Home Inspection Breakdown - What Does a Home Inspector Look For?
Adam Crock, owner of Area Wide Home Inspection, performs a visual inspection of the home and all of it’s readily accessible systems, and provide an online, interactive report based on the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. These systems include exteriors, roofs, basements, crawl spaces, foundations, floor structures, heating and cooling systems, plumbing supply and waste lines, electrical, attic and exhaust systems, interiors, kitchen appliances, and garages.
Interior of the Home
According to Crock, "I start on the interior of a home, and work from the top down. I inspect the ceilings and walls for any indication of water intrusion or any possible structural issues, and do so on every level of the home. I test all the accessible receptacles, switches, doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures on each level. As I move to the level below, whether it be the first floor, basement, or crawl space, I then repeat by looking for stains/water intrusion and structural issues on the ceilings and walls again. Or, if it is an unfinished basement or crawl space, I’ll look at the floor structure for water stains, rot, wood destroying insect issues, and structural issues. The foundation is also described and inspected for cracks, any signs of movement, and/or structural issues. Also, I inspect the plumbing drainage system to determine if there are any visible leaks."
Appliances and Systems
Adam Crock inspects all the kitchen appliances, and will test them for functionality. He operates the heating and cooling system, using the standard controls (thermostat), to determine functionality. He also describes the condition, type, and functionality of the heating system, cooling system, and the water heater. Crock also inspects and describes the electrical panel, wiring, and any present sub panels, and all visible electrical defects. He also tries to access the interior of these panels, but won’t if there are obstructions.
Exterior of the Home
The exterior and roof inspection really boils down to one thing: making sure water intrusion is not occurring. However, he will look for peeling paint, wood rot, proper grading, loose siding, damaged siding, cracks in hard surfaces such as driveways and walkways, proper deck construction (if applicable), proper roof installation, chimney condition (if applicable), downspout termination, any vegetation that needs to be trimmed, etc. The list goes on and on.
The garage will be inspected mainly for safety concerns, such as fire hazards, possible carbon monoxide intrusion concerns, and any door safety concerns. However, the overhead door will be operated, whether by an electronic opener or lifted manually, and the walls, ceilings, floors, entry door, and overhead door will be described and inspected.
The attic, or attics, will be described and inspected from the entry (scuttle, pull-down ladder, knee-wall) more often than not. Most attics are not walkable attics, and can’t be accessed or entered, due to insulation blocking foot placement or lack of clearance and walk boards. The structure, insulation type and depth, and ventilation will be described and inspected. The attic condition is usually one of the best indicators of the overall health of the roof. The shingle nail pattern will be checked, nail holes from a prior roof tear-off will be looked for, evidence of water intrusion (roof leaks), wildlife nests, electrical or plumbing issues (if present), and any roof penetrations (if visible) will be inspected.
What is NOT Included in a Home Inspection?
Items such as, but not limited to, fences, sheds, window blinds, shades, or curtains, water softeners, whole house humidifiers, clothes washers and dryers, home audio and video equipment, water filtration systems, generators/whole house generators, elevators, chair lifts for steps, security systems, sprinkler systems, underground drainage systems, underground fencing systems, solar panel systems, heated floor systems, window or wall mounted air conditioners, whole house vacuum systems, gutter guards, window screens, or window shutters will not be inspected or tested by Area Wide Home Inspection, LLC during the home inspection. These items are considered accessories, and are not normal operating components of most homes. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will be noted as "present" or "missing", but are not tested. Washers and dryers are normal components, but to operate properly, clothes need to be added to these appliances, and it is not possible during a home inspection. Also, some of these items go with the seller when they leave.
Primary Focus of a Home Inspection
During the entirety of the inspection, Adam Crock will focus on the unsafe and/or costly items. However, everything he finds will be reported on, even if it is just normal maintenance items. At Area Wide Home Inspection, we want our clients to be educated on what it is they’re purchasing, not just given a list of defects for negotiation. The communication of this information to the client, is very important to Adam, and it is one of the many reasons why he does what he does!