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Home inspection Issues and Checklist

Posted by Anonymous

A home inspection typically takes place before escrow closes on the purchase of a new home or building. The need for home inspections has been emphasized heavily over recent years. A home inspection is important because the purchaser of a home is not generally aware of the quality and techniques of construction. Home inspections can vary a great degree from state to state and even from city to city. Furthermore, they can vary depending on the association, if any, the inspector belongs to.

 

In most states home inspector's are not licensed professionals. However, there are associations such as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (www.NACHI.org) which is an international association and sets forth standards for its members. Other national associations include: National Association of Home Inspectors (www.NAHI.org), American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ASHI.org), Housing Inspection Foundation (www.hif-assoc.org), or American Institute of Inspectors (www.inspection.org). There are also state by state inspection associations.

 

The purpose of an inspection is to identify visible defects and or conditions that adversely affect the integrity or utility of items, components or systems within the home. A home inspection typically does not include inspection of or for things that require a specific license, such as: asbestos, wood destroying organisms such as termites, mold, mildew, fungi, rodents, lead, radon, methane, radiation, or formaldehyde.

 

The standards of practice for most of the national associations are the minimum standards of performance for a written report on a residential home inspection. The standards set forth limitations, purpose, and conditions of the inspection and report. The standards usually cover the following (be sure to check with your individual inspector to determine which of the following he or she covers because it may vary):

 

  • Structural Elements - including: Walls, ceilings, roofs, foundation and floors.

  • Site Characteristics - including: wall coverings, landscaping, grading, surface water drainage, sidewalks, driveways, fences, siding, flashing, trim, retaining walls.

  • Interior - including: walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, balconies, handrails, cabinets, counters, doors, closets,

  • Roofing - including: framing, type of construction, flashing, gutters, skylights, chimneys, roof penetrations, drainage,

  • Plumbing - including: interior water supply and distribution (i.e. piping materials, faucets, fixtures, manual flow, and evidence of leaks), interior drain, waste and vent system, water heating equipment and systems, fuel storage and distribution.

  • Electrical - including: main panel, circuit breakers, wiring, grounding, light fixtures, outlets, amperage and voltage ratings.

  • Heating - including: equipment, controls, heat distribution, combustibles, vent systems, flues and chimneys.

  • Air conditioning systems - including: central air systems, and distribution systems.

  • Insulation and Ventilation - including: insulation and ventilation of attic and unfinished areas, insulation and vapor retarders, mechanical ventilation systems.

  • Fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances - including: system components, chimneys and vents, condition of fireboxes, hearth extensions, mantles, permanent screens or glass doors.

  • Built in appliances and systems - including: installed dishwasher, range, cooked top, installed oven, built in microwaves, garbage disposal.

 

 

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