Sometimes we do a property inspection with the buyer in-tow. I really do like to have an active, involved buyer looking over my shoulder during the review. What my last client-involved inspection experience taught me was that there are so many items that I mentally check-off when even looking at one item, that to actually verbalize every point to a buyer would easily double the typical 3 hour timeframe.
Just for fun I did the following point-by-point list of what I go through to inspect one item, a front entry door. Before reading further, what you would look for in a front door inspection?
Here’s my list:
Does the doorbell work?
Is there a door knock?
Is the house number visible?
Is there a porch light and does it work?
Is there are peephole and is it functional?
Is there a mailbox or mail slot on the door and is it functional?
Any exterior or interior wall cracks radiating from the edges of the door frame?
How is the exterior of the door protected from the elements? Is there a top drip edge or an overhang or a roof?
Is there a need for
Does the lockset work?
Does the deadbolt slide smoothly?
Is there a strike plate and is it working?
Look at the hinges. Are they bent, pulling out or missing screws?
Look at the door and doorframe. Is the vertical gap the same all the way up or does it change significantly from top to bottom, indicating that the two are out of square?
Look at the side of the door and check if it is warped.
Look at the edge of the door. Does it show signs of rubbing?
Are there signs of forced entry? Is it cracked around the lock mechanism? Has it be repaired from prior damage?
Can you see daylight around the edges of the door, especially at the bottom?
What is the condition of the weatherstripping? Is it effective?
What’s the condition of the door jam and sill?. Are they loose? Is there rot? Is it square to the porch? Does the porch slope towards or away from the door?
Any indication of insect damage to the door frame or door itself?
Implication: what results from a noted deficiency?
Performance opinion: is the door functional or does it, or parts of it, need to be replaced?
So there it is. A professional home inspector will take about 5 to 20 seconds to do all of the above checks, including the implication and performance opinion. The inspection is usually performed in full automatic mode, meaning that the inspector checks all these items off mentally without need of a script or written list.
Why hire a good inspector? Because they have a knowledge base that allows thousands of similar checks to be performed during a systematic home inspection. While a buyer, who chooses to self-perform an inspection, will have a much more limited focus and certainly nowhere near what is mandated by any property inspection association.