The Lot: Slope, trees, fencing, drainage, walking and driving surfaces, utility entrances, mechanical equipment, retaining walls, and other features that may be located on the property
Structure: Decks, facade and trim, windows, doors, fixtures, vents, and other visible exterior related components
Roof: Shingles, flashings, chimneys, vents, gutters/downspouts, drip edges, skylights, and other visible roof related items
Safety: Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, handrails and railings, combustible fuel, mold, garage doors, GFCI and AFCI, locks, safety glass, maximum water temperature, and other visible interior-related components
Plumbing: Water pressure, water distribution system, water heater, hose bibs, sinks/faucets, bath/showers, toilets, and other plumbing system components
HVAC: Furnace, air conditioner and lines, ductwork, electric gas sniffer testing, , and other visible related HVAC components
Electrical: Service entrance (main from the street) and clearances, service panel, GFCI receptacles, visible wiring, grounding system, and other related electrical components
Features: Floors, walls and ceilings, stairs systems, cabinets, shelving, built-in appliances, safety
Attics: Insulation, ventilation, framing, mechanical equipment and systems, evidence of leaks, and other visible related items
Basements: Insulation, moisture, settling, framing, as well as all the mechanical components of the home visible while in the basement
Crawl Spaces: (my favorite!) Insulation, vapor barriers, ventilation, moisture, critters, posts/piers, framing, utility attachment, and other elements of the home’s systems visible from the often limited access crawl space
A professional home inspector’s job is to thoroughly evaluate the physical property and determine if there are any safety related concerns or issues with its structure or mechanical systems, and whose review of the property is not influenced by any of the other professions involved in the transaction. The intention of the inspection is to educate the buyer on the condition of the home that they're about to purchase.
The home inspector’s background provides a working knowledge of how a home is constructed and all the components and systems of a house and property. They are not going to “pass” or “fail” a home, but will provide a written and illustrated report of any found “areas of concern”, especially in regards to safety. They observe and report.