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Professional Home Inspection Checklist

September 26, 2018

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A Professional Home Inspection Checklist – What to Prepare For

If you are a home buyer or seller and you are wondering what a home inspection includes, you have found the right place. This checklist is meant to better prepare you for what your home inspector will be looking for. It should not be considered a substitute for a home inspection report. Your home inspector has the ultimate professional home inspection checklist along with the expertise to know what is a real issue and what is not. If you require a home inspection, contact Lucent Home Inspections or another qualified, educated, licensed, experienced ASHI home inspector in your area.

Professional home inspection checklist with red pen and check marks

What Home Inspectors Report On

Grounds

  • Condition and material of service walks
  • Driveway/parking area condition and material
  • Porch condition, including support pier type (concrete, wood, etc.) and floor
  • The condition and material of stoops/steps
  • Patio condition and material
  • Deck/balcony
    • The condition of structure and finish
    • Material (composite, wood, etc)
    • Presence and condition of railing/balusters
  • The condition of deck/patio/porch covers
  • Yard fence type, condition, and gate condition (if applicable)
  • Landscaping affecting house foundation
  • The grade around the foundation perimeter of the home
  • Condition and material for retaining wall (if applicable)
  • Test if hose bibs are operable and check for anti-siphon valve

Exterior

  • Chimney
    • Rain cap/spark arrestor
    • The material and condition of chase and flue piping
  • Gutters/scuppers/eavestrough
    • Material type
    • Check for leaks
    • Attachment/proper slope
    • Downspout extensions
  • Exterior siding/trim condition and material type
  • Soffit and fascia condition/material type
  • Condition and material of flashing
  • Caulk condition (around windows, doors, corners, utility penetrations)
  • Condition and material for windows/screens
  • Storm windows condition and material (including the condition of putty)
  • Foundation wall condition (if visible)
  • Electrical service entry location and condition
  • Exterior electrical receptacles, check if operable and if GFCI is present
  • Condition and type of wall construction on the exterior of structure (if visible)
  • Check weatherstripping and condition of all exterior doors

Roof

  • Style of the roof (gable, hip, mansard, shed, flat, etc)
  • Low, medium, or steep pitch roof
  • Type of roof (asphalt, metal, clay tile, slate, etc)
  • Approximate number of layers and age
  • Ventilation type and visible performance
  • Flashing material type and condition
  • Material type and condition of valleys
  • The condition of roof material
  • The condition of skylights (often prone to leaking)
  • The condition of plumbing vents and any other punctures through the roof

Garage/Carport

  • Type of garage (attached vs detached and 2-car vs 3-car, etc.)
  • Check all exterior components, similar to the house: roofing, gutters, siding, and trim
  • Material type and condition of the floor
  • Check for a source of ignition within 18 in. of the floor
  • The condition of sill plates
  • Automatic opener operation, safety reverse function, photo eyes, and test for pressure reverse
  • Overhead door(s) material type and condition
  • Exterior service door condition
  • Operation and safety of electrical receptacles: test for reverse polarity, open ground, and GFCI outlets
  • Presence and condition of fire separation on walls and ceiling
  • Determine if the door to the house is fire rated and if it has a self-closure

Attic/Structure/Framing/Insulation

  • Attic access type and location
  • Insulation type and installation location
  • Presence of vapor barriers
  • The functionality of the ventilation system
  • Location of exhaust for kitchen and bathroom fans
  • The condition of HVAC ductwork (if visible)
  • Chimney chase condition
  • Roof and ceiling structure type and condition
  • Sheathing type
  • Evidence of condensation, moisture, or leaking
  • Safety hazards, open junction boxes, etc. for the electrical system

General Interior Items

  • Presence and operation of smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
  • The condition of stairs (including handrails and risers/treads), steps, and/or balconies
  • Fireplace type (gas, wood, electric, etc.)
  • Material type for the fireplace
  • Operation of the damper, size of hearth extension, and condition of mantel (including the fastening system)

Kitchen

  • The condition of cabinets and countertops
  • Operation and condition of plumbing components
  • The condition of the walls, ceiling, and floor
  • Presence of heating/cooling source
  • Operation and safety of electrical receptacles: test for reverse polarity, open ground, and GFCI outlets
  • Operation of installed appliances
    • Disposal, oven, range, dishwasher, trash compactor, exhaust fan, refrigerator, microwave, etc.
  • Check for looped dishwasher drain line or air gap

Laundry

  • Operation and condition of plumbing components for the sink, washer, etc.
  • Presence of heating/cooling source and room ventilation
  • Dryer vent connections and proper exit to the exterior
  • Operation and safety of electrical receptacles: test for reverse polarity, open ground, and GFCI outlets
  • Condition and presence of gas shut-off valve and washer hook-up lines/valves

Bedrooms, Family Rooms, Sunrooms, etc.

  • The condition of the walls, ceiling, and floor
  • Operation of ceiling fans and/or lights
  • Operation and safety of electrical switches and receptacles: test for reverse polarity and open grounds
  • Presence of heating/cooling source
  • Restriction of bedroom egress
  • The condition of doors and windows

Bathrooms

  • Operation and condition of plumbing components for the sink, tub, shower, whirlpool, etc.
  • Water flow and drainage performance
  • Operation and condition of toilet
  • Material and condition in shower/tub area
  • Condition of caulking
  • The condition of doors and windows
  • Operation and safety of electrical receptacles: test for reverse polarity, open ground, and GFCI outlets
  • Presence of heating/cooling source
  • Exhaust fan operation

Basement

  • The condition of stairs: including handrails, risers, treads, and headway over stairs
  • The condition of foundation: material, apparent movement, an indication of moisture, covered walls, cracks
  • Condition and material of the floor
  • Drainage: operation of sump pumps and floor drains
  • Condition and material of girders/beams, columns, joists, and subfloor
  • Crawl space (if applicable): access location, ventilation, insulation, and vapor barrier

Cooling System

  • Condenser unit: location, brand, model #, serial #, approximate age
    • Overall condition
    • Energy source
    • Unit type (air cooled, water cooled, etc.)
    • Outside disconnect
    • Maximum fuse/breaker rating vs installed fuse/breaker
    • Check for level
    • The condition of condenser fins
    • Insulation condition
    • Proper clearance for air flow
  • Evaporator coil unit: location and approximate age
    • Unit type (central system, wall unit, etc.)
    • Overall condition
    • The condition of refrigerant lines
    • Condensate drain line type
    • Presence of secondary condensate drain line (if needed)
    • Measure differential (operation of the unit)

Heating System

  • Brand, model #, serial #, approximate age
  • Overall condition
  • Energy source
  • Unit type (central system, direct drive, etc.)
  • The condition of the heat exchanger (if visible)
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Presence of combustion air venting
  • Disconnect switch
  • Presence of gas shut-off valve
  • Type of distribution (metal duct, insulated flex duct, etc.)
  • The condition of flue piping
  • Filter condition
  • Heat rise (proper operation of the unit)

Plumbing

  • Main shut-off location for water and gas lines
  • Type and condition of both the water entry line and distribution piping
  • Water pressure (or flow)
  • Check for potential cross connections
  • Type and condition of drain/waste/vent piping
  • Type of support for DWV piping
  • Presence of P-traps
  • Functional drainage
  • Presence and condition of the interior fuel storage system (if applicable)
  • Type and condition of gas lines
  • Well pump type and pressure (if applicable)
  • Operation of the sanitary/grinder pump (if applicable)
    • Sealed crock
    • Check valve
    • Shut-off valve
    • Vented
  • Water heater: brand, serial #, capacity, approximate age
    • Type (gas, electric, oil, etc)
    • Combustion air venting present
    • Relief valve
    • Proper extension for TPR valve
    • Vent pipe condition
    • Presence of sediment trap

Electrical

  • Main electric panel location
  • Location of the main disconnect (breaker for terminating power)
  • Condition of panel
  • Amperage/voltage rating
  • Adequate clearance to the panel
  • Breakers or fuses
  • Presence of proper grounding
  • Presence and operation of GFCI and AFCI breakers
  • Main feed wire type and condition
  • Type and condition of branch wiring
  • Separation of neutral and ground terminals on sub panels

This professional home inspection checklist is designed for the central IL area. The climate is different in other areas of the country and it may affect the checklist. If you are located in Peoria, Bloomington, Eureka or the surrounding area, please check out our pricing for a home inspection. We would love to help you make sure you have a safe home for raising your family!