The Importance of Home Inspection Checklists

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Home inspection checklists include a detailed list of features throughout a home and act as a guide for home inspectors to look for any defects or other necessary repairs. Though checklists used may not be exact replicas across all regional areas or even from one inspector to another throughout the nation, the lists are lengthy and typically include many if not all of the same features of a home. Industry experts estimate there are approximately 1,600 items on these lists that home inspectors are responsible for looking at.

Home inspection checklists are meant to help inspectors from accidentally overlooking any small feature and making sure the list is checked off is to ensure the inspection is thorough. If a buyer is looking at a particular home, getting a good home inspection should be a top priority, since it can help to find any potential issues before the purchase is made. Any issues with certain features of the home could present an opportunity for a potential buyer to renegotiate a lower price with the seller or ask the seller to pay for repairs as a condition of sale.

Although the checklist appearance may vary depending on the inspector, they are all generally divided into sections, which cover both exterior and interior elements of a home. Some of the primary issues and areas that a home inspection checklist will cover include: structural condition, roof, mechanical issues, plumbing, and electrical. A qualified and experienced home inspector will look for any cracks in the foundation, sagging beams, wood deterioration, and uneven floors, which can be a key indicator that there is an issue with the foundation of the home. With regard to a roof, if the shape of the roof runs in a slope shape, an inspector will check to see if there is any curling or if there are shingles that are missing, as well as any cracks in the outer edge sealant for any skylight. If a roof is flat, an inspector will check for cracks along any seams and also for any areas that appear to be absorbing moisture and potentially allowing water in in the near future. Mechanical issues include central air system and water radiators. An inspector should turn any heating and cooling systems on to ensure they are functioning properly. Inspectors will also check all plumbing that is visible and look for leaks, rust, and corrosion, as well as check water pressure. Electrical outlets should all be checked to make sure they are properly hooked up to power and grounded.

In addition to the items previously mentioned, the inspection should cover the overall condition of the home with a specific focus on safety. Some of the items included in this section are open stair risers that are too high, unstable deck supports, loose or nonexistent handrails, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector functionality, peeling paint, and any signs of mold.