Building Inspection Checklist: What A Building Inspector Looks For?

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

The decision to hire a home inspector before purchasing any building is becoming increasingly common in the modern real estate industry. You never want to buy something without knowing what you can do to improve it. However, buying someone else’s property comes with some risks that need careful consideration. Building inspection allows people like home inspectors to discover any issues early on. So potential buyers know what are the key things to look for before they decide to purchase the house.

Home Inspection Expectations 

The culture of hiring a home inspector before purchasing property is gaining significance in the modern real estate industry. A home inspection offers property buyers insights into a building’s defects before sealing a deal. In addition, a building inspector puts you in a better position to tell the seller to pay for the damages before selling the house.

You may not be familiar with the professional world of home inspections, so here is a list of things that you’ll expect from the building inspector:

  • A building inspector pays attention to the basics of the building, including the foundation, roofing, structural components, and HVAC. Home inspectors also check the plumbing and electrical system of the house. You’ll receive a home inspection report of the building. 
  • The inspection for your building can take an average of 3 hours, but that may change depending on several factors. You’ll have to wait several days before receiving the report after the physical inspection is done and any potential issues are identified.
  • A potential buyer is granted the opportunity to explore and ask questions about a property during an inspection. The inspector will be present and offer feedback on any queries or concerns that may arise from buyers.

Don’t be alarmed by the several defects that the inspector may enlist in the report. Most flaws are minor, and you can fix them in a hassle-free manner. However, it’s advisable to focus on the severity of the issues listed. There may also be some problems that can break the deal. It will help if you talk to the building inspector and a real estate agency about fixing severe defects. 

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Home Inspection Complete Checklist

The following is a complete home inspection checklist provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The inspection report will primarily cover aspects like:

  • The heating system 
  • Roofing system 
  • The attic that will include the visible insulation 
  • Electrical system and interior plumbing
  • Central air conditioning system 
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Floors, windows, and doors 
  • Basement, structural components, and the foundation 

The inspector’s goal is not to tear your home apart. Instead, the inspector seeks to give you a complete report of the state of your home to avoid future problems. 

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Common Building Inspection Defects 

As already noted, the report will include minor repairs and cosmetic flaws such as a broken window pane that you can fix with ease. The minor issue will rarely interfere with your deal. However, hidden but costly problems can discourage a potential buyer from investing in your property. Major inspection defects include the following:

  • Rundown Roofing– The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is between 15 and 20 years. The roofing issues may come up in the inspection report if your home’s roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. Fixing a neglected roof can be costly. Replacing defective shingles and flashing can help you to prevent the problem. 
  • Drainage Issues– Surface grading around the building can result in severe drainage problems, damaging the foundation. Leaking basements can cause mildew, rotting of structures, and other issues. Foundations can also shift because of soft soils. Adding topsoil to create a slight slope for drainage helps to prevent this problem. 
  • Faulty Foundation– Foundation defects can be costly to fix. Sticking windows and doors and cracked walls are signs of foundation issues. It would be best to hire a home renovation company to set the foundation problems of the building before putting it on sale. 
  • Plumbing Problems– Faulty pipes, malfunctioning water heating systems, and blocked sewage are typical things that fall during a home inspection. Besides, they are costly to fix if not handled in time. Upgrading your piping and repairing minimal leaks will be helpful to avoid these issues. In addition, always ensure that you clean clogged drains and reseat toilets. 

It’s rare to have a perfect home that will come out clean during a home inspection. However, you can fix minor and severe problems of the building to optimize its standards for a better home inspection report. Remember, the buyer pays for home inspection services to ensure that the building is in good condition before buying it. Hiring a home renovation company to repair most of the defects will prepare your building for sale.