Home buyers have it drilled into their heads that they need to get a home inspection. In California, for example, real estate agents advise home buyers to do a home inspection 15 ways from Sunday.
Our purchase contracts contain two pages that talk about doing a home inspection, and those two pages are repeated in the buyer's broker agreement. That's just for starters. A home buyer does not close escrow without hearing about the need for a home inspection. But what does a home inspection report disclose? Home buyers are often clueless about home construction and its components, and have difficulty deciphering home inspection reports. Many don't know how to figure out which types of defects are serious or whether their home inspector checked all the essentials. But, by George, they got that home inspection!
Home Inspection Checklist Comparisons
All home inspections are different and can vary dramatically from state to state, as well as across counties and cities. Much depends on the home inspector and which association, if any, to which the home inspector belongs. Because I am most familiar with home inspections conducted in accordance with the standards of practice established by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the following information is based on NACHI guidelines.
Home Inspection Checklist of Items Not Inspected Understand that California home inspectors are not licensed, nor are they licensed in many states. However, a home inspector's standard practice typically does not include the following, for which a specific license to inspect and identify is required:
Asbestos Radon, Methane, Radiation and Formaldehyde Wood-Destroying Organisms Mold, Mildew and Fungi Rodents Lead General
Home Inspection Checklist Items Structural Elements.
Construction of walls, ceilings, floors, roof and foundation. Exterior Evaluation. Wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
Roof and Attic.
Framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing and gutters. It does not include a guarantee of roof condition nor a roof certification.
Identification of pipe materials used for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes. including condition. Toilets, showers, sinks, faucets and traps. It does not include a sewer inspection. Systems and Components. Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures. Appliances. Dishwasher, range and oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and, yes, even smoke detectors.
Slab, walls, ceiling, vents, entry, firewall, garage door, openers, lights, receptacles, exterior, windows and roof.
Home Inspection Checklist Items Needing Service Home inspection reports do not describe the condition of every component if it's in excellent shape, but should note every item that is defective or needing service.
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