What is a home inspection and what does it involve?
A home inspection is a visual inspection of a home to check for safety concerns, the mechanicals of the home, the homes condition, and its various components. There are some limitations as to what can be inspected. How thorough a home is inspected can be affected by weather, accessibility, safety, and an inspectors knowledge.
An Inspection Generally Includes Six Main Areas.
The Interior Of The Home:
Walls, ceilings and floors
Steps, stairways and railings
Countertops and cabinets
Doors and windows
Garage doors and openers
Installed appliances that will convey with home sale
The Exterior Of The Home:
Siding material, flashing and trim
Exterior doors and the exterior of the windows
Decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and railings
Eaves, soffits, and facia
Plants (next to the home), grading, drainage and retaining walls
Detached garages and carports
Walkways, patios and driveways
Gutters, downspouts, chimneys
The roofing system (roofing material, penetrations, skylights, flashing and any thing else that would compromise the integrity or water tightness of the roof)
Fixtures and faucets
Drain, waste and vent system
Sump pumps and sewage ejectors
Service entrance conductors, cables and raceways
Service equipment and main disconnects
Interior components of service panels and sub panels
Conductors (visible wiring)
Overcurrent protection devices (fuses, circuit breakers)
Light fixtures, switches, and receptacles
Circuit interrupters (GFCI)
Installed heating and cooling systems
Fuel burning fireplaces and stoves
Vent system, exhaust system, flues and chimneys
Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces
Wall structure, ceiling structure and the roof structure. It may seem weird to include the wall ceiling and roof structure here, but problems in the foundation can often be seen in these other areas.
What Home Inspectors Don’t Examine:
This list is to help clarify expectations.
Although the list of inspected items is quite extensive we need to keep in mind that those items must be readily accessible. A home inspector will not pull up flooring material to see what’s beneath it, or cut holes in walls to see what is behind them. Inspectors are not required to move furniture, plants, snow, ice or debris that could be obstructing the access or visibility of items due to liability. A home inspector does not predict the life expectancy of the various components of a home. An inspector also does not inspect underground systems like lawn irrigation or buried oil tanks. Inspectors also do not check for termites, other wood destroying organisms, mold, radon, asbestos or other environmental hazards unless certified to do so. An inspector may conduct those items for an addition fee. At Big Eye Inspections we will do our very best if we see signs of critters or environmental issues to suggest further inspection by a licensed and trained individual.
In Central Ohio it is our opinion that if homes do not currently have radon mitigation that the buyer consider having a system installed. Most of Ohio in general has a high radon count. Homes with basements that are used for additional living space should consider having mitigation installed.
What Should You Do To Ensure The Best Possible Inspection?
At Big Eye Inspections we encourage our clients to be present while we are inspecting the home to see what our inspectors see firsthand. Learn what they can tell you about your home. Ask lots of questions! You can never know too much about the home you are buying or own.