What to expect from an inspection report?
Generally speaking, reports should describe the major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability, especially the ones in which failure can result in dangerous or expensive-to-correct conditions. Defects should be adequately described, and the report should include recommendations.
The only mandatory repairs are what the mortgage lender, appraisal, or insurance company requires. The rest is negotiated between the parties (buyer and seller).
What is checked?
- Inspector tries to physically get on the roof
- Checks the entire roofing system
- Checks all penetrations through the roof
- Crawls through the attic checking for evidence of water penetration and for proper framing (if there is a crawl space)
- Load bearing walls, inside & outside, down to and including the foundation system
- Check all built in appliances
- Dishwasher, disposal, oven, range top, kitchen vent, garage door operators, ceiling fans, etc.
- Central heating and cooling
- Starting from where power connects to house
- Breaker panel, where the breakers are
- To all accessible outlets, switches
- All accessible wiring
- Check for proper operation of all the sinks, faucets, commodes, bath tubs, shower, water heaters, etc.
No home is perfect, try to focus your attention on big ticket items
- Roof over wood shingles – Most insurance companies do not allow this
- Older than 15 years (typical lifespan) – Red flag for insurance company
- 12-15 years – Average serviceable life
- There are 2 types of foundations in greater Houston area – Those that have moved and those that will move. We have expansive clay soils; the home sits on ground, ground moves, house moves
- Typical serviceable life of kitchen appliances, 10-15 years
- Deficient might mean not to today’s electrical code, things like AFCI, GFCI and grounding
- Water heater 8-12 years $400-$1,200
- Shower pan $1-3,000
- Old cast iron drain line can be very expensive to repair
- Active water leaks
ADDITIONAL INSPECTIONS (things that are not covered in a general inspection)
- Hydrostatic test of Cast iron drain lines below house (performed by a Plumber)
- Termites or pest inspections
- Chinese Drywall “2006”
- Pool (performed by Pool Specialist)
- Infrared / Thermal Imaging (some inspectors now include this)
- Environmental (performed by Specialist) – Mold, Lead, Asbestos, Radon