The home inspection is part of the home buying and selling process and is a crucial part of any home sale transaction. As a buyer who has finally found the home of your dreams and had your offer accepted, it is easy to overlook a few details in the excitement. The home inspection is a very important resource for you, as it is like a grade card for the house you are buying. However, there are some things the home inspector will not or cannot inspect and you may want to bring in other professionals to have a total understanding of the health of the house you are buying.
First, let’s cover what home inspectors do check. It is important to keep in mind that the inspector can only check what he/she can see without opening walls or digging in the ground. Sometimes- like during winter months where there may be snow on the roof- the inspector may not even be able to access the areas to inspect. Typically, home inspectors will check the following areas from outside to inside.
- Grading: The grade of the land should slope away from the house so that moisture and water run away from your foundation. If it doesn’t, the inspector will let you know.
- Roof: Inspectors will look at the roof for any potential damage or leaks and will also check the vents and gutters for damage.
- Foundation: While the inspector usually won’t look at the foundation (because it’s underground), he or she can identify issues that indicate foundation problems, such as cracks or settling.
- Garage or carport: The inspector will evaluate the garage door to make sure that it’s operating correctly and the garage to see that it’s well-ventilated. If the garage has a door that leads to the interior of the house, the inspector will check that it is fire-proof.
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): An inspector will evaluate your HVAC system to see that it functions correctly. Typically this inspection is solely that it turns on and blows cool air. Obviously ducts in the walls will not be inspected, but exposed ducts will be checked for leaks or asbestos.
- Walls: The inspector will look at your siding and check for missing or damaged pieces, cracks, or signs of pests underneath. He or she will not comment on the stability of the walls.
- Electrical: An inspector will check your home’s wiring, testing how the outlets and GFCI perform to prevent any shocks or potential electrocutions. They will check your electrical panel to make sure it doesn’t present a fire hazard. They will not inspect the type of wiring your potential new home has.
- Plumbing: The inspector will check all sink faucets and showerheads to evaluate the water pressure and will check visible pipes for leaks. He or she will also check the state of the main water shutoff.
- Bathrooms: The inspector will check the bathroom for obvious leaks, ventilation and any other issues. An absence of windows or fans will be noted as the lack of ventilation could lead to mold or mildew problems.
- Kitchen appliances: Inspectors may will sometimes check appliances to see whether they work. Ask ahead of time if these are covered in the inspection. Many inspectors will not comment on the appliances and a home warranty is recommended.
- Laundry room: The inspector will make sure this room is well-ventilated and free of fire hazards.
So, what isn’t covered? It really comes down to what the inspector can see with the naked eye. Issues that may not be addressed in an inspection include those associated with the following:
- Electrical wires
- Sheds or wells
- Areas behind the walls
- Mold, asbestos, radon, etc.
This list provided by House Logic is a great tool to use to know who to turn to beyond the inspector.
If you need help navigating any aspect of the home buying or selling process, contact me by phone, text or email! (614) 332-4391 firstname.lastname@example.org