Here are 4 things home inspectors should consider when performing inspections:
1. Structural Integrity
The structural integrity is arguably the most important thing to consider when performing home inspections. This can be compromised by natural means such as wear and tear and natural disasters, and human error/intervention e.g. design flaws, accidental damage, and deliberate damage.
Common structural damage from natural means are leaning pillars and sagging ceilings due to termite infestation, leaking roofs due to weather-induced damage, and rotting timber due to high levels of moisture.
Some examples of structural damage caused by human error/intervention are uneven floors due to improper construction, ill-fitting doors
A home inspection checklist can help home inspectors carry out their work by making sure they review all of the necessary details to make an accurate assessment.
2. Safety Hazards
Even if a house is structurally sound and is sure to endure punishing weather and reasonable wear and tear, its interior design may still present safety concerns.
Here are some common areas and items to review:
- Bathrooms – Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common causes of injury in the household, and a lot of them occur in the bathroom. Check if the bathroom has grab bars for people to hold on to so they don’t lose their balance.
- Carbon monoxide detectors – Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It’s especially dangerous since it has no distinctive scent to alert people of its presence. Check if the house has a carbon monoxide detector and recommend one to be installed if there’s none.
- Fire hazards – Faulty home appliances, exposed electrical wiring, or candles can start a fire. Check if the house has fire alarms and smoke detectors to alert residents in case of a fire emergency.
- Staircases – Poorly designed staircases may cause trips and falls. Check if the steps have adequate surface area, stable handrails, and proper lighting.
3. Electrical and Plumbing Systems
After securing structural stability and safety, a house’s operational amenities should be evaluated.
- Heating System – It is important to check if the heating system is working during the inspection. Check its functionality by turning up the thermostat. If the furnace turns on and continues to run, the system is in good condition. If it shuts off in less than three minutes, it could be short-cycling, in which case, the services of a professional would be required.
- Sewer/Water Lines – Sewers serve such an important function in our ideal living conditions and because we use them so much, we often end up taking them for granted. Check if the main sewer line is clogged or if the lines need replacing due to wear and tear.
- Toilet Leaks – A leaking toilet, if left unchecked, can cause all kinds of problems. Aside from increasing your water bills, structural damage is imminent. With the water continuously seeping into the bathroom floor, the base beneath the toilet may deteriorate and eventually collapse.
4. Proper Documentation
The findings of a home inspection must be properly and clearly documented to avoid any misunderstanding between the client and the home inspector. Additionally, state laws require home inspectors to provide written inspection reports to their clients.
The business of buying and selling houses involves a substantial amount of money. Practicing diligence by utilizing a checklist during home inspections ensures that fair service is provided to clients and they’re satisfied knowing they’ll get their money’s worth.
Juhlian Pimping is a content writer for SafetyCulture, a software company that enables businesses to perform inspections using digital checklists.