Home Inspections -
If you've already read our report entitled, "Home Inspections, Why You Should Have One",
you know that we recommend the use of a professional building inspector. This list of
interior concerns, together with the report entitled, "Exterior
Concerns" is offered as a resource to help buyers roughly determine how much
attention a home may need. Knowing this information will be valuable in helping you
determine an appropriate amount to offer. Again, we encourage buyers to write their offers
"subject to a professional building inspection that is satisfactory to the
buyer". Please, do not attempt to use these reports as a final authority in
determining whether or not a property is sound. While they may provide a good guide for
inspection, only a professional that is fully trained in home inspection is qualified to
spot the more inconspicuous problems that can occur in homes.
It should also be noted that most home inspections would reveal some problems in virtually
every home. Therefore, the primary purpose of home inspections is to protect the buyer
against major hidden defects, as well as create awareness of outstanding maintenance
issues to guide you in decisions related to property value.
1) Bathroom Fixtures - Check all bathroom
fixtures carefully for cracks, chips, etc. Do you notice signs of rust or other water
damage on or around fixtures? Is there adequate caulking around sinks, toilets and tubs?
Are tub enclosures firmly attached or loose?
2) Carpets - How is the general condition of
the carpets? Are they relatively current or are they badly dated? Are there seams showing?
Is there lots of obvious wear in higher traffic areas? Is there any apparent damage caused
3) Dishwasher - Open the dishwasher and look
for signs of rust or hard water deposits. Is the seal on the door soft or has it become
hard and brittle? You should probably run the dishwasher to see if it makes strange noises
4) Cupboards & Vanities - What types of
materials were used in their construction? What type of finish is on them? Will they be
easy to care for? Are all of the hinges and hardware intact and functioning properly? Are
the counter tops in good condition or needing attention?
5) Electrical - Check the wiring to try to
determine what type it is. Copper is generally known to be the best. What is the amperage
rating of the wiring? Is it adequate to meet your needs or will it require upgrading? Does
the panel box have breakers or fuses? Are there an adequate number of electrical outlets
in various rooms throughout the house? Are the light fixtures all functioning properly?
Are they current or dated? Are there smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
present? Are they wired in or battery operated?
6) Fireplace - Find out if the unit was
professionally installed, or at least if the seller is aware if it meets current fire
insurance standards. When was the chimney last cleaned? Does the fireplace have a fresh
air intake? Is the unit well sealed or drafty? Is the chimney insulated to prevent back
flow of air?
7) Heating & Cooling System - When were
these units last serviced? Are the monthly heating costs comparable to other properties of
this type? Is there a fresh air intake on the furnace? Is the inside of the furnace clean
or filthy? Does the furnace filter appear to get changed regularly? Do the units operate
without a lot of noise? Has the air conditioner been recharged lately?
8) Insulation - The Insulation is difficult to
see in most properties. Check the attic insulation to determine if the amount is adequate.
While you're up there, check for evidence of moisture damage in the attic. Do you notice
any black marks on the roofing material? Remove some outlet covers to try to determine
that the walls are insulated. You may be able to tell what kind of material was used.
9) Plumbing - Check to see what kinds of water
pipes are being used. Copper or PVC is the current standard, while galvanized steel pipes
are outdated. Check all water taps for drips. Flush all toilets to ensure proper
operation. Check around toilets and tubs for signs of water damage to floors and walls.
Check under all sinks for signs of leaking. Check ceilings directly under bathrooms for
signs of moisture damage.
10) Interior Finishing - Check miter joints on
door and window trim, and baseboards for construction quality. Open and close all interior
doors to ensure they are working properly.
11) Structure - Check exposed basement walls
for signs of major cracking. Where possible, examine floor joists for sagging or cracking.
Do the floors on the main and upper levels seem to be fairly level?
12) Moisture - Check the home's lower level
for signs of past moisture problems. Examine nails in baseboards. Are there any that are
rusty? Check paint for signs of peeling. Examine drywall for loose seam tape. Check wood
trim and drywall boards for signs of water staining. Again, most basements will take some
water if the conditions are right, but if there has been water, you'll want to ensure that
the problem has been solved.
13) Vinyl Floors - Check all vinyl floors for
signs of wear. Look for signs of moisture under linoleum (dark spots). Look for seams to
ensure a good seal. Are there cuts or tears in the linoleum?
14) Windows - What type of windows are they?
Are they aluminum, wood or PVC? Do they appear to be efficient? Is there a good seal when
they're closed? Is there evidence of moisture damage on the windowsills or drywall around
the windows? If so, can it be repaired and subsequently maintained to avoid future damage
or do they need to be replaced? Is the hardware functioning properly? Do the windows open