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What Do You Look For During A Home Inspection?

What Do You Look For During A Home Inspection?

A licensed and certified home inspector will have a detailed checklist and look for a multitude of different things when conducting an inspection. Key areas to focus on during an inspection are the roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing and the walls. Some of these areas will focus on proper operation such as running water and electrical current while others will focus on structural integrity like rafters and foundation stability. A thorough inspection will take a couple of hours minimum and will include photographs and detailed notes about areas of concern.


A home inspection almost always starts on the exterior of the house and will focus on the foundation, sidewalks and driveway. This is because important issues may be evident such as water damage or erosion when examining concrete-based features. The foundation should not have any cracks larger than 1/8 of an inch and there should be no deterioration or crumbling due to water damage. The inspector will also check for signs of insect damage by termites and carpenter ants which will leave telltale evidence. An evaluation of the grading will also determine proper drainage away from the house. If the house has a crawlspace the inspector will look for signs of rat or mouse infestation. The roof and windows will be evaluated for proper weather protection and tight seals. When the outside of the house has been thoroughly documented the home inspector will move inside to complete the inspection.


The interior of the home is more detailed because it will not just involve an evaluation of structural integrity. The inspector will be looking for signs of water damage but will also focus on the plumbing and electrical systems. Turning all light fixtures and switches on and off will check for proper current and signs of smoke or burning. Flushing all toilets and running all water fixtures will ensure proper water pressure and drainage. Cracks in the corners or where walls meet can be an obvious sign of structural problems which may be linked to the foundation. Crawling in the attic will allow for evaluation of roof integrity by checking the rafters and joints while keeping an eye out for water damage and animal infestation. The inspector will also look for mold damage especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.


When a home inspector is asked what do you look for during a home inspection the answer should be "everything". It is their job to protect potential home buyers and mortgage lenders from misrepresentation or from structures which are either unsafe or not worth the asking price. A detailed home inspection will include everything from the most minor easily repairable items like a leaky faucet up to a declaration that the roof is failing and needs to be replaced. If you are unsure what to look for during a home inspection conduct additional research, ask numerous questions of the inspector and get a copy of a home inspection checklist to ensure a thorough evaluation.