What is a Home Inspection List?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A home inspection list is a checklist used during a home inspection to confirm that all of the major issues that need to be covered are addressed. Major areas of concern during a home inspection include the roof, appliances, electrical system, plumbing, structural systems, heating and cooling systems, exterior, and lot. Within each of these areas, there are a number of individual entries.

A checklist may be utilized during a home inspection.
A checklist may be utilized during a home inspection.

Home inspections provide a top to toe overview of a home to find out about any problems before the sale takes place. Buyers can conduct their own inspections with the assistance of a home inspection list, but real estate professionals often recommend hiring a licensed home inspector. Licensed inspectors have a great deal of training and experience that they can apply to home inspections, and may spot problems that a prospective buyer does not see.

Home inspectors will check for proper drainage elements of a house, including downspouts.
Home inspectors will check for proper drainage elements of a house, including downspouts.

Home inspections start with examining the approach to the house, looking for signs of problems like poor drainage, damage to the driveway, and delayed maintenance on the exterior of the home, including an inspection of the roof for integrity. Appliances such as water heaters, stoves, and refrigerators are inspected if they are present, along with the electrical and plumbing systems, for any signs of problems. Structural elements include doors, windows, walls, foundation, floors, and ceilings, all of which are checked for signs of warping, mold, mildew, and water damage. Heating and cooling systems, such as boilers and air conditioners, are also checked. Underneath the house, basements and crawl spaces are closely examined as well.

A home inspector will check the condition of the exterior walls of the home.
A home inspector will check the condition of the exterior walls of the home.

The home inspection list is used as a guide during the inspection. As the inspection proceeds, notes are made by each entry on the list to indicate whether or not there is a cause for concern, and how serious the concern is. Using a list allows people to document the inspection process and ensures that every part of the structure was thoroughly inspected. For the home inspector, it is a way to avoid making mistakes and can be a protection from liability, as the inspector can show when the home was inspected and what was examined.

Real estate contracts often include clauses allowing people to call the deal off if major problems emerge during a home inspection. People can also use a home inspection list to negotiate a new agreement with the seller, such as a discount on the price or a promise to fix something before the home is sold. The home inspection list can be used as evidence in the event of a dispute about the sale, making it important to fill the list out clearly and completely.

A home inspection list will include any potential structural issues.
A home inspection list will include any potential structural issues.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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