What’s Included in a Home Inspection
We inspect a variety of different kinds of properties, from all types of single family homes, multi-family homes, small and medium-sized commercial properties, condominium complex builder to HOA turnovers, to out-of-state vacation homes. What is inspected will vary to some small degree, but what is outlined below pretty much remains the same. There are literally thousands of individual things that are looked at.
SITE and BUILDING EXTERIOR
Our inspection of the site includes slope, proper drainage, walkways, patios, fences, gates, vegetation, curbs, gutters, and retaining walls. Inspection of the exterior includes the siding and trim, windows, doors, foundation, soffits and eaves, flashing, decks, porches and railings. These items are visually inspected for deficiencies and proper function, abnormal wear and overall condition.
A roof system consists of the deck or sheathing, the shingles or covering, numerous penetrations, such as plumbing vents, furnace exhaust vents, attic vents, skylights, and chimneys. Each penetration should have approved flashing and be sealed to prevent water penetration. Most roofs also have a drainage system consisting of valleys and gutters. The rafters and/or trusses will be covered in the attic section of the report. We will inspect these items for damage, deterioration and improper installation by walking the roof, when the slope, material, and weather permit. If we are unable to walk the roof, it will be checked from the edge with a ladder, and/or from the ground with binoculars. If the weather is the reason the roof cannot be walked, we will come back to the property when the roof can be walked, at no additional charge. Opinions stated herein concerning the roof are based on the general condition of the roof system as evidenced by our visual inspection. These do not constitute a warranty that the roof is, or will remain, free of leaks.
Our inspection of the interior is done on a room-by-room basis and includes the present condition of the walls, floors ceiling, trim, steps, stairways, fireplace, smoke detectors, balconies and railings. In addition, we check the condition and operation of electrical outlets, switches and fixtures, doors, windows, exposed plumbing components and fixtures, appliances and hardware. These features are visually examined for proper function, excessive wear and general state of repair. Unless a noteworthy condition is found, each individual room will not be noted in the report. Some of these components may not be visible because of furnishings and/or storage. In such cases these items cannot be inspected.
The attic contains the roof framing and ceiling insulation. It may serve as a raceway for components of the mechanical and electrical systems. There are often heating ducts, electrical wiring and appliance vents in the attic. We visually examine the attic components for proper function, excessive or unusual wear, general state of repair, leakage, venting and misguided improvements. Where walking in an unfinished attic can result in damage to the ceiling, or when there were no indicators of a noteworthy condition, inspection may be performed from the access opening only.
A heating system consists of the heating plant, operation and safety controls, venting and the means of distribution. These items are visually examined for proper function, excessive or unusual wear and general state of repair. Regular servicing and inspection of fuel-burning heating systems by qualified technicians is strongly encouraged.
A plumbing system consists of the domestic water supply lines, waste and vent lines, and gas lines. Inspection of the plumbing system is limited to visible faucets, fixtures, valves, drains, traps, exposed pipes and fittings. These items are examined for proper function, excessive or unusual wear, leakage and general state of repair. The hidden nature of piping prevents inspection of every pipe and joint. A sewer lateral test, necessary to determine the condition of the underground sewer lines, is beyond the scope of this inspection. If desired, a qualified individual could be retained for such a test. Our review of the plumbing system does not include on-site and/or private water supply and waste disposal systems. Review of these systems requires a specialist.
DOMESTIC HOT WATER
Our review of water heaters includes the tank, water and gas connections, electrical connections, venting and safety valves. These items are examined for proper function, leakage and general state of repair. The hidden nature of piping and venting prevents inspection of every pipe, joint, vent and connection. Since hot water demand is strictly a function of lifestyle, we cannot render opinions as to the adequacy of any domestic hot water supply as it might relate to your particular needs.
An electrical system consists of the service, distribution wiring and convenience outlets comprised of switches, lights and receptacles. Our inspection of the electrical system includes the exposed and accessible conductors, branch circuitry, panels, overcurrent protection devices, and a random sampling of convenience outlets. Capacity, grounding and circuit protection are focal points. We look for adverse conditions such as improper installation of aluminum wiring, lack of grounding, overfusing, exposed wiring, running splices, reversed polarity and fused neutrals. The hidden nature of the electrical wiring prevents inspection of every length of wire.
The kitchen is visually inspected for proper function of components, active leakage, excessive or unusual wear and general state of repair. We inspect built-in appliances to the extent possible using normal operating controls. Freestanding stoves are operated but portable dishwashers, and portable microwave ovens are not tested.
Bathrooms are visually inspected for proper function of components, active leakage, excessive or unusual wear and general state of repair. Fixtures are tested using normal operating features and controls.
The structural elements of a building include the foundation, footings, all lower support framing and components, wall framing and roof framing. These items are examined, where visible, for proper function, unusual conditions and general state of repair. Many structural components are inaccessible because they are buried below grade or behind finishes. Therefore, much of the structural inspection is performed by identifying resultant symptoms of movement, damage and deterioration. Where there are no visible symptoms, conditions requiring further review or repair may go undetected and identification will not be possible. We make no representations as to the internal conditions or stability’s of soils and concrete footings and foundations, except as exhibited by their performance.