A home inspection is an unbiased look at a house or other construction to let a potential buyer know what the general health is of the property in question. Their primary interest is the structural integrity of the house and its major components such as HVAC systems, outlets, doors, and windows. Some may be qualified to inspect for mold, radon, and other harmful problems. Making sure you know about any potential safety issues will be the inspector’s main concern.
An inspector should look at such things as driveways, sidewalks, steps, windows and doors. The condition of the siding and surface trim as well as the drainage will also be inspected. Attached porches, decks, and balconies should be included in any exterior inspection.
The house’s framing and foundation should be inspected for soundness. A badly shifted foundation can lead to a house that is ready to collapse with the next earthquake or big wind storm.
An inspector will look at the roof for signs of wear due to age, the condition of the flashing and shingles or tiles, how well it drains, and any issues with the skylights, gutters, downspouts, and chimneys. An inspector won’t be able to tell you how long your roof will last, only whether or not it has problems that need to be addressed.
The condition of the readily-available electrical components will be inspected. “Readily-available” means the parts that can be easily accessed. Service entrance wires, outlets, switches, service panels, breakers, fuses, and disconnects will be inspected for continuity, proper voltage, and other functional components. If a problem is discovered, further inspection and repair would need to be done by a qualified electrician. For example, if a wall-socket is found to be warm or humming, an inspector would make a report of it, but determining why the socket is warm or humming and repairing it would be left to an electrician.
An examination of the water systems of a house includes the water supply, water heaters, drainage, equipment, and any fuel storage systems. Drainage and sump pumps will also be inspected. Low water pressure, rust, corrosion, leaks, and banging pipes can be signs of big troubles coming up.
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems will be checked to be sure they are of the correct size and capacity for the house. Chimneys and flues will be inspected for condition and any potential trouble spots noted.
The interior should be inspected for signs of leaks or insect damage. It should also be checked for construction defects and rot. The inspector should also look at:
Floors, walls, and ceilings
Stairways, banisters, balustrades, and steps
Cabinets and counters
Garage doors and any associated systems (automatic openers, etc.)
An inspector should make sure that fireplaces have been properly installed. They will inspect the vent and flue for proper function and for anything that could represent a safety issue.
Ventilation and Insulation
The inspector will inspect any visible insulation, such as that found in the attic or crawlspace. They will make sure that it is of the proper rating and is correctly installed and secured.
After all of the above have been thoroughly inspected — a process that should take about 4 hours depending on the size of the home — the inspector should prepare a clear, concise report on the conditions of those elements. A good report should exceed ten pages in length for thoroughness and include photographs and diagrams. They may even include suggested repairs and a rough estimate of what the repair should cost. The report should be written in clear language, and if you have any questions the inspector should be ready to answer them for you.
What A Home Inspection Won’t Include
Remember that a home inspector is examining the home for potential safety concerns. They are not inspecting to make sure it’s up to code. This means they won’t:
Note that a window is too small for a room.
Open up walls so that ducts & wires will be inspected.
Show proof against future problems in the home.
Also, a home inspector is not an appraiser. They won’t tell you what the home should be worth with or without the needed repairs or whether or not you should buy the house.
The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket
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If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you
The text in this post was copied from a post by Home Advisor