Prepare For A Home Inspection
What To Expect During A Home Inspection
As a seller you need to know what to expect during the home inspection process. You should also fix anything that may have a negative impact on the inspection findings. The cleaner the home inspection the more likely you will have a smooth transaction.
An exterior home inspection checklist should include the following:
- Good drainage, including downspouts, away from the house with no standing water.
- No evidence of leaks from septic tank.
- Landscaping, driveway and walkways in good condition with no significant cracks.
- Trees in good condition without overhanging, tohching the house or touching the roof.
- Detached garage, shed, fence and deck show no rotted wood or evidence of termites.
- Deck and stair railings are secure.
- Always a great idea to have your roof soft washed if any signs of mildew or discoloration.
- Shingles are not missing or damaged and show no curling or cupping.
- No roof nail pops.
- No evidence of excess roofing cement or patches.
- Flashing around roof penetrations is present and in good condition.
- No decay or staining on soffits and fascia; fascia board lines appear straight and level.
- Vents for eaves are clean and not obstructed.
- Vent pipe sleeves are in condition with no signs of damage.
- Gutters show no decay, staining or rust and are securely attached with downspouts.
- Chimneys are straight and show no evidence of damage; flashing and cap are in good condition.
- Visible foundation appears straight and plumb, in good condition with no significant cracks.
- Exterior walls appear straight with no sagging or bowing.
- Window and door frames appear square.
- No wood-to-ground contact.
- Siding has no cracks, decay or curling.
- Bricks show no damage or cracks in joints.
- Stucco shows no large cracks.
- Aluminum and vinyl siding is not loose and shows no dents or damage.
- Paint is not flaking or blistered.
- Exterior walls show no staining.
Doors and windows:
- Doors have weather-stripping and latch properly.
- Thermal glass or storm windows are installed.
- No condensation inside double-paned windows.
- Frames and trim are secure with no cracks or decay.
- Joints are caulked.
- Drip caps are installed.
An interior home inspection checklist should include:
- No evidence of moisture.
- No evidence of water damage to above floor.
- No staining or major cracks in exposed foundation.
- Visible floor joists show no damage, decay or staining and appear straight.
- Sump pump operates properly.
- Adequate ventilation to exterior.
- Vent screens and covers have no holes or damage.
- No evidence of damage from moisture or insects.
- Water supply and waste pipes are insulated.
- Insulation between crawl space and heated areas.
- No evidence in attic of staining from roof.
- Structure shows no damage or decay.
- Adequate ventilation through soffit vents and end louvers; mechanical ventilation is operational.
- Plumbing, exhaust and appliance vents extend through roof.
- Insulation is sufficient and properly installed.
- No signs of rodent droppings.
- Electrical splices are in junction boxes.
- Service panel has adequate capacity with cables attached properly.
- Check to make sure electrical panel is insurable, some brands are not.
- No knob-and-tube wiring.
- No aluminum cable for branch circuits.
- Cables are secured.
- Visible wiring is in good condition.
- No exposed electrical splices.
- No double tapped breakers.
- Visible pipes show no damage or evidence of leaks.
- Drain pipes slope toward main waste outlet to sewer or septic system.
- Water heater is appropriate size for home and shows no signs of rust.
- Manufacture date of water heater is within length of expected use, typically less than 10 years.
- Water pressure at fixtures in home falls within accepted range.
- Hot water temperature at fixtures does not exceed 125-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Water from well is tested.
- Water pump does not short-cycle.
Heating and Cooling:
- No mold present on or inside ac unit. Clean with appropriate cleaner.
- Air conditioning and heating to operate well with good air flow throughout home.
- Air filters are clean.
- Flues have no open seams and slope up to chimney connection.
- Ductwork is in good condition.
- Clean any dust from around air returns and vents.
- No rust around cooling unit.
- Working exhaust fan vents to exterior.
- Adequate water flow and pressure for hot and cold water at all fixtures.
- Tub, shower and sink drain smoothly.
- Visible plumbing under sink is in good condition and cabinet floor shows no water damage.
- Toilets flush and fill properly.
- No sounds of leaking from toilet.
- Toilet is stable, with no rocking or stains at base.
- Caulking inside and outside of tub and shower is in good condition.
- Tiles are secure.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles for all electrical outlets located within 6-feet of sinks.
- No evidence of leaking around base of tub or shower.
- Working exhaust fan vents to outside.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles for all electrical outlets located within 6 feet of sinks.
- Dishwasher drains properly and shows no evidence of leaks; door and baskets operate properly.
- Plumbing under sink is in good condition and cabinet shows no stains or decay from past leaks.
- Garbage disposal is operational and shows no rust or deterioration.
- Water flow to sink is adequate and drains properly.
- Built-in appliances operate properly.
- Cabinets are in good condition; doors and drawers operate properly.
- Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight, plumb and level; no stains.
- Doors open easily and latch properly when closed; no broken hardware.
- Flooring materials in good condition.
- No significant cracks in walls or ceilings.
- Windows and doors operate easily and latch properly, no broken glass, no sashes painted shut.
- Paint, wall covering, paneling in good condition.
- Wood trim installed well and in good condition.
- Lights and switches operate properly.
- Adequate number of 3-pronged electrical outlets in each room.
- Electrical outlets test properly with spot checks.
- Heating and air conditioning vents in all rooms.
- Fireplace has no cracking or damaged masonry and shows no staining, which could indicate back-drafting; flue has been cleaned and is lined; damper works properly.
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and located in required and recommended areas.
- Stairway treads and risers are solid.
- Stair handrails located in required areas are in good condition.
- Automatic garage door operates properly and stops for obstructions.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list, and it is not meant to replace a professional home inspection checklist and report. Only use this as a complementary point of reference and keep in mind that not every checklist item will apply to every home.
Monitor the value of your home and keep track of its equity.