July 12th, 2019 9:19 AM by Jackie A. Graves
When you’re on
the hunt for a house, it’s easy to fall in love with the layout, colors and
ambiance of your potential home. But before you stay too long on cloud nine,
you’ll need the reality check of a home inspection.
inspection is when a housing structure is visually and physically evaluated,
from the foundation to the roof. Buying a home is most likely the largest
purchase you’ll ever make. The last thing you want to do is invest a ton of
money into buying a home only to find out it needs extensive repairs. That’s
why a home inspection is so important. So what exactly is the home inspector
looking for during this evaluation?
A good home
inspector can discuss the quality of construction and maintenance your
(potential) home has been through. They’ll also share pointers for taking care
of your new home. Many inspectors recommend that potential buyers attend the
inspection. Here are X things a home inspector looks for.
1. Basic safety checklist
should always be primary to the home inspector, which is why many of the things
on the home inspector’s checklist are safety items. Four things they’re on the
lookout for include:
detectors: Does the home have them? Are they
installed correctly and in the right places (in or near sleeping areas but
not too close to the stove)?
fault interrupters: These are the special plugs that protect
you from shock in areas where water and electricity are in proximity, such
as bathrooms and kitchens.
glass: Are the glass features installed near stairs or
water (like tubs and showers), made of safety (or “tempered”) glass?
Stairs: Are the
steps a uniform, safe height and angle? Do stairs have handrails and
guardrails correctly installed and in the right places?
2. The home’s ‘envelope’
matter how old the home, your inspector will look at the basic “envelope” that
shields it from weather and water. The inspector will walk the property to look
inspector will look for cracks in the foundation and examine the roof, rain
gutters and flashings, as well as the windows.
also look at how the walls and roof intersect. The inspector doesn’t want to
see lots of caulk because that usually means it’s not waterproofed. When done
right, waterproofing is part of the home design — not something added after the
3. Major systems
inspector will check out the home’s systems, from electrical and plumbing to
heating and air conditioning. Here are a few of the points an inspector will
and air: How well does the heating and cooling
work? Do they provide heating and cooling evenly to every area? Is there
good airflow in every room? If there’s an air return, is it properly
located and sized to serve the house efficiently?
inspector will check to see that the plumbing provides enough water to the
house and drains how it’s supposed to. This is where you find out if you
have sufficient water flow and pressure.
inspector will make sure that your electrical system provides enough power
for the house and that it’s installed and grounded correctly. They’ll make
sure there are enough outlets.
4. The roof
inspector can tell if the roof was done properly by a professional or by an
check to see that any openings — like the chimney or skylights — are properly
flashed and are free of moss growth and debris.
will provide an estimate of how many good years expensive components — like the
roof — have left.5.
Venting, water heater temps
safety, a house needs proper ventilation for natural gas appliances such as
heaters, water heaters and clothes dryers.
gases can build up in the house if those appliances aren’t installed, vented
and configured the right way.
many of these appliances have safety features, a good inspector will make sure
the safety equipment is properly enabled.
will make sure that clothes dryers are properly vented to catch lint and expel
hot air, which helps prevent house fires.
will check the temperature of the water heater. It should not be over 120
degrees Fahrenheit, and some inspectors prefer to max out the temperature at
Signs a specialist is needed
Some areas or
conditions might need further examination, often by a pro with specialized
equipment. Here are two standout areas:
1. Fireplaces: The
inspector wants to see that they vent well and that wood-burning
fireplaces don’t have a condition that the National Fire Protection Association would
call a hazard. Your inspector might recommend a fireplace inspector who
will use a specialized camera to scope out the interior or the chimney and
2. Sewers: Septic
problems can be one of the most expensive repairs in an older house, and it’s
hidden beneath your yard. If you’re buying a home that has sewer service, you
want to call in a specialist to have the whole system (from the main house to
the street) videoscoped, or a video inspection that goes through pipes, holes
and other areas.
buy a home, make sure you get it inspected first. You can find an inspector
through the American
Society of Home Inspectors or by asking your real estate agent
or community members for recommendations. ASHI has a Code of Ethics and
Standards of Practice that members abide by when conducting inspections, which
may help you in finding out a qualified home inspector for your needs. You can
also search the International
Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Even if you
already own a home, an inspector can help you identify any problems that may
arise to avoid costly repairs or dire situations. It can also help if you’re
selling your home and want to make any appropriate updates before putting it on
Source: To view the original
article click here