Home Inspection Checklist
When purchasing a home, you should have it inspected by a qualified, professional home inspector. That way the home is evaluated for any major structural or mechanical issues before you make a purchase.
So, what does that inspection include?
Top 10 items on a home inspection list
The American Society of Home Inspectors lists 10 major areas that any good home inspection checklist should include:
- Structure: the skeleton of the house, its foundation, and framing
- Exterior: walks, driveway, siding, drainage system, gutters, doors, and windows
- Roofing: roof coverings, drainage, flashings, skylights, and chimneys
- Plumbing: water supply drainage system, hot water heater, and fuel storage system
- Electrical: service entrance wires, breakers and fuses, and disconnects
- Heating: heating systems, vents, flues, chimneys, and heating energy source
- Air conditioning: home cooling system, including central and through-wall cooling equipment
- Interior: walls, ceilings, and floors that may have water stains or mold
- Ventilation: adequate insulation and mechanical ventilation systems
- Fireplaces: proper installation, chimney, and flue safety, as well as proper drafting
How to find a qualified inspector
Now that you know what a good home inspection list should entail, you'll need to find the right inspector for the job. When searching for an inspector, you should have a list of questions prepared to help judge his or her qualifications and expertise. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, these are the questions you should ask a home inspector before retaining his or her services:
- What are you inspecting? (Refer to the list above.)
- How long have you been inspecting, and how many inspections have you done?
- What kind of experience do you have with residential inspections?
- Which repairs do you offer, if any, based on the inspection?
- How long will the inspection take? (A thorough inspection should take about two to three hours.)
- What is the cost?
- What sort of home inspection forms will I receive, and how long will I have to wait before receiving them? (Should be within 24 hours.)
- Will I be able to attend the inspection? (It's a good idea to be there, and it's a red flag if the inspector says no.)
- Do you maintain a membership in any inspector associations?
- Have you taken part in any continuing education programs lately?
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