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Basics you need to know about a Home Inspection

posted by Terence Richardson @ 4:37 PM
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home inspections are not all the same. A large historic home, for example, will require a different type of inspection than a condominium. However, the following is a list of basic items and systems that a home inspector will check. You can also use this list to help you size up potential costly problems in properties you might purchase.

Structure: A home’s support system impacts how the property stands up to weather, gravity, and the earth movement. Structural components inspected including the foundation and the framing.

Exterior: The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, and doors. A home’s siding, trim, and drainage also are part of an exterior inspection.

Roofing: A well-maintained roof protects you from rain, snow, and other elements. Its important to note of the age of the roof, conditions of flashing, roof draining systems (pooling water), damaged shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, roof vents, and chimneys.What a Home Inspection Should Cover

Plumbing: Thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heaters, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also need to be examined. Poor water pressure, noisey pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate potential problems.

Electrical: Safe electrical wiring is a necessity. Look for the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room.

Heating: The home’s heating system, ventalation system, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. Look for water heater leakage, whether the size is adequate for the house, speed of recovery, and energy rating.

Air Conditioning: Your inspector should explain your home cooling system, its energy source, and inspect the central and wall ventalation equipment. Consider the age and energy rating of the system.

Interiors: An inspection of the inside of the home can reveal plumbing leaks, insect damage, wood rot, mold, and other issues. An inspector should take a close look a the following:

• Walls, ceilings and floors
• Steps, stairways, and railings
• Countertops and cabinets
• Garage doors and garage door systems

Ventilation/insulation: To prevent energy loss and high power bills, an inspector should check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces. Also look for proper,  insulation in walls. Insulation should be the appropriate type and R-value for the climate. Excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and water damage.

Fireplaces: They’re charming, but they could be a hazzard if not properly installed. Inspectors should examine the system, including the vent and flue, and describe any fuel burning appliances.

An excellent source for more details is the virtual home inspection at, the Web site of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Terence Richardson

Hi everyone! I am the founder of Richardson Real Estate Experts, a group at Keller Williams Realty Signature Partners. We're innovative and tech-savvy and we specialize in the metro Atlanta Georgia real estate market. Phone: (678) 785-5275

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