What is a home inspection?
Put simply, a home inspection is a visual examination and technical analysis of the major systems of a house performed for existing homeowners, prospective purchasers, or third party agencies. The systems inspected include the Roofing, Exterior, Structure, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Insulation, Plumbing, and the Interior:
Home inspectors must be knowledgeable about all aspects of residential building systems and their operation. They must be able to recognize and report on non-performance and the potential for failure.
Inspectors should also be able to:
- Describe the system types and the materials involved
- Recognize the typical defects and their implications, including safety concerns
- Understand the features of adequate installation and repair technique
- Use proper terminology
- Perform inspections in a manner consistent with the standards of practice of the home inspection profession
No House is Perfect
Not even brand new homes are flawless. But that doesn't mean you should give up the search for your dream home. It just means that when you find the right house, you need to go one step further and find out what problems exist and what could arise in the future. Buying a house is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, so it makes good sense to have a home inspection done by a professional.
Why have a home inspection performed?
The unknown is a source of anxiety for any homebuyer. A home inspection is for buyers who want to know the true condition of the house. After deciding that a home is suitable in terms of location, size, interior layout, and other lifestyle factors, it is also important to learn about the mechanical features.
Some of the items covered during a home inspection are:
- What (if any) structural work is necessary to ensure safety?
- How long before the roof will need replacing?
- Is the chimney safe and functional?
- How long before the furnace/air conditioning will need replacing?
- Is the electrical panel properly wired? Does it pose any special safety concerns?
- Are the insulation levels adequate?
- Is the fireplace safe?
- Is there leakage in the basement? What are the possible causes and cures?
A properly written home inspection report [link to pdf of sample report] will identify the relevant conditions, outline corrective actions (provide, repair, monitor), document where to find it in the home, and suggest the time frame for taking action.