What’s Included in a Home Inspection?

Included in a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major components, mechanical systems, and structure. The inspection will identify any items that need repaired or replaced and estimate the remaining life left on major systems.  Washington state has outlined standard operating procedures (SOP’s) that all Home Inspectors need to follow. A home inspection is not technically exhaustive and does not identify concealed conditions or latent defects.  This means that any part of the home that is hidden by a wall, ceiling and floor coverings are excluded, but so are parts of the home that were inaccessible during the inspection due to the owner’s stored items, or locked doors, etc.  Inaccessible areas could also be caused by dangerous or unsanitary conditions such as slippery roofs or heavy rodent activity in the crawlspace.  Areas that are not visible during the inspection would therefore be excluded from the home inspector’s responsibility in ensuring that the systems are operating properly in that area.  So, What will a Home Inspector review?

1. Roof – This includes the condition of:

  • The roof coverings
  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Vents
  • Flashings
  • Skylights
  • chimney
  • Roof penetrations and the general structure

2. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation – The home inspector will look at the insulation and ventilation of unfinished spaces, including:

  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces
  • Foundation areas
  • Exhaust systems

3. Exterior

  • Siding
  • Windows
  • Exterior doors
  • Flashing & Trim
  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Stairs
  • Patios & decks
  • Drainage

4. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

  • Foundation movement
  • Cracks
  • Structural concerns
  • Indication of water penetration

5. Cooling

The condition of the cooling system, location of thermostat, energy source and the type of cooling system you have in the home.

6. Heating

The condition of the heating system, location of thermostat, energy source and the type of heating system you have in the home.

7. Fireplace – The home inspector will inspect:

  • The visible portions of the fireplace & chimneys
  • Lintels
  • Damper doors
  • Cleanout doors & frames

8. Plumbing – Plumbing tens to get the most attention due to the impacts a water penetration can have on a home.  The home inspector will check:

  • Main water & fuel supply shut-off valves
  • Water heater
  • Interior water supply
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Tubs
  • Showers
  • Drains
  • Waste & vent systems

9. Electrical – This section includes:

  • The service drop (where the electrical company connects to your home)
  • Conductors
  • Service head and mast
  • Electrical main
  • Panelboards
  • Grounding switches
  • Light fixtures
  • Outlets
  • The presence of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

10. Doors, Windows & Interior – This includes a representative number (some inspectors check all) of:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Stairs
  • Railings
  • The garage door and openers