition
  • The pipe fitting should be in proper condition.
  • Ensure that no leakage is there in the pipe.
  • Pipe should also be checked for corrosion if they are metal pipes.
  • Check the water flow too that it is not restricted by pipes. Water pressure should be within the expected range.
  • The water heater should be in proper condition and not rusted, if present.

7. Electrical Systems in the Home:

Electrical system check also important in home inspection checklist:

Home Inspection Checklist
Electrical Wiring Condition
  • All cables running in the house, if visible, should be properly insulated.
  • All the light switches should be in working condition
  • Spot checks can be carried out to ensure that electrical outlets are in working condition
  • The service panel should be of sufficient capacity
  • Aluminium or branch circuits are not preferred
  • No electrical splices should be exposed to open

8. Interiors:

  • Interiors are an important aspect while inspecting the house. Ensure that no strange odor is coming from any part of the house.
  • Check the flooring too- if it is in the proper condition or needs to be replaced.
  • Enough number of electrical outlets are present or not in the house should also be checked. If the present is their location convenient should also be noted.
  • Floor, ceiling, and walls should appear straight
  • No visible stains on wall or ceiling
  • Paint is in proper condition
  • The flooring is in good condition
  • Doors and windows should open and close with ease without making noise

9. Basement:

Home Inspection Checklist
Basement Condition
  • No signs of moisture should be there
  • The water should not have damaged the above floor- the roof of the basement can be observed for this
  • Are there major cracks visible?
  • The floor joist should be in proper condition- without any damage or decay or staining. They should appear straight.

10. Kitchen:

  • Exhaust fans are in working condition and the vent should be towards the outside of the house
  • No leakage near sinks and they should have proper drainage
  • The cabinet under the sink should not show any signs of past leakage
  • Water flow to the sink on the kitchen counter is ensured, i.e. proper gradient on the kitchen platform.
  • Doors and drawers are operational

11. Bathrooms:

  • Exhaust fans, if present should face outwards.
  • Adequate water supply and pressure should be available
  • The shower and sink should not be under stagnant water- i.e. proper drainage gradient should be there.
  • The toilet flush should be working properly
  • There should not be any visible stains on the toilet.
  • Leakage should not be there around the showerhead or other fixtures.

12. Drainage:

  • Drainage is one of the most important aspects while buying a house. If a proper gradient is not provided, stagnant water may pose a serious problem in the future.
  • It should be checked that water drains away from the house
  • No soggy areas should be present in the vicinity
  • Is there any area nearby where stagnant water is present?

13. Timber parts:

  • If the house has timber for window or door shutters, then they should be checked for termites or other insects.
  • It should also be ensured that they are not rotten.

Read More: 12+ Cheap Ways to Increase Home Value

Home inspection checklist tasks can be exhausting. The report is thorough and you might not want it to get too long as it consumes both time and cost.

The home inspection checklist is solely focused on the inspection of the structure of the house itself and so the surrounding elements are ignored.

However, these exclusions can be checked by you as you walk around the property by visual inspection.

Some of the features that can be excluded from this report include:

  • Internet service provider in the area and their rates
  • Landscaping– it is sometimes included too if requested
  • Irrigation details
  • Presence and condition  of outbuilding boundaries or fence
  • Septic systems
  • Air ducts and their condition

The home inspection checklist report should be diligently read section by section. Some of the common issues faced in the house might be-

  • Roofing is old
  • Attic ventilation is not proper
  • Drainage issues

The above issues are costly but they can be resolved. However, some of the issues are more problematic like

  • Structural fault
  • Termite problems

Most of us are buying a house for the first time. Even if not, it is not an everyday activity that we go and purchase a house. It can be confusing as to whom to opt-out of for home selection. Following are some of the points you can consider for selecting a home inspector:

  • Ask your acquaintances for referrals if they have recently bought a house and ensured a home inspection
  • A seller could be requested for a disclosure statement
    • A disclosure statement includes information about the building from the seller that includes all the details of the property that you, as a buyer, should be aware of.
    • A series of yes and no questions are filled included in this disclosure statement.
    • Before home inspection is conducted, a disclosure statement should be requested so that newly repaired areas can be known.
  • By completing your own research
  • Enlisting proper questions to know the condition of the house
  • Check the previous works of the home inspector
  • Check if the inspector is a member of a professional inspection organization. The professional inspection organizations include:
    • The National Association of Home Inspectors
    • The International Association for Certified Home Inspectors
    • The American Society of Home Inspectors
  • Ensure the inspector is aware of local building codes
  • Check if the inspector has experience with similar properties in the past
  • Do not forget to ask him the duration of the inspection
  • Attend the final home inspection in person
  • Ask how much the inspection will cost and what aspects will be included in the inspection report.

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Though the home inspectionchecklist is generally for buyers, sellers can take care of a few things to make the report positive and lay a good impression about the house. This may include-

  • Plumbing leaks or fixture issues can be fixed beforehand
  • The shrubs and grasses growing around the house can be trimmed away
  • Electrical boxes should be kept unlocked
  • The attic should have easy access
  • Keep the home clean
  • Be righteous and disclose the faults or recent repair works beforehand.

A home inspection checklist is getting your house checked for the defects and potential issues from a certified home inspector to know the real condition of the house by surveying the property.

A home inspector looks for the following aspects in a structure:

  • Foundation
  • Leakage or Seepage
  • Roof
  • Exteriors
  • Windows and Doors
  • Plumbing Condition
  • Electrical Systems in the Home
  • Interiors
  • Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Drainage
  • Timber parts

Following aspects are generally not included in the inspection report:

  • Internet service in the area
  • Landscaping
  • Septic tank
  • Outbuilding features

Structural fault or termite problems are difficult to cope up with in comparison to drainage problems.

A home inspector should be selected carefully after checking a few points like his certification, experience, rate, ratings, etc.

A seller can also take care of few things to make the work of an inspector easier though it is completely for the buyer. He can keep the keys ready, attic and electrical boxes unlocked, house clean and fix minor issues like leakages. He can disclose the issues or the recent repair works in the house beforehand.

Free Download Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers and Sellers:

Home Inspection Checklist
Home Inspection Checklist

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