A home inspection is one of the most critical steps during the process of buying or selling a home. As a buyer, a home inspection can alert you to possible problems that you should be aware of before making such a big financial commitment. As a seller, the inspection will let you know what may need to be repaired before you can close on your sale. But what, exactly, do home inspectors evaluate? Let’s take a closer look.
Plumbing is a vital component of any home and the inspector will check showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, and waterlines. They will also inspect pipes outside the home as well as the components of the water heater.
Your home inspector will look at the wires that go into the home from outside and make sure that there is nothing interfering with them such as trees or shrubs. Then the inspector will check the electrical panel, the main breaker, and the wiring. They’ll also test wall outlets and light switches.
Heating and air conditioning
A home inspector will evaluate the property’s HVAC system including the air conditioner, furnace, thermostat, heat pump, and ducts. They’ll perform both a visual inspection and then check the systems to make sure they function properly. They will also check for carbon monoxide or gas leaks.
A home must have a good foundation. Your inspector will look at the foundation from outside the home first, looking for cracked steps, leaning chimneys, or sinking porches. Once inside, the inspector will look for cracks, uneven floors, and doors or windows that are tough to close. They’ll also check for mold.
Windows and doors
Windows and doors will be checked to make sure that they function properly. The inspector will also check that each bedroom has one window that opens, as this is critical in emergencies such as a house fire.
It’s vital that your home inspector check the roof of the home, as roof repairs can be costly. You don’t want any expensive surprises after you’ve closed on the home. They will visually inspect the roof including the gutters and flashing and they will check for missing shingles. They may or may not go on the roof – it depends on the weather and how safe it is.
Basement and attic
If the home has a basement and/or attic, then they will also be inspected. In the basement, the inspector will look for uneven floors, mold or mildew, wall damage, or musty smells, as this can indicate water damage. They will also look around basement windows and doors to make sure water can’t get in. In the attic, the inspector will evaluate the condition of the insulation, ventilation, water damage, and fire damage. They will also assess the roof and framing.
Finally, a home inspector will also look at the grounds and landscaping. They will check for puddles and standing water as this can indicate a drainage issue. They may also check trees and shrubs, walkways, railings, retaining walls, and sheds.