Frequently, clients call me to inquire about my services. Many will ask what’s involved in a home inspection and I’ll give them a quick summary before we book the inspection. With the frequency of this question I realized why not provide a general breakdown on how this process works.
2 Stages of a Home Inspection:
Part 1 – the inspection of the outside of the home including the condition of the property and any attached or detached garages.
Part 2 – the inspection of the inside of a home.
For today we will focus on the first half of your property inspection with what I look for during Part 1 of the inspection as I take you on a mental walk through of the process with Final Step Home Inspections.
Part 1: And So It Begins
Once you and I have set up an appointment date & time for your property inspection, the process begins.
Normally, I try to arrive on site about 20 minutes early. This allows time before the client arrives to take a quick walk around to evaluate the overall lot. I look at the homes outward condition in relation to surrounding homes and properties, as well as any drainage concerns. If the existing home owners are available I inquire about any recent improvements or special operating systems that my clients should be made aware of during this time.
When you arrive I introduce myself. The average length of a property inspection is usually 2 ½ to 3 hrs for a 2000 sq. ft. home. I do find that country properties take longer as I like to educate my client’s in regards to the different operating systems that are part of these houses i.e. septic systems, wells, cisterns…
Preliminaries are Over – What Next?
This is when I go into investigator inspector mode. I closely inspect the exterior of the home, any detached/attached garages and outdoor systems. To make things easier I’ll outline the major components that are present – otherwise this can easily turn into a 20 page article.
Roofing – types and conditions of roof coverings, visible roof line structural settlement, roof drainage systems/flashings, if chimneys are present is there signs of deterioration
Home/Garage Exterior – condition of cladding/siding, windows, doors and flashing systems
Heating & A/C (Hvac) – condition of exterior A/C compressor
Electrical – test any visible outlets/GFCI’s, switches, garage door openers and any safety features that are part of these systems
Plumbing – exterior components, condition, proper drainage, leaks, missing parts
Structure – decks, railings, steps and landings, condition and settlement to the home and garage including foundations and grading as well as walkways around and leading to the street.
Drainage – drain spouts, walkways, grading around foundation