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Your Home Inspection Checklist

By Thomas Mitchell

When a home inspector inspects your home, there is a list of things he or she will go through. They will generally inspect the structure of your home, the exterior, the roof, the plumbing, the electrical system, the heating and air conditioning systems, the home interior, the ventilation, the appliances, and any fireplaces.

The structure of your home includes entry ways, foundations, sliding and porches. Inspectors will look for sagging roof lines, porches pulling away from the house, damage to the siding, or any signs of rot or insect damage. An exterior inspection will usually include an assessment of any balconies, fascias, decks or eaves. The inspector will check the land around the house for any drainage problems, and driveways and walkways for any deterioration. Surrounding vegetation will also be inspected to make sure that it's not growing into the foundation or covering utilities.

Some inspectors will climb up on your roof and inspect it up close, while others are content to stand at ground level and use binoculars. Whatever their method of inspection, inspectors will be checking out the roof drainage systems, as well as any flashings, chimneys, roof penetrations, or skylights. The age of a roof is usually a great indicator of its condition and a good home inspector should be able to deduce the age just from looking at it. The inspector will also be inspecting your plumbing, testing the water pressure in all of your faucets and checking the availability of hot water in your home. Your water heating equipment will also be tested and assessed for age and time to replacement.

When the inspector inspects your electrical system he or she will check for grounding, current protections and the presence of aluminum wiring which is a serious fire hazard. He or she will also inspect your electrical box and smoke detectors. The inspector will also check your furnace by turning up the thermostat and seeing how it responds. They may also run an efficiency check for an additional fee.

The home interior is another part of your house that will be inspected. Inspectors will check the ceiling, walls and floors for signs of sagging or water intrusion. The basement will also be inspected for water damage or intrusion. Ventilation is another item on an inspector's checklist. Inspectors will check insulation and vapor barriers in unfurnished places. High humidity areas like the bathrooms and kitchen will be inspected more thoroughly and for ventilation systems. Your inspector will also be checking out your appliances. He or she will usually run the dishwasher through a full cycle to see if it's in working order. They will also check the stove burners and the oven to make sure it's functioning correctly. Any other appliances that were included in the purchase of the home will also be inspected. If you have a fireplace it will be inspected as well to make sure there are no blockages or any other problems that could be a safety hazard.

Once finished, the inspector will put together a report of what they observed in and around the home in regards to its condition. Once you receive the report, usually delivered within 24-48 hours by email, review it and discuss your thoughts with your agent

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