What Should Be Included in a Home Inspection Checklist?

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you’ll need to make sure the property is up to scratch by getting a home inspection. Experts will visit the property to determine that a home is in livable condition before someone new settles in. Curious about what the process looks like? Here’s what’s included in a typical home inspection checklist.

12 Things to Include in a Home Inspection Checklist

1. Home Structure

First thing’s first: start your home with an inspection of its basic structure. Your home has nothing to stand on if the foundation is not solid. Any home inspection should begin by looking at its foundation. Are there cracks in any of the walls or ceilings of the home? Other structure elements are the beams and posts that hold your home up.

If you’re looking to renovate a home after buying it, you’ll want to learn which beams are necessary for bearing weight and cannot be removed, and which may be removed if you add support elsewhere. Within the home, take a look at the staircases and handrails. These should be solid to prevent any accidents.

2. Household Appliances

Most of your home’s major appliances will be in the kitchen: the microwave, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, and oven. If your home includes any of these items, make sure to take a look at them in your inspection to see that they’re all working as they’re supposed to. You don’t want to be stuck spending thousands on new appliances after you close the sale.

While you’re in your kitchen, you’ll also want to look at your garbage disposal and make sure it’s getting rid of food properly. Other appliances to look at are the washing and drying machine. Check that the washing machine hookups are in the right place and that the drying machine can drain properly.

3. Plumbing System

The plumbing part of your inspection will ensure that anywhere with running water is running properly. This includes checking both the inside, underneath, and outside of your home. Inspectors will look at all of the valves in your kitchen and bathrooms. They’ll also take a look at water filtration systems so that you don’t drink any contaminated water. All exposed plumbing will be looked at, as well as the storage water tank.

Plumbers run all of your sinks to look for leaks and potential causes of water damage. They’ll also flush all of your home’s toilets and turn on all of the showers for the same purpose. In your inspection, you’ll learn if certain fixtures are rusting and need to be replaced or if there are leaks you need to address before moving in.

4. Heating & Cooling System

Part of your home inspection will include looking at your home’s heating and cooling systems in death. A technician will look at the HVAC system’s age and looks at the parts of the system to see that each is in good condition. First, the inspection will begin by looking at the thermostat and furnace components. It will also include an inspection of the home’s air conditioning system.

HVAC inspections will also examine the airflow in a home to make sure that warm or cool air is moving as it should. Poor airflow can raise electricity bills because your systems have to work harder to deliver your desired temperature. Problems that a technician may find in your HVAC inspection as gas line leaks, a furnace that leaks water, poor ductwork that causes a loss of airflow, and clogged filters.

5. Windows & Doors

Your windows and doors may only be small details compared to the rest of your home, but costs add up when you have to repair them. In your home inspection, first check that all doors open and close properly. Examine the condition of the doors: are they creaky, rotting, or damaged in any way?

Don’t expose your property to any preventable risk. Deter unwanted visits to your home by making sure that all doors and windows have working latches and locks. Damaged or missing screens should be replaced as well as any broken glass in window or door panels.

6. Roof

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, so you should make sure not to exclude it in your home inspection checklist. First, you’ll want to find out when the roof was last replaced. If it’s been close to 20 years, you may be looking at a replacement. Look at the roof material and the condition of the roof to get a better idea of when you will need a new one.

Keep an eye out for missing shingles on your roof, and make sure to inspect your chimney. Gutters and downspouts should be attached firmly, so your property has no problems with drainage.

7. Home Exterior

Aside from the roof, the house’s exterior should also be included in your inspection, even if details are only cosmetic. Check out the exterior paint. Is it chipping? The siding of a home gives protection from the elements while adding curb appeal. Take a look at its condition to see if it needs any repairs. Your house may have asbestos siding and roofing. In good condition, you have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, you will need an expert to make repairs.

8. Basement

If your home has a basement, don’t forget to include an inspection of this space in your home inspection checklist. Even if it’s unfinished and you never plan to use it, you’ll want to know if there are any potential problems before you move into the home. Have your home inspector take a close look for mold and moisture. Any musty or mildewy smell is often an indication that there’s water trapped there.

Check your basement’s sump pump if it has one and verify that it’s working smoothly. Basements are often a space for pests to hide out. Your home inspection should look for any signs of activity from unwanted visitors. Rats and mice love an unoccupied and uninsulated basement because it gives them ample space to hide behind the walls. Small holes in your basement’s walls and floors are evidence that small bugs or other pests have been living there.

9. Electrical System

Electricity is dangerous if it is not installed and regulated properly. Inspectors will test all of the electrical elements of a home, from light fixtures to your smoke detectors. The home inspector will turn on all of the light switches and check that a current is running properly, examine the outlets to see that they’re functioning safely and check all of the circuits.

Inspectors look beyond flipping switches, though. They also look into the mechanisms of the home’s circuits, which include the wires that transfer the electricity. Homes should also have grounded circuit breakers that protect both you and the circuit from feeling a high amount of electric shock if there is a sudden overload.

10. Living Spaces & Bedrooms

The living spaces and bedrooms won’t have as much that you need to inspect as a bathroom or kitchen, but they should still get a once-over to identify any potential problems. Look at the ceilings, windows, walls, floors, and doors, like you would anywhere else on the property. Make sure electrical outlets are working and are safe.

11. Garage & Garage Door

Next, go into your garage. The walls, ceiling, and floor should all be in good condition with no cracks or holes. Look at the material and condition of your garage door and determine if a replacement is due soon. You may want to choose a different garage door material or style based on the weather conditions of the area.

Depending on how you want to use your garage, the inspection can also reveal some other helpful information. If you plan to use part of your garage as a workspace, you’ll want to see if the garage door is insulated. Otherwise, it will get cold in the winter months. Your inspection will also identify outlets you can use for projects.

12. Outdoor Grounds

Lastly, you’ll want to check on the exterior grounds of your property to make sure that it’s safe. Take a look at the driveway and any trees or plants that are in your front yard. Are there any cracks or loose roots you should look out for? In your front and backyard, keep an eye out for rot on your porch and deck, any sharp edges on fencing or gates, or uneven walkways.

We know this list sounds like a lot, but it’s important to take all of the proper precautions when it comes to the safety of your home. Instead of spending hours of your day trying to identify problems in your property, leave it to the experts. If you are buying a home in Florida, you will likely have to apply for insurance coverage which will require you to take care of the property with a 4 point inspection. Our inspection team won’t let any detail go unnoticed. Contact us at Hound Doghi to set up a time for us to look at the house! We also offer advanced pool inspections, wind mitigations, and commercial inspections.