How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

When is a Home Inspection Required?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Home Inspection > When is a Home Inspection Required?
When is a Home Inspection Required?

As you prepare for remodeling or renovation work on your home, you’ll have many details to consider. While the design and decorating plans may take center stage as you decide how you’ll remodel and what work you’ll perform, there are other details to remember as well. Another common home inspection situation is during the sale of a house.


Your local municipality probably has codes and ordinances in place that govern how homeowners remodel and renovate residences. Check out this USDA checklist for an overview of requirements for existing homes to get an idea of when you’ll have to have your home inspected. If you’re selling, your real estate agent will guide you through the home inspection process.


When you know when a home inspection is required by your local municipality, you can be sure that you comply with local requirements.

  1. 1.Check Local Ordinances

    If you suspect that you have problems with mold, radon or lead, these issues can lead to serious health conditions in your family.

    When you want to perform a remodeling or renovating project of your home, your local municipality probably has ordinances and requirements in place to ensure that the work you perform complies with local construction codes. Before you can proceed with the work, you will need to contact your local government to learn local requirements. Generally, you should expect to have to submit copies of your construction plans and then receive permission to proceed. The municipality many require a pre-remodel inspection of your home before you begin any work. When you finish, you may need to have your home inspected again to ensure that it complies with local construction codes.

  2. 2.Inspection Situations

    You may encounter other situations where you want to have your home inspected. If you suspect that you have problems with mold, radon or lead, these issues can lead to serious health conditions in your family. By hiring a professional house inspector, you can find out exactly what problems exist and you can take steps to fix them.


    In addition, a home inspection can also analyze your household water or test a well and septic system for problems. Home inspections can also diagnose insect or pest problems and enable you to remedy these situations. Finally, a home energy inspection can pinpoint areas where your house may need additional insulation or where you may have leaks that contribute to heat or cooling loss.

  3. 3.Find a Reputable Inspection Service

    Before hiring a professional inspection service, check to make sure that the inspector has solid references and extensive experience. Home inspectors require training and certification in residential construction and other areas of home inspection. Because technology continues to evolve and improve, inspectors must stay current and update their training frequently. In addition, local building and construction codes also change often. This means that home inspectors must stay current with local codes to conduct residential inspections correctly.

  5. 4.Your Home Inspection

    A home inspection should include a complete check of your electrical system, including fuses and switches. The inspection should also include the plumbing system, heating and cooling, foundation, fireplace and chimney, roof, structure and major appliances. The outdoor landscape, including driveway, walkways and grading, should also be included in a comprehensive home inspection. The entire inspection process will probably take about two hours. After the inspector finishes the inspection, you should receive the inspection report that includes all findings and analyses. With this inspection in hand, you will know the bottom line status of the condition of your home. The inspection will not deliver a pass/fail result about your home. Rather, the inspection will tell you specific areas that may need work and specific areas that meet safety and code requirements.


    Once you have your home inspection finished, you may be able to sit back and relax about the condition of your home.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.