Tips on Inspecting a Home

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2017)
Doctor Inspecting a Home
Inspecting an animated Home

Buying a home is a monumental commitment for most of the people. According to an average consumer knowledge of the home owners, there are way more things to look while buying a home. Because the process can involve many problems and issues that is outside the scope of a home owners’ knowledge. But with the help of home inspection, better assistance is available. Do-it-yourself inspecting a home or hiring an expert is your choice. It may definitely charge you more if you are hiring an expert for inspecting a home. You need to pay to hire the experts to help you through the process of inspecting home. Inspecting a home is one of the important steps before buying a home.

To know about the condition of the home, its weakness and benefits, no leakages or foundation issues, checking for the attic, inspecting the basement, plumbing and drainage system, wiring and electrical work, HVAC functioning, exteriors of the home, flooring and ceiling, walls, and don’t forget the fireplace and chimney. These are some of the important factors covered while inspecting a home. It is very important that you know what you are buying. Because buying a home is a huge plan. Rather one of the costliest investments of your life. You should know the exact condition of a home before signing down the line. And inspecting a home is worth for having a better and fertile home for you.

Don’t let the charming decor sway you too much. There is more to having in your new home than just how it looks or the interiors of the home. It is important to look at the home in the similar way as you are about different things. Be serious while having a process of buying a new home. If you are serious about buying a new home, inspecting a home is an important step to perform. Clear you vision by differentiating between buying your new home and walking into a costly nightmare. If you are ever in doubt of inspecting a home before buying, hire a qualified expert for better results. You can start by preparing a checklist of inspecting a home.

Checklist of inspecting a home

  • Start inspecting a home by checking for the ceiling and the walls. Look at the ceiling to see that it is not sagging. The ceiling should be firmly fixed to the top surface and don’t have any parachute appearance.
  • For identifying any defects or deficiencies in the ceiling, it is very simple. Shine a torch across the ceiling for examining any defects or damage present in the ceiling sheets.
  • Are there any stains and water corrosion on the walls, shower place and in the bathroom? try to have a watch on the walls and the walls behind the showers and bathtubs. Inspecting a home is helpful in identifying any signs of mold and moisture penetration. Even identification of water leaks is easily done with the help of inspecting a home.
  • It is important for watching it before, because it may lead to high cost expenditure for the home owners in future. This is not structural defect but it may cost to be a maintenance item of repair in future.
  • Don’t forget to grab your attention inside the cabinets while inspecting a home. Inspect the interiors of the cabinets in the entire wet areas observed. All the cabinets should be opened and checked properly for detecting any damp smell, mildew or presence of mold.
  • Area smelling damp can be an indication to water leaks and damage. Observing any rising damp is also the indication of having water damage.
  • Avoiding the closer look to the large cracks while inspecting a home is not appropriate. Checking the walls for larger cracks is very important. Inspection of internal as well as the external walls should be visually checked to note any large cracks on the walls.
  • Cracks that are greater than 3 mm in length and width can be considered as the cause for inspection from an expert. Experts have their skills and knowledge of identifying the actual condition of the walls.
  • It is not advisable to not have a property with excessive and large amount of cracking. Is there any evidence noticed in the bathrooms and basement of the molds or mildews?
  • Mold looks similar to a dirty cloud on the ceiling and the walls especially if they are cleaned recently. Identifying mold is important for not facing any water damage or plumbing problem in future. Cleaning it is important because it looks more then a bad upkeep in the home.
  • Map the cracking on the internal wall plastering that can be easily checked while inspecting a home. These types of cracks are observed due to incorrect application of the wall plastering while constructing. Once you find these cracks in an area of the wall, it will be usually observed in multiple areas.
  • Cracking plaster can cause more damage to the walls installed. Even it can come out loose. It is mostly observed behind the wall fitting and paintings.
  • While inspecting a home, it is important to look for the exteriors too. Have a look on the lines of the roof externally. It will lead in assuring and saving you from future deflections.
  • Check for the roof gutters installed. It looks good from the ground level but if inspected correctly, you may find many defects and damaged parts. It is important to note that the roof gutters are not rusted on the interiors parts and edges.
  • Inspecting a home needs many things to consider. Do a quick walk around the exteriors premise of the home. Check the downspout, downpipes, and water drainage system. Checking the roof pipes are discharging the storm water well is important.
  • You should also indicate the past signs of overflowing and flooding water from the roof gutters. If isn’t working properly, cleaning and maintaining is core subject focus. It is advisable of replacing it before you move in to the new home.
  • Installing storm water soak well is a better option for accumulating the rain water to a specific section of the home.
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Inspecting a home before buying


Person inspecting the Attic space
Attic space inspection by a home owner

There are several reasons of checking an attic space while inspecting a home. An attic space is another section of the home that provides important information about water damages inside the home.

Process of inspecting a home is incomplete without checking the attic space. It is advisable of going up to the attic for having an eye on the area. Identify any water damage or leakage on the ceiling and the walls.

If you find any damp smell or odor, it detects the situation of water leakage in the attic space. Don’t forget to inspect the insulation of the attic installed. Many a time, the insulation affected due to the water damage. There are many reasons of inspecting the attic space.

It becomes difficult to identify any defects from the exteriors of the home, so it is important to inspect the attic space. The truss or the rafter installed might get damage due to water. You can find the broken rafter or truss inside the attic space.

An inspection will lead in securing the buyer to disclose the cracks that can lead you in having future integrity to loss. And will assure the buyers a peace state of mind that it is accurate and up to the code.

While inspecting a home, it is important to note that the water is flowing and drained correctly. Staining on the woods and walls are certain identification for noticing any water damage. Watch out for the stains on the walls that offers the evidence of water leakage or water affecting the home.

Condensation is another factor for identifying wood and wall damage into the attic space. It can cause rot to the wood. Furnaces are installed in the attic space, check to see that, no metal is rusted around the furnace.

Inspecting a chimney is an important step. Of course one cannot inspect the chimney for its interiors, but noting the surface is mandatory. The part of the chimney not exposed to the exteriors is observed to be more deteriorated and damaged. This type of situation is observed in old houses.

Checking for the cracks in the chimney bricks, whether it has crumbled or not is your duty.


Mold observed in the Basement
Mold identification in the basemnet

Inspecting a home is a huge process; you need to concern many facts and factors before starting it. And basement is one of the important parts of the home for having a better foundation. Inspecting a basement needs careful examination. See for any evidence of water damage, moisture or mildew existence in the basement.

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A basement inspection includes many factors:

Inspecting basement exteriors shell: windows, walls, doors and basement slab

Basement railing, stairs and attached structures

HVAC system: venting, heating and cooling effects, and filtration

Moisture management problems: gutters, drainage system, discharging and grading

Fireplace in basement: firebox, damper, combustion problems, and flue

Downspout attachment, surface grading surrounding the home and gutter installed

Welfare and health issues: air quality, Egress and injury prevention

Observing any water marks and leakages on the walls, metal studs, or the corners of carpet installed.

Framing, moisture control, temperature, and structural insulation

Vents, intakes and flues

And the plumbing: supply line, waste, drain pipes, sump pumps and water heads.

It is important for identifying the evidence of moisture because it will lead you in having future expenditure to rise. Make the use of your nose for smelling any damp smell caused due to water leakage in the basement. Check for the signs of water damage around the ceiling and the walls of the basement.

If the water leakage is observed around the foundation of the home, it is important for taking in to note. It can later charge you with huge expenditure. Basement is included in the process of inspecting a home, so checking and identifying the nerve of damaging it is mandatory before buying a home.

Identify any rotting wood in the exposed beams of the basement and don’t forget the cracks observed on the walls of the basement. It is important to check the plumbing system installed in the basement. It will help you in better functioning. Sump pump and crawlspace should be inspected for noticing any cracks or moisture in the foundation exposed.

Electric system

Two perons inspecting the Electric system
Electric system inspection

Avoiding electrical pitfalls before buying home is beneficial for the home buyers. Be knowledgeable about checking the electrical system. The electrical system is often overlooked while buying new home. It is impo0trant and included in the list of inspecting a home. Buyers focus more on the aesthetics and outer appearance of the home.

If you are not comfortable of inspecting a home for electrical system, it is advisable of hiring an export. It will help you in knowing the exact condition of the system. Check for an accurate electrical item installation. The wires, boxes, coils and conduits should be securely mounted and fixed to the home.

There should be no visible sign of deterioration and damage. Carrying minimum a ground rod is beneficial for having further process. Measure the minimum acceptable home services that are 100 amp and 120 to 250 volts.

The core electrical panel and the circuit breakers are the key items to be checked and installed properly. The main panel contains the core disconnect of the electrical supply. The panels installed should be neat and up to date. There should be no excessive slack. Each breaker installed should be supplied with one wire.

Identify the circuit box or the fuse box at the home. it becomes easy for carrying the process and should be in a good condition for further functioning. Make a note on number of electrical outlets installed in the home.

It is important to check for sufficient availability of electrical outlets. Inspect and check the outlets installed in kitchen and bathroom for kneeing its present condition. Installing GFCI is inexpensive and prevents from severe shocks for happening.

Exteriors of home

Magnifier used for inspecting exteriors of the home
Checking exteriors of the home

Inspecting a home include checking and observing the exteriors of the home. Check the exteriors of the home from the top surface to the bottom. Start from the beginning of the home i.e. the roof. Have a check on the shingles and roofing tiles installed. Is it in a good condition? Are they damaging the attic space? And many of the questions should be solved by the home owners before buying a new home.

Don’t forget to examine the roof gutters and downspout. Ensure that the home has adequate and accurate water drainage system installed. It will lead you in discharging the accumulated water away from the foundation of the home.

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Not only that, it should be in good repair for better functioning. If you find any damaging effects, it is beneficial for repairing it before moving to your new home. Examining the foundation of the home for not facing any possible water drainage problems. You should not see any evidence of water surrounding the foundation and the ground level of the home.

Check for the ground slope. A perfect ground slope will lead in draining the accumulated water away from the home premise and will not damage the foundation of the home. Observe thoroughly the driveways and walking paths of the home for ensuring no cracks and crumbling on the way.

Proper examination of the siding is important and should be in good state of repair. Don’t forget to have a look of the landscaping and gardening of your property. The trees, shrubs, and plants should not be observed overgrows while inspecting a home. It should be kept well and should not be unkempt.

If sprinkler system is installed, make sure that it is working in a proper condition. Any indication of termite or decaying wood is observed on the décor or wreck installed, replace it of dismantle it for avoiding the damage. Checking the railing and stairs are important for ensuring that they are mounted accurately and are strong enough. And lastly the foundation should be assisted with a porch and not just simply placed on the soil.

Walls, Ceiling, floors, windows and doors

Home onwer inspecting windows
Windows inspected by home owner

Observe any leaking water damage and inspecting the floors, ceiling and walls is another criterion include in the list of inspecting a home. Examine any evidence of water damage on the walls and ceiling. Pulling away the interiors wall framings, peeling off the plaster installed and disposing the paint of the walls are some symptoms identifying the affects due to water damage in the home.

Identifying the structural damage of the home by checking for the cuts and cracks on the ceiling and walls. If you notice any sponginess on the floor while walking, it indicates the floor damage. Have a walk through the floor for noticing any weak areas in the floor. It is important to have an eye on the slope of the floors installed. The slope should be angles in a room perfectly for experiencing better installation.

It is advisable of repairing the cracks found on the walls and ceiling. It will lead in increasing the value of the home. Find out the source of water leakage that is damaging the interiors of the home.

Open all the windows and doors before buying a home. Replacing a window isn’t a fun is neither cheap. Open it and observe if they stuck, stick or simple won’t open. It is important to diagnose the windows and doors correctly. Operating them will help you in ensuring that it works properly.

Check for any mildew and mold around the windows and doors while inspecting a home. Finding any evidence, you need to replace it or go for treatment of removing the mildew and the mold permanently. Examine the windows for fog because it can be the cause of a seal broken situation.


Opened Garage doors for isnpection
Operating Garage doors for inspection

Examine the interiors and the exteriors of the garage. Checking the flooring for ensuring it’s not cracked or stain is very important. Siding installed in the garage should be checked properly to know its exact working condition. It is advisable of opening and closing the garage doors for ensuring its functions.

Check the connection of garage doors to the electrical system of the home that it is working properly and not failing at any point. At last proper drainage system should be offered in the garage for having a perfect garage installed in the home.

With so many things to observe, verify, check and indicate about the home, it’s important for having the accurate knowledge required by the home owners. Inspecting a home by following the states important points will help you in fulfilling your wish of having a dream home.

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