What To Expect in a Home Inspection - Buyers
During a home inspection, the home inspector will concentrate on the condition and structure of your home and point out observed safety concerns. The home inspection is a visual inspection of the house – home inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor can they inspect what they cannot see.
A professional home inspector should, at a minimum, inspect the following items:
- Exterior Home Site
- Building Foundation
- Exterior Home Walls
- Roof Coverings, Flashings & Gutters
- Roof Support Structure
- Insulation Quality
- Visible Interior and Exterior Plumbing
- Central Air and Heating System
- Interior Condition of the Home
For more details regarding what a home inspector will inspect, please see the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NACHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.
Home Inspectors are generalists – they need to know the home’s many systems and components and how they work, both independently and together. In addition, they need to understand why and how the system(s) fail. Consumers should expect a written report to describe the actual condition of the home at the time of the inspection and to provide an indication of the need for major repairs.
What Not to Expect
Home Inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor do they have x-ray vision. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. The Home Inspector is primarily concerned with pointing out adverse conditions and/or safety-related concerns, rather than small or cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the buyers.
A home inspection is not a code compliance inspection and a home inspector will not inspect inaccessible areas of the home. For a detailed outline of what exactly what a NACHI inspector will inspect, please see the NACHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NACHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.
In addition, the homebuyer should not expect the inspector’s report to serve as a guarantee that the home’s components will never fail or need repair at some point in the future. No house is perfect – they all need regular maintenance and repair.