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The Home Depot

What Do Home Inspectors Look For?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Home Inspection > What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
What Do Home Inspectors Look For?

The role of a home inspector is a significant one in the home buying and selling process. It is the buyer who hires the services of a home inspector to determine whether the house they want to buy is worth the price and if it has any problems. In some instances, the inspector might be able to detect major problems that can end up draining all your resources apart from what you spend on purchasing the house.


Listed below are the most common home inspection items.

  1. 1.Exterior Home Inspection

    The exterior of the house is just as important as the interior for the home inspector. The roof is usually one of the first things that an inspector checks. Advanced wear and tear may be visible even to your untrained eye, but if the roof is just starting to age, then the problems may be visible only to a qualified professional. Damages to a roof can be every expensive to repair and in some cases replacing the roof may be the only option left. Even if resurfacing of the roof is not an immediate concern, but something that might have to be done in the next couple of years, it is sure to cost you thousands of dollars. Another thing a home inspector will check is the land around the house to see if it is prone to becoming water logged.

  2. 2.Interior Home Inspection

    The basement and attic are the places inside a home that the inspector first checks. The basement should not be susceptible to flooding and should not display any signs of water damage such as stains, mildew, damp odor, and damaged floors. The inspector will also look for presence of any kind of water proofing measures such as sump pumps. Their presence will indicate that the place is prone to flooding and future water-proofing costs can prove quite expensive to you. The paint inside the home is another factor that home inspectors are concerned about. Older homes are likely to have paint with lead components.

  4. 3.Structural Home Inspection

    The structure of the house will also be examined for signs of any defects such as problems in the roof framing, exterior and interior wall framing, and cracks in the foundation wall. These may be due to various reasons such as poor structural design, bad construction, as well as water or termite damage. A home inspector with an engineering background will be better qualified to detect such issues in a building.

  5. 4.Electrical System Home Inspection

    The home inspector will determine if the home’s existing electrical system meets current standards. If not, then it might have to be upgraded and this will not come cheap. The electrical wiring will have to be examined to see if it is burned, has any over fused circuits, or openings in the panel. Older houses may have aluminum or knob and tube wiring which may be hazardous and have to be replaced.

  6. 5.Plumbing System Home Inspection

    The first thing a home inspector will do is check the pipes to find out which type supplies water to the house from the municipal mains. Old lead and galvanized steel pipes are not a good sign. The inspector will also look for any signs of leakage and use a moisture meter to evaluate this. Fixtures, faucets, bathtubs, and shower enclosures will all be on the inspector’s checklist.


    The heating and air conditioning units will also come in for close scrutiny. At the end of the inspection, you should receive a detailed written report pinpointing the defects and evaluating each and every aspect of the house. You now will be able to use this information when the negotiations commence. This information should be given to your real estate agent for sure.

What Home Inspector Are You Working With?

It is always recommended that you hire a certified home inspector. Not all inspectors are certified, especially because many states do not make this mandatory. By choosing a certified inspector, you are assured of a credible report.


If you engage the services of a whole home inspector, he or she will check all the major systems in the house for defects. There are some specific areas in every home that need to be looked at carefully to determine there are no issues of concern. A home inspector will be unbiased in their analysis and report because they are not affected in any way by the outcome.

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