Home Inspection Checklist
A home inspection checklist is like a medical exam from your Doctor. Most of us go to our Doctors once a year for a physical. Just like a physical, a thorough house 'exam' is preventive maintenance for your house.
With a checklist, a inspector will examine every aspect of your house, top to bottom. Then they will inform you, both verbally and in written form, of problems, suggested repairs or maintenance issues.
HOME INSPECTION CHECKLIST - EXTERIOR & STRUCTURAL
_____Building exterior, is the paint in good condition? Any cracked or crumbly stucco? Any obvious signs of rotting? What condition are rain gutters in?
_____Grading and drainage, is there potential for water to enter and cause damage?
_____Roofs, any leaks or potential leaks, or possible hazards overhead; tree limbs and electric cables? Any obvious sagging? Any gaps around chimney or pipes? Is there any damage to the soffits or fascia? Are their any signs of deterioration of the shingles? Any loose flashings?
_____Attic, any structural problems? Is there sufficient insulation and is it in good condition? Can you see light coming through the roof anywhere? Are there properly screened air vents?
_____Porches and Decks, is the floor solid? Are the supports sufficient? Fences, are they in good condition? Are the bases of the fence posts rotting?
_____Pest problems, are there any signs of animals or insects; droppings, fur, chewed wood?
_____Foundations and basements, are there cracks that are cause for concern? Is there any standing water? Are there signs indicating moisture problems? Do the floor joists look good-no sagging, rotting or insect damage? Any bowing, bulging or other irregularities?
HOME INSPECTION CHECKLIST - ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SYSTEMS_____Electrical system, any code violations? Is the panel overloaded or double lugged? Is the panel weather proof? Is the dead front in place? Are the power lines more than 10 foot above the ground or driveway? Do all of the lights work? Do all of the receptacles work? Is there GFI protection in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage and exteriors? Are there any fire hazards associated with wiring methods? Are there any wires rubbing against the house?
_____Plumbing system, any leaks, any sign of water damage? Do all of the faucets work? Do the sinks and bathtubs drain easily? Any moisture evident under the sinks? Do the toilets flush properly? Any evidence of moisture dripping from the valves behind the toilets?
_____Furnace, when turned on does the fan sound smooth? Is there any smell of gas? Are the ducts firmly attached?
_____Air conditioning, does it work when you turn it on? Are there any condensation drainage problems?
_____Water heater, is the hot water hot? Is the water heater in good condition? Is there any staining that indicates leakage? Is the water heater strapped to the wall? Are any of the fittings rusted? Is there a water shut-off valve?
_____Fireplace, does the damper open and close easily? Are there any gaps or cracks? Is the chimney in good condition? Is the chimney pulling away from the house? Is there creosote build-up?
HOME INSPECTION CHECKLIST - INTERIORS_____Interior walls, are there any cracks, bulges, or peeling paint? Any water stains?
_____Interior ceilings, is there any peeling paint? Are there any uneven elevations? Is the ceiling obviously sagging?
_____Floors, does the floor feel level? Any large stains or damaged areas? Is the floor covering buckling? Is the floor finish damaged?
_____Stairways, are the stairs comfortable and safe to walk on?
_____Doors, do they open and shut easily? Do the locks work?
_____Windows, do they open and close? Any broken glass, or rot around the edges? Are there screens in place?
A home inspection, even with a checklist, is only as good as the inspector. In order to avoid problems due to an inadequate inspection, I recommend that you contact The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.
For more information on Home Inspectors call ASHI at: athttp://www.ashi.org/find/, or call (800) 7423-ASHI.