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What Is Included on a Home Inspection Check List?

Chimneys will be inspected during a home inspection.
Home inspectors will check for proper drainage elements of a house, including downspouts.
Quality of doors may be included on a home inspection check list.
The inspector will note any cracks in walls or ceilings on his inspection form.
The exterior condition of a home should be inspected.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2014
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A home inspection check list is an essential piece of paper that every aspiring homeowner should not only keep, but examine closely to reflect on its information. After all, home inspection forms are designed to be thorough; the problems may be minor and easily fixable or they may be too costly to warrant purchasing the house. The information a home inspector adds to the check list is invaluable because this is a professional inspection report. A home inspection check list should include all the parts of the house, top to bottom, inside and out. Not only that, the inspection list should cover the lot itself plus any buildings, decks or driveways on the property.

Garages, sheds and barns should all be included in a home inspection as should balconies, porches and entranceways. The home inspector will report on the structural safety of these property features in appropriate areas on the check list. The condition of the lot itself should also be listed somewhere on a home inspection check list with inspector's notes given about the drainage quality of the property, such as whether it is safely away from the house. Wells and water lines must also be checked.

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Mention of all exterior parts of the house should be included on a home inspection check list. The shape the roof is in is extremely important because if it needs replacing this could mean a major expense for the homebuyer. The home inspector should also comment on the condition of the chimney and gutters. Whether the home has stucco or siding, the condition of both the exterior walls and trim should be included on the home inspection list.

Both the interior sections and the various systems of a house must be included on home inspection forms. The systems include electrical, heating, air conditioning and plumbing. The attic and the basement should be thoroughly checked over. The quality and efficiency of attic insulation should be noted on the inspection check list as should the condition of the basement. Any moisture problems and whether the basement is finished, partially finished or unfinished should also be noted.

The foundation of a house is its main support system and therefore is an important part of any inspection. A home inspection form allows the inspector to note whether any cracks in walls or ceilings are surface or structural flaws as this can make a huge difference in a home buying decision. The strength, safety and quality of all of the doors and windows in a house should be included on the inspection checklist. Flooring and ceilings in every room must be inspected carefully.

A home inspection check list should allow for detailed notes from the inspector about kitchens and bathrooms. The quality of the plumbing, appliances, cabinets and countertops should be mentioned. Inspectors should note whether bathroom or kitchen remodeling or just minor repairs are needed.

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pastanaga
Post 3

@Iluviaporos - Honestly, I think it's good for everyone to learn to be a little bit cynical. Kind and generous, maybe, but cynical about business dealings. A thorough house inspection should just be standard. I've seen too many people get stuck with asbestos or leaky houses or bad foundations.

And there was that couple a few years ago that hit the news because they had been sold a house that was basically a snake breeding pit. That kind of thing makes home inspection companies seem like your best friend.

lluviaporos
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - I would have thought that aesthetic damage to the floor would be considered ordinary "wear and tear" which is going to happen when a house is in use even if you have a perfect tenant.

This can go both ways of course, since the landlord is often stuck with extensive damage and no way to get reparation without going to court (which is expensive and time consuming).

My parents rented out their home to friends when they were a young couple and traveled around the world for a while and when they returned it was completely trashed. But this was before there was a standard home inspection form to use and I believe they just assumed their house would be cared for by the tenants.

It was a very hard lesson for a young family to learn.

Fa5t3r
Post 1

You might have one of these as part of your rental agreement as well. Make sure that you are there when the list is first checked and that you take photos of every problem area. Do it in front of the landlord if you have to, but make sure it's all documented because many landlords will try to get as much money as possible out of you even if it wasn't your fault.

It can be for things that you wouldn't expect as well. I had some friends a few years ago who were being sued to pay for damages they had supposedly done to the floors by wearing high heels. None of these girls was the kind to wear high heels that often, particularly not in the house, and the damage had already been there when they moved in, but they had no way to prove that because it hadn't been noted on the inspection checklist when they first moved in.

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