Whether you’re in the process of buying a house or looking to find out if there is anything wrong with your existing house, home inspections are your way to understand the ins and outs of your humble abode. But what is included in a home inspection and what requires immediate attention?
Here is your home inspection checklist and what you need to prepare your home.
The roof is an integral part of any house, and buying a house with a damaged roof is almost certainly going to cost a decent amount of money. When an inspector does a home inspection for buyers, they’re looking to ensure that the roof doesn’t have any major damage that can include leaks, missing shingles, cracks, or foundational damage.
If they do find that the roof needs a replacement, you’ll be able to work that out with the seller to find a lower price point. Roof replacements can run anywhere from $15,000 to $60,000. This comes down to the type of roofing material that you want to use.
Structural Integrity and Elements
Another thing you can’t skip over during a home inspection is the integrity of the house itself. This will include its walls, the foundation, stairs, drainage systems, and even how the windows are holding up.
Older homes can run into the problem of not being built on concrete slabs and attached properly, making them out of code. Small windows that were common in the 50s have since been deemed a fire concern, as most people can’t fit through to get out of the house.
If you’re looking at a house with a basement, they’ll check that it is safe from flooding and has no damage that would be concerning.
Your Heating and Cooling Systems
While not every house has an HVAC to cool or heat a home, if it does, you’ll want to make sure that it is in working order. HVACs can be a costly replacement, which is why sellers will often skip over this one and let the new owners deal with it.
A faulty HVAC can lead to higher electric bills, the risk of breaking and catching fire, and improper filtering of the air. This is another thing that can get expensive fast that you can work into the price of the house.
This also includes your water heater. While that isn’t a major expense and won’t be the end of the world, it is something you’ll at least want to be aware of how efficient it is and how much hot water you can expect from it.
Insulation and Ventilation
If the home does have an HVAC, you’ll also want a home inspector to check the insulation and ventilation in the home. If the ventilation is just there for looks and serves no purpose, you’re going to want to get that fixed to have the HVAC serve its purpose.
Insulation in the attic and the rest of the house can only last so long. This might not be something that you can negotiate the price for, but you should be prepared to have the insulation fixed if problems arise.
Your Electrical System
Having an outlet not work is one thing, but a home inspection will double-check to make sure all things electric are working and up to date. This means they’ll check light fixtures, ceiling fans, outlets, and the circuit breaker.
Older homes that have not had their wiring touched will need to immediately have their entire electrical system updated to meet standards. The benefit of this is being able to direct where you want new outlets or wiring, which could turn into a win-win situation. Your wiring is new and will last the time you live in the home, and you get to rearrange where you want the electricity running to.
You might get lucky and find that the sellers are throwing the appliances into the price of the house. But appliances will need to be checked just like everything else in the home.
Inspectors will check that ovens work and don’t show any signs of a fire hazard, make sure the garbage disposal is working properly and that your refrigerator keeps your food fresh. Sometimes sellers are just pawning off broken items to the buyers so that they don’t have to deal with them.
Focusing on small issues like this can end up costing you, though. Here are seven other mistakes you should avoid when getting a home inspection.
The Grounds Around the House
Lastly, inspectors will make sure the area around the house is up to par as well. This will mean the yard, driveway, fences, and drainage levels.
You don’t want a rotting fence infested with termites to start leaking into the house and causing damage. You also don’t want to learn that the backyard has become unstable in the last 10 years since the previous homeowners got an inspection done.
They’ll also check the sewage pipes that lead to a public sewer or into a septic tank. A water pipe busting or a septic tank overflowing can quickly lead to a stinky and disgusting problem.
What Does a Home Inspection Not Include?
Home inspectors vary about what they will and won’t include. The area you’re living in will also determine what is required to be inspected or left to someone that specializes in that area.
While the home inspector might check for bugs in a fence, they might not look for pests throughout the house. Depending on the area and the age of the house, they also might not check for dangerous materials like asbestos.
What Is Included In a Home Inspection? Everything to Ensure Your Safety
So, what is included in a home inspection? It includes everything that you need to know that might need to be repaired and can pose a risk to the safety of your family and the integrity of the house. Never skip out on getting a home inspection.
Interested in learning more about keeping up with your potential home? Be sure to check out the rest of the blog. If you know someone in the process of buying a house, be sure to share this article with them.